15. Pool Party IV

The party has to clean up their night out on the town when Inara gets roughed up outside by a monstrous ex-boyfriend. Can they cool down the beef to save the night? Tracey succumbs to peer pressure. Inara comes outta nowhere. Johnny gets some answers.



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- website: jointhepartypod.com

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- music: brandongrugle.bandcamp.com


Cast & Crew

- Dungeon Master: Eric Silver

- TR8c (Tracey): Brandon Grugle

- Inara Harthorn: Amanda McLoughlin

- Johnny B. Goodlight: Michael Fische

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

- Multitude: multitude.productions


Amanda: Last time on Join the Party...

Eric: The Bone Whale rears its head for the first time and everyone needs to get on dry land. So city guard Evan brings our party to the safest place he can think of.

Eric (as Evan): All right here we are. It's the Giant Mistake. My favorite bar.

Eric: As you might assume, things get out of hand. Tracey busts into a kitchen gambling ring for snail racing.

Brandon (as Tracey): 700 gold on the one with the mismatched eyestalks.

Eric: While Johnny and Inara get drinks at the bar, they meet Cassie, a young woman trying to drink her relationship troubles away.

Amanda (as Inara): Polly and I are wondering, have you heard of this thing called Blackfish?

Eric: As it turns out, she has. Her ex-boyfriend was part of the Blackfish, a secret cult inside of the cityguard. They don’t have to wait long before they meet the guy.

Eric (as Jamie): Who dares flirt with my girlfriend?

Amanda: Inara stands on the table and says

Amanda (as Inara): That's me, sir.

Eric: And by sir, we mean giant half man, half skeleton monstrosity. If you want to take this outside, let’s take it outside. Let’s get the party started.


Eric: Inara, you're grabbed by the front of your cloak by a massive, half-skull ex-boyfriend and you're being carried, by one hand out of the bar.

Amanda: I knew this would happened one day. So I’ll do my best here.

Eric: Talking to girls, getting roughed up by boys.

Amanda: Yup.

Eric: Jamie's free-handing you in one hand and he’s brandishing his flaming sword in the other dramatically pointing it at everybody. And he growls in your face and you're really seeing that his face is really half-skeleton.

Amanda: And is the other half alive or is the other zombie?

Eric: No. One half is a skull and the other half is person. But even when you look into his eyes ,his eyes both are alive and angry.

Amanda: Well, I'm going to be pounding out the arm holding me and kicking and screaming and trying to get out.

Eric: Jamie has easily, even with you kicking and screaming, walked you out of the door and has walked out of the bar.

Amanda: I’m doing it mostly for optics.

Brandon: Tracey's going to rush after Jamie. Can he get within, let's say, 30 feet?

Amanda: It's like in grappling range.

Eric: Yeah, sure. I mean, he just walked out the door.

Brandon: So I'm going to use my Long Arm of the Law and shoot it at his ankles and try to trip him and while doing it, I'm going to say a very cool phrase which I'm about to come up with…Eric: And it is…

Brandon: And that thing is going to be... it's going to be

Brandon (as Tracey): “Hey stop. That's a bad thing you're doing.” And then he's going to shoot.

Amanda: Tracey didn’t get the wit module in his reboot.

Fish: Johnny is not sure he wants to follow the flaming sword out the…

Brandon: Wait, I got it.

Brandon (as Tracey): “I think you'll find I have… dead aim.”

Brandon: And then I shoot my grapple.

Eric: Jesus.

Amanda: All right.

Michael scoffs.

Eric: What do you get?

Brandon: 13 plus three for 16.

Eric: Jamie got to 20.

Brandon: Well yeah.

Eric: You shoot the Long Arm of Law out and Jamie holsters his sword quickly and catches the Long Arm of Law. And I want to do a strength contest back to you.

Brandon: Natural 20.

Amanda: Oooooh.

Eric: He's tries to pull you back but you resist it and he lets it go. And it flies all the way back like you're letting a tape measure whip back to its rightful place. I've been playing with tape measures a lot. Tape measures are great.

Amanda: They are. They really are. DM, would you say that I am in dim light or darkness?

Eric: (sighs) Yeah, it is dark outside.

Amanda: So Inara is going to activate her shadow cowl - where once per long rest for a minute, I become one with the shadow so I give my ability to step from one shadow into another when I'm in in light or darkness. So I am going to teleport the f out of his hand, back under the awning of The Giant Mistake. So I'm going to be outside still under the awning, near the door.

Eric: What does it look like when you teleport.

Amanda: I pictured it looking like Oatcake blinking out of existence where I just kind of like buffer for a second and then dissipate into smoke.

Eric: Jamie looks back from grabbing of the Long Arm of the Law and looks back in his other hand and you’re not there anymore.

Amanda: Nice.

Eric: Next, he does a double take. I like to imagine it's like a cartoon where like his eyes are still stuck like in one place, and he has to look back. He's like, “Whaaaat? Where's the tiny woman I had in my hand who was hitting on my ex-girlfriend?”

Amanda: I'm one with the shadow for a whole minute so I'm going to blink to a shadow like 20 feet in front of him and yell “Over here!” and then one to his left and yell “Over here!” Behind him and yell “Over here!” and end up back under the awning of The Giant Mistake.

Eric: Nice. Why don't you do a deception?

