9: Political Party II

The heroes get alone time as they prepare for the challenge. Tracey wrestles. Johnny looks for books. Inara watches paint dry.

The party continues on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr @JointhePartyPod! On our Patreon page (patreon.com/jointhepartypod), you can unlock exclusive bonus content like cut scenes, bloopers, character backstories, player blog posts, Dungeons & Dragons game tips, and so much more. Transcripts are available for every episode at jointhepartypod.com. Have stories or questions for the next Afterparty? Email hello@jointhepartypod.com or visit http://jointhepartypod.com/contact.

Join the Party is produced by Eric Silver, Brandon Grugle, Amanda McLoughlin, and Michael Fische. Special thanks to our creative consultants Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini, and Heddy Hunt. The voices of the book are Eric Schneider, Jackie Waxon, Jackson Lynch, Michael Schubert, Rebecca Seidel, Ryans, and Seth Grugle.


Transcript

Amanda: Last time on Join the Party.

Eric: Oh my god what didn’t happen? Ready, okay. Everyone follows Alonzo back to the castle but they get ambushed by Greg. Greg is a bard with a weapon he can control with whistling isn’t that crazy. There’s a standoff and people try to talk to each other but Tracey drives his great axe right into greg’s leg. The speaker of the concentric states shows up and she can fly and everyone has a formal sit down but first there’s breakfast thank god. BUT HOLD ON there’s a test of a magical spyglass which they work out with some help from Stoneface AY. everyone’s looking up at the night sky and the stars and they crack the case of the spyglass and whooooaaa there’s a storm a-brewing.

Whew.

Our heroes need some personal time. A personal pan party. Let’s get the party started.

(Theme music)

Eric: Tracey it is now the afternoon and you want to check out the trophy room right?

Brandon: Yes.

Eric: All right. The trophy room as you remember is back in the same hallway where the alchemy room is. If you remember there were three doors in that hallway. That's the room with the the medium amount of magical energy coming from it and the doors are closed.

Brandon: Tracey walks up to the door and knocks politely. and he does like a shave and a haircut rhythm. (shave ad the haircut sounds)

Eric: All right as you do that, you hear some gears actually start turning behind the door. And like an opening chime goes, you know like when your computer is starting out it's like (computer opening chime). And the door opens, it automatically swings open. And you walk in and the trophy room looks exactly like you thought it would look like all over the walls are covered with just lots and lots of animal heads and monster heads some you recognize and some you never actually seen before. Some of them look exotic with like 10 tusks coming out of one face. Some of them just kind of look like turtles and deer like very kind of normal but it's very ornate and everything is very nicely labeled with like their name and who shot them. But in the middle there are three big glass cases, one has a set of armor which is on a slight mannequin, one has a mannequin stand with one foot on top of a tarnished metal jar, you know like those jars that like all the popcorn comes in?

Brandon: Yeah

Eric: like those big ones that look like it looks like that.

Brandon: What flavors are in it?

Eric: ...that you cannot see. You know it's pretty big. And like enough that you can like really prop your foot on it. Captain Morgan style. and one has a tanned leather briefcase with like little stubby legs below it. And there's a mannequin kind of like reaching down to pick it up. And this opening music is just going it's like elevator music.

Eric: (Imitating quiet elevator music) Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba.

Brandon: I start kind of swaying a little in place, I'm really digging this music. But I also. Is there anything else in the room or is it just like kind of like spotlights on these three...

Eric: It's spotlights on those three. Yeah.

Brandon: OK. Tracey says

Brandon (as Tracey):  Um... he-hello?

Eric: And when you say hello. A voice clicks on.

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Welcome to the Royal Trophy Room. supported in thanks to the generous donations of Richard Kiko the Fifth and viewers like you. Relive the majesty of the Kiko family for a thousand years the Keiko's of Fidapolis have been a guiding light for the rest of the Concentric States, leading them forward for justice, truth, and prosperity. Let's relive the history for if we don't remember our history we are doomed to repeat it.

Brandon: Tracey looks delighted. He sits on the floor cross-legged style and kind of like puts his head in his cupped hands and is ready for story time.

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Is everybody ready.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah!

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): I can't hear you.

Brandon (as Tracey):  YESSSSS

Eric: A spotlight comes on the armor. And the voice continues.

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): First we have the blessed armor of Ken Ken Kiko. It shines so brightly after so many years because she was never hit in battle.

Eric: And you see like the armor actually is perfect there are no kind of nicks in it

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): she use negotiation skills and quick thinking to end all conflicts before it ever happened. Why doesn't everyone solve problems like that? That's crazy.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don't know! They should!

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Ken Ken never knew and the world may never know either.

Eric: And the spotlight comes on the second one. The big tarnished metal jar

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Over here notice the Iron Tankard of Violetbeard Kiko The Water Tamer! After smuggling onto a pirate ship she disguised herself as a man by wrapping her long purple locks around her face looking out from the crow's nest she spied the current twisting more than usual. With an a-ha moment she realized that the Water Werids lived through the coast on the Concentric States. Determined to get one of her own she fashioned this tank so she could carry it on her back and caught one Water Weird of her own. Through a series of duels, dice games, and a snapping water elemental by her side she became captain of the ship and eventually the admiral of the Concentric States for over two decades. Her Water Weird still lives in the lake behind Kiko Manor buffering the storm that constantly rumbles there.

(Tracey Claps)

Eric: And the third spotlight comes on

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): And finally we end our tour on a briefcase. Goodbye and have a pleasant afternoon. HA-HA! You knew there was more to this briefcase didn't you?

Brandon (as Tracey):  I don't appreciate that!

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Please leave all questions until the end of the tour.

Brandon (as Tracey): Sorry.

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Legend goes that Tallahassee Kiko challenged a Hag to a game of chance to save an entire village endangered by monsters rolling anger for blocking her view of some ducklings. This game: Chess. The match raged for hours parrying and shifting and back and forth until finally Tallahassee summoned all of his mental facilities that he had and trapped the Hag's king in a corner piece. It's perfect! Even though they only wagered for the village safety that gave him an enchanted briefcase. When you say the magic word it turns into a crocodile. Perfect for carrying papers, looking sharp, and always up for a round of chess

Brandon (as Tracey): Lumbar! Pineapple!

Brandon: Either of those work?

Eric: No, nothing happens hahaha.

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): That is the end of the tour. Have a good day and remember: if you don't remember your history you're doomed to repeat it.

Brandon (as Tracey):  Can I have it all?

Eric (as Royal Trophy Room narrator): Please take something from the gift shop but take only one. More than that would be greedy.

Brandon: Tracey takes a length of rope out of his bag and like starts tying knots like just as if he's like practicing his knot tying skills but he kind of like electric slides one step at a time over to the briefcase.

Eric: You’re tyring to the trick this disembodied voice?

Brandon: Uh huh!

Eric: Ok cool.

Brandon: Once he gets close enough to the suitcase. He takes out his shortest javelin and as he continues like tying the knot in his left hand he takes out a javelin out of his pack and swiftly taps the glass dome and knocks it off the briefcase.

Eric: I'll say that you could break the glass but I want to know how sneaky you do it. So let's just do a straight up dexterity.

Brandon: OK. I don't want to break the glass, I want to knock the thing off.

Eric: Oh you want to break...

Brandon: I just want to knock the dome over.

Eric: OK that's fine yeah. That's still dexterity.

Brandon: Do you need dice to play this game?

Eric: Yeah you do Brandon you might need to take out your d20. just because we're having a magical moment of verisimilitude does it mean that you don't need a roll every once in awhile.

Brandon: Which one is the 20? I don't know.

Eric: It's the one with the 20 on it.

Brandon: Ok cool. Oh hey, I just got a Natural 20. Is that good?

Eric: Yeah it's a good roll. OK. Even though this is a glass case you still manage just like kind of bump it over. And even with the mannequin inside holding onto the bag, both just kind of like fall over and the glass case kind of even bounces off the ground but doesn't break and you can see that five of the sides like the bottom and the four sides were glass but the top wasn't covered. And now there's an opening if you want to grab it.

