12. Pool Party I

The pool is open for the season! Weeks after the ambush on the champion’s ceremony, our party has their first mission in Antipolis. What could be waiting for them out across the river? Inara is a lovely volunteer. Tracey splurges. Johnny sees things.

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 http://jointhepartypod.com, and merch can be found at http://jointhepartypod.com/merch. 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. Thanks also to PJ Scott-Blankenship for voicing Greg and Jeff Brice for voicing Comway.


Transcript

Amanda: Last time on Join the Party.

Eric: Inara, Johnny and Tracey officially win the challenge at Kiko Lake.

Eric (as Speaker Martinsson): Our security team for the Champion have passed their test. The first passing of the test in 200 years.

Eric: And pick up some cool new items as their reward. There’s an official ceremony to kick of Alonzo’s champion tour but something's a little off...

Amanda (As Inara): Guys, there's a Red Throat in the back of the chairs down there!

Eric: Our party fight off the ambush with a little help from their flying friends. But not before Alonzo’s medallion starts to spin.

Eric (as Alonzo) You want me? You want to take home a champion? Well here I am! Just come and take me!

Eric: Three magic items. Two stars out. One new arc. And a partridge in a pear tree. Let’s get the party started.

(Theme music)

Eric: So it's a few weeks later the speaker has accepted all three of you as fully being the security team for Alonzo as he does his champion tour, and you've been working with him a little bit. You have semi-weekly training sessions with Alonzo. He's kind of getting into like defending himself a little bit. He hasn't figured out how to control the medallion but there's a lot of like hand thrusting and defensive maneuvers that you've been arranging yourself in to protect him if he ever gets jumped. But really it's just been a few weeks and you're hanging out in the Kiko castle waiting for something to happen. And guess what? you're going on a field trip. You're going to go check out the mural

Amanda: Going on an adventure.

Brandon: I'm already in the school bus already.

Eric: So to remind you about the mural, there is a wall that surrounds the entirety of Fidapolis. So you've only seen the mural from very far away. Especially when you were up in the air being carried by Stoneface. The wall is of a night sky with tons of stars speckled through it. In the center of the mural are three symbols a sun, a moon, and a triangle. And the last time you saw it it looked like there were spray paint covering the entirety of the triangle. Now it's been a few weeks later since you saw it and now you're getting up close and it really is spray paint from far away it seemed like it was a clean fill but really it's all over the place. It's like someone just graffitied over the entirety of the triangle as you look at the mural and you're finally up close. I mean it's beautiful. There are tourists surrounding you pointing at the mural and like...

Amanda: Did people just pause for a really long time as they have a portrait artist like sketch their portrait in front of the wall?

Eric: Yeah the hard part is actually if you're doing a selfie you have to sketch your own portrait and you have to use intricate rigging of mirrors.

Amanda: You're on a harness, the canvas is like on a, like a belt mount.

Eric: Yeah it's really bad. There's a railing like in front of the mural and you're five feet away and they're like tourists all over the place and pointing and laughing.

Michael: Was the triangle always graffitied up since we've been here or is that a new development?

Eric: No. Since you've been here it's been graffitied but the understanding is that this was vandalism like it wasn't always like this. There's actually a bunch of guards surrounding the railing and they're looking angry and with their arms crossed to try to keep hooligans away.

Michael: I'd like to go say hi to the least angry looking one.

Michael (as Johnny): So a beautiful day huh?

Eric (as Mural Guard): Yeah it's a beautiful day to be safe in the streets.

Eric: GI Joe!

Eric (as Mural Guard): Hi I'm G.I. Joe. That's my name.

Michael: I don't know how to respond to this...

Amanda: Yeah. I'm Gregory Ignatius Joseph what's wrong?

Eric: Yeah.

Michael (as Johnny): Ok great, have a nice day, I'm out.

Eric (as Mural Guard): Alright, stay safe! If you see any hooligans or bamboozlers or vandals or

Eric: and he gets really gets really low now.

Eric (as Mural Guard): And the red throat gang. (musical sting)

Eric: He actually says that under his breath he says (musical sting) he does a sting under his breath after red throat gang.

Eric (as Mural Guard): Watch out. We're looking out for people who defaced our beautiful mural symbolizing safety and sanctity in our city.

Michael (as Johnny): Well of course if I see something I'll say something,

Amanda: oooo

Eric (as Mural Guard): Good good good. Yeah, that's our new slogan.

Michael (as Johnny): But what did these symbols represent and why do you think the red throat gang did this?

Eric: G.I. Joe takes glasses from his pocket and puts it on and he straightens his hair and he says

Eric (as Mural Guard): the mural of Fidapolis is here to represent the ideals that we try to strive for here in the city. It is the unity of the sun and the moon coming together as our planet is unified together in harmony and the triangle here, which has so unfortunately been defaced, is the representative of our triumvirate of gods Davar, Adama, and Zeol. Unfortunately, some people don't care about our religion as much as we do here in Fidapolis but we're going to take them out and at least we can keep hooligans from coming here.

Michael (as Johnny): Well you know me I'm a big Trinity fan of course. I love the Trinity.  Definitely not anything else that I prefer more but...

Eric: Can you roll persuasion check?

Amanda: Did the light around you dim when you said that?

Eric: Can your old deception check?

Amanda: Inara's eyes widen. For the record.

Michael: 15 plus 4.

Eric (as Mural Guard): Cool. I also love the Trinity.

Michael (as Johnny): Yeah Trinity all day. You know what they say, anyway.  Why is the retro gang so against the Trinity. I thought they just didn't like the whole powers that be in the man and whatnot.

Eric (as Mural Guard): Fidapolis is the center of religion here in our fair States and we pride ourselves on that. And as the Red Throat Gang hates order and harmony and community and everything about our fair city they hate everything we stand for. So with the Trinity comes, danger I guess that's just what I hear. I don't know that's as far as...

Eric: And he pulls out a bunch of note cards and starts going through them and is like

Eric (as Mural Guard): Well that's the end of my speech. I don't really have anything more.

Michael (as Johnny): Well thanks for your time. May the undying.... Uh, you know time with the Trinity. Light your way or something

Eric (as Mural Guard): Cool. Yeah, you too with your light in Trinity and things.

Michael (as Johnny): Yes

Eric (as Mural Guard): GI Joe!!!

Eric: He goes back to his post. Johnny as you finish up your conversation you see a bunch of the tourists are collecting around this one cart and a vendor is standing up on top of his cart holding parchment in his hands and he's kind of shoving them in people's faces and hocking his wares, he says.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Come one come all! Get the magic scrolls to protect yourself. You don't want ghosts. You don't want skeletons. You don't want creepy birds. Keep them from yourself. Come one come all! Only ten gold pieces to keep yourself, your spirit, and your family protected from ghosts

Eric: and people are just mobbing this place and like shoving a gold piece in his hand as fast as this guy can go.

