Our heroes are free, free falling, but can they keep themselves from tumbling all the way down? Tracy knocks. Inara chops. Johnny helps someone disappear.
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Amanda: Last Time on Join the Party
Eric: Time is back in its place, the wedding was a success, and we met some new friends. Like James,
E (as James): You know the medicine man, he gets down like that
E: and Mr. Gargoyle.
E (as Stoneface): That was my father.
E: But when our heroes make a great escape from their room, the rope decides not to cooperate
B (as Tracey): Oh no
A (As Inara): Oh man
Michael (as Johnny): Tracey!
E: is the window of opportunity closing for our Heroes? get it? window? i said window? ’Cause they are falling out of a window! Let’s get the party going!
E: Here's where we're at. Tracey, you have tried to tie the bedsheets to the bed that you moved all the way to the window, about six stories up. Your knot failed and the bedsheet rope is slowly unspooling as you are outside the window. Johnny, you're right below where you met Stoneface, so like four stories up, and Inara, you are like right above that Stoneface floor. And the bedsheet rope is slowly unspooling, and you are all falling, and we're like in Bullet Time right now.
(“Flight of the Bumblebees” and insect sound effects start fading in)
E: As the rope falls and you're now just kind of falling through the air and kind of clawing out whatever you can. Stoneface turns his head and says
E (as Stoneface): Hey all right boys let's ride up
E: And he spreads his stone wings and dive bombs off of the side and behind him about like six Bombilates follow him in a very sort of intricate flight pattern.
A: (Whispers) Yes.
E: And Inara you are grabbed by four bombilates
A: (Whispers) Yes.
E: Each one on either of your limbs.
A: This is all I’ve ever dreamed of.
E: and johnny you are grabbed with a stony claw slick with pomade.
E: Stone pomade.
M: No, please.
E: By Stoneface, your bud.
M: Johnny is going to roll to see if he's listening to “Flight of the Bumblebees” in his head.
A: Ah, you beat me to it!
M: Yeah, 17. I believe I'm listening to “Flight of the Bumblebees” in my head.
E: That's fair.
A: I rolled a two. So all I've got is "da-da" (to the tune of the opening of “Flight of the Bumblebees”).
(Laughter. Music stops.)
E: Inara why don't you roll a animal handling.
A: That's a nat 20, babe.
B: Gee whiz!
M: We are in like minute like two. Nicely done.
E: Very good.
A: I just want to emphasize that Inara is like this is the best moment of her entire life being able to fly on under the claws of hummingbirds. Like, come on, this is amazing.
E: It's like you're in a helicopter like the way that the sound is all you hear is like the flapping of their wings. (Makes a helicopter noise). And as you rolled a nat 20 for animal handling, you can go wherever you want. You guys have all connected with yourself. Is there somewhere you want to go on your animal tour? Again you are...
B: Uh, wait... has Tracey been saved?
E: No not yet.
B: Okay cool just checking.
E: I can tell you where, where exactly you are. You are outside of the castle. You can see the entire market which is far, it's definitely far away. But you have the entire grounds of the castle that are out before you. Do you want to go somewhere? Do you want a scenic route through the city or like outside the city?
A: I definitely want to be sure that my companions are saved so I'll probably want to make this call after I see what happens to Tracey and Johnny B. Goodlight. So if I do, I may just direct the hummingbirds to grab one of them as well. But I definitely want to go show off to Alonzo whom if I recall correctly is practicing his like magic, you know, bending of air or whatever out on the grounds.
E: All right. Fish, do you want to talk to Stoneface at all?
M: Yeah couple of questions on that. So Johnny is being grabbed by him which is all cool and great, um do gargoyles have pockets? Here's why. Let me explain.
A: I'm the thief! I'm the thief!
M: I understand that. But if he has a sandwich on him, one of his fabled sandwiches, I kind of want a sandwich.
E: He does not have a sandwich but you can ask him. You can definitely ask him for one.
M: The problem is Johnny was promised breakfast and really wanted breakfast. Hence this whole tale of woe.
E: Yeah, okay, yes, that's fair. So you guys are saved. Thank you for telling me your motivation. Tracey, no one is helping you are falling out in the air. What are you going to do dawg?
B: Okay so when I look down as I'm falling what do I see directly below me?
E: Directly below you, it just it's really just the ground. You are very close to the castle wall. You can't really put anything that close just to hear architectural reasons. So it's really just the ground.
B: So there's no... like, it's not, there's not a bombilate like mid-flight come out of the window or like... How far is the gargoyle?
E: I mean you are ten feet above everybody else. So I would say that Stoneface, the bombilates did not know you were there or like exactly where you were. You had talked. But I mean it was locationally... There are definitely still bombilates in there, but no one else is coming for you.
B: All right so here's the things that are going through Tracey's mind, like milliseconds after he fell. Number one he needs to get the attention of Mr. Gargoyle or... which I think is his dad.
E: Yeah, that is his father.
A: That would be an impressive feat. Mr. Gargolye is like, playing checkers in the market.
E: He’s playing stone dominoes.
A: It's the retirement to which all gargoyles aspire.
