The party stays the night at a local inn and starts a party of their own. Can they trust Evan, their new guard friend, or would that be a giant mistake? Tracey gambles. Inara is underage. Johnny gets a bucket.
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Amanda: Last time on Join the Party…
Eric: The party gets out of the way of Zubi, a giant stumbling through the ruins of Antipolis who has the terrifying ability to turn other people into stone.
Eric: Tracey, Inara, what are you doing?
Amanda (as Inara): Totally not cowering in fear, man.
Eric: Johnny makes some skeletal fish friends in the water. Well, not really friends, more like predators.
Fish: And then I guess I'm going to take out my quarterstaff and start hitting my butt? I don't know what else to do... like a back scratcher.
Eric: We meet Evan, a member of the city guard who has that thing where you can’t remember what word you’re looking for.
Eric (as Evan): It was like a boat like flies through the air like, and flaps one of the things?
Brandon (as Tracey): A bird, have you heard of a bird before?
Eric: Then it’s murder on the motorboat express, as Geneva reveals himself to be a member of the turncoat cityguard, the Blackfish
Amanda: I'm going to yell
Amanda (as Inara): Tracey. Start the motor
Amanda: and go to stab Geneva.
Eric: We’re drinking to forget, but also drinking to remember. Let’s get the party started.
Eric: The ghost whale disappears as soon as you see it. It dives down with the body of the half-orc clutched in its massive jaws and dives nearly without breaking the surface of the water. As soon as it dives down, the sky lightens and the clouds disappear and it's back to being a regular day as if the whale is gone. You have a feeling that Tormbjorn might actually pull his beard off. He is just clawing that thing and he is losing it a little bit. He's like
Eric (as Tombjorn): The whale, I saw it was, it was exactly what they said it was going to be. It was huge and it took.
Eric: And he's also like spitting up water at the same time.
Eric (as Tombjorn): It was huge.
Eric: He takes Tracey by the shoulders and says
Eric (as Tombjorn): This is no ghost, it was real I saw it.
Brandon: Tracey retracts his long arm of the law and gently embraces Tombjorn in a thunder hug
Eric: Like a thunder shirt?
Eric: Do you have proficiency in hugging? I feel like you do.
Brandon: I don't. So, should I roll for hugs?
Eric: Yeah roll for hugs.
Brandon: What do I add to my hub roll?
Eric: I'll give you plus two.
Brandon: Can I add more?
Eric: I'll give you plus five to your hug.
Brandon: I got a ten
Eric: You know you still comforted him but you get pretty wet as well.
Brandon: I'm OK with that.
Eric: As soon as everything comes to normal Callie like snaps to attention and says
Eric (as Callie): we need to get across the river now and I need a file report posthaste. This is serious guys. If we're dealing with a monster we need to be ready. Let's go
Brandon: Tracey revs the engine and takes off behind boat number one.
Amanda: Inara is standing at the front of boat number two, hair whipping in the wind feeling like this is what she was born to do, in case anyone was wondering how my psychological state was after my first kill.
Eric: You're just like super jazzed?
Amanda: it's more of a like, this is happening type feeling. But I have decided to lean into it as it were. I'll let you know how I'm doing later.
Eric: Yeah please. You guys motor over to the other side of the river and as soon as you get over there. Tombjorn is pushing everyone to the side and throws himself on the ground at his kissing, kissing the ground and will not stop. This side of Antipolis looks a lot like the side of the river that you were at before. The city is nearly exactly the same, the placement of where all the buildings are, the column in the center of the entire city. You see people milling about going about their day to day but something seems a little bit off. It's like someone turned the city down a hue. And Callie jumps out and says
Eric (as Callie): I need to take this to the representative as soon as possible. Evan you're going to take care of these guys, right? We don't have time. Tombjorn you're with me. We got to tell them what happened.
Brandon (as Tracey): Hey can I come?
Amanda (as Inara): Hey yeah, we, we want to like lend our perspective and stuff and totally just underscore whatever story you are giving and not like gather information about the organization that you're part of.
Michael (as Johnny): I also think that's exactly why we're here to meet. Right? The representative?
Eric: Alonzo steps up and says
Eric (as Alonzo): Ah the representative. Yes, I need to show him my presence and let him know that I'm here.
Eric: And he takes out his sword and waves it about as he says it
Brandon: Do all three of us eye roll or is it just Tracey?
Amanda: I'm going to put just a reassuring hand on his shoulder because that was conspicuously bad.
Michael: Johnny is going to eye roll and then put his arm out to attempt to lower his arm and the sword because he's making a fool of himself.
Eric (as Callie): I mean I appreciate that. And I know that sir Alonzo you're supposed to go up there, but I mean this is more important this is city business and I need to file a report immediately. I'm sorry. Come by tomorrow morning and I'll make sure that the representative is ready to see you.
Brandon (as Tracey): Sounds fun. Let's go.
Eric (as Callie): Oh no Tracey you're not coming.
Amanda (as Inara): We like wait in a waiting room and stuff I bet there are cool snacks on the side tables.
Eric (as Callie): Yes, there's pretzels. I will make sure that there are all these kinds of pretzels. I mean this is city matters. I'm sorry but I got to take Tombjorn and have this filed now.
Michael (as Johnny): I have been planning a call me Ishmael joke since we got off the shore, since we got across the river, and I'm going to go meet the representative and introduce myself as such.
Eric (as Callie): Queequeg I appreciate that.
Amanda: Got him.
Eric (as Callie): And that's fair you're going to meet Representative Shields but a bunch of people just died.
Amanda (as Inara): Like one, one person died
Eric (as Callie): And the other two they got attacked by the giant? And what's not even talk about you, who probably, sort of killed the guy. I need a smooth all of this over. I'm sorry you can't come with me right now. I believe you, I trust in all of you but I need to do my job.
Amanda (as Inara): Let's let's back up to the part where your forces almost killed us a few minutes ago down there by the giant, what should we do in the meantime. How do we make sure that we're not going to be targeted and persecuted and stuff as foreign visitors to your city?
Michael (as Johnny): Do you have a letter or some sort of symbol that we can show to people in the town to know that we're here on official business and treat us all right.