Amanda: That's a 12

Eric: OK. It is definitely very cool when you're popping from place to place.

Amanda: That’s all I want.

Eric: He's a little bit disoriented but not enough that like you're making his head spin. He's tracking you from place to place.

Amanda: As I land back under the awning. I'm just going to say what do you want with us?

Eric: Nothing. I don't need anything from you. I just need you to leave my ex-girlfriend alone. My girl… no, wait, not my ex girlfriend, my girlfriend. I need you to leave her alone. Things are too important right now. I have a thing, I have a place to be.

Amanda (as Inara): Alright, truce.

Eric (as Jamie): Of what? What does that even look like?

Amanda (as Inara): I won’t talk to her again. It's really hard but you know I won't.

Eric (as Jamie):  I know she like she's really nice and she makes you feel really seen. You know?

Amanda (as Inara):There's no good answer to this question so I'm going to say truce.

Eric (as Jamie):  Alright, fine. I'm gone then. I'm leaving.

Eric: And with that, Jamie takes out his flaming sword and starts running off into the opposite direction.

Amanda (as Inara):Wait, one more thing. Your whole BlackMichael thing seems kind of cool. If I want to talk to you guys, how can I find you tomorrow?

Eric: He, uh, stops and turns around and walks back towards you a little bit. And says,

Eric (as Jamie): “Do you think I'm part of the BlackMichael any more. I got like this and I'm part of that despicable guard? that ruins places and things?

Amanda (as Inara): By cool, I meant I was trying to suss out if you had the same values as me and it seems that you totally do. If I want to take them down how would I do that?

Eric (as Jamie): Well, I guess. Take your party and come down with me.

Amanda (as Inara): Now?

Eric (as Jamie): Yeah, we’re running out of time.

Amanda: so I'm going to turn to Tracey and give him a little eyebrow like, “Hey, hey we doing this?”

Brandon: Tracey loves this kind of thing. He's very down but he's going to like... you know that thing where like you wear really tight t-shirt and kind of like move your arms in a specific fashion to show off your muscles? Not me particularly? But like, people?

Amanda: No no.

Eric: No I don't. I mean, I guess.

Amanda: We’re a bunch of soft nerds.

Brandon: Yeah. I'm sure you watch TV and movies.

Fish: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Brandon: He does that kind of thing. He's trying to show off his buffness in the light that he just failed at trying to grapple this dude.

Amanda (as Inara): All right, new friend Jamie.

Michael: Hold on, I burst through the door holding a bucket of wine.

Michael (as Johnny): Wait. Where is he going? I thought he wanted to drink with us.

Amanda (as Inara): So, He's not Blackfish. As it turns out, anti-Blackfish. Very interesting. Very cool for us. You want to go to a second location with this new stranger?

Michael (as Johnny): Sure.

Michael: And I toss the bucket of the wine.

Eric laughs.

Amanda: Toss it where? Toss it back?!

Michael: No no no no. I'm not drinking it. Just toss it to the side. I'm not drinking it. I was going to offer it to you guys. I don't want look want bucket wine.

Amanda: I know. And that's why my mom told me before I left on my adventure - never drink bucket wine.

Eric: Hey Fish.

Michael: Hey.

Eric: Can you roll a D6 for me?

Michael: One.

Eric: (DM giggles). As you throw the bucket of wine over your shoulder, you kind  just throw it over to the side of the Giant Mistake. And it splashes and kind of just all directions and you see a little raccoon come over from around the back of the bar. And then the raccoon walks up to it and laps it up and it gets real drunk and it just falls over and pass it out. You just watch all this happen.

Brandon: What a cute raccoon vignette we just witnessed.

(Eric laughs at himself)

Michael (as Johnny): Hey little buddy. Like that wine there?

Eric: Yeah, that raccoon’s passed out. You are talking to a passed out raccoon.

Michael: Put it in my bag…?

Amanda: NOOOOO.

Brandon: Tracey’s gone. Tracey’s like?

Eric: Jamie’s like, “What are you…” He's like holding a light out like a torch.

Eric (as Jamie)? “What do you doing? What are you doing with this raccoon?”

Michael (as Johnny): When I was a young raccoon, someone gave me wine for the first time and I needed to learn my experience of drinking and getting too drunk. So I decided…

Eric: are you going to take the raccoon?

Michael: No.

Amanda: What is wine but the feeling of light… inside? Drink responsibly.

Michael: I mean I'm going to follow you.

Amanda:  All right, I follow behind Johnny.

Eric: So after that fun bit with the raccoon, he walks all three of you over to the edge of the city where it intersects with the river. And the clouds are still hanging in the sky from the previous rainstorm. But for now, the river seems much calmer than when you were on it before, when you were crossing. And Jamie holds his flaming sword over the river and you can see a bunch of Michael swimming by, like, much shallower than you'd expect actual size Michael to be over there. I want you all to make perception checks.

Brandon: I got 10 plus one for an 11.

Amanda: I got a 22.

Michael: Nine.

Eric: And you look in there and you see that these Michael are not regular fish. These are monstrous skeleton Michael that look like the bones of Michael just swimming around. Jamie still hold his sword out there and says,

Eric (as Jamie): “Something is wrong here. I know it's wrong. I've seen these firsthand. They're dangerous. And I... was not always like this. Do you always think that I was just a zombie skeleton man?

