Our heroes begin their lifelong friendship… or are forced into working together because they’re in jail. Inara find some pants. Tracey reads quietly to himself. Johnny makes a toast.
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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
- Multitude: multitude.productions
E: Hello! If you're a beginner to Dungeons and Dragons or role playing games, you’re in luck. We have a learner's episode for you right below this episode in the feed. We're going to walk you through the basics of D&D as you follow along with the story. And don't worry: that one covers the same plot as this one, so you're not missing anything. There's just some helpful hints included. Look for the big Beginners Start Here title in the podcast feed. We got you.
E: Wait, we're starting right now?! I'm not ready! Get the party going.
E: Welcome to the first episode of Join the Party. It's stories with friends! We are a collaborative role playing and storytelling podcast. That is a big clunky phrase that means every single episode we're going to be creating a world, and living in a world, that is an adventure for all of us to play through. I am Eric Silver, the dungeon master for this campaign. I set up this world for the players, but their decisions are what moves the story forward. And you'll get to listen along, every two weeks, as we figure out what happens next. Now, let's meet our players.
Amanda: My name is Amanda McLoughlin. My character is a moon elf rogue named Inara Harthorn. I'm kind of a pickpocket, thief, aspiring assassin, badass woman about town. I am new to D&D and new to role playing games so I'm really excited to learn more about this world with you, hopefully, listeners, as we play through it. And I do host another podcast called Spirits: A Drunken Dive into Myths and Legends, about mythology and folklore and urban legends. So the more mythological this world gets, the happier I am.
Brandon: Hey, I'm Brandon Grugle! I've been playing role playing games for a few years now and I'm playing as designation TR8c, but you can call me Tracey for short. I am a warforged barbarian, a former detective, and I'm basically a beefy fantasy robot. Think Inspector Gadget meets Dwayne The Rock Johnson. I'm ready to make up some stories!
Michael: I'm Michael Fische. You may hear someone call me Fish from time to time, that's totally fine. I've played D&D for pretty much ever, mostly as a Dungeon Master or Game Master. Today and for the rest of this campaign I will be a warlock half elf known as Johnny B. Goodlight, and he is all about finding and bringing the light to everyone.
E: Alright, let's get the party started.
[Sound effects of birds and dripping water]
E: Johnny B and Tracey, you two wake up in a dank prison cell, the lowest dungeon of the city of Fidopolis, the City of Faith. You're achy, you're tired, you didn't sleep well on the unyielding cots down here. You're a little damp, too, but it's not like anyone cares about your comfort, really. The cell is so deep underground that the bustling capital city just feels miles away. You can't tell if it's day or night or anything between. I guess you've been down here for 24 hours, but, maybe longer? Maybe less? You can't really tell. You’re actually the only prisoners down here in the entire prison and it's really quiet. Suspiciously quiet. There’re actually no guards stationed around either.
E: That is, until the door is thrown open and a guard is dragging a woman down by the hood of her cloak. He unlocks your barricaded door, pushes her inside, and then sits down at a desk that's about 20 feet away. And mutters to himself:
E as GUARD: "Did... am i forgetting something?"
E: And he's just kind of like in to himself for a while. He pulls out a list out of his pocket and he's just kind of staring at it, reading it over dumbfounded, like:
E as GUARD: "No I did that, I did that..."
E: And he’s kind of mumbling to himself. How does everybody feel? [pause] Oh, Inara, that woman is you.
A: Woah! My entrance!
B: Plot twist!
A: Inara is pissed, she just got thrown in like a wet cat to this cell filled with these two dudes that she does not want to be talking to. So she sits up and straightens her cloak like,
A as INARA: “Ugh, I can’t believe this.”
B as Tracey: Tracey feels great.
E: [laughs] Does Tracey always feel great?
B as Tracey: Tracey always feels great!
M as JOHNNY: Hey, you look a little damp there, little lady. Here, I'll make you feel better.
M: I cast presti... prestidig... presti...
M: ...prestidigitation and instantly dry her cloak and wetness.
A as INARA: Uh thanks, mister, but that doesn’t stop the fact that you got me in this cell. Why did you do that in the market?! I was being fine, I was lifting that jewelry, I felt good about it. I was going to get away with it, if it weren't for you and your in your dumb light trick and your robot.
B as Tracey: Ugh, you’re a thief?
A INARA: Yeah, I'm a thief! What do I look like, a cute little girl? You're wrong.
B as Tracey: Uh.. uh...
B: I go hide behind johnny B
M as JOHNNY: Well, miss, it's not my fault you got caught. Mister Guard, you seem to be forgetting something. Anything we can do to help you?
E as GUARD: Yeah, you know what? You guys are locked up, I guess I could ask your help. Uh, hi, is there something going on today? Like, is there something important happening?
A as INARA: If you send me topside I’d be happy to check on it for you.
M as JOHNNY: Yes, I totally agree. I can’t think of three more, better-suited people to find out what's missing on that list.
A as INARA: We’re just super observent, super low profile, we’re just super ready to take in the world and report back to you. Sir.
E as GUARD: Well, no, that’s a terrible idea that would get me super fired. But, I guess, just can you look at this list? Am I missing something?
E: And he gives you gives you just kind of like a scrawled list but you can definitely read it, it’s in Common.
M: Just in case, I cast light on the list.
A as INARA: Okay, we get it, mister. Thanks.
E: Yeah, the paper is really glowy so it’s kind of hard to read now
E: Yeah, do you want to read the list?
B: I immediately start reading the list.
E: Sure. the first one says brush teeth.
B as Tracey: check.
E: No, you're just reading this to yourself.
B: No, I’m saying this out loud.
E: Are you reading this thing out loud?
B: No, I’m reading it in my head and just saying “check” out loud.
E: [Laughs] Okay, the first is brush teeth.
B as Tracey: Check.
E: Do rounds.
B as Tracey: Mmm, I didn't do that one yet.