Amanda: I'm going to run to the front of that crowd. I sneak my way through.

Michael: I want to detect magic, like super much. I want to detect magic like I've never detected magic before.

Eric: Sure. Inara. How do you want to get to the front of this crowd?

Amanda: I want to bob and weave crouched down through the crowd of fumbling tourists with Oatcake at my heels as I cast around trying to figure out what this guy's game is so I want to investigate the nature of his criminality. Like I'm assuming he's a criminal, so I want to figure out the exact situation is

Eric: Make an insight check to how criminal this guy is

Amanda: Well that is a 6.

Eric: This seems like an upstanding gentleman. He's a part of the better business bureau and you see that there's like a food inspectors sign and he has an A on it. And when you get to the front he says

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh we got a young lady right here, What's your name, little girl?

Amanda (as Inara): My name is Annie, what exactly do you have going on here man like how how do you save us against the scary birds?

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh Annie! Well, we're going to demonstrate something for everybody here. Come on up!

Eric: And he literally picks you up by the back of your cloak. This guy you thought that he was standing on top of a cart. But this is actually the largest man you've ever seen in your entire life. He is seven feet tall with straw yellow hair cascading all the way down his shoulders and he has a very large top hat on. And he just kind of plucks you and puts you on top of the cart which is about where his waist is.

Amanda: My fists clench and then I very consciously unclench them and look at Oatcake and tell her to sit.  

Eric: Oatcake sits and licks one of her paws.

Amanda: This has been Oatcake corner.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah man. What are we going to demonstrate here? Are birds a big problem like I haven't dealt with the whole murderous raven thing before.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh always got a little girl here who hasn't dealt with ghosts before

Eric: And the whole crowd goes 'Oooooh wow!'

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh yeah I got the scroll just for you. They don't call me Marcus the Magicalperson for nothing.

Brandon: Oh no...

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Marcus Magicalperson, that's one word, Magicalperson. I come from a long line of magical people and magicalpersons as it is and we're going to protect you from ghosts here. Now I want you to hold this scroll.

Eric: He puts a scroll on your head.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): I want you to hold this one too

Eric: He puts another scroll in your hand.

Amanda: I hold them kind of near the bottom like batons so I can smash them over his head if he tries anything funny

Eric: You're going to smash him with just parchment?

Amanda: I sure am and then I'm going to run away.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): I want you to hold this jug of water as well.

Eric: He just put a jug of water in your hands.

Brandon: Tracey readies his long arm of the law in case he needs to snatch Inara away from the grasp of this horrible man.

Michael: I'm ready to cast like a level 2 spell on this guy, I do not like him.

Amanda: I'm just going to say

Amanda (as Inara): Is this a trick Mr? Usually parchment and water don't go together.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): No that's just a joke for the fans because I've told you to carry so many things. Keep up, kid. What are you doing?

Eric: And he takes the jug back and he takes one of the scrolls back.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): All you have to do here is chant the magic words and any ghosts that are coming around, it'll protect you from the ghosts.

Amanda (as Inara): How does that how does that work?

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh it's Magic. Haven't you heard of magic before? We live in a magical place.

Amanda (as Inara): I don't have magic where I come from sir.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Well Fidapolis has the most magic you can ever find in your hearts

Eric: and the whole crowd applauds and yells 'Yeah Fidapolis yeah!' and one guy just screams 'Fidapolis!!!!'

Amanda: Does he have a Fidapolis Jersey on?

Eric: Oh yeah, for the Fidapolis Clerics.

Michael: I want to do in arcana check to see if there's any magical properties on those scrolls from the back of the crowd because I ain't going near that guy.

Eric: Sure OK

Michael: 14 plus 4 for an 18.

Eric: Here's the thing you recognize the scrolls to have magical writing on it. But you don't know if they're actually magical. It's like when someone gets like a tattoo of a Chinese symbol and it just says like watermelon and they think it means like unity. It might be like that.

Michael: Cool. I'm just gonna chill in the back

Amanda: And back up on the stage Inara says

Amanda (as Inara): Are are ghosts or birds I'm confused now they were birds before. Is this like a big problem for people? Do people really carry this around? I just don't know if I should... I don't know what it's for

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Hey Fidapolis people you need to be informing your children a little bit better. Haven't you heard of the things going on in Antipolis? There are ghosts everywhere! Spooky ghosts, spooky ghosts ghosts. Swimming ghosts, flying ghosts, ghosts everywhere.

Amanda (as Inara): Why? when?

Brandon (as Tracey): OHMYGOD!

Amanda: Tracey does not like ghosts.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Over in Antipolis everyone is saying there are ghostly birds flying around ghostly fish swimming in the river and something's happening.

Brandon (as Tracey): WHAT!?

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Yeah, fine sir, whoever keeps emoting! You know exactly whats happening. There's even a giant ghost monster who's swimming through the river dividing Antipolis and it's ruins. And it says you can see it's when the rain falls

Brandon (as Tracey): OHMYGOD WHAT?!?

Amanda: Can I do some kind of check here to see if I know anything else about what he's talking about?

Eric: You make insight if he's bullshitting you.

Amanda: Let's do that.

Eric: Yeah do it.

Amanda: Well once more I got a 6

Eric: Wow this guy, you don't know but you are just so excited by what he's saying

Amanda: I'm so dazzled by being on a stage

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Anne, you're doing a great job here.  You might be the next star. Everybody clap for Anne

Eric (as the crowd): Aww yeah Anne! She's so great! Look at her dog! Ohmygod I want to pet her dog!

Eric: And like 6 people come over to smoosh Oatcake in the face.

Amanda: As an aspiring assassin I don't particularly want to be known among the entire city as a performer so I'm going to just de-escalate this interaction right now.

Amanda (as Inara): Thank you so much, sir. Can I, can I just grab one of these just in case I run across any you know ghosts on the road?

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Sure! 20 gold pieces!

Amanda (as Inara): I thought you said 10 before, and also I'm a child. I don't really have any gold on me.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Look at this child try to negotiate, she's crazy.  20 gold pieces little girl.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): How about I bring your parchment with me on the road back to the village where I came from where no one's even heard of magic. And when I get there people are going to be so excited and impressed by your wares that they're going to want to come back and buy them and I will tell them that, that they should come to you.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman):Marcus Magidperson!

Amanda (as Inara): Marcus Magicperson, here at the mural

Eric: Persuasion, please

Brandon (as Tracey): I'll take 8!

Amanda: 17 plus 2 for 19.

Eric: Marcus looks at you in the face and he actually smiles a little and says

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Wow, everyone hear this even the savage tribe is out in the woods where not even cities can touch them. They want what Marcus Magicperson is selling. Hey, why do you take one and an extra one which will keep all of the boys from touching you?

Eric: You're holding on parchment in your hand and he reaches into one of his really deep pockets in his massive billowing coat

Amanda: As he does that my other hand goes to my knife.