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh I didn't even notice.

Eric (as Jamie): That's very adorable, robot-shaped friend. They sacrificed me. And I know that I'm not one of the only ones. They threw me to the bone whale, to the Orcas. I was one of the sacrifices. You could call me Blackfish, but more I'm just chum. I'm bait. And I came back to take them all down.

Amanda (as Inara): How can we help?

Brandon (as Tracey): How did you survive?

Eric (as Jamie): I didn't. The anger inside of me when all of my friends and all the people who I've worked with on the city guard killed me, something brought me back. I need to just stop this. No one else should die like I did. And I need help. I thought Cassie would help me but she's too concerned about our breakup apparently. And...I need help.

Amanda (as Inara): What can we do?

Eric (as Jamie): I...We're going to kill all of them. How does that sound? Murder. Lots and lots of murder.

Brandon (as Tracey): Doesn’t sound too great to me. How about just like imprisonment?

Amanda (as Inara): We're we're fine with murdering, really, when the circumstances dictate it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Well…

Amanda (as Inara): Like how do you... how do you get... I'm just totally ignoring you, Tracey. How can we get this from the source? How can we cut off the head of the fish?

Eric (as Jamie): I mean, I know... I never knew who was running the BlackMichael in the first place. I know that there was a ceremony and everyone had hoods on. I don't really remember much but there were someone who had a... chain on with a golden Michael attached to it. And whoever did that was the one who pushed me into the river in the first place. And I felt the entire… whale… just consume me whole. And then I’m back. I don't… I washed up on shore. I can only remember the chain and the Michael on the chain.

Michael (as Johnny): Are there any members of the city guard you do trust?

Eric: He snorts and I don't know if you've ever seen a skeleton try to snort, but, like only half like a nostril. And he says,

Eric (as Jamie): No, I don't trust anyone. I'm going to take them all down.

Brandon (as Tracey): If we are successful, will everything go back? Will Zubi come back in and is everything going to be made better?

Eric (as Jamie): I mean that's what they think. That was the whole point of killing us in the first place. The whale could be the thing to bring everything back. But I can't... I don't know.

Brandon (as Tracey): Sometimes I worry that this isn't reversible. The state that the city’s in... this might just be your life now.

Brandon: Well, that was insensitive.

Eric: Yeah, that was. I would say so.

Eric (as Jamie): There is something calling me towards these people…

Eric: and he takes a few steps to Tracey and you’re eye to eye with the skeleton, at this point.

Eric (as Jamie): Something is pulling me forward and I can't stop until it pulls me there. I know that I need to go in the castle and take all of them down. The flaming sword found me, this thing inside me found me, and the BlackMichael are mine.

Michael (as Johnny): Jamie, I understand. But you need to tell us actually what we need to do. What can we do.?  We have a meeting tomorrow with Representative Shields. We can go inside the castle and do some reconnaissance for you. And then, let's meet up afterwards and try to figure out our plan of attack to deal with the members of the Blackfish. Does that sound good? Unless you have any other ideas because we need to know what you're planning so that we can you know help.

Eric (as Jamie): I am half of a skeleton. Does it look like I have a good plan. The only thing on my to do list was murder. Lots of it.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey Johnny, Inara, you wanna talk for a sec?

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): OK. Hey Jamie, I have a chess board if you want to just hang out for a second. We're going to go huddle. Is that OK. Just like 15... three minutes. You're not going to murder while we're gone?

Eric (as Jamie): I might. There's no... I mean... it's entirely possible.

Brandon (as Tracey): OK, well, I'm going to take the risk.

Brandon: So Tracey kind of walked over, you know, out of earshot and beckons Inara and Johnny over and says,

Brandon (as Tracey): Oh, I don't want to do this. I don't think murdering everyone is the right solution here. I think he can lead us to where we need to go. But I think we're going to have to stop him.

Amanda (as Inara): Yeah, you don't start with the murdering. You start with other stuff and end with murder. And if he walks into the entrance hall of the castle, just killing people left and right. I don't know. I'm new to this whole assassin thing but I think that's really not how you start.

Michael (as Johnny): So let's just go to our meeting tomorrow as planned. Tell Jamie that we're going to do reconnaissance, like I said, and, I don't know, we're lying to him but he's helping us and we're trying to solve this thing. Hey, shouldn't Alonzo be part of this?

Amanda:  Did we forget Alonzo?

Brandon: I totally  forgot about Alonzo.

Eric: Yeah, Alonzo and Ev were still drinking at the bar.

Brandon (as Tracey): All right. We're not very good at this.

Amanda (as Inara): Let's meet back up with Jamie tomorrow night. Let's find a place to meet and then we'll make sure that we do not forget Alonzo in the morning.

Brandon: Tracey puts his hand in the middle of the circle,

Amanda: OK, I'll put my hand out of yours.

Brandon: I look at Johnny expectedly.

Michael: Obviously annoyed, Johnny puts his hand in.

Brandon (as Tracey): 1, 2, 3, go team!

Michael: Mostly because he would have wanted to be the person to initiate.

Amanda (as Inara): All right, Jamie. So here's the plan. We are going to continue with our plans tomorrow. We're going to figure out which of the city guards, city representatives we can trust. Hopefully. Let's meet up tomorrow. What's another pub where we're not going to run into your ex and all her friends.