E: Third one, talk to Barbara.
B as Tracey: Check.
E: The fourth one is shine shoes.
B as Tracey: Check.
E: And the fifth one is put on dress uniform.
B: Definitely check.
A: Is ‘shine shoes’ a cantrip that I don’t know about?
E: Tracey, you’ve been reading this to youself. No one else, nor the guard, knows what you just read. And the guard is like,
E as GUARD: So did I do them all?
B as Tracey: Um, here you guys go. Here, take the list.
B: And I give it to Johnny B.
M: Johnny holds the list, enjoying the light of the list for a little bit before he attempts to read it.
M as JOHNNY: Mr. Guard over there, is that your dress uniform? I can't tell. It looks a little shabby.
E: You see realization kind of just wash over this guard’s face. And he’s just like,
E as GUARD: [In slow motion] Ooooh noooo.
E: And as he does that the door busts open, and twenty guards all in their dress uniforms come bursting through the door. They all have purple sashes on and the city crest, which is a sun and a moon together in the same sky, are emblazoned on all their chest pieces. And one of the female guards yells at the guard you’ve been talking to, and says,
E as GUARD BARBARA: Hey, Terry, you haven’t changed yet? The wedding starts in 30 minutes!
E: And terry goes,
E as GUARD TERRY: Oh no, and now Barb knows!
A: Oh no.
B: Oh, so that was the woman I talked to!
A: Buncha intrigue happening here.
M as JOHNNY: Tracey, how’s Barb doing?
B asTracey: She’s been having a lot of trouble with, uh, her third child, Winston. They’re not sure where he wants to go to school.
M as JOHNNY: That is unfrotunate. I love Barb’s children, and Winston has a special place in my heart. I hope he does well.
B as Tracey: I want to go to a wedding!
E: While you’re having this entire discussion about school systems, you are roughly grabbed by all of these guards. There's about four of you per person, and roughing you up and grabbing you wherever you can. Kind of like, Tracey, they have like six people on you, just like on different haunches trying to lift you up any way they can. They half carry, half push you up these winding stairs.
E: You're hustled up and up and up, and you could have sworn it was only about five flights going down, but you realize that you keep going. You're at six flights, seven, flights, 10 flights, 15 flights, 20. And you are pushed out into a courtyard and even though it's cloudy and nearly dusk, your eyes still take some time to adjust.
[Sound effects of crickets]
E: As your vision is focusing, another figure who you haven't seen before comes into focus. This is a man who is dressed in all purple. He has a sloped nose and looks very regal, and his fists are just like tearing at his black hair. His suit, which is beautiful and shimmering and also has the crest of the city emblazoned on the chest, it's like a little bit too big on him in a way that you don't think someone who's wearing such a nice outfit would befit for him. And he cannot stop pacing back and forth until he sees the three of you looking at him, and all of the guards holding you there. And he adresses all of the guards and he says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: This is what we got, huh? Well I guess three is better than zero.
E: And he looks at all of you and says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: How would you all like to get out of jail?
B as Tracey: I would like that very much sir.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Alright, we have one on board.
A as INARA: I mean I guess.
M: Johnny isn't actually listening to him he's looking around to see what he can light up. Is there any objects that he could possibly light up?
E: Yeah sure, I guess there are trees and plants. The guards are all have weapons, and even the man who’s in front of you has like a kind of a decorative rapier.
B: I look at Johnny B and I say,
B as Tracey: Johnny, please, please don't. Please don't do this.
M: Johnny winks at Tracey and casts light on one of the flowers.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Oh, that's, that's very decorative. That wasn’t a response to my question, but I like it. Do you, do you all know who I am? It seems like you're... you don't, from the way that you're interacting with me right now.
M as JOHNNY: Of course I know who you are, but for my friends, you can introduce yourself.
A: Inara snickers.
E: Make a deception check.
M: That's a 12.
E: He’s vaguely aware that you know who he is, and he's choosing not to acknowledge this.
A: Inara, seeing this interaction is going badly, goes,
A as INARA: Uh, sir, yes, I very much would like to get out of jail. Thank you.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Good, that's exactly what I like to hear. Uh, hello. Apparently you do not know who I am. I'm Maximillian Kiko.
B as Tracey: Hi Max!
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Hello. Hi. I'm Prince Maximillian Kiko?
E: And he is kind of like is waiting for your reaction.
B: Oh, I bow immediately
A: Inara goes, [sarcastically] “Ooooh.”
M as JOHNNY: Sir, you knew that I knew that you knew that I knew who you were... so you don't need to do anything!
M: And I cast light on another flower.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: These flowers are really pretty.
E: And Maximillian tells one of the guards to go pick both of the flowers that are lit, so now he's like, there's a guard just holding two flowers.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Well I guess I'll bring them into the wedding, but right now, I really have a job for all of you. I need you all to do something for me, and if you did not know, I am very powerful around here and I can break you out of jail for whatever crazy things you all did. What, what did they do?
E: And one of the guards pipes up and says,
E as GUARD #2: They tried to steal some stuff!
M as JOHNNY: Well I take offense to that, good sir. I was merely —
M: I cast light on another flower.
M as JOHNNY: — making a show for all the good people of the Market Square.
E: And the guard goes over and picks that flower as well.
A as INARA: Yeah, I'm sorry, I was just looking at stuff in the market. I'm a new person in this town and I was just looking at the cool stuff, and then this man over there —
A: And innara gestures across the way at Johnny B Good, Light, and says,
A as INARA: — I was just near him, and they locked me up, and it’s just totally not fair, man.
B as Tracey: Uh, I was talking to Barb when this happened. They came and grabbed me because they know I’m associated with Johnny B, and I am not going to abandon Johnny.
E: Barbara is a little, she's a little upset that you called her out in front of the prince of this area. And she's like,
E as GUARD BARBARA: I don't know, I don't know who that is.
A: And is our original jailer just, like, just delighted to hear her name said out loud?