Brandon: Yeah definitely grab it. I think Tracey uses the javelin again to kind of like fish the handle and take it kind of like a pack on his back.

Eric: You fish it out and you put it over your shoulder and the legs kind of start scrambling a little bit. And what you have is Tallahassee's Bag. Have you ever seen Halloweentown?

Brandon: Yeah. Like a long time ago.

Eric: So do you remember that the one played by Debbie Reynolds? She has a bag that can walk by itself.

Brandon: Yes.

Eric: It's like that. This isn't a bag of holding it's just literally a bag. But it can carry like as much as like a decent sized briefcase could carry. And also it can walk by itself. So whatever your speed is it can walk behind you. But always like not fast enough to overtake you but walk behind you. And inside is a game of chess and once per day it can turn into a crocodile but you need to...

Brandon: HAHAHAHA Wait hold up, the bag or the game?

Eric: The bag. The bag and turn into a crocodile. However you don't know what the magic word is

Brandon: As I leave the room. I put my javelin back in my pack kind of dust it off or like blow smoke off it like you would a pistol because it's done me good. And I walk into the hallway and sit down and open the briefcase and check out my new game.

Eric: OK. What are you looking for?

Brandon: I want to check for magical energies.

Eric: Arcana, so than Arcana

Brandon: I got a Four plus One for a Five.

Eric: You open up all the pieces and you set it up and you're happy because all the pieces are there.

Brandon: Great. OK.

Eric: Yeah.

Brandon: Can I just take it over for like traps or anything?

Eric: Sure you can investigate it if you want.

Brandon: I rolled so well to start...

Eric: So what did you get?

Brandon: I got a Crit One.

Eric: Oh no. Yeah. All the pieces are there. Good job.

Brandon: All right I put the game back into the briefcase and I'm going to head down to the gym.

Eric: Alright are you going to have the bag like waddle behind you?

Brandon: I don't trust it yet. I'm just going to let it....

Eric: Are you going to carry it?

Brandon: I'm still going to carry it for now.

Eric: It's like when you're holding a dog. And like sometimes it's like OK with you holding it all the time. But other times it's like I don't want to! Or just pushing against you. You walk down to the training grounds which is where Alonzo originally was practicing with all the targets and you see there's like just a small like sports shack that keeps like all like the equipment for training in there. And on the left side laying out on a beach chair is a dwarf and his hair is kind of like all wrapped up into a top knot his beard is also in the top knot and he is perfectly still because he is so sunburnt. like crispy, so crispy and you see he's reaching for something that's on like an end table to his right and it's a wand with a little blue sphere on top of it and he's just like

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): I can’t move... but i need...

Brandon: Tracey’s going to walk up next to him, kind of look him up and down, and then take his bedroll out from his pack and lay it on the ground next to the dwarf and put his sunglasses on and just kind of catch some rays.

Eric: What color sunglasses does Tracey have?

Brandon: They're definitely like the Aviator Ray-Bans.

Eric: I was just thinking it was like a massive Ray-Bans.

Brandon: Yeah. But like he's giant So they the earpieces are like super stretched out.

Eric: The dwarf tries to raise his head up a little and says

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): Hey. Is somebody is somebody there? Hello? Where are you. Is someone there?

Brandon (as Tracey as a bro): Yeah bro.

Eric: What is that?

Brandon: Tracey is trying really hard to fit in!

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): Uh, hey bro, I mean can you how can you help me out here? Can you get me that wand right there. I need it. And I'm so, I'm really close.

Brandon (as Tracey):  Yeah of course.

Brandon: And Tracey grabs the wand and hands it to him.

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf) :OK. Don't don't. Don't hand it to me. OK. Just pointed at me and just say "chill" That's all I need to do. Can you just help me out?

Brandon: Tracey points the wand the dwarf and just goes

Brandon (as Tracey): Chill.

Eric: And you see like little snowflakes swirl off of the front, and they kind of soak into his body and he shivers a little bit and he stands up and says

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): All right thank you, you know if I do it myself if I try to point it out myself I actually might hurt... it could be just cold damage but I needed someone to help. So thank you. I feel much chiller now.

Brandon (as Tracey):  Thanks. This is mine now.

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): No, no it is no, it is not. No that's not how that works at all, please. I will. I will put you in an arm bar if you do not give that back to me.

Brandon: How tall is this dwarf?

Eric: Like less than five feet tall.

Brandon: So this four foot eight Dwarf is trying to threaten a 7 foot tall 270 pound Warforged?

Eric: Yeah that’s exactly what’s happening.

Brandon: Cool. So much like your older brother, Tracey just holds the wand up above the dwarfs head and says you can have it if you could take it.

Eric: All right Brandon I'm going to do a strength contest against you. Why don't you roll either your athletics or your dexterity.

Brandon: I've got a 14 plus 3 for a 17.

Eric: OK. So this dwarf jumps at you, goes behind you on your back and takes the arm that's holding the wand up and locks it behind your back with one arm and with the other arm he plucks the wand out of your hand.

Brandon (as Tracey): Please stop.

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): Only as you say uncle say it

Brandon (as Tracey): Uncle Uncle!

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf):Who's your uncle? Am I your uncle?

Brandon (as Tracey): His name is William!.

Eric: Alright he lets go of you and he jumps off. He says

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): Hey what did I tell you? I told you it was going to do the arm bar, arm bar happened.

Brandon (as Tracey):  How. Did. You. Do that! It was so cool!

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): Hey just wrestling moves man. I've been doing wrestling moves my whole life and that's why big big dumb galoots like you don't mess with me. I'm, I'm Horkley. It's nice to meet you. Who are, who are you.

Brandon (as Tracey): I'm smarter than you!

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): Apparently not.

Eric: And Horkley walks away.

Brandon (as Tracey):  Wait, Horkley, Horkley. I'm Tracey.

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): It's nice to meet you Tracey.

Brandon (as Tracey): Can I buy your book?

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): a book on what?

Brandon (as Tracey): you don't have, you're not selling a book or anything?

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): A book on, on wrestling.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): I don't... How about I just show you.

Brandon (as Tracey): OK.

Eric: And Horkley shows you a bunch of wrestling moves that he knows. This is like an 80s montage where it goes from like in the beginning like the first hour it's just like him putting you at various like, he puts you in a chokehold and you're just like flailing your arms. Then it cuts like another scene where he has you by both legs and you're like beating the ground. But eventually...

Brandon: But then it cuts to a break where we're just both eating ice cream cones in silence.

Eric: Oh absolutely absolutely. He tries to reach for your eyes

Brandon: And I smack his hand away.

Eric: And then he jumps on you and puts you in a headlock. But eventually you start to get good at this and you actually you figure out some reversals. There's one where you like throw him over your shoulder for the first time and he lands on the ground and you look stunned. But then it gives you a big thumbs up. And as the sun's going down you guys are toweling yourselves off after a long day of training he says.

Eric (as Horkley the Dwarf): You know, Tracey you're pretty OK

Brandon (as Tracey): you know, you're pretty ok too.

Eric: And you both give each other thumbs up.

Brandon: And then star-swipe!

Eric: OK. So what that means for you, is that now you know about grappling. I'm going to say the first time that you grapple someone, I'm going to give you a +2 on it because it's like fresh in your mind. And you practiced this one move where you put someone in a headlock with one arm and then you can put someone else in a headlock with the other arm and then you can push both of them down.

Brandon: That is very cool. I like it a lot. So I think for the end of the night after Tracey's done showering and cleaning up a little bit.

Eric: I'm imagining Tracey showering, I like it.

Brandon: Hey gross.

Eric: No it's because he sings a lot. He's singing The Girl from Ipanema

Brandon: Oh he definitely does do that.

Eric: Oh wait he has the song from the Trophy Room stuck in his head.