Eric (as Jamie): Well you know, I guess when we kind of divided everything... we didn't really divide it.. ‘Cause I died. So, I guess she took all of the bars.

Amanda (as Inara): I think probably inherited is the word but go on.

Eric (as Jamie): So I guess, we can just meet down by the river. I could bring some beers and stuff.

Brandon (as Tracey): Bring some circle floaties. Just kind of do a river float.

Eric (as Jamie): I kind of lost all my ability to put parties together but I only concentrated on murdering my… murdering the people who took my life for me.

Brandon (as Tracey): Understandable.

Amanda (as Inara): Fair fair fair.

Eric (as Jamie): You know, endangering the city.

Amanda (as Inara): Yup, they did that. So, river beer, sounds great.

Eric (as Jamie): I can bring... should I bring napkins? Or…

Amanda (as Inara): When in Antipolis, man. Bring napkins.

Brandon (as Tracey): I'll bring spoons.

Amanda (as Inara): OK. Sounds like we have all we need. OK, great. Thank you so much. Jamie thank you for not killing me. Really appreciate it. And we will see you tomorrow just after sundown right? OK.

Eric (as Jamie): Yeah.

Brandon (as Tracey): Psssst. Johnny. Where do I get spoons?

Michael (as Johnny): We’ll find them, buddy. Don’t worry.

Eric: Why don't you all make a persuasion check?

Amanda (as Inara): Nine.

Brandon: It may shock you. Tracey is not very persuasive. He got to nine.

Amanda: Me too.

Michael: Don't worry, Johnny, he's got this with a 19 plus 7.

Eric (as Jamie): Okay, Johnny. I'm going to see you here. We’re do the things. I mean, I'm going to keep you know my murdering to a minimum.

Brandon (as Tracey): He give it to zero. Just for tonight?

Amanda (as Inara):  Yeah. Yeah, the most minimum it can be be. So that we can just have just a chance to try to do this undercover. We have this whole thing set up let's just not blow for now. Michael (as Johnny): OK. Think about it. You know, not murdering someone now means you can murder someone later.

Eric (as Jamie): A pretty good idea. All right. I'll start killing somewhere else then.

Eric: And Jamie backs his way into the river and dives into it and starts slashing at the Michael that are in there.

Amanda (as Inara): You know what, all things considered, this is a pretty productive outlet for his anger.

Brandon (as Tracey): Guys, I think we've got to win. One in the win column here.

Michael (as Johnny): Maybe we should go find Alonzo.

(Eric laughs).

Amanda (as Inara): Yeaaaah. Let's get back to the pub.

Michael: Before I re-enter The Giant Mistake, is there a passed out raccoon still out there?

Eric: Actually there's two now.

Amanda: Oh no.

Michael: I am going to write a little note for them.

Eric: What did the note say?

Michael: “Dearest raccoon friends, I hope you had a pleasant evening. I know I loved the first time I got drunk on wine and I'm sure you had a great time too. Let me know if you want more. Your friend, Johnny B Goodlight.

Eric: Johnny, make an animal handling check?

Michael: 17 plus two for 19.

Eric: So you still can't--

Michael: DO I HAVE RACCOON FRIENDS? Literally all I want is raccoon friends.

Eric: You wrote it in common. You don’t know Raccoon. But you found a really good spot in the dumpster where the intuit where the raccoons came from, from following their tracks from the wine stain to the dumpster in the back. And you would just place it in there. If raccoons could read your nose, this would be where they would find it.

Brandon: I think well Johnny is doing this, Tracey and Inara are just looking at each other and back at the scene, mouths agape, and just trying to figure out what is going on in your wine-addled brain.

Michael: I've not had a single drop.

Amanda: Existentially wine-addled.

Michael: That's true. Johnny goes up to them and goes,

Michael (as Johnny): So let's go in and find Alonzo.

Michael: And Johnny walks in.

Amanda (as Inara): Yup, ok, I guess so.

Amanda: And I'm going to stay to the side of Tracey because I don't particularly want to see Cassandra.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hey you want to get my cape?

Amanda (as Inara): Not a bad idea, Trace.

Eric: Wait, you don't want to see Cassandra?

Amanda: I'm embarrassed.

Eric: OK I'm going to give you advantage on a stealth roll.

Amanda: Great. 18… plus 5.

Eric: Oh man. You're like clinging to Tracey's back. You can't even tell that you're there anymore.

Amanda: Like a cat hanging from the ceiling type thing.

Eric: Yeah. You're just like stuck to Tracey.

Amanda: Great.

Brandon (as Tracey): Watch the switch there please. Be careful. Please.

Amanda: Oh no, I'm super watching.

Eric: Actually you're rolled so high, it doesn't even look weird. No like, Tracey just like walking, he's not even aware, you like wave hi to people as you walk in.

Brandon: Well of course, I do that everywhere I go.

Amanda: I'm going to whisper up Tracey's back,

Amanda (as Inara): So let's, let's get some rooms and put our stuff down and stuff.

Michael: Hold on, hold on, do we see Alonzo?

Eric: Oh yes.

(everyone laughs)

Amanda: Oh no, I forgot again.

Michael: Guys, this is really bad.

Eric: No, actually.


Eric: You look over to where Evan and Alonzo were. And they're not there anymore.