E: Terry is still kind of embarrassed that he's not wearing his dress [uniform] ‘cause there are like 19 dress guards and Terry is in like his regular work clothes. And the prince says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: A couple of scoundrels like you, that's fine. I still need you to work. I still need you here. I'm concerned that my brother, who's getting married, is going to die.
M as JOHNNY: Oh no, not your brother... [trailing off, hinting for someone to say the brother’s name]
E as MAXIMILLIAN: It’s the prince? That's Prince Alonzo Kiko? Haven't seen all of the of the banners around, all of the decorative plates for the big wedding?
A as INARA: I can’t stress enough that I came into town, looked at a necklace, and got thrown into jail, so no, I have not.
M as JOHNNY: I only look at mirrors.
M: And then casts light on another flower.
E: And that same guard picks it up, with now four glowing flowers in their hand.
A: [Laughs] What does that guard look like? Is she, he, or they excited about this?
E: They’re very stoic for [someone] carrying four glowing flowers, but it’s very adorable.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Here's the deal. Um, I think Alonzo, my brother, is going to die. And he is extremely important to me, he's extremely important to my family, and he's important to the land, to all of Fidapolis. And I need three people to go into this wedding and infiltrate it, to go in there in secret like you don't actually know me, and stop whoever is killing or wants to kill my brother. I need this now, and the wedding is literally going to start in 20 minutes and I do not...
E: And he looks down at his fantasy watch, and he says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Actually it's ten minutes! I have ten minutes until this wedding and I need to go.
E: Alright here's the deal. Maximillian needs you to go into that wedding and pose as three different people to protect his brother. One of you needs to go in as a waiter, one of you needs to go in as a line cook in the kitchen, and one of you needs to pose as a guest at the wedding.
E: He's worried about this for two reasons. One, he thinks that one of his family members, because as you know every royal family is jealous in their own way, and he thinks someone is going to blow up this wedding both literally and figuratively. The other thing he's worried about is Prince Alonzo Kiko is marrying the heir to another city state, the Nectarias, and it's kind of like a union of these two... like, not ruling families, but like they're very rich and powerful, and a lot of people see that as kind of a monopoly of the government. And in particular there is an insurrection group called The Red Throat Gang in Chronopolis, where the Nectarians are from.
A: Cool name!
E: Yeah, and you wanna know why? It's ‘cause when they kill people they use poison, and it really inflames their neck, and that's how people die.
A: Oh god.
E: The Red Throat Gang is made up mostly of halflings, and they are dealing with a lot of really really messed up poison. They are a big problem in Chronopolis and the Kikos are worried that they’ve come to the wedding and they're also going to blow it up literally and figuratively.
A: And are they just kind of anti-establisment, or anti-monopoly, or you know, what is their affiliation?
E: At first they were kind of just like anarchist, but right now they've regrouped to be anti-monopoly and they've really focused on this. Like, it is kind of an open secret that the Red Throat Gang is extremely unhappy about this wedding happening. So Maximillian says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Alright, if you do this, I'm just going to let you out of jail. If you do it well, my favor means a lot, and I'm running... I'm running out of time. I need you to do this, and right now you're being held by my guards, so what do you say?
A as INARA: Are we going to get paid?
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Uh, with your freedom.
A as INARA: And so not, like, a fair hourly wage?
B as Tracey: What's the minimum wage?
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Are you negotiating me letting you out of jail?
A: Let me remind you that Inara is, like, the equivalent of an 18-year-old who just read the Communist Manifesto for the first time and so she is really into the idea of fair compesnation for her labor.
M as JOHNNY: Plus, it sounds like you need us more than we need you.
E: At that point all of the guards that are holding you kind of hold you a little bit tighter. And a few of them, like, start grumbling a little bit in your ear. And Maximilian like kind of puts his hands out and says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: It’s alright, I know, it's okay. It's alright, everybody relax. I'll give you your freedom, and I can give you a job after this if you do it right. And right now --
E: And he kind of looks up in the sky, and he says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: I need to go. Yes or no? Either yes, you’re going to do this, or no, and I'll throw you back in the dungeon. What do you say?
B as Tracey: I want to be a line cook!
M as JOHNNY: I’d love to light up your world.
M: And I light his helm.
E: Okay, that was that was really adorable. I'm taking that as a yes. I like that.
A: Inara rolls her eyes and says, “Fiiine.”
E: All right. Maximilian shoves an invitation in, I guess kind of like in Tracey's general direction, and says,
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Alright, here is the invitation. Figure out who you’re going to be. I need to go.
E: And he runs away like as fast as his, like, dress outfit can carry him.
B: Aand as he runs away Tracey goes,
B as Tracey: I want to be the line cook!
E as MAXIMILLIAN: I don't care! I don't care anymore! Buh-bye!
A: As his illuminated helmet bobs off into the distance.
M as JOHNNY: Tracey, may I see that?
B as Tracey: Sure!
M: I’d like to read the envelope.
E: The invitation says: “Silvanus Stormborn is hereby invited to the wedding ceremony of Master Alonzo Kiko and Master Greg Nectaria in the city of Fidopolis. May Adamah Reign Over All.”
A: [Gasps] Gay fantasy weeding! I’m so excited!
M as JOHNNY: I believe I can handle being Silvanus. It should take a couple charms and I believe I can trick people into thinking that. Are you two okay working in the kitchen?
A as INARA: [Sighs] Does that mean I’m a waiter?
M as JOHNNY: You can pick pocket whoever you wish.
A as INARA: Okay, I’m down.
M: They’ll all be distracted by the wedding.
B as Tracey: I’ve always wanted to learn how to make chicken stock!
M: I’m going to head over toward the reception hall.
E: Okay, so the guards, everyone kind of scatters when Maximillian leaves. And one of the guards who was grabbing on to Tracey says,
E as GUARD #2: Alright, you guys clean yourselves up. You all look disgusting. If you go in through the main hall and you go through the kitchen, there's like a lost-and-found. There should be something for all of you. Just go. You're all really dank.