Brandon: I want to cut to the feeling! Tracey is going to make his way up to the alchemy room. He grabs his pack out of the locker room and he spies the Draconic Book that he still hasn't been able to read. And he's going to take it back up to Tammy and Taylor and maybe James if he's there and see what he can... He's going to apologize as well.

Eric: sure.

Brandon:  Give it back.

Eric: Are you going to put the book in the bag yet? Are you... Have you put anything in the bag yet?

Brandon: No I don't trust it yet.

Eric: It tries to nuzzle you on the way up.

Brandon (as Tracey):  Don't worry Tallahassee we'll get there.

 

Eric: Inara, what do you want to do with your day?

Amanda: Well I sure don't want to go out onto the road knowing nothing about the threats that we're facing, the people we might have to fight, and only knowing how to use my doggers medium well. So what I want to do is learn more about whatever we might be facing to the extent possible specifically the threats and the things we might have to fight against. And I also want to get a little bit better at fighting which I have not done much of before.

Eric: Cool. OK. Who you want to talk to you?

Amanda: If Maximilian's around, I'll talk to him if there is a head of the royal guard or something. Or maybe there's someone who heads up the royal armory that I could find out some sweet sword tricks. Basically I want to talk to the coolest person in the castle vis-a-vi killing people.

Eric: So you actually ask around to a bunch of guards and you literally ask that

Amanda: hey who's your coolest coworker.

Eric: Yeah. Whenever you ask someone like who they're coolest coworker is who is the most stabby. They always tell you about the captain. Captain Rose.

Amanda: Oh nice.

Eric: And they send you up to her office which is actually all the way on the top of the castle, right next to the courtyard where you were before. You walk up to the guardhouse and the door's closed.

Amanda: I'm going to knock at the door and say

Amanda (as Inara): hey captain. Some of your guards down there told me that I should talk to you. I have some urgent questions around Prince Alonzo

Eric: and the voice inside says

Eric (As Captain Rose): Can you just give me like 10... Who is this?

Amanda: This is Inara Hawthorn you may know me from saving Greg's life like once and almost twice now. So I'm going to be doing some kind of challenge tomorrow. There's just lots of stuff. I got a bunch of like cool tools that Im gonna use to stab a bunch of people who are not the princes don't worry. But I'm going to be defending his life for a long time. Starting real quick. So I just thought I would come and you know say hi and stuff.

Eric (As Captain Rose): Yeah OK. Yeah those are. Those are pretty good reasons. Come and just sit quietly for a second OK.

Eric: And you open the door and a half elf woman is standing on the far side of the room and there's a big window that actually stretches all the way out off of the courtyard and you can see the whole city from there. You see the market and all of the neighborhoods with the different colored houses all the way to the mural on the far wall. And she's standing there and there's a big canvas up on an easel and you see that she's painting. With her free hand, the other is holding a paintbrush, she points over to a chair on the other side of the room.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool cool painting. I have hobbies too, mostly they involve hurting people right now. But maybe I'll grow to finer things. And then I take a seat.

Eric (As Captain Rose): Maybe that's your problem. All of your hobbies or punch related, just hold on.

Eric: And for a few minutes she kind of like those little swoops to finish up the painting. And as the Sun is kind of like peeking over the wall of the city she steps back for a second and takes the breath and she says

Eric (As Captain Rose): All right. That one's pretty good.

Eric: And she takes down her black hair and shakes it out a little bit and sits behind a big desk in a big chair and puts her feet up on the desk and says

Eric (As Captain Rose): Who are you. What's going on.

Amanda (as Inara): OK. One: sick painting. I really respect that.

Eric (As Captain Rose): Thanks

Amanda (as Inara): Two. I am going out with Alonzo on the road, I think as he does some kind of tour of the Concentric States. first I've got to pass that challenge. But you know pretty happy and excited about that thing's going to go fine. But what I do want to know is, are there any, I don't know threats against him I need to know about what kinds of dangerous stuff is happening out in the states outside of Fidapolis. I was here for like a day before I got arrested. Everything's fine now. Long story, I shouldn't mention that. OK.

Eric (As Captain Rose): You got arrested?

Amanda (as Inara): Ughhh, long story before before I saved the prince's life I was I was briefly on a on a tour of your lovely dungeons. And now now I am totally like lauded it as a as a defender of the champion and things. Anyway point being I want to learn some good moves I take this seriously. I really want to defend Alonzo and I want to know anything that you might know.

Eric: While you quickly monologue at her, you can see that one of her eyes on the painting as it's drying. And she says

Eric (As Captain Rose): Tour of our lovely dungeons, I guess that's a nice way to say that huh?

Eric: She walks back over the painting and she kind of blows on and a little bit and she puts it over in a corner of the room and you actually see that this is not the only one of these paintings. There are like 50 canvases stacked in different places around this room.

Amanda: What do they show?

Eric: Each one are all pretty much the same. There's all the same landscape of the sun coming up over the the walls of the city. But each one is actually a little bit different. And you can see like there are like little calamities happening all over the city like in one there's like a fire on the far corner of one of the neighborhoods. And in another in the foreground you literally see like three people fighting with swords. They're rudimentary but like they get these ideas that each one has like a little bit of danger inside of each one. And this one even though it's very small you can see like a tree has fallen over and actually has somebody trapped underneath it.

Eric (As Captain Rose): I like this one the best. You know there are actually no trees in the Botanic Gardens that could actually crush anybody. But you know I figured that if it were to happen it would probably hurt someone and I definitely really know how to fix that I just send like 10 people out like with axes and then just chop it up and roll them over. Or maybe there's like two moms who get like super strength because their kids are under there and they could just throw it by themselves.

Amanda (as Inara): I've heard of that before. Cool. Are you just like making up ways that people can die in Fidapolis

Eric (As Captain Rose): Makes it sound more morbid when you say it like that. It's more like you visualize danger that's happening. Right? And there are all these scenarios that could go poorly especially around this castle right? So if I can think of it then I can think about how to fix it right?

Amanda (as Inara): Make sense.

Eric (As Captain Rose): So all of these I mean there's people doing dumb stuff. People are fighting with swords and accidentally let a fire elemental out or you know next to a tree during a thunderstorm. It's my job to figure out how to fix it and i might as well make it pretty. Were you what are the ones responsible for Alonzo walking off?

Amanda (as Inara): So people keep saying that. I was, I was going in search of breakfast Alonzo was walking away too and we happened to meet up in the market. Big misunderstanding and it's it's fine.

Eric (As Captain Rose): It's fine, you know he does that a lot. It's a secret. But he runs away like every three days. No one really notices. He takes someone as an escort but he usually just loses them in the Greenmarket over there. I mean noone can really find I mean he knows those markets like the back of his hand. You just got to keep an eye on the guy. He thinks that he's stretching to like throw off the royal family name right. But I mean he's always going to be the prince and now he's the champion. You can't just run off and eat like 5 papayas and you're a regular person. You got to keep an eye on the guy even more so now that the Red Throats are in all five states

Amanda (as Inara): all five of them?

Eric (As Captain Rose): all five, they have gotten bigger and stronger especially after this whole royal wedding thing. I mean who would have thought that a whole government based on making fair things and people living by themselves when two come together that some people might be angry.

Amanda (as Inara): So are they like more in the cities or are they more on the road. When are we going to be our most vulnerable? Alonzo's tendency to just walk away aside

Eric (As Captain Rose): the Red throat gang mainly congregates in cities, they can get as many people riled up as possible and join their cause and then they start training them and then giving them bandanas. It's mostly halflings, maybe because they're shorter or just they have like a magical sense of when things aren't going the way that they want to. They are the ones rising up and they gather other creatures are monsters living in the cities to help them. They're low-key magical. I don't know if any wizard is going to bust out but they know how to fight. They know how to jump around. They got in here even though we had all of our guards looking and y'all were all stationed for them, so you got to watch out. They're crafty. They're fighting for something more important than power or blood. They're fighting for themselves. Just so happens that what they want is directly against what the rest of the Concentric States want.