Eric: Do you do finger guns at her? like 'all right'
Michael: The finger guns obviously have a little bit of light popping out.
Eric: Evan searches around his pockets and he's like
Eric (as Evan): oh, you know, I thought I had it somewhere
Eric: and he goes back to the boat and rustles around in his bag and he says
Eric (as Evan): hey this bag was a lot lighter before. I guess it's like... No. OK
Eric: then he takes out a pad and and he scribbles a quick note down on it and he takes a very official looking stamp and just drives it onto the bottom of the piece of paper. He gives you and he says
Eric (as Evan): all right here, no one should have problems with us. We're going to be fine we're under the official... I mean what do you call it when like a high-ranking person like cares about you
Brandon (as Tracey): Protection
Eric (as Evan): no, it's like they're of dominion over this whole place and it rhymes with... let's go with protection. Yeah, we have the protection of the representative.
Eric: Callie looks it over and she says
Eric (as Callie): you have girls handwriting.
Eric: And Evan says
Eric (as Evan): I... I know
Eric: and she says
Eric (as Callie): all right that's good enough. We'll see you all tomorrow morning, Evan, usual place
Eric: And he says
Eric (as Evan): usual place
Eric: and Callie and Tombjorn, who is still shaking and pulling at his beard walks off.
Michael: Johnny takes the letter from Evan's hands because I just don't trust him to not lose it, and ask
Michael (as Johnny): where can we go for some food and supplies.
Eric (as Evan): Oh, listen. We're going to the usual place. We all love it there. It's all just a good time. I'm going to take you there, and it's going to be great.
Michael (as Johnny): Is it called the usual place or is it just the usual place?
Eric (as Evan): Oh man. No, the usual places a different bar. You do not want to go there.
Amanda: Oh my gosh.
Eric (as Evan): We're pretty sure, we're pretty sure the person who runs that is like three goblins stacked on top of each other, we don't want to go there.
Amanda (as Inara): In one travel cloak? I hear it's like a really common thing here.
Eric (as Evan): Yeah. Oh, man, it happens all the time. I went on a date with this girl and I went up to pay the check and I looked back and, actually I mean when I think about it they were just an ooze. I mean they were an ooze the whole time. I went on a date with an ooze.
Michael: Johnny's walked away.
Eric (as Evan): This is a bad story.
Brandon: Tracey is flabbergasted
Amanda: Was that like a Seventeen Magazine feature? I went on a date with an ooze!
Eric (as Evan): All right. No, we're going to... It's this inn, with a great bar downstairs and we keep, I don't want to keep an eye on, have to have our eyes on our backs like the like usual awesome drinking establishment.
Amanda (as Inara): You're not going to like lock us into the room overnight when we're not expecting it with elaborately large bunk beds are you?
Eric (as Evan): I mean only if we drink enough.
Eric: He holds his hand up to high-five.
Brandon: No one high-fives him and Tracey is on guard for this.
Amanda: Oatcake steps forward a little bit. And Inara is like
Amanda (as Inara): no
Eric: Oatcake poofs up with with her head hits his hand
Amanda: It seems like a suitable thing for her to disobey me over.
Eric: All right Evan starts walking along the riverside. And the landscape doesn't really change until you get about like half a mile down the road and he's walking over to the north side of the city where it actually becomes a little more bustling. This is like the main shopping area. People are out, going about their business it is actually starting to get dark. So, people are starting to go home and and the town is starting to change over to like its nightlife time. And yeah, it's actually really crazy. I want to emphasize like this city is exactly the same as the city that you were just in. Tracey, I guess when you ran off to distract Zubi in a different direction, I mean you're seeing things that you feel like you're having Deja vu. And I want you all to make investigation checks
Brandon: 16 + 4 for a 20
Eric: And yeah all of you notice that the thing that's most striking is that the markings that you notice on the ruins and I think Johnny notices this as well. There's also the same markings on buildings in this side of the city.
Amanda: Do they have any resemblance to Thieves Cant? Can I parse them in any way?
Eric: Yes, sure why don't you make intelligence
Amanda: 13 + 2 for 15.
Eric: OK. This is a pictographic language. But this is not Thieves Cant. But you do notice the workings of some tool literally carving into the stone as it runs up and down all the stones of the city.
Amanda: Can I tell if they were all made at the same time or if they were like added in piecemeal?
Eric: Sure, history
Amanda: Rolling the heck out of this thing, 8+2 for a 10.
Eric: Yeah you can tell that they were all put there at the same time. You don't know when
Brandon: do these bear any resemblance to the markings on my being.
Eric: Good question though.
Michael: How about these scrolls that we've seen so many times.
Eric: What do you make an arcana check for that.
Eric: They look remarkably similar. They're not the same at all. But the scrolls look like janky versions of said markings.
Michael: One might call it corrupted versions?
Michael: One could say that.
Eric: One could say that if you are looking for a word and that is the word that came up
Amanda: Or like cheap copies?
Eric: As Evan is walking down the street he's kind of like pointing out everything to you guys.
Eric (as Evan): Oh yeah, there's the baker, like they have the best rolls there, and like that's the the waterworks. That's where all of our...
Amanda (as Inara): water is treated?
Eric (as Evan): That is where the water is treated. But you know that's actually, we've been having a lot of problems there lately. But I mean you know, as it happens you deal with the city. And there's the blacksmith, where they get shoes for your horses and there's the Verizon store. That's a bad... you got to go there. They have the best customer service. You know what? Here we are.
Eric: And he stops out at a very large looking tavern and the sign over the door is of a man standing in a hole and a massive foot coming down out of the sky to stomp down on them.
Eric (as Evan): All right here we are. It's the Giant Mistake. My favorite bar.
Amanda: Oh boy. Same.
Brandon: I have so many feelings about the name of this tavern.
Eric: Tell me one of them.
Brandon: Tthey're all positive.
Amanda: Is it The Giant's Mistake or The Giant Mistake?
Eric: The Giant Mistake.
Amanda: Love it.
Eric (as Evan): All right let's go, I know, I know the owner. We're going to be good. It's going to be totally fine.
Eric: And he pushes open the door and walks in.