E: So you're in this courtyard that is on top of this castle, and right now it’s a garden area and in front of you there is this Great Hall. It's kind of like where everyone has these grand balls and these parties, and kind of like rich people, fancy people stuff. So do you guys want to walk in?
B as Tracey: Yes, I’m already walking in.
M: Yes, walk in heading toward the lost and found to try to find some nicer clothing for myself.
A: Innara rolls her eyes, just to make sure everyone knows that she isn’t exactly going along willingly, and says “Fiiine.”
M: But we’re ahead of you so we don’t see it.
A: I know, she’s just performing it for the world. Just in case someone’s watching.
E: Hey, it's Eric. This is where we take a breath from the dope action and tell you what's going on in the guts of our podcast. Right now it's the first episode so I'm setting the foundation, here. First we want to tell you about our Patreon. If you are enjoying this ride as much as we are, we'd love to get your support on Patreon. Right now we're just trying to break even, and we have got big, big plans coming in the future. So if you throw us a few dollars you will get so many extras your inventory will explode. And its gonna be too heavy, and you can't really walk around with it... it's like your backpack is bursting open, but like in a good way? Like it is filled with loot. Head on over to patreon.com/jointhepartypod and donate.
So here's what you're getting at $2 an episode. Two singles, or a fancy $2 bill, or like eight quarters! Eight quarters an episode! You are a party guest you're in behind the scenes you'll see drafts of what we're working on, bloopers cut because we are too ridiculous, and my notes! Real screenshots, and I will put in as many fake emojis as you want.
At $5 you're on to Party City. You'll get a weekly blog post from one of our players. Michael’s going to give you some D&D nerdery and Johnny B's Goodthoughts, which are very good thoughts. Brandon shares is audio tips and give you a look at the life of a podcast editor. So exciting! It’s actually exciting. I don't want to say it like it's not exciting--it's very exciting. I'm just, I’m such a big nerd. Amanda is going to bring the feminist analysis and newbie perspective with game reviews, book recommendations, and general excitement about friendship and gaming and more friendship.
Not only that, you're going to be entered into the lottery for an NPC to be named after you! NPC stands for Non-Player Character, so any character in the game not controlled by our three players. I promise hand over my heart I will do it. I'm going to pick out your names. I can even do a Facebook live of some of the drawings so you know it's on the up-and-up.
One more time that is patreon.com/jointhepartypod. You like the way you contribute to the arts. I guarantee it.
Next, come talk to us on social media! We're @JointhePartyPod on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We love hearing from you and answering your questions, so just come get in touch. You can also submit questions on our website, jointhepartypod.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And be sure to stick around for the Afterparty, because what is a party without an after party? After every episode we’re going to sit down and discuss what happened, learn what could have happened on all of our roads not taken, and answer your questions about the game. Remember all the ways we just told you to contact us? Hit us up with questions there that you want us to discuss in the Afterparty. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, website submission, umm... pigeon... smoke signals... talking into a jar and putting it in the sea and hopefully I'm going to hear it. Any of those ways work! Remember, @JointhePartyPod on all the places.
And finally, this is the part of the show where I shout out a family member of one of us four to try to get them to listen to our podcast. I'm going to go first: Second cousin Jeremy, I know you're out there because you have a very very successful food Instagram and I want to eat all of it. You should try us too, and also bring me leftovers. I like eggs. Thank you.
All right, let's go back to the party!
E: So you walk into the Grand Hall, and this is the biggest room any of you have ever seen in your entire lives. There are streamers of gold and silver thrown over the highest rafters that you've ever seen, like 20 feet up. Everything is gilded in either gold or silver and much of it is inlaid in that kind of sun and moon style.
There are these three giant tables that you think could fit at least 100 people each, and each one has a very nice place setting. As you see it, it's like a repeating image, and you can't believe that you're seeing the exact same thing over and over and over again, and there are three exactly the same.
There is a dais up front where you assume that the Kikos and the Necterias are going to sit. It’s kind of like for the groomsmen and all that stuff, and for their respective ruling families. Also in the corner you see there is a raised platform and there's kind of like an oversized trough over there, and it is kind of like a gleaming steel trough, but it looks a little bit out of place in terms of the entire party. But it also kind of like fits with everything, it's over like in the corner, but it's also next to the dais. And everyone can kind of see this platform.
A: Like a part of the room they couldn’t change but had to decorate around?
E: Almost, but it looks intentional. It looks like it was put there for a reason.
E: And there's also floor-to-ceiling windows, and some of them lead to balconies. This is very fancy.
B: Is there anyone in the room?
E: No. If there is anyone in the room it’s like waiters were running around finishing the prep, but they are not really paying any mind to you.
B: Okay, I'm going to go start walking straight towards the kitchen.
A: Before we go and get our uniforms, can we make an investigation check to see what's happening in the hall, see if there’s anything suspicious or assassin-y happening?
E: Yes, roll for that.
A: I got 13.
E: Sweet. No, I mean everything is running the way that you would expect right before a giant wedding to go. There are some people who keep going over to that platform over there and like, cleaning it off like a little more than usual, but nothing's really suspicious.
M: Would a 21 change that answer?
E: Sure, you walk over to the raised platform. It's about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. There’s also that trough, kind of inlaid into it is the name “Nessie.”
A: Scotland’s finest.
E: And there's decorations around the around the name, like someone's kind of like lovingly carved it into this trough.
B: Is that with an -i or a -y?
E: It’s with an -ie. Nessie.
M: Also, what's the light situation of this room?
E: So it is dusk, and it's cloudy.
M: That’s outside.
E: But there’s a lot of windows, as I said before, so it's good.
A: Any sconces, any torches?
M: How's the torch situation of the room, how’s the light situation of the room?
A: What he wants to know is, what’s the potential for grandeur?
M: That is an question [sic].