Eric: At that point she kind of slumps back into her chair and again kicks her feet back up on the desk.

Amanda (as Inara): That is all super helpful to know. Do you have any sweet equipment that you feel like. You know Alonzo needs to protect him by Alonzo I mean me. So you see my stature. You see what kind of sword might fit me. Cool things i could throw. Really great pointy spike disc things, really just anything, anything you know if you look at it and just the first word that comes to mind is badass that's the kind of weaponry that if you have lying around I just would love tom to take on.

Eric (As Captain Rose): If I had any bad ass weapons I would be the one using them.

Amanda (as Inara): I mean you're so badass it's just totally totally makes sense. You know, you're just, you're great. I want to emulate you in all ways. Your boots are dope. I love your painting, like everything, everything about you is as you rockin it. And I want to be as much like you as possible

Amanda: This is Inara trying flattery.

Eric (As Captain Rose): All right cool teen. First of all thank you. Second of all my last name is Battlestroke. I haven't used a sword in 10 years. They don't let us do that and Fidapolis. Remember you saw the guards like with a whip with the shocking thing. That's the best we can do is a magical taser. If I had something dope to give you I would have to fight you for it. And you do not want to fight me for it. What I can do is I can let you know what to look out for when the Red Throat gang are assembling. They're sneaky but they're not trained. They jump around cities. They're running through. But once you get out of a cityscape they're totally all over the place and halflings, halflings like to think that they're good with other races and other monsters but they really aren't. So I think I can tell you what you need to know

Eric: At this point she reached back behind her desk and pulls out 10 big canvases but instead of paintings on them, they are strategic tactical maps and graphs and flowcharts and they're all about the Red Throat gang. And for the rest of the day she does like presentation after presentation on these things pointing out their weaknesses their problems what a Red Throat gang looks like in full battle gear or what they might look like in a crowd. Everything you need to know about the Red Throat Gang.

Amanda: Does she give me a snack for this corporate training presentation? Juice boxes? Are there cookies individually packaged? There's some fruit? What's the snack situation?

Eric: Yeah you get a free pad and a pen an engraved pen. It says Fidapolis Guards on it.

Amanda: Nice.

Eric: You get a sandwich and two apples.

Amanda: Nice one for later.

Eric: Yeah.

Amanda: Like any good street urchin.

Eric: you do this all day. The sun is actually setting by the time that she's finished going through everything and she takes a deep breath and says

Eric (As Captain Rose): that is literally everything I know.

Amanda: And I look down at my full pad of notes sort of grudgingly written down. I'm pretty exhausted. I don't like sitting still for that long. And I'm like

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, that sounds like everything that anyone knows about the Red Throat gang, but super thankful still thanks.

Eric (As Captain Rose): you really saved that at the end. Thank you. I did 10 PowerPoint presentations for you. I call it PowerPoint because I look very powerful when I point out the maps.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh I was going to say is it because it takes a lot of power to write on that very thick canvas to really just like use the point of your pen and just use a lot of power to get all the other strokes in there

Eric (As Captain Rose): Yeah people don't know but calligraphy is actually a power based handwriting

Amanda: 100 percent.

Eric: Yeah

Eric: Since you spend all day working with Captain Rose on the Red Throat Gang: If you are looking in a crowd for the Red Throat gang I'm going to add plus five to perception or investigation. So it's like you know how to identify like, if there's like a red bandana like in someone's pocket or like if you're starting to prep something and you get a good spot. It's also going to make it a little bit easier for you to sneak up on the Red Throat Gang. So once you've identified them I will give you advantage when you want to sneak up on them and do sneak attacks.

Amanda: I'm very sneaky. It's very helpful.

Eric: It's evening. What you want to do now?

Amanda: I'm still carrying the potions that we made in our grand Chopped potion bottle off. So I would love to go and identify what those sort of mystery berries are that I added. I'd have two versions of the same potion one has those and one doesn't. So I'd love to look it up and see if there's books in that room that I can use.

Eric: All right Johnny what do you want to do?

Michael: I think the best course of action would be for Johnny to take a look into a library.

Eric: All right. You walk up to a guard and ask him where the library is and they point you back to the hallway where James's room was and the door all the way on the left. and you open the door. And this library is packed with books. You never seen more books in a smaller space, like there are just like rows and rows of shelves just large enough to get a person in between each one. And there is a small desk on your right and a Gnome woman is sitting at the desk tinkering with something.

Michael (as Johnny): Hello fellow lover of books. How are you on this beautiful day?

Eric: That feels like a greeting card, is that that you introduce yourself to everybody? like hello this is Johnny B. Goodlight with the news!

Michael: I mean yeah. You're not wrong.

Eric: The Gnome woman looks up and says

Eric (as Ella): Yes I am a lover of books. You are in the right place friend. So glad to see you. Hello. Welcome to my magical library

Eric: and she wiggles her fingers at you

Eric (as Ella): I'm Ella, the magical librarian

Eric: and wiggles her fingers at you again.

Michael: Could I roll to see if she's being sarcastic at me.

Eric: Sure. Roll insight.

Michael: 14 plus 1 for 15.

Eric: Yes she's being a little sarcastic.

Michael: OK that's not very nice.

Eric: OK. Well she's not being sarcastic at you. She's being goofy. but there is some nugget of truth in there. She's not like just being a jerk

Michael: on this floor there were three arcane signatures I was able to detect using my, you could say arcane skill, I like to say Ghostbuster tool.

Eric: Yeah this was the one with the least amount of magical energy. But there is magical energy in this room.

Michael: Well let's talk to her for a bit

Michael (as Johnny): I'm Johnny B. Goodlight here to share in our love of books. And if you want you can take a look at my book as well

Michael: and I hold up the Book of Light.

Eric: You know I never actually asked you this but is the Book of Light an actual book?

Michael: Yeah the Book is Like it is an actual book that for better or worse Johnny's writing there definitely was some stuff written there before he acquired it. But he is writing a lot of verses. It works as a combination spellbook, diary, and manifesto in spreading the light. Often when he does his proclamations or like "Chapter 4 Paragraph 2." he's making that stuff up. But the spells and like the history of the undying light he's collecting in there to describe is rel. I would say it's lovely leather bound filled with papers that are just sticking out. But it looks fairly organized despite it looking a bit chaotic.

Eric: Cool. All right. So when you offer it like you're actually offering like a book.

Michael: So it's a book it's attached to a very long like almost chain

Eric: Is it like a wallet chain you have attached to your Jinko Jeans?

Michael: I may be an old man depending on what age I am, but I'm still cool and hip

Eric: sure. And she's like

Eric (as Ella): yeah. Wow cool. Nice cool book. I want to check that out.

Eric: She runs up to you and grabs the book out of your hand. Then when you look at her her body starts to blur. Parts of her body are like shifting and wavering and you can't really focus on her body at all. And she takes a book out of her hand and she starts trying to walk away with it back to her desk and she says

Eric (as Ella): yeah you can check out all of my magical books

Eric: and she puts the book down on her desk and she's all blurry and it's like moving quickly and she pulls out like a bunch of books and like throws them in the air almost like she's juggling them.

Michael: Is she like a Flash kind of thing where she's moving so fast it looks like a blur or is she just blurring because it's not like she's hooked onto this dimension

Eric: Why don't you roll an arcana check?

Michael: OK. 8 plus 4 for 12. Not great.

Eric: That's more than half. She cast a spell on herself which is making her blur.

Michael: No way of knowing what spell that is, of course

Eric: I mean the spell is called Blur.

Michael: Oh it's just called blur?

Eric: And I she's kind of juggling all these books.

Michael (as Johnny): Miss Ella, I can call you Miss Ella Of course?

Eric (as Ella): Sure whatever you need to call me.

Michael: Oh gosh, just the way she talks...

Michael (as Johnny): Miss Ella, I have a few questions about your collection

Eric (as Ella): sure what do you need to know about it???