Michael (as Johnny): Hey Hephaestus, have you seen Evan and our companion?

Eric (as Hephaestus): Oh yeah, man. They were totally... they got turnt. They got crunk. They drank all my drinks. Both of them had two Giant Mistakes which makes it a Supergiant mistake and I don't know. They kind of stumbled out saying they were going out like… I dunno, like party down? Party up? I don't know. I didn't really see where they went. It kind of walked away.

Amanda: My sigh just comes out of Tracey's cloak.

Michael (as Johnny): So you have no idea where they could go.

Eric (as Hephaestus):: Yeah I mean they kind of when they went out the door. And they said that they were going to go get turnt. And they left.

Michael (as Johnny): Where would you go if you wanted to get turnt?

Amanda (as Inara): If you were say a cool teen or like a prince out on the town?

Michael (as Johnny): Neither of them are teens.

Eric (as Hephaestus): Let's see, when people want to get turnt, they usually, oh! They jump from the half-built bridge across the river. How is that…

Amanda: Whaaat.

Michael (as Johnny): How's that being turnt?

Eric (as Hephaestus): Listen, teens got to do teen things, you know.

Michael (as Johnny): OK, but what if these were two grown adults who know…

Eric (as Hephaestus): Well you know, they went with Cassie in her group too. They all said they wanted to go like feel alive. And I think that's what they meant. You guys want anything? You need anything to drink?

Michael (as Johnny): Do you have a time reversal spell for 48 hours to three months?

Eric (as Hephaestus): I have a drink called the time reversal and it'll make you feel like you're a child again.

Amanda: I'm going to drop I'm Tracey back now and I'm like

Amanda (as Inara): “Hey, surprise, I'm here.”

(Eric laughs)

Amanda (as Inara): Do you like have any professional responsibility toward your patrons whom you are getting intoxicated and then letting go do dangerous things.

Eric (as Hephaestus): No, I'm a bartender and a monster. So, no, not really.

Amanda (as Inara): OK, I agree.

Brandon (as Tracey): Do you any rooms?

Eric (as Hephaestus): They booked a room for each one of you upstairs. That was the last thing they did before they went out got turnt

Brandon (as Tracey): Guys. How, how bad would it be if we just went to sleep.

Michael: It's our literal reason for being here.

Amanda: It’s our responsibility.

Brandon: OK.

Michael (as Johnny): Don't get me wrong. I have several questions for the Light and I have a thousand different things, I'd rather be doing but I guess we have to take care of Alonzo. Let's go. Did he had least tell us where the bridge is?

Eric (as Hephaestus): Yes. It's not that far away. It's actually like half a mile, you can walk. It's like 10 blocks away, in terms. they probably shouldn’t have built that bridge so close to this bar. I don't... I'm not a city player. I just have a third eye... that I have. Do you guys want chocolate milk? I have chocolate milk?

Brandon (as Tracey): Yes very much I do.

Michael (as Johnny): We don't have time.

Brandon (as Tracey): I don't know what he's talking about though.

Eric (as Hephaestus): All right, I'll give you some chocolate milk to go.

Brandon (as Tracey): Thank you. Give like a sippy cup situation.

Eric (as Hephaestus): it's like, has a top.

Brandon (as Tracey): Beautiful like a tumbler.

Brandon: Tracey reluctantly started walking towards the door of the saloon, the entire way out of the bar, he's just looking left and right to find literally any excuse to stop. Is there a pinball machine? Michael: In my head, we're walking like, *hums sad music* And the music plays OK. Yeah, we're walking, I guess towards this half-made bridge thing where everyone gets turnt.

(Eric laughs)

Amanda: I'm not excited about it. And I was realizing, I guess like those thing when you go to college and you realize how amazing sleep is or how nice it is to have like no e-mails. This is her being like, “Oh my god it is so nice not to do crazy stuff and just to like be responsible sometimes.”

Michael: Johnny is reminded that he hates teenagers. Inara has been a notable exception so far but Johnny is just tired of the shenanigans.

Brandon: Tracey drinks his chocolate milk.

Amanda: All right, let's hurry on over there.


Eric: Hey, it’s Eric. Have you ever been making a mixtape - maybe it’s for a party or a present or a special occasion is coming up. And you have this idea of what it’s going to be. It’s perfect, with highs and lows and acoustic covers and a live show or two. But you can’t get started - you’re swiping through Spotify no not this used this one already this song is trash. And then you find that one perfect song that fits your theme, and it gets everything started - you’ve picked 20 songs in 5 minutes. This is that song. Welcome to the midroll. It’s a B side by Carly Rae Jepsen

First things first, hello to our newest patrons: PJ, Jhesse, Caitlyn, Ross, and Jonathon! You are helping us do what we need to do to give you the best podcast we can possibly give you. You keep our lights on, you helped us upgrade our studio, and now we want to give you more merch options! And you get access to our lovely Discord, light of my life. This week, we got hit with a tidal wave of pets when everyone went home. I want to give a special shoutout to Diego the Corgi, who sees me for who I am, and I heart that.

THIS WEEK, IN A FEW DAYS, we going to be at PODCON! If you’ll be in Seattle on December 9th, so will we! 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 4:30pm on Saturday. Please come by and say hello. We will give hugs, and promise to ask before we give you said hug. And we’ll have stickers.