E: It could be... Nothing has been lit yet, but you can tell that when everything is going to get lit, it's going to be grand.
M: Just a note for our dear listener, as Johnny walks over to that trough he's lighting whatever is unlit using prestidigitation, as he's walking in that direction.
E: Sure, you actually see a bunch of the waiters who were like running around, people whose jobs it is to light these things, they kind of look up and they realize that someone's done this like without their knowledge. So some of them were freaked out, but others are like, cool, I don't have to do that now.
A: [In cool dude voice] Cool man, cool man, nice.
E: Tight, tight, tight.
M: Johnny walks towards where he was directed, towards the lost and found, which I believe is through the kitchen.
A: Outside the kitchen?
E: Yeah, it’s through the kitchen.
A: We are all going there, so we should all go together.
E: Sure. So you walk through the kitchen.
[Sound effects of kitchen utensils and dishes clanging together]
E: There are more waiters who are like scrambling around, and you see that there are line cooks that are starting prepare for this giant meal. You kind of skirt around them to the far wall. The way these tables are set up, like the line cooks are at tables they kind of make a square around the kitchen, and in the middle is a like a pristine work area where you assume the head chef is going to be.
A: Classic French style.
E: Yeah. The mise en place [mispronounced].
E: So you go around the side, and again, no one's really paying attention to you. You make it through and in the next doorway, if you go right you can leave, you go back out to the courtyard and you take a left and you're at the lost and found. You open the door to the lost and found and there are some spare uniforms: one for waiter, one for line cook, and there's a big box that is written, has ‘lost and found’ written on it.
M: Johnny would love to go through that big box.
B: And Tracey is taking the line cook uniform.
E: Yep, sure.
A: And Inara grabs waiter uniforms based on what she saw in the Great Hall. And she's a tiny little elf, so everything's kind of swimming on her, but she makes it as neat as she can. And where do we stash our existing, or, I guess, where do I stash my existing clothes? Can I put it like behind the lost and found?
E: Yeah, you can shove it in that closet.
B: I’m just putting my uniform cape on top of my line cook outfit.
E: Nice, I like that.
M: What do I find in the box?
E: Sure, so in the box there are a bunch of odds and ends of kind of finer cloaks and pants and all that stuff, but there's nothing really matches.
M: But I could patchwork some clothing?
E: Yeah, that's great. You grab kind of like, two disparate, like a very long cloak and some pants that both kind of fit you and you turn them both into a combination of gold and silver shimmering thing. As you are also looking around in the box you see two capes. One is blue and one is red, and I want you to make an Arcana check.
M: I can absolutely do that. I know some of those things. Ooh, nat 20! Oh shit.
A: I don’t think that dice has ever rolled a nat 20 before, so good job.
M: I roll so badly, too, so this feels great.
E: It's like you're getting a Jimmy Neutron Brain Blast right now, so you’re like...
M: I obviously attribute this to the Undying Light.
A: If this is in character Inara rolls her eyes so hard to get herself a little bit of a headache.
B: I put my hand on Inara’s sholder and ask,
B as Tracey: “Are you okay?”
A as INARA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m okay. So I guess I’m just going to go into the main hall and start, like, passing shit out? But if you need me just, just give a little give a little nod.
B as Tracey: Okay.
A as INARA: Do you want to practice now?
B as Tracey: Ok, one, two three! [Yells] INARA! I NEED YOU!
A as INARA: That's a great first try, Tracey. Why don't we just try that with, with no voice?
B as Tracey: Okay, ummm...
B: And I just stare at Inara, dead-eyed.
A as INARA: Excellent. And she heads back on into the kitchen, gives those guys a little okay sign --
B as Tracey: What does that mean?!
A as INARA: I'll see you later, Tracey! Ok — I — oh, okay, bye!
B as Tracey: Bye!
E: So here are these two cloaks. You rolled so well that I’m just going to read what I wrote.
M: Oh, nice! Yes!
E: So you have one cloak that is the Cloak of the Eternal Guest, and the other one is the Cloak of the Eternal Interloper. The red cloak makes everyone think that they know you, and you have to answer to everyone correctly or they think that you're an imposter, and they think that you are a person that you are not. However everyone is like already friendly with you and you don't have to introduce yourself.
A: So basically you can’t break the illusion, but if you don't break the illusion, people think that they know you.
E: Yeah, exactly. The other one, the Eternal Interloper, the blue one, everyone thinks you’re a stranger. So no matter how many times you introduce yourself, everyone already assumes that you are a stranger to them, and your conversations kind of reset every minute. So you are holding both the red cape and the blue cape. You can choose not to wear either of them, but I, it would be very nice if you actually had like a real cloak on.
M: Yeah, let's go for the Eternal Guest.
E: Sure, okay, so you put on the red --
M: I’m so screwed.
E: — you throw the blue one back into the into the lost and found, and you put the red cloak on. And as you do it... nothing happens from Tracey and Inara who are now like kind of leaving, and were ignoring you, anyway but as a waiter walks by you they just kind of, like, say, “Hey what's going on,” and just walks by.
M: I give him a wink.
A: A little wink and a nod.
M: Perfect. I would love to go to the reception hall, with a little pacing, and peruse my Book of Light.
E: Sure. So Inara, you've gone onto the waiters area, and, Tracey what are you doing?
B: I am trying to fit my right arm through one of the sleeves of the really small uniform, but once I get that on I'm heading up to one of the friendlier-looking line cooks, and I say,
B as Tracey: “How can I help?”
E: Sure, you walk up to like a scruffy looking human man and he's just kind of like chopping veggies, and when you say--
B: I look horrified.
E: He’s like,
E as LINE COOK: Um, are you new?
B as Tracey: Yes! What are you doing to those vegetables?!
E as LINE COOK: I'm... I'm chopping them.
B as Tracey: Oh god!
E as LINE COOK: Cool, you're going to be extremely helpful to me. All right, why don't you go talk to somebody else?