Eric: Why are you... Why is everyone so stabby?

Amanda: He just said something about boys touching me so I'm going to definitely hold my hand on my knife.

Brandon: I'm trying to buy eight of these things.

Michael: Marcus Magicperson, more like Marcus Magicfraud.

Eric: Nice

Michael: I wrote that down...

Eric: He's looking through his pockets and he's like

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): What. Where is this boy spell? I don't remember where I put them.

Eric: And he then takes off his big top hat and there is a curled up pink scroll on top of his head and he's like

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh there it is!

Eric: And he takes it and he puts it in your hand.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Give a hand for the nice Anne child.

Eric: And the crowd does, and starts yelling, 'I want five, I want 10!" and are just like shoving money

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman):20, 20 gold pieces! 20 gold pieces!

Brandon: Tracey rushes ahead of everyone throwing people away to get to the front of the line so he can purchase one of these scrolls.

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): Oh robot friend. How many would you like?

Brandon (as Tracey): I want 10!

Eric (as Upstanding Gentleman): All right. That would be a 10, 20, 30...

Brandon: And Tracey throws just an amount of money on the floor.

Eric: Why don't you roll the d10?

Brandon: I rolled a six.

Eric: OK so... you threw three hundred gold pieces in front of you. So write that down.

Amanda: I want a dodge in there and grab the excess off of the ground.

Eric: Why don't you roll for slight of hand.

Amanda: 15 plus 3 for an 18.

Eric: OK Tracey kind of threw it at Marcus Magicperson and Marcus caught the majority of it but like 50 fell to the ground and you scoop it back up.

Amanda: Better than nothing. After that, I want to get the hell out of here.

Eric: Sure.

Michael: I just want to note that Johnny has been looking at this entire proceeding and he cannot be shaking his head more just like, ugh like full dad-like disappointment. Just very upset at the whole proceeding.

Eric: Tracey you got 10 scrolls and they're all kind of like wrapped up in a nice paper bag that has like Marcus Magicperson written on the side like one of the Bloomingdale's bags.

Michael: You got 10 scrolls for 300?

Brandon: Uh-huh.

Michael: It was supposed to be 200.

Amanda: Yeah. There's too much money.

Michael: Oh come on.

Eric: Inara. You feel a tap on your shoulder.

Amanda: I put one hand to my knife and turn around

Eric: and you see a little halfling kid run by you.

Amanda: One of my street urchins?

Eric: and the little halfling waves at you

Amanda: I'm going to wave back. And she is running away or is she next to me?

Eric: She is right next to you.

Amanda: I'm going to wave back and crouch down a little bit and say

Amanda (as Inara): Hey, hey what's up fellow child what's what's going on?

Brandon: I am one of you, hello fellow child!

Michael: Hello child, I is you.

Eric: And you see that the halfling is whispering something but you can't really make it out. She makes the hand motions like come here, come closer

Amanda: I am going to go down on one knee so I'm a little bit closer to her than I was when I was crouching with my hand again firmly on my knife and lean forward and say

Amanda (as Inara): what's, what's going on there are you are you trying to find me

Eric: And the Halfling grabs the parchment out of your hand and books it.

Amanda: I'm going to run after her to grab it back.

Eric: So the halfling is running at a full sprint. Just running and diving through the back alleys of this Fidapolis outside area. She takes a hard right and books down an alleyway.

Amanda: I follow her and I yell

Amanda (as Inara): Oatcake go after her!

Eric:  Oatcake tries to sprint forward and goes (dog noises) and disappears from view and you hear a poof 50 feet forward.

Amanda: Nice

Eric: and it sounds like Oatcake is pawing at something.

Amanda: I'm going to run up to her again trying to be as aware of my surroundings as I possibly can be with one dagger now drawn and investigate what's happening over there.

Eric: Cool, Oatcake is pawing at a wall that is just like built up in the middle of the alley. You're at a dead end and you don't see the child anywhere.

Amanda: Are there any holes at the bottom of the wall where the stone is coming apart. Anything like that?

Eric: Make an investigation check

Amanda: 18 plus 4 for a 22.

Eric: You press your whole body against the wall and try to feel for any sort of cracks or secret passages, anything at the bottom of the wall or anything above it. There is nothing, but to your left, you see that there is a dagger wedged in between a few of the stones with a note attached to it.

Amanda: I lift the dagger out and read the note

Eric: The note is written in Thieves Cant.

Amanda: Hey. I know that!

Eric: Yeah you know how to read that. There are few symbols. The first is a dagger. The second is a fish, and the third is the head of that fish separated from said fish body and as you read it all together you can kind of figure out that the sentence on this piece of paper says cut the head from the fish.

Amanda: All right I am going to rip the note up and feed it to Oatcake and put the dagger on my belt.

Eric: Alright, Oatcake slobbers all over the note and chews a bunch of it. She just kind of mashes on it

Amanda: and I say

Amanda (as Inara): good girl, good girl, good chase

Amanda: and I pet her little head and I bring a piece of oatcake out of my back pocket to feed to her.

Eric: Oatcake eats it. (gross slobbering noises)

Amanda: And from there I'm going to cast one last glance around to make sure I'm not missing anything any children, any daggers, or notes and then head on back to the wall.

Michael: In the meanwhile, I would've liked to have bought Oatcake and Joe commemorative shirts for them to wear. Like a XXXXXXL for Joe. And a like a super small one for Oatcake so I can try to maybe be friends with Oatcake. Since she doesn't like me.

Amanda: Listen Oatcake is always up for reconciliation.

Michael: Yeah that's why I'm buying her a shirt.

Brandon: Do you think a T-shirt is the best way to a dog's heart?

Michael: You know, Johnny is not the best with animals I guess

Amanda: Evidently.

Eric: All right. Subtract ten gold pieces from your amount. And now you have 2 shirts.

Michael (as Johnny): Oatcake, I have a shirt for you.

Michael: And I try to put the shirt on Oatcake. Awww I'm going to just take damage, aren't I?

Eric: What's your AC?

Michael: Awww crap.... 13. Oh, come on!

Eric: As you're putting this shirt on Oatcake, Oatcake puffs away and ends up on top of your head.

Michael: Alright that's pretty adorable. I'll take it.

Amanda: I'm going to say good girl and pluck her off Johnny's head and just kind of hold her a little bit. We've been through a bunch in ten minutes.

Eric: It's been a big day.

Amanda: Been a big morning.

Eric: Tracey you want to check out your scrolls?

Brandon: As Johnny is failing to commune with this dog, I am taking out the scrolls. All 10 of them and kind of laying them out on the ground. I'm assuming we're pretty far away from the crowd at this point.

Eric: Yeah, sure there's a picnic table area.

Brandon: Oh great. I love picnic tables! So I spread them all on the table and I roll an investigation check to see what's going on there.