Michael: Johnny before we go in turns to my companions and says
Michael (as Johnny): what are the chances it's not going to be a good time?
Brandon (as Tracey): I'd say pretty high.
Amanda (as Inara): We can definitely get a couple of drinks in before things go bad.
Eric (as Evan): Guys what are you doing. Come on. The water's fine.
Michael: Can I peer in and check out the light situation?
Brandon: I was waiting for it.
Michael: Johnny peers in and, what's the light situation?
Eric: It's not great, this is a dive bar. There's like artisanal-looking lanterns like they were trying to make it look like fancy but there's not enough so it only makes it look like really dank in there. And now that the light is fading outside it's only getting a little bit darker and it's not seedy, it definitely looks like a good time but it's definitely divey.
Michael: I've been to places like this. I know what to do. Johnny casts light on his shirt that he's wearing and it has like these nice designs to kind of accentuate the flowery designs of his shirt. So, it looks like the flowers themselves are creating light just in front of him so that there's light wherever he walks.
Eric: Great. Yeah.
Michael: And I look stylish.
Eric: You look stylish AF. I like it.
Brandon: Tracey is a little embarrassed to look so plainclothes next to Johnny so is there like a back entrance he could go into?
Eric: Yes sure. There's a back entrance around.
Brandon: I'm going to sneak around the back entrance and go in there.
Eric: Inara how do you want to walk in?
Amanda: I'm just going to follow Johnny.
Amanda (as Inara): Hey Johnny, could you do that cool trick on Oatcake's collar?
Michael (as Johnny): Bazap.
Amanda (as Inara): Cool cool cool.
Amanda: So now Oatcake's collar is all shiny and I'm going to follow Johnny with her.
Eric: All right. The bar reaches around the whole right side of the establishment and there are stairs that lead up to where rooms might be. In the far-left corner in the booth, there is a chess board that no one is sitting at, on the far-left side taking up two tables is just a whole mess of people, all different races who are just like drinking extremely heavily.
Amanda: What's the mood there?
Eric: The mood is drinking heavily. You know you know what I'm talking about? when everyone's just like idea is that we're just going to get tanked, like that's the mood.
Michael: Not necessarily like they're happy, but they want to drink a lot.
Eric: Right. Yeah purposefully drinking yes
Amanda: drinking with intent.
Eric: There is a back into a kitchen area, and over the bar, the bartender is kind of moving about. There's a ton of bottles behind the bartender. You can't really identify some of them, some of them are just like obvious liquor bottles. Some of them are just like cloudy somethings and there are a few people sitting at the bar
Amanda (as Inara): Hey Johnny do you know how to play chess?
Michael (as Johnny): An old teacher of mine once taught me. Do you know how?
Amanda (as Inara): I think I know enough to beat you, let's grab a drink and I'll show you what I'm made of.
Michael: I don't have a witty response.
Michael (as Johnny): OK first drinks on me. Wait, are you old enough to drink.
Amanda (as Inara): Don't ask me that question, Johnny.
Brandon: She's old enough to murder.
Michael: I take that back, ok fair.
Eric: Evan pushes past both of you as you're talking and he goes out then quickly comes back in. Grabbing Alonzo by the forearm and he is pulling him over to the front of the bar it is excitedly talking to the bartender.
Michael: We sidle on over. What are they talking about?
Eric: Ev is talking to the bartender he says
Eric (as Evan): Hef, I got to show you this guy. He's the champion man. He's coming to save all of our stuff. It's like in case any of this bad stuff has to happen. It's all going to be better. It's all going to be great! It's kind of like, you know that thing when like a deity does the thing for you that really need?
Eric: and the bartender stops and says
Eric (as Hephaestus): Godsend
Eric (as Evan): Yes, a godsend. First drinks on me
Eric: and the bartender looks at Alonzo in the eyes and he has very shaggy hair that's just like poofs out from his head. And these really heavy bangs and Alonzo says
Eric (as Alonzo): I don't know... what should I... I don't really know what I should get? I
Eric: The bartender says
Eric (as Hephaestus): No no, I got it.
Eric: And he lifts up his heavy bangs and he has a third eye that is like a cat’s eye.
Eric (as Hephaestus): I got it, I can see it
Eric: and he concentrates and the eye glows for a second and he says
Eric (as Hephaestus): You want a mead!
Eric: And he grabs a mead and gives it to him. And he gives another one to Ev, like same thing for you.
Eric (as Hephaestus): Who else is on this tab? You two, who walked in you guys want some?
Amanda (as Inara): I don't know man. What do you think I want?
Eric (as Hephaestus): Hrmmm. Do you want to do the magic trick thing again?
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah
Eric (as Hephaestus): I can do that.
Eric: Hef leans over the bar and takes you by the shoulders and stares right into your eyes and Inara make a constitution save
Amanda: That's an 8.
Michael: Is this a charm?
Amanda: Inara is crunk already.
Eric (as Hephaestus): I know what you want. You want the giant mistake, don't you?
Amanda (as Inara): Hell, yeah man. Might have made one today already.
Eric: Hef goes back and takes like five bottles off of the bar on the back in a massive stein and mixes it all together. And he even takes this like wrought iron mug and takes a thimble, puts a glove on and dunks it in there and the liquid is like roiling red and bubbling and he pours it in there on top.
Eric (as Hephaestus): All right. You got it. Giant Mistake. There you go.
Amanda (as Inara): Can I offer you the first sip? It's just such a beautiful drink. I feel like you should enjoy it too.
Eric (as Hephaestus): Are you worried that this thing's poison?
Amanda (as Inara): I mean, I kind of am, man.
Eric (as Hephaestus): What kind of a bartender would I be if I was giving out poisoned drinks to people?
Amanda (as Inara): I don't know, one that has some kind of delay to the poison where the people don't find out its poison till after they leave. That's how I would do it. I mean... I just, I'm new the city I don't know man. Here I have a cute dog, are you distracted yet?
Eric: Oatcake poofs on top of the bar and licks the bartender on the face
Eric (as Hephaestus): Yes, I am!
Eric: As someone who knows enough about poison that you do, you know what this is.