E: And he goes back to chopping his veggies. And as all of the line cooks are kind of like doing their own thing, they're prepping the veggies, they're going around, there's a very tall half-orc woman who’s kind of like looking over every single one of their shoulders, kind of like checking their work, and sending them, basically if they’re messing up, kind of like hitting them over the head and like showing them what to do. She's obviously the one in charge.
A: She’s the expediter?
E: Yeah, she's definitely the one in charge and you don't mess with her.
B: SO I’m gonna walk up to the half orc and say,
B as Tracey: I’m here to serve my duty, madam!
E: She looks up, she kinda looks you up and down, and she says,
E as SOUS CHEF: I didn’t know we are getting a robit to help us.
A: Woah. Them’s fightin’ words.
B as Tracey: Umm, alright, where can I go?
E as SOUS CHEF: Uh, well, I mean, I guess everyone's kind of working right now. Why don't you go out into the courtyard and go get the head chef, all right?
B as Tracey: Yes ma'am!
B: And I walk towards the courtyard.
E: Inara, you’re nearby as she kinda watches Tracey walk away, and you hear her say,
E as SOUS CHEF: I didn't... I didn't tell him who the head chef was... I don't... okay.
B: I'm already gone.
E: She goes off to do her own thing. Tracey, as you walk outside, nobody else is around. [Sound effects of crickets] You can see that there is a wedding, like you kind of hear like a religious ceremony happening which you assume is the wedding, but it's kind of from a totally different part of the courtyard. And you do see a halfling kind of just like standing by himself under a tree, kind of like poking at the ground and just like, kinda thinking of himself.
B: Tracey looks around and he yells,
B as Tracey: Head chef! Head chef!
M: Johnny thinks to himself, unrelated to all of this,
M as JOHNNY: I should probably fix Tracey's volume... or just fix Tracey's entire, just, personality. There’s something off with it, I need to figure out what’s going on.
M: Anyway, that’s just a little —
A: Inner monologue?
M: A little Johnny thought.
A: Johnny B Thoughtful?
M: Johnny B Thoughtful! Yesss.
A: That was an across the table fist bump, listeners!
E: Tracey, why don't you make a perception check for me?
B: That would be an 11.
E: You kind of see, the halfling just kind of looks up at you, and even from 100 feet away where he's standing, he scowls at you and starts to walk in towards the kitchen. He just his kind of like ignores you as he keeps walking by.
B: And as he walks by I say,
B as Tracey: [Quickly, barely understandable] Hi are you the head chef? I—
B: And I follow him.
E: He turns around and he says,
E as FABIUS: No one calls me head chef. It's just... Fabius.
E: And he walks inside.
E: As the halfling walks inside, all of the line cooks stop and look over at him, and all the waiters are still milling around. And the half-orc says,
E as SOUS CHEF: Alright, everybody line up!
E: And everyone just kind of clumps together. Tracey and Inara, what do you do?
B: Tracey lines up.
A: And innara backs up, her back to the wall, and tries to be as inconspicuous as possible to take everything in.
E: The half-orc then starts to give a rousing speech to her troops. She says,
E as SOUS CHEF: Alright, I know a lot of you have worked in the service industry for a long time, but I swear to Zeol, if you don't get your butts in line, then you better just walk out now. This is the biggest party, the biggest wedding, in the entire history of the city-state. The entire millenium is going to remember you not cooking on time, is going to remember you not bringing people their drinks. And I swear to the entire Trinity, if you do not get your butts in line... I will put your butts in line for you.
E: And all of the waiters and all of the line cooks kind of like straighten up, and kind of like tense themselves really suddenly. And she says,
E as SOUS CHEF: Do you have any questions? You can either give them to me or give them to the best chef in the entire continent. That's Fabius Batali right there.
E: And she kind of like points over to the half-elf.
B: Tracey raises his hand.
A: Oh no.
ALL: [Laugh nervously]
E: And everyone around kinda gasps, kinda pulls in their breath a little bit.
A: Inara sticks her head forward from the wall, looking at him like,
A as INARA: Hey, what are you doing, stop it! Ugh!
E: And the half orc says, “Robit?”
B as Tracey: Um, less of a question, more of a statment: I think we are all gonna do a really great job.
E: [Long pause] It is silent.
E: No one knows what to say. They’re all sort of like, “Who, what, who would...” And everyone’s sort of murmuring, “Why would someone do that, that’s insane.” And the half orc looks at Tracey and says,
E as SOUS CHEF: Robit, you're with me.
E: And she says,
E as SOUS CHEF: The rest of you can learn something from this robotic friend! We need positivity! That's the only way we’re going to get through this. Is that right?
E: And everyone says, “Yes, chef!”
B as Tracey: Yes, chef!
E: Just, yeah, just a beat late, Tracey goes, “Yes, chef!”
E: Everyone says, “Alright, let's go do this!” And all the waiters then grab these trays of overflowing drinks and everyone starts to file out as she says,
E as SOUS CHEF: The guests are coming in and they're thirsty!
E: And they grab the drinks and they file out, and the cooks go to their stations. She puts her hand out and she like motions, does the like come here thing with her finger.
A: And Inara makes eye contact and points, telling Tracey,
A as INARA: Go with her. That’s what that means. Go, go with her.
B: And Tracey tries to do the okay symbol that he saw Inara do earlier, but he kind of like messes up a little bit? He sort of does his third, his ring finger and his thumb, and shows it to Inara.
A: And Inara just gives you a thumbs up, and then quickly takes it bakc, like, oh no, I’ve given him more data, oh no.
B: And then Tracey walks over to the half-orc sous chef. And Tracey walks up and he says,
B as Tracey: Hi, um, I didn’t catch your name.
E as SOUS CHEF: You can... you know what? I tell everyone to call me Sous Chef, but you can just call me Charlene. I'm Charlene, hi, it's so... your positivity is so nice to have here in this, in this kitchen. And, robit, I don't actually know your name. That's offensive of me--what's, what is your name?