If you can’t make it in person, no worries. You can also stream the entire conference! Head over to podcon.com to get your streaming ticket, and tune in to hear our panel -- and like the McElroys and Night Vale and Lauren Shippen. But mostly us.

This episode is sponsored by 20 Sided Store in Brooklyn, NY. (Eric excitedly and off the cuff talks about how awesome the DM screen is). Maybe you want to find the perfect holiday gift for the gamer in your life—go check it out. remember, head over to twentysidedstore.com.

I know I asked this a lot but please leave a review for us on iTunes or Apple Podcasts. It really helps us get recognized and get that shine, especially as the end of the year lists come out. We have 76 reviews though, which is amazing, and thank you! We’re shooting to get 100 reviews before December 31st and we need your help. You 24 people out there - if you screenshot your review and then send it to us, we’ll give you a special shoutout on Twitter, FB, Instagram, wherever. Thank you in advance and we heart you.

Alright, let’s get back to the action.


Eric: You guys are walking over to the half-built bridge and you're hearing hoots and hollers. And the bridge curves…

Amanda: Teeeens.

Eric: The bridge curves up. It's more like an overpass than a bridge. It really lifts up above the river and then just kind of stops halfway through. And everyone is just screaming and yelling and hooting and hollering - “I'm going to live forever” and “This is the best night of our lives” and “let’s get turnt.” It's Cassandra and her whole crew and Ev. And Alonzo is just like partying on with all of them.

Amanda: we're all so tired, we can't even react.

Brandon: I think Tracey's simultaneously intrigued by the prospect of this but also horrified at the amount of effort and time that it takes to get into it but he kind of wants to see what this whole YOLO life is about. You know?

Eric: Tracey, please make it charisma save.

Brandon: its nine.

Eric: (giggles). Cassandra spots all three of you walking up and she says,

Eric (as Cassandra) HEY, it's all friends from the bar. What’s going ooooon? Ahhhhhh. Tracey. Tracey!

Brandon (as Tracey): Yo what uuuup?

Eric: Tracey, come hang out on the briiiidge.

Brandon (as Tracey) Okay! Johnny, I’ll be baaaack.

Eric: With that save, you got peer pressured into hanging out on the bridge. It wasn’t a spell, you just got peer pressured.

Brandon: That's the best use of any save of all time.

Eric: Yeah, that was peer pressure, so you're going out on the bridge.

Brandon: Cool yeah. Tracey runs over with his arms like looking to hug everyone.

Eric: Everyone gives you hugs and high fives you. And they’re like, “OH, the robot’s here!” because they didn't see you before. So you're like new. Nice.

Brandon: And I'm like shooting my Long Arm of the Law all into the air,

Brandon (as Tracey): Like let's do this thing!

(Eric laughs and goes uhnz uhnz uhnz)

Amanda: So I'm going to run after him.

Michael (as Johnny) We activate his rage switch, we could possibly kill all of them and will be so much happier.

Amanda (as Inara): That's not a responsible use of the kill switch, Johnny, but I super appreciate the idea. No one's a threat here I'm having a good time. So.

(Eric laughs and goes uhnz uhnz uhnz)

Amanda: Yeah but like they could be threatening to your prowess and your spawn as like partier of the night.

Brandon: That's a solid point.

Amanda: All right, so Inara’s going to run after you, Tracey, being like

Amanda (as Inara): Hey, what's up fellow teens and cool 20 somethings? This looks like a great idea, going to have to borrow Alonzo like real quick.

Inara (as Tracey): Guys, I don't believe her.

Eric: Let's try to persuade both of them.

Amanda: 13.

Eric: Yeah you can get Evan and he’s like,

Eric (as Evan): Oh hey we're over here!

Eric: But Alonzo is just ignoring you guys. And just like partying and just like jumping around and having a great time.

Amanda (as Inara) Yeah it seems like you guys had a great idea to come on out. Why don't you convince Alonzo to come back with us?

Eric: He puts with his arm over your shoulder and says,

Eric (as Drunk Evan): Ma'am. I can’t get him to do anything. He's the life of the party, man. He was the one who was drinking and having a great time and like he's just… he lead everyone here. Well I mean we told him that there was like a cool bridge and he was like, “Oh cool bridge.” And I can't get him to do many things.

Michael: Johnny, meanwhile, has been slowly, calmly, walking up towards where they are all partying, walks up to Alonzo, grabs his shoulder, looks for them in the eyes.

Michael (as Johnny): Young man, do you know what time it is? We have to be up tomorrow to speak with the representative. Do you know what time it is? Do you know how we had to look for you? Do I have to drag you out of here or are you going to come right now?

Eric: What are you. Is this intimidation? What is this?

Michael: I mean…

Brandon: Is there a dading skill?

Michael: This is a dad. I'm doubting this is going to be…

Eric: I think that's intimidation, ‘cause like you're putting your power over him.

Michael: 17 plus four for intimidation.

Amanda: Nice

Eric: Alonzo is about to open his mouth to like talk back to you. But he's just like,

Eric (as Alonzo): Come on man. We're hanging out. We're doing stuff on the bridge. It's fiiiiine.

Brandon (as Tracey): Come on, Johnnnny.