Eric (as Hephaestus): All right here's the thing about The Giant Mistake. You can't stop drinking it. That thing I just put on there. You're right, it's poison. It burns you from the inside out. But if you drink enough of it, if you drink the entire tankard then it kind of burns itself out. It's like a fire that kind of rages and then goes down and charcoals, right? So, you've got to do is drink this entire thing in less than 30 seconds and you're gonna be fine.
Amanda (as Inara): Trick question, I'm actually too young to drink here in this city of Antipolis. So, if you don't want me to call the health commissioners why don't we just pour that one right out and I will get the weakest lager that you have. I mean, water because I'm too young to drink. Thanks.
Eric (as Hephaestus): Alright, suit yourself. You're joking about the health commissioner part, right?
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, can I have a dinner to maybe on the House
Eric (as Hephaestus): No thank you.
Eric: Alonzo stands up and says.
Eric (as Alonzo): I will do it. I got this. I got to drink it because I'm the champion
Eric: Ev goes
Eric (as Evan): Yes. Champion! Champion! Champion!
Eric: And then the whole bar starts chanting Champion, Champion, Champion!
Eric (as Alonzo): I got it. Yes!
Amanda (as Inara): I'm going to get my poisoner's kit out of my bag so that I'm ready to prepare an antidote should I need to.
Michael: I'm going to prepare Spare the Dying, just in case.
Eric: Alonzo grabs the stein with two hands and then just starts pouring it back and everyone goes.
(bar crowd): Drink drink drink drink drink.
Eric: And he's just going you can see like it's just like bubbling and red, it's almost like lava and the crackles and hardens and crackles and liquefies again. And he puts that whole thing back in one go and he holds his arms over his head and says
Eric (as Alonzo): I am the champion!
Eric: And everyone cheers after him.
Amanda: I'm also going to cheer, that was pretty dope.
Eric (as Alonzo): Drinks all night. That was strong! Drinks are on everybody!
Michael: drinks are on everybody?
Eric (as Alonzo): Drinks are on everybody!
Amanda (as Inara): This is a representative democracy you have the ability to make your own way.
Eric (as Alonzo): Everyone votes and you vote for your own drink. I'm the champion.
Amanda: Is Tracey here yet?
Eric: Alright, Tracey...
Michael: Wait, can I get a drink?
Eric: Yeah, what do you want?
Michael (as Johnny): What will I be having tonight sir.
Eric: Hef puts both of its hands on your hands
Michael: I do a Will save
Eric: You will do a constitution save
E: he puts both hands on the other side of your shoulders and he says
Eric (as Hephaestus): It seems like we need more power for this one.
Eric: And you feel another hand touch you on the head.
Michael: No. No. No. Nope. No. Where is this hand coming from?
Eric: It's coming from his massive hair. Somewhere in there
Michael: I'm speechless.
Eric: The eye glows and he says
Eric (as Hephaestus): that's kind of weird. You want a lot of wine in a bucket... I mean I guess...
Michael (as Johnny): That can't be right. That's not correct.
Eric: He takes a bucket from under the bar and pours a whole bottle of wine and he says
Eric (as Hephaestus): all right. There you go.
Michael (as Johnny): Thank you good sir.
Michael: And I turn and walk away from the bar without taking it.
Eric (as Hephaestus): Alright, more bucket wine for me.
Michael: Good for him.
Amanda: Hi, it’s Amanda. Have you ever been at a party, having a really nice time, and at a certain point you drift back toward the person you arrived with, and you share a look that says, “This is so nice, and I love our friends, but if we say our goodbyes now, we can be home in our pajamas watching the Big Family Cooking Showdown in like 20 minutes”? And then you do? This is that look. Welcome to the midroll.
Huge welcome to our newest patrons: Katie, Carman, Aron, Artimis, Rudi. This week in our Patron-only Discord, the question for the ages: “Should you dip?” We agree on cookies in milk, but how about fries in milkshakes? Toast in tomato juice? Dare I say it, sandwiches in soda...? The battle rages on. Join your side at patreon.com/jointhepartypod.
We’re soooo stoked to offer NEW MERCH! Illustrated by our favorite merch sorcerer Paola, @irrel on Twitter, we have gorgeous “This is what an adventurer looks like” shirts, bags, phone cases, and more. If you want an adorable sketch of Oatcake, the Book of Light, Tallahassee’s Bag, and D&D swag on your body and house, now is the time. Just go to jointhepartypod.com/merch to see the gorgeousness. AND our merch service is offering free shipping for orders over $40 in the US and over $80 internationally, so... maybe buy everyone you know JTP merch for the holidays, yeah?
Other exciting news: we’re going to be at PODCON! Join us in Seattle on December 9th and 10th, 2017. We’ll be holding a panel on community building, social media and monetization for your podcast. And we’ll also be participating in the Audio Drama Meetup at 4:30 on Saturday, so come by and say hello! We’ll have stickers. And if you can’t make it in person, you can also stream the entire conference! Head over to podcon.com to get your streaming ticket, and tune in to hear our panel on community management and social media for podcasters. I’ll also be moderating a panel on moving from fan to creator, featuring my Spirits co-host Julia Schifini. It’s going to be awesome.
This episode is sponsored by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, New York. We’re really excited to introduce our new segment with 20 Sided Store: Master, Dungeon Master with Lauren Bilanko. As an experienced DM and game store co-owner, Lauren is here to answer any questions you have about games and gaming. Our first question: “Are there any games I can play by myself? I'm getting tired of solitaire!”
Lauren says: “Twenty Sided Store offers a bunch of solo games that range from in depth dungeon crawls to quick abstract strategy games. Games like Descent or Mansions of Madness have an App that acts as the Dungeon Master allowing you to play solo cooperatively with a party. If you are looking for something lighter, I recommend Friday: A Solo Adventure by Friedman Friese. It is a game specifically engineered for one player where you play as Robinson Crusoe trying to survive on a deserted island. For more selections, swing by Twenty Sided Store and any of our staff would be happy to find the right game for you.”
Thanks, Master, Dungeon Master! Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your gaming questions, and Lauren may answer them in a future episode. Maybe you want to find the perfect holiday gift for the gamer in your life—now’s the time to ask! And remember, head over to twentysidedstore.com and use code JTP for 10% off your online order. They ship everywhere!