B as TARCY: It’s Tracey, Detective Tracey to be long!
E: What, you’re a detect... Okay, you know what, Tracey, I just need you to stay with Fabius here. He's very fastidious and he needs someone around him at all times to just like help him out. You’re extremely tall, which is great for me ‘cause I always have to grab things off high —
B as Tracey: I am that!
E as SOUS CHEF CHARLENE: Yes you are. And, uh, just stay with him. He's a kind of a short man, and just grab the things off of high shelves for him, okay? You need to stick on him, please. I trust you. I know just met you, but I trust you.
B as Tracey: Hey charlene?
E as SOUS CHEF CHARLENE: Yeah, Tracey?
B as Tracey: I will do that to the best of my ability.
B: And I walk over to the head chef. And when I say that it's not like, ‘I'll do that to the best of my ability.’ It's like, my ability is the best.
M: Another Johnny B. Goodthought.
M as JOHNNY: Is it possible that when I resurrected this robit with the energy from the Positive Plane it's irreversibly made him too positive? Must check his emotion meters and fix it. He's too nice.
E: Alright, Tracey, you’re now with Fabius so we are going to cut away from you. Inara, you grab the drinks on the way out?
A: Yes, and I down one and put it down on a shelf as I’m passing.
E: Okay, roll a constitution check for me.
A: Great, I sure will. That is a 17 plus 2 for a 19.
E: Oh yeah, you feel great. You feel a little bit invigorated, and I'm going to give you an advantage on your next check.
A: Hey! Is that inspiration?
E: Let's call it inspiration, but really you’re invigorated by the drink. So you are walking around, what's your strategy? What’s your waitering strategy?
A: I’m mostly trying to walk around the perimeter of the room and try to look like I'm doing my job while paying attention mostly to what's going on. You know, I know from my kind of thievery, myself, that most thieves will try to stick to the sides and be unseen while they scope out the situation, so I'm going to try to do that as well. I also have to pull up my pants every couple minutes because they are big and I am a little. I am little and fierce
E: Sure. As you as you grab those drinks, people start flooding into the room. You keep thinking that it's going to stop at some point but it’s just, like, tens of people, just groups of like the most fanciest idiots you've ever seen in your entire life are just flooding into this room and they are grabbing drinks like there is no tomorrow.
A: And what are the drinks that I'm passing out?
E: They are overflowing mugs of like bright blue and purple drink. Everyone really wants them and they made you feel real good.
A: Tasted pretty sweet.
M: I was gonna ask how they tasted.
A: They tasted kind of carbonated, kind of sweet, like a mead but stronger.
M: Fruity though, right?
E: Nothing that is blue or purple is not fruity as hell. I just know that form my drinking experience. But it is very strong, yes, that's why you felt it, definitely. But everyone is like throwing these things back with abandon.
A: So we are in the reverly part of the night?
E: Oh, hell yes.
M: Johnny is paying attention to anyone who comes in looking for any suspicious characters he sees. Is there anyone who either looks like they belong on the dais, or Maximillian, approaching or coming through the doors?
E: No, you don't see anybody who looks like they should be up there, who look like a particularly like powerful. But you do see from a different area three really big guys start walking towards you, and they also have the crest of the city, the sun and the moon, on their royal cloaks. They all look exactly the same, they all have the same face, and they all have like shocks and black hair and like these pug noses. They are some big, big guys, and they are coming over to you. And the lead one automatically, like, he holds his at his arms open and he says,
E as TRIPLET #1: Sylvanus Stormborn, I didn't think you were going to make it here! What up, fam?
M as JOHNNY: It has been too long! Give me the biggest hug you have ever seen!
E: And all three of them come around you and grab you, and they kind of lift you in the air and shake you about.
A: Your little feets are dangling.
M as JOHNNY: It has been so long boys, how are you?
E as TRIPLET #1: Oh man, we are great! We knew Alonzo would find someone, we just didn't think it would happen so quick, and this guy is so great, and he's so powerful, and it just like, oh, we're so happy for him, we're so hyped up. Yeah! This is great!
E: And the other guys around him are like, “Yeah, this is so awesome.”
M as JOHNNY: You know, it may have been a while of us waiting, but it’s truly time. I'm so proud of them both. It's really just such a blessing to, to Devar and Adamah, that truly this has been just so great. I unfortunately came late so I was not allowed into the ceremony but I've already heard that it was one of the best ceremonies yet, and I'm so excited for the rest of this evening.
E as TRIPLET #1: You know what they say, pray hard, play hard, am I right?
A: Oh my GOD.
ALL; [Laugh, clap]
E: And the other guys are like, “Aww yeah!”
M as JOHNNY: Cheers, my boys!
E as TRIPLET #1: Oh wait, no, we don't have drinks yet! Uh...
E: And the lead guy kind of like signals over, kind of haphazardly, he's not really pointing anybody, he’s just like,
E as TRIPLET #1: Oh yeah, let's get some drinks, let's get some drinks!
A: And Inara’s been watching this, knowing that she’ll maybe have to dash in in case the situation turns bad, but it's turned almost too good, so she comes over with her full tray of drinks and sticks it up above her tiny elfin head so that the gigantic triplets can grab one off the tray.
E: Yeah, and all three of them grab -- how many are on the tray?
A: Uh there, were nine on the tray.
E: Oh yeah, each one of them grabs two. They are double fisting.
A: There is no other way to do it.
M: I take two as well.
E: Sure, great. So they say,
E as TRIPLET #1: Uh, Sylvanus, why don’t you make speech for us? Why don’t you make a toast?
M as JOHNNY: For many years I knew that Alonzo would finally find his way. He would become what all the Kikos wish they could be, and all of us from all the different parts of this continent are proud of this wedding, and we are proud of this family. To Alonzo and to Greg!
E: Make a performance roll for me.