Michael (as Johnny): I'd love to know what your oldest book here on the Concentric States is. And also if you can recall any references to a Duality or the Light capital L of course.

Eric: By this point she grabs all the books out of the air and put them back where they were and the shifting has stopped. She said

Eric (as Ella): Oh I guess that magic wore off. Usually I scare people off with the Blur thing by then.

Michael (as Johnny): Oh you were trying to scare me...

Eric (as Ella): Oh yeah. It's more easy.

Michael (as Johnny): Oh dear. You got me.

Eric (as Ella): Yeah. Well I guess you actually do love books. That's pretty cool.

Michael (as Johnny): You have mine.

Eric (as Ella): I like it. This looks more like a diary than anything else.

Michael (as Johnny): There are book sections.

Eric (as Ella): Are you letting me read your diary. Cool. Like nice.

Michael (as Johnny): I'd probably start towards the beginning which is less diary, more reference material and research but you know.

Eric (as Ella): Sure. Yeah. Let me show these all to you.

Eric: And she starts scurrying through the stacks and you can hear like she's pulling different books off the shelves and after like five minutes or so she puts 10 books in your hands.

Michael: 10? Oooph

Eric: And she says

Eric (as Ella): the first five are like all about the Concentric States, history, relationships, political dealings, maps, anti-maps which are like the other sides of maps. All that stuff. And the bottom and I just kind of pulled as many religious texts I could find. They're like have like a "no" symbol on it. It's like no don't read that. We have a "don't read that" section. It's really for me really. So yeah just go at it. I guess I'll page through your diary. It'll be cool.

Michael (as Johnny): You can call it a manifesto as well

Eric (as Ella): I'll page through your diary/manifesto.

Michael (as Johnny): And one last thing in these books is there a mention of a challenge or of a next generation of heroes. You know of ones that aren't the original heroes that unified us.

Eric (as Ella): Oh are you doing the challenge?

Michael (as Johnny): Well I'm, you know, I'm pretty great. But I have two other companions as well who are just as great as me and yes we are about to attempt the challenge

Eric (as Ella): which one are you doing? the golden gear? invisible box? spyglass? which one?

Michael (as Johnny): every time someone asked that I get a little pit in my stomach. We're doing the spyglass.

Eric (as Ella): Good one, good one, good one. OK. Yeah. You know the third one right there

Eric: and she kind of blows on it. The dust clears.

Eric (as Ella): official records of concentric challenges chapters 1 through 20. And really everything you need to know is going to be you're right there. I figured you need that. You know you look challenge-y

Michael (as Johnny): yes. And do you have any advice on it?

Eric (as Ella): be spooky! Use your magic! I'm serious, use magic you're magical right?

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah yeah of course.

Eric (as Ella): I have never see them. I'm always here. But you know that book has seen some stuff

Michael (as Johnny): cool. Thank you very much.

Michael: I grab, I grab them all right now. I'm assuming there's like a comfy leather chair kind of close to where she is.

Eric: What kind of a dungeon master would I be if I didn't give you a comfy leather chair?

Michael: Yay!!!

Eric: Yes there's a comfy leather wingback chair with like a lamp. That's like kind of hanging down

Michael: Oh great light sitchu

Eric: Yeah. And you can pull on the chain as like warm yellow light.

Michael: The third one is the one I'd like to start with, from there probably the most comprehensive looking of the Concentric State ones.

Eric: OK. I'll tell you three things I'll answer three of your questions. So I'll tell you some stuff about the Undying Light. I'll tell you some stuff about the Concentric States. I'll tell you some stuff about the Challenge.

Michael: So for the challenge I'm looking specifically for any record of success with the Spyglass or any references of groups that the representative at the time believed they got the closest but missed x y z any hints perhaps as to what we'll be facing or what kind of answer is needed or what specifically the challenge will entail.

Eric: So you flip through it's divided into three sections. There's one on the golden gear, one on the invisible box, and one on the spyglass. And a lot of people didn't figure out the challenge at all and they took a lot of notes in that and beginning part, there aren't specifics necessarily about the challenge but there are all of these stories about going out to this big lake behind Kiko Castle and having to sail into the middle of the lake to grab the Kiko Orb and you see like some pictures of it and it's like this divided orb one half is gold and one half is silver and there's nothing really specific about it. Like there's a lot of different stories. It seems like it's been taken from people standing on the shore. They see like this boat sail away and then there's a lot of failure.

Michael: When they describe the failure does it sound like death?

Eric: It's no, it's not say failure it's not death necessarily there have been some deaths but people will get pretty messed up. There's also a lot of reference to the storm that they were talking about. So it's like you're sailing this boat into a storm to retrieve the Kiko Orb.

Michael: That seems like a lot more information than we had before. On the Concentric States I think I would want the specifics on that heroes looking into the attributes, powers, and artifacts of the heroes that helped to unify the concentric states together to kind of get an idea I think of the kind of people we're looking for and trying to meet when we're out with Alonzo.

Eric: Sure. OK.

Michael: If we pass the challenge of course.

Eric: So we're flipping through for medallion, I guess medallion medallion medallion and you see it under this section called The Centering. And again it's a lot more of like mythology and stories. These five heroes banded together to fight off some evil and then they fought it off and all the heroes then went off to found one of the five city states of the Concentric States. So you kind of put it together like Alonzo's great great great great great great grandfather founded Fidapolis and that's why the Kiko's are now in power and have been for ever. There's more mentions of the medallion and how Alonzo's grandfather was wearing it. You see him referred to as Sylvanus Kiko the Great or Sylvanus Kiko the First and you got to get the sense of like even though there's this representative government it seems like each of these heroes actually is kind of like a royal big quotes royal family of these places

Michael: Does anything in the mythology indicate that the source of power of the medallion comes from the actual artifact or from the bloodline and something that may have happened during the centering.

Eric: Yeah actually that's a good question. When they talk about these heroes there is no mention of like magical items. They are just like these larger than life figures who are fighting off this evil. But then when you see pictures of Sylvanus Kiko the First, he's wearing the medallion.

Michael: Well I mean because obviously items have power when we give them power like that.

Eric: Sure.

Michael: OK.

Eric: And I'm going to give you one last thing. So here's the stuff about the Undying Light. There is not a lot on the Undying Light in this library. Even the stuff that Ella gave you the like "no bad" religious texts. It's mostly just like anti the Trinity is like saying that like Adamah is not actually a ruler and it's just like an idea that the representatives of the Concentric States came up with that they are putting this like theology on of all the states. But there are some references to a Shadow. They don't say anything about the Undying Light as it is, but they do say some stuff about the shadow realm and you realize that is kind of like the flip side to the Undying Light. There are these ideas that like even around the Trinity and maybe like the Trinity fights all these things off that there is this like evil energy that kind of surrounds everything and the Trinity is keeping everything together even Zeol, who is responsible for death and for the afterlife is still responsible for doing it correctly and keeping the evil biz away. So you recognize that. And I think this might be the first time you've actually heard anything about shadow and it's kind of it's kind of a big deal right?

Michael: Yeah I mean, the, everything I see reference to specifically talks about more about the positivity and the light. And then anything that's about darkness it's not giving a word like shadow it's just a negative.

Eric: Right.

Michael: Which could be anything but now that it's specifically shadow that's really concerning because I think not too far from this very room we fought some shadows.

Eric: Right.

Michael: OK.

Eric: As you were reading about the Shadow something inside you starts to strengthen a little bit. It's like now you've seen an enemy like you feel trained on it and you're ready to take that stuff on. You have found your nemesis and that makes you really prepared and you just feel empowered by having an enemy.

Michael: Heck yeah.

Eric: And Johnny B. Goodlight, you are now Level Four

Michael: Ah Damn! Yes! That feels good.

Eric: And yeah you feel like a little emboldened, like maybe you're glowing a little bit.

Michael: This is great. Radiating as Johnny does from this enlightening read which really most reads are

Eric: enlightening read oh my god...