Amanda: Alonzo, you don't want your new friends to see us taking you back unwillingly to the inn, do you? You want to like say that you've had a good time. You the first one to leave the party, man. My mom always told me you got to roll in late, leave early, man. That's how you have real fun.

Eric (as Alonzo): Yeah, I get that would be pretty cool if I did that.

Eric: One of the guys who you saw before, I think it was Tommy, he's like, “Hey, man you're not going to shut down our party. We're going to do what we want to do. We're going to jump in the river! Is everybody with me?” And it goes, “AAAAHH.”

Brandon (as Tracey): AAAAH.

Eric: And Cassandra’s like “I want to go first. Let me go first. And everyone's like, “Yeah, you got this, you got to do it!”

Michael: I'm going to use one of the effects that the Lantern of Undying Life has to create an almost flashbang like effect.

Eric: Sure. Who do you want flash-banged?

Michael: Anyone who even seems remotely into jumping into - what I know is - a very bad river.

What does it look like when you do this?

Michael: I use obviously the quarterstaff to walk. I placed it in front of me and I'm kind of in the center of the entire group. I slam it on the ground. The Undying Light exits the lantern briefly and just starts emitting like a powerful bright light.

Eric: All the teens kind of crumble to the ground and holding their eyes. They’re just totally incapacitated. Eric: Johnny, I want you to make a dexterity save.

Michael: 9.

Eric: OK. Not great. Johnny, from the corner of your eye, I think you see a shadow move. And you look up from the lantern and all three of you see Cassandra fall over from her knees. And it's almost like she got pushed and she falls over and is going over the side of the bridge. Johnny, you step to try to grab her but you're not fast enough.

Brandon: Without missing a beat, Tracey says, “Tallahasse, let’s play!” And brings out Tallahassee and makes a dive into the river.

Eric: All right. As Cassandra falls over the side of the bridge, Tracey dives in after her and activates Tallahassee and the bag turns into a crocodile as you two hit the water.

Amanda (as Inara): Alonzo, man, the jokes are over, it's time to go. We have to go back to the inn.

Eric: Alonzo backs up quickly and be like,

Eric (as Alonzo). OK. All right. Yeah. Everyone, as champion, we're going to go. It’s fine, we’re just gonna get off the bridge. I got it.

Amanda (as Inara): You know what. I heard that after parties at the police station.

(Eric laughs)

Eric: Nnd all the teens are like, “Nooooo, bluuuuuh.”

Brandon: They’re an articulate bunch.

Eric: Well, they’re all blinded.

Michael: They’re incapacitated.

Eric: You guys hit the water and Cassandra is very disoriented. She is just like flailing about in the water. Perception check.

Brandon: Thirteen.

Eric: OK. From behind you you are starting to sense that you're not the only things in the water.

Brandon: I start paddling out towards Cassandra and I'm yelling,

Brandon (as Tracey) Don't worry, see, we got you.

Eric: Make an athletics check for me. You have advantage because you have a crocodile.

Brandon: I appreciate your kindness, sir. Do you have…

Eric: I gave you that good good advantage.

Brandon: And I appreciate the fact that I have a plus three to my athletics but that gives me a total of a seven.

Eric: Ayyy. OK. I mean you guys know swim and you grab Cassandra but you realize that you went a lot slower than you wanted to. And whatever is behind you is coming up fast.

Brandon: Am I holding Cassandra?

Eric: Yes. You grab Cassandra and you ever under one of your arms.

Brandon: Yeah, I'm going to use the Long Arm of the Law and grapple up to the bridge and hang like a man… that is a bat.

Michael: I don't know about that.

Eric: All right. I want you to make attack roll with the Long Arm of the Law.

Brandon: So 14 plus three for 17.

Eric: OK: I'll give you advantage. But what's the role for holding on to Cassandra as you fly through the air. That's a strength roll as well.

Brandon: 14 total.

Eric: As you shoot the Long Arm of the Law right through the water and it grabs onto the bridge.

Brandon (as Tracey): Tallahassee, just bit my leg.

Eric: All right, you take seven points of damage.

Brandon: Great.

Eric: Tallahassee just chomps onto your leg and with Cassie in one hand, you grappling hook the hell out of the water. And as you jump out, the skeleton Michael from before jump at both of you and you narrowly avoid getting nommed on by the skeleton fish. You’re also getting a good look at these Michael as well because they are dangerously close to you. They have razor sharp teeth that are dripping with some bad, bad business. And you do not want to get bit by those bad boys. As you sleep through the air like a Batmin. Can you give me acrobatics roll?

Brandon: That's a natural 20.

Eric: Goddamn. You take one flip through the air and land on your feet, holding Cassie in one hand and the alligator is stuck to your leg.

Michael: Cape billowing as he lands.

Brandon: I pat Tallahassee on the head a little bit and I say “Thanks, but playtime’s over for now.”

Eric: And he turns back into a bag.

Brandon: And then I turn to Cassie and I say,

Brandon (as Tracey): Turns out I didn't need a switch to rage at this party.”

Amanda: (grooooooaaaans)

Eric: Cassy's passed out and she's coughing up water.

Brandon: Did she appreciate my joke though?

Eric: No, she's passed out.

Brandon: But did she appreciate it, you think, like, on a subconscious level.

Eric: I couldn't... I mean she... she can't.