Now, let’s get back to the show.
Eric: Tracey you're walking in through the back huh?
Brandon: before Tracey walked into the back door. He's going to remove his emblem of the Concentric States
Brandon: And I want to just peer in a little bit and see if there's anyone kind of sitting alone. anyone who looks like they might be a little seedy, or maybe look like they know what's going on.
Eric: So how are you sneaking in here. You're looking in through the back door?
Brandon: Yeah, I'm not really sneaking I'm just stepping in quietly.
Eric: So, through the back door actually it is a totally different entrance. You're seeing the kitchen area. You're not seeing the same place that everyone else is. And as you peer in you see a bunch of people over in one corner of the kitchen and there's like six people just talking low to each other and they're huddled over an area over like where they do all the dishwashing.
Brandon: I'm going to walk up to them, set my Tallahassee's Bag down. Open it up and say
Brandon (as Tracey): Does anyone play chess?
Eric: Everyone kind of ignores you. They're really invested in whatever they're doing over there. Actually, people are starting to like grumble and speak louder and like money is exchanging hands and they're really invested in whatever they're doing.
Brandon (as Tracey): All right I guess I'll just play by myself
Brandon: and Tracey plops his bag of seven hundred gold down on the chair next to him. Very loudly
Eric: OK everybody around turns towards you and walking towards you with a very short lizard man. A kobold is walking towards you who's flicking a gold piece up in the air with a toothpick in his mouth and he says
Eric (as the Kobold): yeah, we want to play. We got a game going right here, you want in?
Brandon (as Tracey): what are the stakes?
Eric (as the Kobold): as high as you want them.
Brandon (as Tracey): I'm in.
Eric: everybody pulls back and you see six snails the size of your fist lined up in different places over the floor.
Eric (as the Kobold): The game's snail racing. How about now?
Brandon (as Tracey): This is not what I expected.
Eric (as the Kobold): No one expects Snail Racing till it happens to them. This is high stakes stuff you got here. You pick one you, put your money down and you're going to see what happens. The names...
Brandon (as Tracey): We don't reveal names. That's not gentlemanly.
Brandon: Is my danger sense activating it all?
Brandon: Can I roll to see if I know anything about these snails?
Eric: Sure nature
Eric: Yeah. These are some snails. They all do look different though. I got to tell you. You notice the one that has these extremely long eye stalks. One of them has blue spots. One of them has like an extra-large shell. One is really small, actually only the size of your thumb. One has an eyestalk that's much longer than the other, and one is almost translucent and ghostly. But that's all you can tell. You don't know anything else about them other than that they look different.
Michael: Do any of them have decals like a number five blue with a red stripe? Perhaps it could go turbo.
Eric: None of them have nos. But you know it's funny someone like painted like numbers on each one of them. So, in that order, the one with the long tentacles one, two, three, four, five, six. And at this point, it seems like number four the really really small one was pulling away.
Brandon (as Tracey): Do I have to wait for the next race?
Eric (as the Kobold): I mean we got a high roller like you with your seven hundred gold, we can do whatever you want.
Brandon (as Tracey): 700 gold on the one with the mismatched eyestalks.
Eric (as the Kobold): OK. Let's start it up. Ricky put them back in their places
Eric: and three men put all the snails back in the place.
Eric (as the Kobold): All right. Here's how we do it. We start from the sink and we go all the way to the door and till it happens, it just happens. Well, let's make this a sprint? I'm going to walk 10 feet forward
Eric: and the Kobold walks 10 feet away from the snail.
Eric (as the Kobold): First one to touch my talons wins it all.
Brandon (as Tracey): Here's the thing though, I win, you tell me anything I ask you
Eric (as the Kobold): and what happens if I win you tall drink of water. Oil
Brandon (as Tracey): you get my gold
Eric (as the Kobold): You gotta give me something else there. What about that bag? It looks nice huh?
Brandon (as Tracey): It's very nice.
Eric (as the Kobold): Why don't you put the bag forward and we got a deal. You got 700 against the house and it's a gentleman's wager. You've get information for that sweet sweet bag.
Brandon: Tracey extends his hand.
Eric: The Kobold licks his hand and shakes it
Brandon: Tracey’s long arm of the law crushes his hand a little bit
Eric (as the Kobold): Yowza. All right.
Eric: So, the way we're going to do this, is that we're going to do three rounds. And I keep track of all the rolls and you only know the roll of the snail that you have a beat on. ok?
Eric: All right. The Kobold stands over, 10 feet away.
Eric (as the Kobold): All right, snails on your ready, on your mark, get set, go.
Eric: I need to roll Brandon.
Brandon: I feel like Fish is really disappointed in my actions.
Amanda: We all are Brandon, we all are.
Eric: All right what did you roll buddy?
Eric: All right the snail with the extra-large shell pulls forward to an early lead. The one with the blue spots has, the two painted on it, comes up next and the small one the size of your thumb is coming up in third. Do you want to do anything?
Eric: Everyone is kind of cheering on behalf of their own snail. Ones like "go patches go" and then another one says "rex you can do it! I bet my whole house on snail racing, I don't know what I’m doing here!" And I want you to roll again.
Amanda: Inara is really committed to snail racing reform. It's just really an opaque system with few regulations that is really rigged against the everyday man.
Michael: Won't you adopt a snail that's been affected by snail racing?
Michael (Perfect, beautiful, tremendous, singing): In the arms of a snail.... Snail awayyyyy from here! IN THE COLD SHELL OF A SNAIL
Eric: Good roll. The one with the big shell is pulling away but your snail right behind it is coming up fast and all the other ones, the translucent ghostly one has taken a sharp right. It is not even going forward anywhere and the other ones are lagging behind. Caught in like the slime of the first two. Do you want to do anything?
Eric: Alright make your last roll
Amanda: Goodbye gold. It's nice to know you
Eric: as the tiny snail starts to gain on the big shell snail. It's a photo stock finish. It, it's like they're extending their eyestalks out. And the big snail with the big shell touches the Kobolds foot right at the end.