Michael: Englighting, you just got that? hahaha

Michael (as Johnny): Ella, thank you very much. This has been very helpful to me. Did you see anything interesting in there?

Eric: She looks up and she see's you're glowing. She's like

Eric (as Ella): OK I didn't say do magic in here. What are you doing? what is this?

Michael (as Johnny): Oh I'm not. I'm sorry. I just, you know when you when you find the missing piece of your own self and you read a good book and it tells you? that's how I feel.

Eric (as Ella): I read your your diary too, and I feel like I've lost some pieces of myself

Michael (as Johnny): Oh no...

Eric (as Ella): it's very concerning. I don't know why you wrote about getting your bed for 10 years. That was concerning.

Michael (as Johnny): It's... I specifically said you could read the first part, you didn't have to...

Eric (as Ella): like 25 to 35 too! That's a very strange place!

Michael (as Johnny): It was a strange time in my life. I don't know what else to say.

Eric (as Ella): Just get, just get of here. I have stuff to do.

Michael (as Johnny): If you ever want to finish the book, because I got to tell you...

Eric (as Ella): No I do not, get out of here.

Michael (as Johnny): OK.

Eric (as Ella): It has third act problems.

Michael (as Johnny): Bye

Eric (as Ella): See ya later!

Michael: I definitely want to go back to the alchemy room where we fought those shadows

Eric: Johnny as you walk outside and you look out the window. It's now sunset. You've been in that library for hours.

Michael (as Johnny): It may be dark outside but the time in there filled me up with such light and goodness that I don't care what time it is

Eric: and through the door you hear Ella go

Eric (as Ella): oh my god get out of here.

Michael (as Johnny): It was enlightening.

Michael: Yes i am saying it again.

Eric (as Ella): You are the worst. Please leave, i thought i was being annoying by being spooky.

Michael (as Johnny): Your spooks could never harm me.

Eric (as Ella): You're still talking to me through the door. leave.

Michael (as Johnny): I'll miss you forever.

Eric (as Ella): Good.

Michael: I'm adding her as a friend.

(Music)

Eric: Hey, it’s Eric. You know when it is almost fall, but not quite? Like the night pretends its crispness for a few hours and then jumps back to the summer? But the businesses are full swing with their autumn stuff. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin plates, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin spice lattes! And because you made it to the end summer with only a few sunburns to your name, you treat yourself to something autumn-y. This is that something. It’s a cider with a little whiskey.

We got SO MANY Patreon users. Thank you to our Paola - of artistic fame - Kayleigh, Lucille, Hilary, jst1138, Tyler, Alexa, Allison, Noelle, and Kaileigh Rose who uped her pledge. It is jumping, jumping in our Discord feed, the bloopers keep on coming, and I am alway writing deep backstories of your NPCs. This is one my favorite things I get to do every two weeks and I just want y’all to come read them.. You can jump around, jump up jump up and get down at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

This week we’re sponsored by whatever beer Brandon has in his fridge. Whatever been brandon has in its fridge, hey, Eric, stop drinking that.

I’m really proud of what we’ve been posting over on our Medium blog. Amanda wrote about the official change from Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s parent company, that D&D adventures will be more queer in the future. And I am so so happy that she did - I could listen to Amanda talk about nerd culture and queerness colliding all the time. And I dropped the game mechanics of our Chopped battle from episode four, so you can have more Food Network in your own games. You can read that at medium.com/@jointhepartypod or watch our social media feeds on Facebook and Twitter @jointhepartypod.

Alright, let’s get back to the party.

(Slow music)

Brandon: I'm going to walk up to the door of the Alchemy room and do another shave and a haircut knock but very gingerly. I don't want to scare Tammy and Taylor.

Eric: Inside you hear: "Two Bits"

Eric (as James): come in come in come in.

Brandon: So I open the door and I walk in.

Eric: James is standing over his cauldron and Tammy and Taylor are just kind of running around like bothering each other.

Brandon (as Tracey):  Hey hey guys, how's it going in there?

Eric: Tammy and Taylor both wave to you like just go like "hi!" and they just keep running after each other. And James says

Eric (as James): Ah Tracey robot friend, come in, what us going on?

Brandon (as Tracey): I, I have something I need to ask and something I need to fess up to.

Eric (as James): Well I guess we should just do those two things right now. huh? Bad news first always.

Brandon: I reach behind my back and pull the draconic book that I took off the shelf and kind of avert my gaze a little bit and I show it to him.

Eric (as James): What's, what's this.

Brandon (as Tracey): I might have took this from your bookshelf earlier.

Eric (as James): OK what is it? What does that say?

Brandon (as Tracey): I was hoping that you could tell me that. Well buddy it's written in draconic and I do not read for draconic.

Brandon (as Tracey):  So you have a book on your shelf that you've never read?

Eric (as James): Man you do not know of the books I have on my shelf.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you know the books on your shelf?

Eric (as James): The answer to that is no... I do not know the books. you know, you could just walked away with that I would be like 'Oh Tracey cool book'

Brandon: Tracey feels immediately better, like a wave of relief has just washed over him

Eric (as James): like it's kind of a bummer that you took it. But you know it's fine. Like... I didn't know.

Brandon: And then Tracey walks away and yells Tammy, Taylor come here.

Eric: Tammy and Taylor are still running around and yell:

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): What?

Brandon (as Tracey): I need your help!

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Cool, catch us!

Eric: And they start running away.

Brandon: Tracey immediately chases after them.

Amanda: That is a high stakes game of tag.

Eric: These are very high stakes. All right what's your strategy here.

Amanda: Final Destination Four: Tag with Tracey.

Michael: He's going to crush them.

Brandon: He's going to like chase them around the cauldron in circles a little bit. And then like do a really quick sidestep and kind of try to corner them into a corner of the room and then like you know playfully like trying to like bob and weave back and forth

Eric: Let's do a dexterity contest.

Brandon: 14

Eric: Ok they rolled much higher than you. So you try to corner them and they both like run up your arms and jump off either side. And they both raise their hands and they say

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Tah-dah!

Brandon: And Tracey falls over laughing

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Alright that was pretty fun. I won, we both won, you you lost.

Brandon (as Tracey): You did.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): OK what do you need buddy?

Brandon (as Tracey): I have this book. Can you help me read it?

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Was the one that you tried to lie that said you know you how to read it?

Brandon (as Tracey): No... yes that was. Yes that was, that was that one.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Oh oops. So you actually want to learn how to read it?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah I would really I would very much like that. Yeah.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): All right OK.

Eric: Both of them like take your hands lead you over to the library like sit you down the chair. They take the book from you and it's very heavy. They actually both of them need to hold it to do it and they speak like draconic to each other which is like a really harsh back of a throat language that you actually can only do like if you have Dragon parts and say

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): OK we know we know the title but we think you should say it in your language.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh OK.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): It's called "The Times To Come" say it.

Brandon (as Tracey): the times to come

Eric: and the book opens up and start flipping through and opens right in the middle and you see all of these lines and start to pop up on the page and you can't really figure out what they have to do with each other the first one says "Why is he riding Sunflower, that's my horse." "You're a really good friend Hal. Thank you." "Of course I'll marry you Jamie." "And by a slim number of votes your new mayor is..." you recognize these next words and the first one says: "Help her! Oh my God. No one said Inara couldn't swim!" And the next one says "I'm sorry Johnny I can't afford to leave you alive." And the final one says "The bounty said Robot: Dead or Alive." It ends there. And the book stops moving and these lines that you didn't see before they stay and it looks like they're written in ink. You try to rub your finger on it. It just doesn't go away.

Brandon (as Tracey): Tammy, Taylor do you have any idea what any of these mean?

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): No, not at all. Those last ones look pretty bad though.

Brandon (as Tracey): They don't look great.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): No. Whoops.

Brandon: So I slowly close the book, go in for a hug for Tammy and Taylor. But are they more of like a cool handshake kind of duo?

Eric: Oh no they're down for hugs.