Brandon: Good thing I have a minus one to medicine. I hoist Cassie over my shoulder and then start bolting towards the end of the bridge and say,

Brandon (as Tracey): Guys, I need some help. I don't know if she's breathing.

Michael (as Johnny) I'm trained in medicine so I'm going to go check her out.

Eric: Well, what do you want to do?

Michael: having seen these Michael before, I want to look to see if she's been bitten.

Eric: OK. Investigation.

Michael: 15.

Eric: No, she's fine. No bites. But she's like coughing up water.

Michael (as Johnny): Tracey, where are you bitten by any of the fish?

Brandon: Now that was good ol’ Tally.

Michael (as Johnny): OK, how about we get these kids home?

Amanda: Yeah. So we can urge those who can walk to just follow us and everyone else we can sort of help them along.

Brandon: And Tracey cradles Cassie and carries her.

Eric: You lead your motley crew back to the Giant Mistake.

Brandon: Also glaring at Alonzo with like the most malice I can possibly muster and a glance.

Eric: and I've got to say that Alonzo does not notice at all. He's just like bopping along and hanging.

Brandon: I take a mental note to punch him later very hard.

Eric: You're leading your motley crew back to the Giant Mistake and Hef sees you all walk in as he’s wiping the bar down. He's like,

Eric (as Hef): So that looks like you guys had a good night.

Brandon (as Tracey): Hef, shut up

Eric (as Hef): OK.

Eric: And he goes over to the tables that has like a booth in it and he pulls it out and it's just like a very large pull-out bed.

Eric (as Hef): All right, throw all those kids on there. They’ll be fine.

Amanda (as Inara): Hef, if this happens a lot to you there may be a systemic or policy problem that you may want to address.

Eric (as Hef): And that systemic and policy problem keeps me open. Finger guns.

Amanda (as Inara): Cool cool cool. Please take care of these people. I'm going to bed.

Eric: All right. All the teens are deposited on their pull-out couch and everyone goes to their respective rooms. Evan’s like,

Eric (as Drunk Evan): All right, I live right over that way.

Eric: He points to a direction of randomly.

Eric (as Drunk Evan): Alright to see you guys later, in the morning. I'm going to bring bagels.

Eric: And he stumbles away also.

Amanda (as Inara): Great. Well I need to sleep like 4 hours ago and I just don't want to be rooming with Alonzo so put him whereever. Put a chair in front of that door. I'm going to bed. Michael: Johnny walks Alonzo to his room.

Eric (as Alonzo): Johnny... Johnny.

Michael (as Johnny): Yes, Alonzo.

Eric (as Alonzo): I'm sorry. I'm sorry I walked away. That wasn't cool. I didn't mean to make everyone have a bad time. I just wanted good time. And Champ-- champion things you know. Pew pew pew.

Michael (as Johnny): I'm a fan of good times, Alonzo, but I'm also a fan of responsibility. I’ll see you in the morning.

Eric: Johnny, you get inspiration.

Michael: Thank you.

Eric: What do you put in front of the door?

Michael: Just the chair.

Amanda: Heavy chair from the hallway.

Michael:  I do want to leave a note so he knows why. “Dearest Alonzo, last night was a bit of a mess, huh? Well I hope you didn't vomit too much. I placed an extra bucket. I hope you noticed. So you have to vomit if you had to. Anyway the door's locked. We want to make sure that you're OK. Knock four times on the left wall. That's where I'll be sleeping. And I'll come and get you. Johnny B Goodlight.

Eric: Inara, as you close the door and you settle into the bed, how do you feel about today?

Amanda: Well it's been a big day. I feel like I'm fully committed. We are here to do this thing. I might be over my head. I might not make these choices if I thought back on them and did it a second time but I am ready to solve this mystery. I'm pissed at Alonzo, I'm pissed at BlackMichael and I'm ready to do whatever it takes to shut them down.

Eric: As you climb into bed, Oatcake bounds in from the hallway and cuddles up on the end of your bed and looks up you open mouth, tongue wagging.

Amanda: Good girl. I missed you today but tomorrow we're going to have a really fun, really fun time. But they have really good dog food at the castle.

Eric: Oatcake blinks and lands on top of your head.

Amanda: Aw. Classic Oatcake.

Brandon: Tracey watches Inara go into a room and then sees Johnny go to the left and go into his room and, by instinct, just follows Johnny into his room for the night.

Michael: As Tracey is settling down, I pat his back and I sit down with the lantern in front of me and begin to meditate, as I do wish to ask a few questions before I fall fully asleep.

Eric: Roll 1d4.

Michael: That's a two.

Eric: OK. I'm going to let you ask two questions.

Michael (as Johnny): What are the shadows that affect me and others when I use the lantern?

Undying Light: The lantern is meant to challenge. No light can exist without shadow. Its possession, its will, is something you must conquer yourself.

Michael (as Johnny): What kind of signs should I be looking for to overcome this challenge and have full ownership of the lantern?

UDL: The path is long, difficult, and arduous, but for everything there is a choice – one of acceptance and one of annihilation.

Michael (as Johnny): What should I be looking for as the sign of the next champion or the next artifact?

UDL: Five champions rise from our center. Look for: the sword of flame, the boots aground, the liar’s mouthpiece, the labyrinth key and the shining medallion. Through our center, the land becomes our own. But, not all champions deserve to be seen.

(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.