M: Oh, with pleasure... NAT 20! Oh yeah!
ALL: [Laugh, clap]
M: With a different dice!
E: All three of the boys hold their drinks up and they are just in tears.
E: It's just like, they are so moved by your, your speech. And they are, like, so endeared to you. And they all say,
E as TRIPLETS: Cheers to Alonzo and Greg!
E: But they are crying. And they are so inspired that actually, all three of them pour both drinks in their mouths at the same time, and miraculously. [Rolls dice] Yeah, it all fits.
E: They do a real good job, not a drop is spared.
A: Inara pulls some napkins out of her back pocket, some fantasy napkins —
A: Some cloth napkins, to be clear, they haven’t invented disposable paper yet. And so she pulls out some napkins and holds them, again, far above her head so she can reach the hand level of these bros and gives them napkins so they can dab at their eyes.
E: And they do, delicately.
M: Johnny, of course, takes a sip and smiles, knowning he’s made three great friends.
E: Sure. And as this all fo this revelry has happened, the kind of, like, rest of the wedding party has come in. You see the Nectarias, who are all dressed in a kind of deep red, and they all kind of sit over on their side. There are two very large thrones in the middle, you assume where the grooms are going to sit at, and then you see like a rest of the wedding party trail in. So you see like the patriarchs of the family who are the representatives, and they look, you know, they kind of look the part, these grayer sort of men, and they look very, like, regal. And you see Max, Maximillian, is arm-in-arm with a woman in a very poofy red dress who is glued to his side. And she, she kind of leads them over and says,
E as WOMAN IN RED: Oh, Max, I'm so glad we get to sit near each other! I know that Alonzo and Greg are going to be in between us, but I can just see you all the way over there.
M as JOHNNY: Boys, I must go, I must say hello to Max, but save me a drink for later! I want to celebrate more with you guys.
E as TRIPLET #1: Oh you know it! Yeah yeeeeah!
M: And Johnny starts walking towards Max to help him out with, at least, a situation that he may be a little uncomfortable with. I would like to also motion to Inara to, you know, follow close and be around the area in case I need some backup. I give her a little side head nudge thing, and a wink, and some finger guns, and I also cast light everywhere.
A: As much as Inara hates being told what to do, I recognize this is a very good plan. So I actually see a server passing by me and I hand her my almost empty tray and take her full tray so I don’t have to go back to the kitchen, I can just kinda follow you at a safe distance.
E: Yeah, you walk over and this woman in a big poofy red dress is kind of, like, all over Max. She kind of motions over for some drinks.
M as JOHNNY: Maximillian, my good man! How are you? It has been an age! Server, please, the lady is asking for a drink.
M: I motion towards Inara, towards the other lady.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Johnny, it's so good to see you! What are you doing here?
M as JOHNNY: Max, my friend, it has been an age, it's been an age. How was the wedding?
E: Johnny, Johnny! It was very nice, it was very good.
M as JOHNNY: I'm so glad. Listen, my friend, a few questions. One: who are those three guys over there? I have become very good friends with them.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: Those are Kikos, the three brothers. The triplets, you know, Huey, Dewey and Louie?
E as MAXIMILLIAN: They, you know, they’re not bright boys but they're strong, and that's, that's what matters.
M as JOHNNY: Can I tell you, they may not be bright but their souls are bright.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: They are bright in our hearts, yes, yes, Johnny, oh yes.
M: Now, you seemed a little uncomfortable with your, with your female friend over there. What's her name? How can I help you?
E as MAXIMILLIAN: This is, uh.
E: And he gets in really close, whispering.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: I gotta tell you, this is Gregina Nectaria. She is all over me. She's the maid of honor, and she's stuck to me, and I cannot, I can not deal with it. Why is her dress so poofy?! It’s so poofy!
M as JOHNNY: Well, just try to relax and have a good time. If she's bothering you, know that Johnny B Goodlight over here can take care of it for you. Please, drink with me, Maximillian, to your brother's safety.
E as MAXIMILLIAN: To my brother's safety.
E: And at that point Gregina, who you now know is sitting over there in the red poofy dress, she kind of hears that and she says,
E as GREGINA: Why would Alonzo and Greg have something to fear? They have nothing to fear, this a beautiful, wonderful day. And you, good sir, you seem to belong here, but I cannot place your name?
M: Johnny would like to cast Side-Eye. It's a Nat 20, I already rolled.
M as JOHNNY: Gregina, it has also been an age! Come over here, let us toast to the health, as we were just now, to both of the newly wedded couple. To their Everlasting Health. Join us, please! If not, it would be... suspicious.
E: She says,
E as GREGINA: Of course, to their ever-enduring love.
E: And she just puts on the biggest smile on her face and raises the cup up.
E: And clinks.
M: Can I quickly Insight that?
E: Yes, of course.
A: Like, her tone?
M: [Sighs] Well, that is barely a roll but I’ll allow it since I got two 20s in a row. That is a solid 4!
E: Yeah, you don't know. This drink is strong! Woo!
E: As soon as y’all clink your drinks, kind of like, the doors that the wedding parties came in through, you realize that only one door is open. It’s actually supposed to be these really big double doors, and they’re kind of thrown open. And at that point you all hear a extremely loud “Caw!” crack through the small talk of the party.
A: Like, a raven, an eagle, what are we thinking here?
E: Yeah, kind of like one of those, but you also hear it’s also like a roar the same time. And then you hear stomping. And you see an owlbear stomp into the party!
A: Whaaat? owl bear!?!?!
E: 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 digital life; and Michael archives, manual-checks, and cartographs our world. Special thanks to our creative consultants Connor McLoughlin, Julia Schifini and Heddy Hunt.
M: The party doesn’t stop here! Make sure you catch the Afterparty, where we sit down to discuss what just happened and learn what could have happened. Just tap the next episode in your podcast feed.
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E: We’ll see you in two weeks. You don't have to go home but you can't stay here.