Amanda: I also want to investigate that dumb boy spell.

Eric: So what do you want to do with them, necessarily.

Amanda: I want to see if it's useful at all, or if it's nefarious in some way. I want to enforce the better business bureau principals against this kind of thing.

Brandon: I want to do a couple of things, I want to read them first of all, just like straight up. And then I want to investigate like does the ink match the paper. Is that paper super old, super new? Does it seem to have some sort of magical aura which I know would be Arcana that actually seem legit? Like is it a forgery or is an actual like spell that's been written out.

Eric: OK. The idea is that you can write specific runes on a scroll and then it is imbued with magical properties. So I guess if you want to look for the magic of it make an arcana check. But if you want to check out all those things, all the things that you said that would be investigation

Brandon: Cool, so I'm going to do the investigation.

Eric: Sure.

Amanda: I want to do an arcana check to see what it's actually defending against. If I can

Eric: Sure

Brandon: I am finally a good detective because I rolled the 19 plus 4 for a 23.

Eric: You take a look at every single one of these scrolls and all the parchment looks very new. The ink is nearly wet and all of the handwriting looks the same as if it wasn't written by hand. It was written by a massive rubber stamp.

Brandon: Gotcha. Can I read them? Or is it a rune that I can't read yet.

Eric: Why don't you make an intelligent roll.

Brandon: I'm only mildly smart. I've got a 9 plus 2 for 11.

Eric: You cannot read them. They're written in some language you don't understand but you do not know what that language is.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey guys these are just mass produced.

Amanda (as Inara): Can you tell what they're trying to defend against.

Brandon (as Tracey): No I can't really read them.

Amanda: Can I look at it to see if it's close to Thieves Cant at all?

Eric: Sure.

Amanda: I got an 11 arcana but do you want something else for this?

Eric: No, I'll just tell you it's not Thieves Cant.

Eric: All right.

Amanda (as Inara): No I got nothing Tracey. Sorry.

Michael: Oh I'm not helping. I was against this entire thing at the beginning. I'm not going to help

Eric: You want to roll arcana for the boy scroll?

Amanda: Yes I do. An 11. What does it look like? Is it like a pink bow?

Eric: Yeah it's parchment but somebody dyed it pink, and it is written very loopy curly Q handwriting.

Amanda: Well there's nothing Inara hates more than gendered products and marketing. So I am going to just try to see if there's anything useful on this thing whatsoever and if not I'm going to feed it to Oatcake who seems to like parchment.

Eric: You cannot figure out what exactly these scrolls do other than what Marcus Magicperson said they did. But you know they're magical. But if you were to unfurl said scroll in the particular time you don't know what it would do.

Amanda (as Inara): Johnny. You think it's better to throw out magical items that could be helpful or to carry around magical items that we don't know what they do.

Michael (as Johnny): Always give your unused magical spells to the proper recycling facilities

Amanda (as Inara): They have one actually every month of the month of the library.

Michael (as Johnny): Yes of course. I mean honestly, I guess keep it I don't really trust this kind of street corner magic. Whatever spell it's trying to say does is probably less effective and will probably cause more trouble than it will solve.

Brandon (as Tracey): Should we just go check back in with Alonzo and see where we're shipping off to next?

Amanda (as Inara): I don't want to bring these scrolls with us home man.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uhhh, I'm going to bring mine.

Amanda (as Inara): OK

Brandon (as Tracey): How about I bring half of them? Look, I spent three hundred gold pieces on these. I'm going to try to get my money back somehow.

Amanda (as Inara): All right let's do it. But if crap hits the fan and certainly if any seven-foot tall scam artists come near me, Trace you are on the frontlines.

Brandon (as Tracey): I got your back.

Eric: Alright so you are going to keep all of them?

Amanda: I will I'm going to keep the boy spell, and one of Tracey's in my pack. I'm just going to take one from him.

Eric: You guys head back to the Kiko Castle and Alonzo and the Speaker are waiting outside for you and the Speaker claps her hands together and says

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Ah, perfect you're all back from your most fanciful errand. But now we have a mission for all of you. Get ready. This is your first one.

(Music)

Eric: Hey, it’s Eric. Have you ever bought yourself something your really wanted? Maybe its a jacket or a bike or a video game system. And you save bits of paychecks and tips, find unused birthday money, keep yourself from ordering sushi on delivery again. And finally, you click confirm on th ordering website and you’re waiting and waiting for shipping. Finally, it arrives, snug in its plastic and cardboard mobile home. This is the moment you open the package. Use the good scissors.

Hey! Everybody! We have MERCH. Wear JTP on your body or put it on your phone case or in your house. We have two beautiful designs by magicsl design being Paola (@irrel on Twitter): the Antipolis Sailing School tee shirt Inara stole from Captain Alex last episode, and a gorgeous illustration of dice and a rulebook that says “Invite everyone to the party.”

I got a tank top of the Party design and I wear it under sweatshirts and feel like a superhero, waiting to reveal my powers of D&D podcasting.

We got it all at jointhepartypod.com/merch. That’s jointhepartypod.com/merch, and you can find a link in the description of this podcast. You’ll also find a link to Paola’s Twitter, because you MUST follow her. And, like an overzealous aunt we MUST see photos of you in your JTP swag.

Thank you and welcome to our new patrons, Neon, Lee, Lucille (who upper their pledge), Anthony. This week in our Patron-only Discord, the patrons have organized a spooky cookie exchange. And it warms our podcast hearts and fill out podcast bellies. if you want to join in on the fun, shuffle over to patreon.com/jointhepartypod.

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(Music)

Eric: The Speaker has brought all of you into the big conference room where you first met with her and there are more bagels

Amanda: Thank god

Eric: Inara is going to stuff all the bagels in her face again?

Amanda: Inara has already grabbed four bagels. Including one for Oatcake.

Brandon: What's a preferred shmear?

Amanda: Inara enjoys a good like scallion cream cheese on a sesame bagel. Not toasted. She isn't a monster.

Brandon: Right exactly. Solid choices.

Michael: Johnny grabs an onion bagel uses prestidigitation to heat it up and toast it a bit.

(everyone else sighs)  

Eric: The speaker has a whole bunch of papers laid out in front of her and she's like sifting through a bunch of them. Alonzo is a lot more chill than you'd think he'd be. He kind of has his feet kicked up on the table and he stretched out and his head is lolling back is kind of like waiting for the Speaker to start. He's also wearing a belt with like a bunch of weapons on it, like there's a sword and like a mace, and like three daggers on it.

Brandon: Tracey giggles a little bit

Michael: I don't think I like any version of Alonzo.

Eric (as Alonzo): Hey it's my utility belt man I got to be prepared. And we're going out on a mission! It's our mission is our first mission. I'm ready. We're going to do it!

Brandon: Tracey laughs out loud.

Amanda (as Inara): Where's mine man?