Eric (as the Kobold): oh, that's the way the cookie crumbles. Snail number three is the winner.
Brandon (as Tracey): Whooo...
Eric (as the Kobold): Ah yes those are 700 gold pieces are mine.
Brandon (as Tracey): Sure, you can take my gold.
Eric (as the Kobold): And why don't you give me that bag too.
Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, that's not a bag. Let's play.
Eric: and the bag turns into an alligator
Brandon (as Tracey): do you want it now or?
Eric: everyone swarms to pick up their snails. One woman just holding all 6 snails, cradling all of them.
Eric (as the Kobold): Whoa whoa whoa that was not part of the deal. No alligators involved, I just wanted your sweet bag.
Brandon (as Tracey): How about you tell me what I want to know. And then we'll talk about the gold afterwards.
Eric: Why don't you do an intimidation check and I'll give you advantage
Brandon: 13 + 2 for 15.
Eric: Yeah, I mean I would say that having an alligator jump out of anywhere is spooked.
Eric (as the Kobold): Listen what do you want to know. There was nothing here. We're just some fine snail, snail racing people
Brandon (as Tracey): Look, play time's over.
Eric: he alligator turns back into the bag.
Brandon (as Tracey): Look, look look look. I didn't want to come in here and mess your game up.
Eric (as the Kobold): Well it seems that you did that.
Brandon (as Tracey): I'm not here to you to any kind of police
Eric (as the Kobold): Again, that definitely seems like the thing that you were going to do.
Brandon (as Tracey): My buddy Evan who is directly outside is part of the Royal Guard. We'll just talk, it will be good, we'll have fun gentlemanly conversation and then I will be on my way.
Eric (as the Kobold): Yeah. Ok, well, what do you, what do you want to know?
Brandon (as Tracey): I want to know everything you know about the city, from its government to its people, to its problems, to that giant whale that we saw. And if you have time maybe we talk about the Blackfish
Eric: The Kobold straightens his bowtie, oh he was wearing a bow tie the whole time you just never asked. The Kobold straightens his bowtie.
Eric (as the Kobold with a Bowtie): All right I guess, just another day here in the giant mistake and my mistake was showing up in the first place.
Brandon (as Tracey): Tends to happen to people I meet.
Eric: Everybody else scatters and the Kobold takes you back into the main area. Inara and Johnny you see a Kobold in a top hat and a bowtie.
Michael: When did he have a top hat?
Brandon: Is he wearing tails?
Michael: Did we never ask?
Eric: Brandon he's not wearing tails, he has a tail. Tracey and this Kobold are now sitting earnestly at a table in the center of the bar. My question is what do you want to know? Like what can I tell you right now that you think might further your understanding of what's going on?
Brandon: I want to know more about the Blackfish specifically and I also kind of want to know just like what the general vibe of the common people are. And I kind of want to know what we're up against. What we're what we're trying to solve here.
Eric: Sure. I would say that people are particularly freaked out about the two big monster things. The first is the ghost whale showing up in the middle of everything. And it just kind of appeared a few weeks ago. The ghost whale was the thing that drove Zubi to go kind of crazy and then run off into the ruins of Antipolis. These are two massive things that were normal Antipolis life. The giant is the thing that kept the city going. That big thing in the middle is actually where all of their water comes from and without the giant moving it in a counter-clockwise way for all the water to go through, the whole city is messed up. There's water shortages in other parts of the city there are floods in others. And of course, no one knows how to talk down a stone giant. So, everyone is kind of freaked out, which is where the Blackfish come from. Members within the let's just say power, some of them believe that the whale is there to help them. Relying on a giant like that who can obviously break it anytime. That was the problem. And they think that the whale is going to save them for whatever reason and sacrificing things for the whale is what they're doing. No one knows who the Blackfish is. It's just like the secret cult society within everything.
Brandon (as Tracey): Sir, would you say that you still have faith in your government? Also, hey what's your name. I'm Tracey.
Eric (as the Kobold with a Bowtie and Top Hat): Kid you wouldn't believe me what my name was even if I told you.
Brandon (as Tracey): Damien?
Eric (as the Kobold with a Bowtie and Top Hat): No
Brandon (as Tracey): Steven.
Eric (as the Kobold with a Bowtie and Top Hat): No
Brandon (as Tracey): Josh
Eric (as the Kobold with a Bowtie and Top Hat): No, I'll give you one more
Brandon (as Tracey): Gerard.
Eric (as Tuxedo Jack): It's Tuxedo. It's Tuxedo Jack
Brandon: Tracey giggles himself off in the corner a little bit.
Brandon (as Tracey): That's a very cool name.
Eric (as Tuxedo Jack): You could tell from my tuxedo and my tails that I'm wearing. Of course.
Brandon (as Tracey): Very fancy.
Eric (as Tuxedo Jack): You're talking about faith in a city that never had any, to begin with. That's a silly question for a silly robot
Brandon (as Tracey): I'll ignore that. I'll be taking my gold and my bag and I'll buy you a drink on me.
Eric (as Tuxedo Jack): Do whatever Hef tells you to do. I trust the guy.
Brandon (as Tracey): Thanks, Tux.
Eric: He flaps his tongue. At this point, the crowd all the way to the left is getting particularly rowdy. Hef has been bringing them drinks for, I mean you guys have been at the bar for a little while now and he just keeps bringing them drinks, shots that are like steaming and smoking, there's like massive glasses of all shapes and sizes. And these people are getting kind of turnt. And someone in that group stands up and says
Eric (as Drunk Person): Hey, guy with the flower shirt, what's poppin? Come over here. I want to see your shirt with the flowers. I want to pet that dog with the collar. Waaasaaaap, bring them over here. I want to pet him in the faaace.
Amanda: I'm going to bring Oatcake a little bit closer to my side. And as usual, put my hand my dagger.
Eric (as Drunk Person): Dawg, I want that dog. You got to do it for somebody who just got broken up with. Come on!
Amanda: Oatcake very much wants to be petted but I'm not going to allow it.
Eric (as Drunk Person): Come on....
Michael: So, there's still a bucket of wine on the bar that I didn't drink because it's a bucket of wine.
Brandon: I don't see a problem.