Brandon: OK. Going to go in for a hug and I gave them a big, big, big bear hug a big, big Owlbear hug and say

Brandon (as Tracey): Thank you guys. I'm still bummed I didn't get to play Chopped, but like this is great.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Well you know they say liars never prosper.

Brandon (as Tracey): That's that's what they say.

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Sick burn.

Eric: They high-five each other while in your hug.

Brandon (as Tracey): Sick Burn.

Michael: Johnny walks in as if he owns the place because he's been here before so clearly he does.

Brandon (as Tracey): James, Tammy, Taylor, Tracey It's been an age. How are you guys?

Brandon (as Tracey): It's been a day!

Eric: When Johnny walks in, Tracey you notice that he's literally glowing.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uhhhh Johnny...

Eric: James says

Eric (as James): That's a cool aura you got going on. You did that yourself?

Amanda: and Inara, hearing the commotion as she's coming down the staircase from the courtyard goes over to the alchemy room and says

Amanda (as Inara): Johnny what did you fall in?

Michael (as Johnny): I fell in the undying light.

Amanda (as Inara): Oh my God.

Amanda: And that was in character.

Michael (as Johnny): I'm just more confident in what I'm doing on this planet than I was before.

Brandon: I walk up to Johnny and I start trying to like touch the aura a little bit.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool, cool thing to happen to you Johnny. So what did you guys do all day?

Michael (as Johnny): Well I spent the day reading which is why I feel so warm and bubbly

Eric: and Tammy and Taylor go

Eric (as Tammy and Taylor): Nerd!!!

Amanda (as Inara): yeah yeah that always happens to me when I read

Amanda: gesturing at the light aura.

Michael (as Johnny): Well I not only found out a little bit more of what I'm doing here. I found out a little bit about the Concentric States and that we could possibly die during this challenge.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah I know me too I saw it in vivid detail literally lots of paintings. It's a long story.

Brandon (as Tracey): It's in my book here. It says we're going to die.

Michael (as Johnny): Actually James I hope someone told you that there was a fight here earlier

Eric (as James): what, what are you talking about? Nah, I know everything that happens, yeah, yeah there was a fight. Thanks for getting buckshot in my walls. That was chill.

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah. I mean clearly that's what we wanted to do.

Eric (as James): Yeah i could tell

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah certainly that was on purpose.

Eric (as James): Good sarcasm. It was strong. Ten out of ten.

Michael (as Johnny): Is there any remains of the shadow creatures or any idea where they could have come from or anything about them?

Eric (as James): Oh Shadow Creatures. I mean, I don't, I don't see anything around here. I mean you could check it out walk around if you want to. I mean that was pretty nasty. I mean this never happened before I got to say and I'm not a shadowy person you know.

Eric: And he got to like does a quick twirl with his robe is like

Eric (as James): does it look like I'm a shadowy person? No.

Brandon (as Tracey): No.

Michael: I cast light on his robe as he does a twirl

Amanda (as Inara): Oh my god...

Amanda: That was also in character.

Amanda: So Inara rolls her eyes at Johnny one more time and then says

Amanda (as Inara): So James normally if I can't punch a thing I'm not interested in it. But are there ways that I could like defend against Shadow Creatures in the future it was just it was weird to fight the thing that I couldn't punch.

Eric (as James): I mean I'm not, I'm not a monster person, like I make potions. I don't know how to fight those things. You fought off some already it sounds like you all did a good job.

Michael: I'd like to go towards where we kind of saw them appear into the room and just do some arcane checks to see if there's any remnants

Eric: Sure, you can make in our Arcana check because you're like tune to that.

Michael: (sigh) Eight.

Eric: Even if you look around and you as someone who's tuned in to where light comes from I mean you don't know necessarily where they came from. It only looks like they came from outside though, they weren't like hanging out in here, like if you were to see like a shadowy force it came from like outside the walls and they came inside

Michael: and there's no remnant or trace of them?

Eric: No not with an 8...

Brandon: While Johnny is doing that I want to walk closer to James and say

Brandon (as Tracey): James what we were doing that big fight thing we learned a very important fact about our party. We, if we die, we die

Eric (as James): you know it's kind of like life man you know. Like they say if you die, you die. But if you live, you live.

Brandon (as Tracey): Right. There's nobody can heal anything... is there. Can you teach us like how to make like a healing potion. Like on the fly on the road we have to look over Alonzo as well... like, what if he gets hurt. Like how we supposed to deal with that.

Amanda: And I'm going to walk up to you guys see you right here on the road and bound over.

Eric (as James): Yeah. He can give you a recipe I guess. I got a few lying around. What are you. What are you doing. Where are you going?

Amanda (as Inara): Oh we're going to go in on a little adventure with Alonzo. So we we just want to know a little more about how to defend ourselves against whatever may happen.

Eric (as James): Yeah cool cool. OK. OK. I can show you that

Eric: He shows you like the basics of how to make healing potion and if you have all the ingredients of a herbalism kit I'll say that you can use that to make a an emergency 1d10 plus your nature modifier potion. And then he'll give you the one that he made and he will give you this extra one that he had. I'm going to say each one gives you 10 healing but then when you make it it's going to be different. But since he's pretty good this was pretty middle of the road. He gives you 2x 10 hp potions.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey James thanks.

Eric (as James): No problem dog. This is my job

Amanda (as Inara): Oh and earlier before the whole buckshot, shadow person, gun incident I had some weird berries that I put into our chopped potion with Tammy and Taylor...

Eric (as James): You guys were playing chopped? without me that's... Oh come on.

Amanda (as Inara): Did I say Chopped? I mean they were just showing us knife technique and we were chopping things and one of those things was these berrie. What would happen just theoretically if I like added some to lycanthropy potion?

Eric: I don't know why you're lying about this but you're going to have to make a deception check.

Amanda: I'm a teenager i lie about everything. that's a 13 plus 2 for 15.

Eric: OK. He's like

Eric (as James): wait what. Who is showing you how to chop things? Tammy? Taylor?

Eric: they like put their claws over their faces and they're like "Sorry."

Eric (as James): Oh i can't believe you played chopped without me...Ok what did you make?

Brandon (as Tracey): some of us didn't.

Eric (as James): Oh did you violate the rules? Was that it? Tracey. Tracey? Yeah yeah yeah I know you did.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yeah yeah.

Eric (as James): What do you guys make?

Amanda (as Inara): Lycanthropy potion. There were some berries, it's kind of confusing. So anyway I put some berries in one and I have one without and I do not know what they are going to do.

Eric (as James): Oh you got. Oh that's a good, that's a good one. I didn't even know we had one of those. That's a dangerous thing. Show it to me. Let me, let me see them.

Amanda: And I'm a little bit suspicious that he's going to take him away from me if I take him out of my pack. So when I do I sort of hold him pretty tightly and just hold them close my body and just sort of show him the potions.

Eric (as James): Hey, Chef gets to eat the food. Amiright? Like those are yours. I just want to. Let me, let me see them. I don't know if you can tell but I am the Iron Chef of Chopped.

Amanda (as Inara): I am SUPER not planning to eat these.

Eric (as James): Good you know probably a good idea.

Eric: He takes one and he looks at the one without the berries and the one with the berries is like

Eric (as James): OK. I'm glad that you put those berries in. so this regular one, Lycanthropy potion sticks, like you then get become a werewolf.

Amanda (as Inara): That seems like a thing you shouldn't be teaching Tammy and Taylor how to make.

Eric (as James): I mean there are responsible

Eric: and he looks over at Tammy and Taylor and they are fighting. They are clawing at each other's faces. And he's like

Eric (as James): yeah those two scamps, they know what they're doing. So if you drink the one without the berries then you literally get werewolf stuff. But then if you drink the one with the berries, that one is just like one time use like you turn into a werewolf for like an hour and that's good.

Amanda: So I'm going to tie a piece of red string that I have in my pack around the one that sticks just so that we are super clear that this one is for enemies only.