Eric (as Alonzo): This this is my, I made this from home. This is mine.

Brandon: Is it just foam? Are they foam weapons

Eric: No, they're real, they're very real weapons, Tracey.

Amanda (as Inara): How can you like sit down with a mace and a sword on your belt

Michael (as Johnny): So Speaker, whats up brah? how you livin?

Amanda: How do you take your bagel?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): I am living in I am living fine. Thank you. And my bagel is a plain bagel with two swipes of cream cheese. Thank you.

Brandon: That's a good choice.

Eric: And she claps her hands as if this bagel just appeared and she takes a bite of it and puts it back down daintily.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool. Now that we've all had breakfast. What are we doing here?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): This is your first mission on behalf of your champion. Let's call it the Champions Tour. Antopolis is having a lot of problems. We're getting reports of strange eerie ghostly things happening in the area. Not only that their main power source is gone. It's been very difficult to get in touch with them and even travel over there because their water source is drying up and we cannot contact them. So we need Alonzo to go in there and tell everyone that everything's going to be fine. Once he's in there, as the champion to unite all of the states we can hopefully quell some of this unrest and make sure that the people can fix whatever is going on over there. Maybe if we can get our hands a little dirty and you know put some elbow grease and get their power going again. How does that sound?

Brandon (as Tracey): So we are sort of like trying to lift some spirits do some good? Do some good press?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Tracey that is exactly the way you think of it. That's perfect, Alonzo. How did that sound to you?

Eric: And Alonzo stands up and his whole belt is jangling and he says

Eric (as Alonzo): I'll do it. I am the champion here. And I got it, good. Let's... let's champion!

Brandon: Tracey giggles again.

Amanda (as Inara): OK, that sounds real fun. Madam Speaker, but how exactly are we going to be doing stuff like what do they use for power? How do we fix it? I don't want to just go there and like tell them everything's fine if it's not. I heard all about the ghosts. Don't you worry. Ghostly fish, ghostly birds, ghostly just just people around you, ghostly boys trying to pull your pigtails. We got it. Don't worry. But, but how about the power stuff. How can we help?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Let's just say that the main power issue is a little bigger than you can handle right now. We just need to go in there and help some people feel better. That's enough for Alonzo to start out and all three of you, of course, you're security, you're going to keep him safe if anything strange, especially with all these ghost things coming around. Hopefully, you'll keep him safe.

Brandon (as Tracey): How do you punch a ghost?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Hard

Brandon (as Tracey): Got it!

Michael (as Johnny): Well I mean you know me I love making sure people are happy and whatnot and I hate ghosts. You know they're dark and stuff but I can only lie that things are ok so much...

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): That's ok, you can just stand there with your book and your smiling face and Alonzo will take care of the rest. Isn't that right Alonzo?

Eric: and Alonzo is spinning a mace when he realized the Speaker is looking at him, he straightens up and says

Eric (as Alonzo): All right we got it. Let's do it. I'm going to kick this problem in the face.

Amanda (as Inara): It is very hard to kick someone's face Alonzo we can practice later, but just just go for the go for the knees bro.

Eric (as Alonzo): Alright, kicking face later. Knees! We are going to raise some spirits with kicking

Brandon (as Tracey): Wooo....

Eric: The speaker turns to all three of you and says

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): I thought you'd be more excited. Alonzo's excited. You're going to go save the Concentric States. What's the problem?

Amanda (as Inara): Sounds like we're saving your reputation ma'am.

Amanda: and then Inara stuffs a bagel into her face so she cannot answer any follow-up questions.

Michael: Johnny looks over to Inara and does a "nice" face.

Eric: The Speaker puts her hands together and says

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Inara, you're not wrong. We need to go in there and make sure everyone believes in the government, in the people we're there to protect them. That's what Alonzo's is doing. He's smart and capable and handsome and he has the bloodline running through them. It's not necessarily our responsibility to fix them. That's why there are city-states. The city will take care of it. But they need help from us. And this is what we can do. We can provide hope.

Michael (as Johnny): Speaking of who's in charge out at Antopolis? Who should we reach out to when we get there so we have the most local support as possible as we try to go on this PR tour?

Amanda (as Inara): And don't, you know get an assassination attempt leveled against us when we try to go after the Prince.

Michael (as Johnny): Also what's the light situation over there?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Johnny I hear you'll be bringing your own light so I think it'll fine.

Amanda: Wow. Touche

Eric: When you arrive you'll be talking to Representative Shields. They're the current elected official in Antopolis. Once you arrive, I'm sure their party will come and greet you.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do they have a champion?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Alonzo is the champion on behalf of all of us. He lives in Fidapolis but he is the Concentric States champion.

Brandon (as Tracey): That Fidapolis chose for everyone?

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Through magical bloodline, he is the champion. The Kiko's... OK I will, I will explain representative government to you at a later time. It's time for you to go. Your belongings have been packed up for you and you can grab them on the way out the lawn

Michael (as Johnny): How are we getting there? Because I'm assuming my friend Joe is not the preferred method of getting to Antopolis.

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Ah well we've been working on something very special for this champions tour. Why didn't you come out here on the lawn

Eric: On your way out, all three of you grab your packs that have all your important items packed into them and you are standing out on the front lawn which had only recently had the massive ceremony. And the speaker says

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Presenting the champion's vehicle!

Eric: and nothing and nothing happens and she goes again. She says

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Presenting the champions Vehicle!

Amanda: Oatcakes head turns to the side a little bit as we see nothing happened.

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Alex! Start the thing!

Eric: and you hear a whirring sound that encompasses the entire plane and you see a ship as large as a house fly out from over the tree line. There's a whirling propeller on top of it. It almost looks like a giant speedboat that they attached a very large helicopter propeller to the top and it settles down and it's covered with a large dome on top of that speedboat. And a door opens and there's like a depressurizing system. It has flown open and Captain Alex steps out. Whirling her hair from side to side.

Eric (as Captain Alex): It is not called the champion vehicle. This is the Uptown Girl. And you're going to listen to it

Eric: The speaker says,

Eric (as Speaker Martinson): Whatever it's called, here is your vehicle. We've spent a lot of time and effort figuring out the technological and magical elements inside and we figured out how to quickly get you from city state to city state.

Brandon: Does Inara not have a reaction to seeing Alex again?

Amanda: She's just dry mouthed and silent.

Eric (as Captain Alex): All right. Come on we've got somewhere to go. Let's see how fast we can do it in

Brandon: Tracey runs for it and gets on board

Brandon (as Tracey): I want to go fast!

Michael: Thanks, Sonic. Can I just do a general inspection on it just before I get into this vehicle?

Eric: Sure, what kind of inspection?

Amanda: Johnny you can get closer to the sun!

Michael: All sorts of inspections, whatever you call an inspection.

Brandon: 32 point inspection!

Eric: What are you? Are you a building inspector?