Michael: OK. I grab the bucket of wine and take it over to the very inebriated man, place it down in front of him.
Michael (as Johnny): I'm very sorry about the break up by know those can be tough. So how about you stick your face in this bucket and drink.
Eric (as Drunk Person): Wow. I'm going to do that. But it's not me, its Cassandra. She's the one who got broken up with Cassandra.
Eric: He's shaking this Elven woman considerably and she's also pretty turnt as well and she's like
Eric (as Cassie): I'm just, I'm just trying to do what I am just trying to have fun with the breakup and I appreciate your bucket of wine and your cool shirt, I like your shirt. cool shirt. I like it. You seem fun and great I want you to sit down. And where's the dog, I want the dog
Amanda: yes, so I’m going to walk over with Oatcake obediently at my side and say
Amanda (as Inara): Hey yeah, Hey Cassandra, is that right?
Eric (as Cassie): I am Cassandra. Oh, I love your dog.
Amanda (as Inara): Thank you. She, she loves you too.
Eric (as Cassie): Oh my God what's your dog's name?
Amanda (as Inara): Her name is Polly
Eric (as Cassie): Pollyyyyyy
Amanda (as Inara): Polly and I are wondering, have you heard of this thing called Blackfish.
Michael: Woah... Well, your subtlety is like wow... totes. While this is happening, I'm like grabbing their tankards and like getting wine for all the people at the table and especially for Cassandra. I'm being nice random older guy with the glowing shirt. You know a regular random older guy who has a weird glowing shirt for some reason.
Eric: I want to set to the scene here. There's about six people jammed in to this table and they are all various levels of inebriated, of all different races, and they all seem like their friends and they're all talking to each other. "hrmm blackfish, hrmmm"
Amanda: What is the mood of those murmurs?
Eric: Well it got a little dark there for a second. Like you really brought down the mood and a dwarf over on the side who has his beard tied up into pigtails.
Eric: He says
Eric (as drunk dwarf): Man, you really brought down the mood there. You know we're just trying to get pretty wasted.
Michael: And as he says that I said
Michael (as Johnny): well don't worry about it.
Michael: And then I hand gun into the air and cast dancing lights to create all sorts of dancing fun lights of all sort of the colors to bring the mood back up, disco style.
Brandon: would it surprise Tuxedo to see Tracey start disco dancing?
Eric: Very little surprises Tuxedo. Cassandra says
Eric (as Cassie): Blackfish, you know that does sound kind of...... (drunken speak) Tommy stop. I got it. OK. Blackfish. I know. Guys, I know I know. My paramour, he used to be part of the Blackfish. And I don't want to think about them right now, he told me not to tell anybody but I'm just going to tell people about it. Tommy stop, I know, Tommy, stop
Michael (as Johnny): Hey Tommy could you quit it, she's trying to talk.
Eric: And Tommy is just like "ok ill stop, she can do whatever she wants."
Amanda (as Inara): So so, so Cassie, can I call you Cassie.
Eric (as Cassie): You. Yes.
Eric: And she's smuchsing Oatcake's face
Amanda: Inara is going to like put one shoulder forward coquettishly, she hopes but it probably looks more like she got burned or something like shying away from a flame like it's very jerky.
Eric: Why don't you make a charisma roll. I'm actually very interested in this.
Amanda: uh, that’s a nat-20, my dudes.
Eric: Hey now. Yeah, that was pretty flirty for Inara, very flirty.
Michael (as Johnny): And I'd like to know your last name and place of birth so I may address you correctly young miss.
Amanda (as Inara): Anyway Cassie, what-what would be like Tommy's worst nightmare if you wanted to say get revenge on this guy. What would be the best thing to do to, for example, bring down the Blackfish
Eric (as Cassie): First of all, first of all, Tommy. Tommy and I go so far back you'll never do that. Right, Tommy?
Eric: and he's like "no, no."
Amanda (as Inara): I'm so sorry
Michael (as Johnny): Come on, we know Tommy he’s a good guy. He's the best!
Amanda (as Inara): Anyway, when you have to get back at whatever you know what he doesn't deserve to be named. He doesn't even deserve to have a name. Whenever you want to get back at him
Eric (as Cassie): Here's the thing, Jamie... they were so nice. It was just like I miss them... I miss him like, he, they would watch me, like protect me and he didn't drink, and you just couldn't dig them up anywhere. So, he was... they were cold but like I love them so much. No stop, I’m gonna say this. I miss them. Even though they were dirty sometimes
Eric (as Stephen): And remember when they would just like walk out in the middle of the night and you know what they want.
Eric (as Cassie): Yeah, I remember that Stephen you don't have to tell me that.
Michael (as Johnny): come on Stephen.
Amanda (as Inara): Classic Stephen am I right?
Eric (as Cassie): It's just. And they would never eat anything I gave them. But I still love them. I miss them.
Michael (as Johnny): What wouldn't they eat? You know I eat pretty much anything. So, what would you... what wouldn't they eat? Tell me specifically all of the details.
Eric (as Cassie): I mean it's just me, and here's the thing that I feel like I do, I don't like eating in front of other people and I thought that Jamie was the same like Jamie didn't like eating in front of other people. I respect him, I respect him.
Amanda (as Inara): So, what would it be like, like Jamie's worst nightmare man?
Eric: I want you to roll persuasion cause that was pretty bananas.
Amanda: That was a 10
Eric: Cassandra says
Eric (as Cassie): I don't like how much you're asking about my ex. This is my coming out party like I'm coming out into being single. I don't appreciate it.
Amanda (as Inara): You're so right, you know what man, you are so right. You have to live like in the now and in the present and how can I help you enjoy your singledom like existentially but also maybe right now like tonight here.
Michael (as Johnny): Yeah sister.
Amanda (as Inara): Dad. Leave me alone.
Brandon: Tracey's like in a corner like looking away kicking a dust bunny around. He doesn't feel comfortable with the situation that's unfolding.
Eric (as Cassie): I heard, this was our favorite bar and I'm reclaiming it. I heard Jamie is going to show. If you can keep that person away from me, keep the person away. I don't want Jamie here. I don't want to smell them. Please. I'm going to keep playing with your dog.