Michael: After not being able to find anything more on these shadows Johnny turns towards the center of the room and says

Michael (as Johnny): May the Undying Light protect this place from the dark

Michael: and casts Daylight creating a giant amount of light that spreads throughout the room emanating from a single point in the middle.

Eric: Tammy and Taylor both shield their eyes and James fishes out like stunner shades from his pocket and he puts it on.

Eric (as James): Can you warn us before you turn on all the lights man?

Amanda: Is James hung over from his party last night?

Eric: Always

Brandon: Seeing his coolest friend that he has literally ever met put his sunglasses on. Tracey fishes in his bag and puts his aviators back on. Kind of like leans up against a wall. He posts up a little bit.

Michael: Johnny goes to the center point which on the ground you see is a small pebble and he grabs it and the light goes back to normal and puts it in his pocket.

Brandon: Tracey keeps his sunglasses on.

Michael (as Johnny): Sorry about that James I just wanted to make sure that you guys would be safe since the shadows attacked the other day.

Eric (as James): Coool cool cool

Eric: James still wearing a stutterers shades.

Eric (as James): All right I help do as much as you can. I don't know what else I can really do for you and I got like 10 parties I got to go to you in the next two hours, so.... it's about that time.

Brandon (as Tracey): About time for what?

Eric (as James): Tracey please leave.

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh OK. Bye James.

Eric (as James): See you later. See you tomorrow. Good luck.

Michael (as Johnny): Bye Tammy and Taylor, stay safe and the undying light protect you, and you James

Amanda (as Inara): Peace Y'all

Amanda: And Inara puts up a peace sign which she shields behind her back from Tracey lest he ask her what that means and try to replicate it.

Eric: All three of you walk back to your bunk. This is the same one that they put you in after the wedding and the door does not lock by itself.

Brandon: As i enter the room, I'm just going to take like a dresser that's there I assume. And just like wedge it in the doorframe so there's no way that this door will lock on us.

Eric: That door will not close all the way now.

Michael: I have a question. Last time On This Room: it was a complete mess since we basically tore off all the sheets and...

Eric: Oh thats right...

Michael: And the bunks are in a way to help us not fall.

Amanda: One is probably in the window.

Brandon: Oh yeah one is probably wedged up on the wall.

Michael: Did anyone clean it?

Eric: Oh yeah it was totally cleaned up. Like reset

Brandon: Mints on the pillows?

Eric: No, you guys don't get mints.

Michael: Crucially is the paperweight still there?

Eric: No it's gone.

All: Noooo!!!!

Amanda: It's our wedding favor...

Michael: We forgot to take it.

Amanda: On the plus side someone from housekeeping probably was able to take that paperweight home which they may not necessarily have gotten before the wedding.

Michael: I'm still glowing. Johnny goes back to the room surprised and happy of course that the room is now back to its neat and nice state. Our bags and stuff is all right there?

Eric: Yup they are all there

Michael: Great rifling through my bag. I grab a pen and start writing in the book of light and as I'm writing I look up at the other two and say

Michael (as Johnny): we need to talk about tomorrow.

Amanda (as Inara): Yes. What was the challenge actually going to be? Anyone know.

Brandon (as Tracey): No idea.

Michael (as Johnny): So I did some research on it. And "a storm is coming" was the quote it seems that there's going to be a storm literally coming. We're going to have to sail in a lake which I didn't know was here, grab some sort of orb. There's reference to "people getting really messed up" is a quote and also death.

Amanda (as Inara): Cooool....

Michael (as Johnny): So we're going to have to sail and we're going to have to deal with inclement weather one might say so, you know pack an umbrella. Always good to have, but you guys didn't find anything else about it all I got is literal storm, get an orb,could die.

Amanda (as Inara): I learned a bunch about the Red Throat Gang and how fight them and how to recognize them in crowds and stuff, but I was, I see now I was thinking more long term and should have been thinking more about dying tomorrow which I was not.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes, same here I don't always think about dying tomorrow.

Michael (as Johnny): When you get to my age that's all you think about.

Amanda (as Inara): Thanks dad.

Brandon (as Tracey): I got this briefcase

Brandon: and I hold out a briefcase and it is a very nice leather briefcase that has kind of like feet on the end of it and it kind of scuttles around me in a circle

Eric: and it rubs up against your leg.

Brandon (as Tracey): You guys want to play chess. Well death first, chess later

Amanda (as Inara): Tracey does his briefcase had anything to do with the gigantic challenge we're going to contemplate tomorrow?

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh no it does not.

Amanda (as Inara): Just checking. So Mr. Light Man what can you do about weather?

Michael (as Johnny): Please... (stopping himself from a stoneface reference)

Michael: I'm not going to do that joke.

Michael (as Johnny): I've not done too much sailing in my life. So I'm a little concerned about the fact that we're going to be sailing tomorrow especially in inclement weather. You never know what happens when the rainstorm hits.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don't need to breathe.

Michael (as Johnny): OK...

Amanda (as Inara): that's surprisingly helpful Tracey

Brandon: and Tracey does a bow

Amanda (as Inara): anything else you learned that you might not know or have thought to say so far that could be relevant to our sailing tomorrow.

Brandon (as Tracey): Well I met a really cool dwarf named Horkley and he taught me how to wrassle and I had this book and it says things now, you can read it. It's not just in Draconic

Brandon: and I hand the book to Inara and Johnny.

Michael: Johnny reads the contents of the book out loud to the group.

Eric: "Why is he riding Sunflower. That's my horse." "You're a good friend Hal. Thank you." :Of course I'll marry you Jamie." "By a slim number of votes your new mayor is" "Help her! Oh my God. No one said that Inara couldn't swim." "I'm sorry Johnny but I can't afford to leave you alive" "The bounty said Robot. Dead or Alive.

Amanda (as Inara): I can totally swim.

Brandon (as Tracey): No one said you couldn't... I don't know what it means either but there's some there's some things we should look out for.

Amanda (as Inara): What do we look for though. This is creepy but I know what we do with any of it.

Michael (as Johnny): And you you can swim.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah. I can definitely swim. We always camped next to you next to lakes or rivers.

Michael (as Johnny): So this has to be fiction then.

Brandon (as Tracey): I think the best thing we can do is keep it in our minds and look out for any reality bending moments.

Amanda (as Inara): Well we're just going to carry on this creepy line cursed book.

Brandon (as Tracey): I got a briefcase right here.

Amanda (as Inara): OK Tracey I mean you can carry whatever you want. I guess... I'm just tired.

Michael: Johnny takes note of everything into the Book of Light, in the diary section of the Book of Light, obvi.

Amanda: Is there an agenda section where you can keep a daily calendar? And like restaurants and meals you can go?

Michael: The book is, the book is basically everything you would want from a book. You got reference you got the research section, you got the diary section, that apparently nosy librarians like to read, you've got your utility section, there's a calculator built into the book.

Amanda: Are there some ribbons to keep your place?

Michael: and tons of notes and things. But yeah that's all.

Michael (as Johnny): We have a lot to discuss. But first do either of you know why I'm glowing.

Amanda: No

Brandon (as Tracey): We thought you knew.

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah I thought I did too. But it won't stop... Eh.

Michael: And Johnny grabs some of the sheets and puts it on him to see if maybe they'll stop some of the aura.

Eric: I mean you, you did put a sheet over yourself so it looks like you muffled it like a lamp.

Brandon: Tracey sits down on the floor and says guys I think we have a lot to discuss, and opens the briefcase lays out a chessboard and says let's get to business.

Eric: As you work through the night you guys talk about what's going to happen tomorrow and eventually you all climb into your respective beds. Are you guys on the top bunk? I couldn't remember...

Michael: I'm on bottom.

Brandon: I don't sleep, I sentry.

Amanda: I'm on top bunk.

Eric: I got one out of three right. And the night comes and goes and you all wake up the next day and it's Challenge Day.

(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 cartographs 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 hitusup@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.