Michael: I'm a like. ok I'm going to just be like taken into the sky with something I've never seen before Inspector

Eric: Why don't you make an investigation check.

Michael: Investigation is a 13.

Eric: All right. This definitely flies and it seems pretty safe. I mean the Speaker gave it to you so can't be too bad. There is a combination of magic and machine happening here. This is similar to what you've seen in your my First Warforged Manual. But since it's only devoted to one action which is to fly and at a much much much larger scale, it's not something you've seen before.

Michael: And then what are the creature comforts?

Eric: there are four very squishy looking chairs arranged all throughout the middle of the deck all facing forward. There's also a chair at the captain's area which is right in the front so Captain Alex can steer. There's also a snack bar

Amanda: nice

Eric: With chips. There is plenty of storage space for you to keep all of your stuff and even live on the ship for a little while, uncomfortably but it's like you're living in the back of an Escalade. It would be pretty nice for a while but then you would get a little cooped up. The back two chairs can swivel facing the windows that are off to the left and to the right and you can also open them in case you need to do some aerial punching. There is like a capsule hole on top of it. But the bottom looks like a speedboat and the top of it is like a giant ass helicopter. It's like a gyrocopter.

Brandon: I high five the hell out of Captain Alex as I walk onboard this boat because Tracey is stoked to get into the air on this really cool speedboat.

Amanda: Oatcake kind of nudged my leg a little bit because I was just frozen in pure joy. But then I'm going to walk up the gangplank or walk over to the door and just say like

Amanda (as Inara): Hey hey whats going on, hey hey cap, whats going on?

Eric: Captain Alex winks and does finger guns at you. And as she sees Oatcake walk behind you she says.

Eric (as Captain Alex): Dogs have to be in bags, that's a rule of the Uptown Girl

Amanda: And Inara says

Amanda (as Inara): Ok, I will get a bag then

Amanda: In the meantime she just scoops Oatcake up and holds her to her chest and then goes inside to pull a smaller tote bag, recyclable tote like you always have in your adventurers' pack.

Eric: What does the tote say on it?

Amanda: The tote is just printed with summer fruits.

Eric: Oatcake is riding in the summer fruits tote bag. I like that. Johnny. How do you feel?

Michael: Cautious but walks in, takes a seat at one of the swivel ones. Just looks around trying to take it all in and make sure that he feels safe because he does not.

Brandon (as Tracey): I called dibs on that one.

Michael (as Johnny): There are two Tracey.

Brandon (as Tracey): I SAID I CALLED DIBS!

Michael (as Johnny): Ok, so first you didn't. And also let's not yell in the gyrocopter.

Brandon: What's your AC?

Michael: 13.

Brandon: I try to push you out of the chair and then slip

Amanda: And Inara just steps over your body to go to one of the front chairs which are closer to Captain Alex.

Michael: Johnny gets up and walks over to the other one magnanimously.

Brandon: Tracey a little embarrassed but okay slides into his chair that he called dibs on

Amanda: what's Alonzo doing? I guess we're seatmates, Ugh.

Eric: Alonzo has walked confidently onto the ship, sat down in his chair and is trying to figure out if his chair reclines. Captain Alex says.

Eric (as Captain Alex): All right everyone put your seatbelt on.

Amanda: Inara doesn't know what that is. We didn't need seatbelts on wagons or just walking between towns.

Eric: Alonzo kind of points over to your right and there's like a big belt that you can just clip over on the side and he kind of like mimes it for you. He like takes the one clip and the buckle and flips together.

Amanda: All right so Inara fastens a seatbelt across her lap and then also across Oatcakes. Oatcake is sitting next to me in the chair, it's very important that you guys know this. She I'm kind of curled up in a chair with my legs under me, and then Oatcake is next to me. And so the lap belt goes over her back and across my lap.

Eric: Johnny. You hear a chirping sound coming from the right side of you. It says:

Eric (as Comway): All right. Everyone, please put on your seat belts. What's that?

Michael (as Johnny): What... What was that?

Eric: You look up and there's a speaker right above you.

Eric (as Comway): Hello. We want to make sure everyone's having a good time so please put on your seatbelts.

Michael: Ok, Johnny puts on his seatbelt.

Amanda (as Inara): Wait. Who was that?

Michael (as Johnny): I just want to get out of here as soon as possible.

Eric (as Comway): Great. Thanks, Johnny! Hello new friends. I am your onboarding computer. I am the conjured onboard modeling wing always for you. But you can call me Comway. Good morning Captain Alex. Where are we going today?

Eric: Captain Alex walks back from the front and says,

Eric (as Captain Alex): Yeah we got this cool new thing installed. You've got to push magic together in the right way. It will talk back to you. This is Comway he's kind of like, he will tell me where to go. It's really cool, isn't it cool? It's cool.

Amanda (as Inara): Where, where's your body? Where's your body? Where's your voice coming from?

Eric (as Comway): My body's all around us!

Amanda (as Inara): Yikes.

Brandon (as Tracey): Are we in you?!

Eric (as Comway): Do you think of it like that? Please don't!

Amanda: Inara's hand reaches into her pack to pull out the boys spell, just to have it in her hands just in case.

Michael (as Johnny): What's the estimated time of arrival. Because the longer I'm in this the more uncomfortable I am.

Eric: Captain Alex says.

Eric (as Captain Alex): All right Comway we're going to Antopolis. Let's get there as soon as possible alright?

Brandon (as Tracey): When is snack service?

Eric (as Captain Alex): Tracey the snacks are right over there, you can just grab them.

Brandon: I unbuckle and go to the snacks.

Eric: It has lots of chips!

Brandon: What kind? Like tortilla or potato?

Eric: There's plain regular, plain ruffled, sour cream regular, sour cream ruffled, Doritos cool ranch. and nacho cheese, and pretzels.

Brandon: Tracey takes the pretzels.

Michael: What kind of pretzels?

Eric: Good pretzels.

Michael: Ok but like which kind?

Eric: The sourdough ones like the really chunky ones.

Eric (as Comway): All right. Two Antopolis we go. I'll plug in those coordinates. Beep-Boop

Eric (as Captain Alex): OK. Thanks, Conway.

Eric: And the helicopter wings above start to fly and flutter and you're going high up in the air, quickly. I don't think any of you have done anything like this before.

Amanda: Inara is just holding very tightly to Oatcake and the arm of the chair. It's thrilling but terrifying.

Michael: Johnny finds a way to sit in a meditative position and starts meditating and turn to commune with the Undying Light

Brandon: Tracey's just munching down on pretzels looking out the window just enjoying the view.