Michael (as Johnny): You don't want him to smell you?
Eric (as Cassie): I don't want them to be here and to be in the area. They're probably on their night rounds that they're always on so, I just don't want Jamie around. So, they're going to come in and they are going to be all ughhhhh, and say all the things. And I can't have that around in my life I'm here for me.
Michael (as Johnny): Cassandra.
Eric (as Cassie): Yes, that is me
Michael (as Johnny): my dearest oldest friend.
Eric (as Cassie): That sounds like me. I like you too.
Michael (as Johnny): I've known you since you were little.
Eric (as Cassie): I guess so.
Michael (as Johnny): Let us, on today of all days, protect you from Jamie and his friends. Inara and I, we will stop them from bothering you. What do they look like again?
Eric (as Cassie): OK. Yes. Yes. you know give me a, give me a, hand me a pen.
Eric: And she digs around in her bag. She pulls out a pen and she takes a bar napkin and starts to draw on it and
Eric (as Cassie): They are like really big and I really like big strong people.
Eric: and she started to draw a figure
Amanda: Inara sits up a little straighter.
Eric (as Cassie): They have a really big sword, and they are going to walk in and the way you're going to know them is they only have half their face.
Michael (as Johnny): Two questions. So, they're all going to be carrying one sword like Altogether they're all carrying one sword?
Eric (as Cassie): No, it's just Jamie. Jamie can do it by their own selves. They are one, one person army.
Michael (as Johnny): What do you mean by half their face?
Eric (as Cassie): Well you know half the face was, you know taken, eaten off. like mon mon mon mon mon
Michael (as Johnny): Like what?
Eric (as Cassie): Like mon mon mon mon mon.
Michael (as Johnny): OK.
Amanda (as Inara): Are they half ghost, Cassie
Eric (as Cassie): half ghost, all ghosts whatever they said.
Amanda (as Inara): sounds like they're all dead in the heart, am my right.
Eric (as Cassie): Yes, so right there yes right there.
Eric: She looks over at the doorway and all five of her friends turn to the doorway as well and they all like gasp a little bit at the same time and pushing open the door is a fully armored figure with half of a face, and the other half is all skeleton. And they take this massive sword wreathed in fire, jam it into the floor and says
Eric (as Jamie): Who dares flirt with my girlfriend?
Amanda: Inara stands on the table and says
Amanda (as Inara): That's me, sir.
Brandon: Tracey rushes over firmly plants his great axe on the ground and says
Brandon (as Tracey): Can I get you a drink?
Michael (as Johnny): Yeah like some of this Bucket Wine, Skelly man.
Eric (as Jamie): I have no time for drinking. I'm only here to see my girlfriend. Where is she?
Eric (as Cassie): Jamie. I not your girlfriend anymore. We're done. We're done.
Amanda (as Inara): Yeah man you're not even friends so step off.
Brandon: Tracey checks the sharpness of his great axe with like you know when you take a knife and you run it across the back of your thumbnail to see how sharp it is. He's running the back of his thumbnail across the plate it was great axe.
Michael (as Johnny): Yes, everyone loves delicious bucket wine. Get it by the bucket!
Eric: Hef gets up from behind the bar and says
Eric (as Hephaestus): Woah, hey Jamie. Jamie man, come on, come on. You said before when you talked before that this was going to be Cassie's spot, just let her. Come on step back man.
Eric: Jamie raises a flaming sword at his side.
Eric (as Jamie): You know what. You're still not good enough for me anyway. I have my ultimate revenge to take and such frivolous human things are too much for Jamie.
Brandon (as Tracey): Hey guys you hear that? that's really good, that's really rich!
Michael: Johnny in his attempt to bring him some of the bucket of wine, very very accidental not on purpose trips over and pours wine onto him and his sword.
Amanda: I am going to try to sneakily pour the werewolf potion that we made back in fantasy chopped the time-delay one into the bucket.
Eric: OK so why didn't you do stealth
Amanda: Well that’s a seven
Eric: you take the potion from your bag and you pour it in there and everyone sees you do it. Johnny sees it. The whole party that's in front of you sees it.
Amanda: They are all drunk it's fine
Eric: Fair. And Jamie also sees it and says
Eric (as Jamie): What are you, what are you doing with that wine bucket?
Amanda (as Inara): Wouldn't it be awful if someone just tried to like assassinate you man like that. I think you should talk to us about what you're going through man. Talking to Cassie. Lot of other resolved issues here. I bet you some feelings as well I hear there are all kinds of like political stuff happening in the city and I just think that you know you want to be surprised. Poisoned. I almost got poisoned earlier tonight. That wasn't fun. So, let's just all just like go outside and take a stroll and just kind of talk about what you're going through.
Brandon: This is a completely new strategy that I did not anticipate.
Eric: What are you. What are you doing?
Amanda: I'm trying to misdirect from my very poorly fumbled stealth role of
Amanda: Well that's a 4
Michael: I'm going to intercede real quick. Acting drunk Johnny knocks over the bucket of wine. So, it does not spill on anyone and just spills onto the floor
Michael (as Johnny): Undying Light... Protect me. Friend, I'm sorry about my friend She's very drunk. Listen, Cassie, great gal. I've known her since you know since you knew her.
Eric (as Cassie): She was friends of my dad's family.
Michael (as Johnny): Who is?
Eric (as Cassie): you are.
Michael (as Johnny): Yes, I know. Yes of course I am. You know me, good old me. Listen. Just let her have this night, I will take care of her. Talk to her tomorrow. You know try to resolve things. Now let's just have a nice night and tomorrow you guys talk and hopefully you know, she feels better, you feel better, we don't have to have a scene
Michael: Persuasion was a 7...
Amanda: Better than me dawg
Eric: The giant disfigured man takes his flaming sword and points it at Inara and says
Eric (as Jamie): if you want to walk outside let's go walk outside.
Eric: And he comes over and grabs Inara by the front of her cloak and picks her up and walks out of the front of the bar. Over his shoulder he says.
Eric (as Jamie): Anyone with her should come with me.
Eric: And walks out the door with the Inara in hand.
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 email@example.com.
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Eric: We’ll see you in two weeks. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.