Eric: So the ship speeds away from Kiko castle and you are crossing farther and faster than I think any of you have ever done before, you're crossing over hills and rivers and you can see the city of Fidapolis with its wall encircling the whole city become a distant blip on the horizon. And you see the land actually starts to change. Well, it's kind of outside of the forest that Inara know so well it turns into plains and through those planes are cutting rivers and tributaries and streams and as you keep going you see some of these streams are changing. Some of them are marsh-ed and swampy and seem kind of overrun with water. While others are dried up like it's been corked up at the mouth. The streams slowly get consolidated together like a dealer is collecting cards together in a round of poker. The streams congregate into a massive river and run swiftly past you as you are following the path of this winding water. Finally, as you all look through the front windshield you see two massive stone circles rise out of the riverbanks and there are city buildings built up around each one of them. The circles are actually taller than all of the buildings there are like four stories tall. The cities are identical with one on the left of the river and one on the right. But as you get closer you can tell that the one on the left is totally abandoned while the one on the right has movement and some newer buildings being built up around it. It's like there is a stadium in the middle of these cities that is like as round and tall as one. But instead of a stadium, it is just a massive stone cylinder. As you near, the one on the right has roads and infrastructure stemming from the base of the giant columns. But you don't see any movement around it, where you might expect it.

Amanda (as Inara): Alex have you been here before?

Eric: Captain Alex leans back over a chair and says

Eric (as Captain Alex): Antopolis, no I have actually I've never stopped there. I've sailed down the sharpening river that cuts between the two but I've never stopped off, the ruin just freaks me out. I dated someone who was living over there but she never told me much about it. She was cool. She could juggle.

Amanda: Inara is just blushing.

Eric (as Captain Alex): Can you juggle?

Amanda (as Inara): I can learn.

Eric: You hear the chirping again as Conway says.

Eric (as Comway): Captain there seems to be some sort of bogeys coming towards us.

Brandon: Tracey rushes to the window.

Eric: Captain Alex says,

Eric (as Captain Alex): What Bogey's what are you talking about? We're in the air what are we worried for?

Eric: Tracey I want to make perception check

Brandon: 19 plus 1 for a 20.

Eric: You see two of those not really Bombelades, those messed up things are getting really close to the ship. They're about 10 feet away. Both of them are on your side of the ship.

Brandon (as Tracey): Uh guys, there's two of those things that we fought in Fidapolis coming right for us. They looked at Bombelades but like not great ones.

Eric: Tracey you got a better look at them. These things have really sharp teeth. They keep gnashing them as they get close. Not like the hummingbird arrangement that the regular Bombleades have. There are also strange markings all over their body and it's all the color of dark gray of soot. And Captain Alex takes a hard left away from them and you see the two that are getting close to you and you see that there are like 10 more coming after them and they're all diving upwards directly from the river.

Michael: Johnny unbuckles, and I'm assuming there's a position that he can take by one of the windows that opens up and secures himself there so if there's any kind of turning he won't get too messed up.

Amanda: Inara jumps up too and rushes toward the windshield.

Amanda (as Inara): Alex should we fight these guys or can we like evade them?

Brandon (as Tracey): Comway, is there any weapons on this thing?

Eric (as Comway): No. It's a travel ship. Why would I have any weapons?

Brandon (as Tracey): I mean that's a good point.

Amanda (as Inara): Why are we being dive-bombed? Can we can we get away?

Eric: Captain Alex says

Eric (as Captain Alex): all right, everyone sit down and buckle up. I got this.

Eric: And she continues to move the ship left. And it dives down towards the ground.

Amanda (as Inara): I'm going to sit. But ready Mage Hand in case I need to send one out of the window to like grab the wing of one of these things, that's all I can do.

Brandon (as Tracey): I'm going to pop one of the windows open and use the long arm of the law to just like latch securely onto the sill and just ready my axe

Eric: Cool, I like that.

Michael: I'm going to open the other window, sit down, buckle up and just be ready to throw some Eldritch Blasts at them.

Eric: Cool, As you guys are waiting. Alex dives towards the ground. There are two of these messed up Bobleades on either side tries to get in through each one of these windows. Tracey make a strength check.

Brandon: I got it 3 plus 3 for a 6.

Michael: Oh OK. Johnny seeing some faltering from his pal Tracey and not being comfortable with the height is going to try... Johnny is going to concentrate towards the Undying Light and his lantern and see if he can help him with that check. I softly start speaking to myself, meditating, and let's see... it's a plus 4.

Brandon: So 10 total for my strength.

Eric: The messed up bombleades chomp on your other hand Tracey and try to pull you out of the window by flapping really hard against the diving gyrocopter thing. While the ball of light flies out of the lantern and touches you on the shoulder and you feel empowered and you rip your arm back in.

Amanda (as Inara): Close the window Tracey

Brandon (as Tracey): Thanks for flying with us!

Brandon: And I close the window as hard as I can.

Eric: It closes with a satisfying slam. Johnny, I want you to make a perception check for me.

Michael: 15 plus 2for 17.

Eric: Johnny as you keep a strong hand on the lantern. Waiting for the light to come back from Tracey. You see something very dark and shadowy lift itself off of the lantern and for a split second, you'll see a jump up into the speaker where Conway was talking to you and it disappears.

Michael: Did you give me a cursed item?

Eric: As you try to figure out what the hell does happened. Conway starts talking back to you and says

Eric (as Comway): I. Well. help. be. I. warn. it.

Eric: And Alex is like slapping the dashboard

Eric (as Captain Alex): Comway, what is happening?

Eric: And the helicopter just dives down to the left riverbank into the ruins of the city across from Antopolis. Alex is like shaking the steering

Eric (as Captain Alex): I can't, I can't control it anymore. I don't know what's happening. I guess we're... Just everyone hold on.

Eric: The Gyrocopter slams into the left bank of the river. I want you to make two d6 rolls and Tracey I want you to make four.

Amanda: 5 total

Brandon: 17 total

Michael: 8 total.

Eric: All right you all take that damage now.

Brandon (as Tracey): OWWWW

Amanda: I was holding Oatcake securely to my chest. By the way.

Eric: Oatcake's fine. Believe me, Oatcake has not taken any damage. And for a moment it's still, the ship grinds to a halt. And Captain Alex hits her head hard on the back of her seat and Alonzo is not looking good either. He hit his face on something.

Eric (as Captain Alex): Is everyone alright? If you can say something back. I think you're all right.

Amanda (as Inara): Kind of

Michael (as Johnny): yeah I'm ok.

Brandon (as Tracey): Nice piloting!

Eric (as Captain Alex): All right. You know what Tracey...

Brandon (as Tracey): I was sincere. Thanks for not killing us!

Eric (as Captain Alex): Ok, Tracey, ok that's fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): Comway? Are you there bud?

Eric: No response.

Michael: Johnny is going to unbuckle and check Alonzo. You know, look over everyone see if they're OK and at least assess how Alex and Alonzo are doing.

Eric: yeah Captain Alex is fine. She's already up and trying to like poke at things on the ship and figure out what's going on. Alonzo is holding his face. He says

Eric (as Alonzo): I hit myself and my own face with my knee, it hurts. is it OK?

Eric: And he's got the beginnings of a black eye in his right eye

Amanda (as Inara): you look great Alonzo, don't don't worry. Alex can we can we operate this thing? Can or do we have to get away from here.

Brandon (as Tracey): That's really embarrassing to Alonzo

Eric (as Alonzo): Sick burn, Tracey.

Eric: Captain Alex is still pounding on the dashboard.

Eric (as Captain Alex): I, I can't. We... to get this thing fixed. I mean we're pretty close, we got to cross the river. No, I can't fly this thing. Well. When we talk to Representative Shields maybe they can they can fix it for us.

Brandon: I am going to walk out of the ship and just kind of assess the environment make sure we're safe and not in any danger.

Eric: Sure. As you walk out of the door you're taken aback by how close you are to the ruins of the other side of the city. They're just buildings that have fallen into disrepair and you notice that everything is made out of the same stone, the same dark gray stone is just everywhere. You only see like the foundation of these buildings and the columns have really close etchings on every single one. But I mean nothing looks like it's been moved for a really really long time.

Brandon: Do I understand any of these etchings, like are they in a language that I might understand or are they in some rune.

Eric: It's like a combination of like pictography and a language you can't figure out.

Brandon: Can make perception check to see if there's anything around that might come after a recently downed ship.

Eric: Sure.

Brandon: 19 plus 1for 20.

Eric: You don't see anything, as you look closely though you see this like really large gash in the ground. That's kind of crossing down one of these abandoned streets. It's like someone dragged something massive through the street. And suddenly Tracey you feel rumblings under your feet. At first, you think it's starting to rain or thunder but it's really just cloudy and there's nothing else around. And now all of you start to hear this thump, thump, thump and it's getting louder, and louder, and louder. And Tracey over the ruins of the city is a massive giant larger than anything you've ever seen before with purple skin and a gaunt face and it's like lackadaisically walking forward like strolling almost.

Brandon (as Tracey): Guys we got some company!

Amanda: Inara comes out too, lifting Oatcake out of her bag because rules don't apply in battle mode.

Eric: The giant continues towards you just strolling forward and steps over buildings in single steps.

Brandon (as Tracey): We should hide. I think we should hide. I think we should do that.

Amanda (as Inara): Wow. Tracey saying that then, I agree. Let's let's do that. Alex where can we hide?

Eric: Alex has stumbled out of the side of the ship with Alonzo and she looks up at the giant and says

Eric (as Captain Alex): I don't know! Anywhere! let's just get out of here.

Amanda (as Inara): Guys let's grab our packs, let's grab Alonzo let's hide behind the closest ruin that we can find. I don't want to go anywhere near that column. But I do want to make sure that if the giant picks up this brightly colored thing to play with it, I don't want to be inside.

Brandon (as Tracey): Yep.

Brandon: And Tracey grabs Alonzo and starts making for the closest ruin

Eric (as Alonzo): Wait, I know I can talk. Wait let me talk to it. I can do it.

Amanda (as Inara): Not right now Alonzo, we're practicing the fleeing part of the fighting or fleeing.

Eric: All you get behind a very large column on the outer edge of the ruins and the giant continues just like strolling forward and it's like rolling its head from side to side. It's like kind of looking around and you see closer and his eyes are just kind of glazed over and it takes a look at your ship. The giant doesn't seem to realize that you've just ran away even though it was kind of standing right in front of you. In fact it just kind of like reaches down and plucks two of the blades from the top of the ship up and looks at it and says

Eric (as the Giant): Is this a ship I see before me. I cannot envision what this might be. This dreamscape brings me so many strange things

Eric: and it takes both of the blades and sticks it into its shoulders, one on each side. And as soon as it does that its skin wraps around the blades sucking it in. And those blades have turned to stone.

Brandon (as Tracey): Sorry. Alex

Eric (as Captain Alex): You know what, it was worth it. It's fine.

Brandon (as Tracey): OK. OK. We will get you new blades, I promise.

Eric: The giant just continues to walk around. And I want you all to make charisma saving throws

Amanda: I got a nat-20

Michael: 22

Brandon: 13

Eric: as the giant is walking away. You feel like a flash come into your brain for a second. But you all three of you shake it off and the giant starts just kind of loping away. But Alonzo starts to walk after it. He wrenches his hand out of Tracey's hand and says

Eric (as Alonzo): I want to make friends with the giants.

Brandon: I grapple his ass.

Eric: How do you do that.

Brandon: I am shooting my long arm of the law immediately in his direction to reel him back in as I imagine I will have to reel him in a lot of times in the future. How far away is he?

Eric: 20 feet away from you.

Brandon: Alright so I have to do a strength check to get that distance

Eric: Right

Brandon: 5 plus 3 for an 8.

Eric: You shoot the long arm of the law towards Alonzo and you go wide left and Alonzo starts running towards the giant and the giant is loping away. The giant doesn't seem to notice that Alonzo is following them.

Brandon (as Tracey): Devar damn it.

Brandon: And Tracey takes off sprinting after Alonzo.

Amanda: I'm going to run after Tracey to see if I could provide backup. Oatcake is going to run slightly behind me too.

Michael: Johnny is going to be on team stay behind with Alex because I'm unsure that she fully is not also on this. I only know that myself and my two companions here have shaken off the charm spell that happened. Could I instead try to do any kind of arcane thing to see maybe where the source of the spell could have come from?

Eric: Yeah shoot an arcana check

Michael: 14.

Eric: Yeah that charmed all came right from the giant. I'm going to ready a cantrip

Eric: You guys run with Alonzo. And he's like diving around. He's running like through buildings to follow this giant and this giant just continues to walk through the city and it's like lackadaisically smashing buildings that it goes through with its great club. He walks about half a mile forward and stops and you see that there is a group of six soldiers all with crossbows ready and they're all wearing dark blue and they have a symbol on their chest plates. It looks like a Venn diagram. It's two circles of come together intersecting with the middle. One of them with a golden helmet on opens the mouthpiece and says

Eric (as Soldier who is sure to survive): Zubi, we mean you no harm, you know us, you've worked with us. Please put down the club and come home.

Eric: And the giant responds

Eric (as Zubi the Giant): Aye there's the rub. With no home to return to. There is no being, there is no sleep. There is only ghost, and dream, and dream.

Eric: The giant looks at the six of the soldiers, two soldiers you see their faces glaze over and they take two steps towards the giant and reach out towards it and although you can't see the face of the soldier with the golden helmet he takes two steps forward as well. The giant reaches down a big purple hand and grabs the soldier by his golden helmet and says

Eric (as Zubi the Giant): This would look nice adorning this dreamscape

Eric: and presses a soldier against his chest. Much like the blades before it. The soldier slowly turns to stone and sticks upon the Giants' chest.

(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.