B: So he needs to get the attention of Stoneface and/or one of the bombilates and he needs to stop or at least lessen the damage from the fall. So as soon as he recognizes the rope going slack he reaches back into his pack and pulls out--ready for this?--his help horn! He has a help horn!
E: What the hell is a help horn?
B: It's a giant like ram's horn that he can blow when he needs help from his friends and allies and buddies.
E: Did you always have a help horn?
B: You're damn right I did.
A: He was born with it but it grew over time.... (laughs)
B: It's leftover from my detective law enforcement days.
E: All right, sure.
B: So I'm going to blow the horn and you tell me does it get the attention of any bombilates.
E: Why don't you do an Animal handling to see if you blow it for the bombilates.
A: For Queen and country.
B: That's a four.
B: Can I... so I blow this horn. And it just goes like (tiny “boop” noise).
E: Yeah that's exactly what happens
A: Yeah it happens sometimes, Brandon, and it's very natural.
E: Yeah you blow it, it's just not what you are looking for. No it doesn't get anyone's attention no.
B: Okay so then as I'm falling down...
E: You are now falling and you are now another floor down
B: Great, so as I'm falling. I want to kind of do a barrel roll and aim my rage switch right on the parapet and have it just flick on.
E: Oh okay I understand. Why don't you make an acrobatic check.
B: I've got a 4.
E: Yeah you're trying to turn yourself over but you actually turn yourself like you do an entire somersault and you land on your chest falling onto the parapet and you're going to say you're to take... 6 damage.
E: But why don't you make a Dex save to see if you can hold on to where you're at.
E: Yeah. Okay. You definitely grab onto it because you landed like fully on your chest. You put your hands out and now you are like half on the ledge and half off of it, but you are securely there, and you are in the rookery. And much like the bombilates from before made eye contact with Johnny B, the rest of them are now making eye contact with you.
B: I reach into my pack and I pull out my water skin and kind of hold out a bowl of water and I say
B (as Tracey): Hey, you guys want some water?
E: Yeah a few of them flap over to you and start lapping from it.
E: They're like a little interested because not sugary, but like they're pretty cool. And now you're safe and you're hanging out with your bird friends.
B: Cool, I pet them a little bit.
E: All right, Inara. You see all this going down and Tracey's now safe. You are steering the bombilates down towards Alonzo.
E: As you're going down and you make your way towards where Alonzo is practicing you actually pass by this really big conference room with some very large windows on the bottom floor. And in there you see a lot of the people you saw from yesterday who are on the dais. A lot of the Kikos. Max is in there. Sylvanus is in there, Huey, Douey, and Louis are in there, and some other key people wearing like more regular day purple robes. But they have their Kiko biz going on. And you see Necterias down there, people you saw before. Gregina is not there but Greg is, and the representatives from the Necterian people from the dais. And they're all congregating in this room and a lot of people are standing and a lot of people are shouting at each other. (Solemn music starts) You can tell, actually Max is in everybody's face. He's just getting up in every single Necterian he can see and he's being like actually physically restrained by Huey, Douey and Louis. There's also someone who you don't recognize. It's a humanoid with a tinted purple skin who's sitting there and they're wearing a neutral colored cloak and it is just silent. You can see it totally blank faced and neutral within all of the screaming that's happening around.
A: Can I direct the bombilates to hover out of sight above or below the window so I can try to maybe roll for some kind of perception check or investigation check and see if I can hear inside?
E: Yeah ok. I will say the animal handling let you do that, so why don't you do an investigation check?
E: Yeah. You control the bombilates to go above the conference room...
A: We are just mind melded at this point. They just, they just are like an extension of me.
E: You are flying above the conference room that has a skylight and actually you aren't able to land because that would be a little weird but you were able to hover over the skylight and you can hear some things but the bombilates are flapping really loudly.
(Insect noises get louder)
E: So you hear some snatches of conversation, mostly of Max because he's screaming, and you hear the words "medallion" "safety" "family" and most importantly they talk about the Realm and the states a lot.
E: But these are all like voices you've heard before. This is all Max and Silvanus really. And then necteria's is like yelling back but you can't really make it out.
A: And can I identify at all if Greg and his dad are on the side of Max or on the side of the other Necterians?
E: Yeah it's like Necterians versus Kikos.
A: Including Greg and his dad?
E: Including Greg and his dad.
A: Uh... Okay.
E: Yeah. Max has gotten in Greg's face a number of times. You cannot hear any voice that you don't recognize before so the neutral figure hasn't said anything yet.
A: Gotcha. After gleaning what I can I'll continue on to go chat with Alonzo.
E: Yeah, Johnny you and Stoneface are getting some quality time together.
M: As, you know, two best friends ought to do.
M (as Johnny): Hey Stoneface...
E (as Stoneface): Hey, what’s popping?
M (as Johnny): Let's get back towards the the rookery over there. I wanna check out my boy.
E (as Stoneface): Eyy! Hold on, I want to show you some cool stunts first.
(“Flight of the Bumblebees” resumes in earnest)
E: I rolled a nat 20 for Stoneface's stunts
M: Oh my God, it’s happening!!
A: So good.
E: He is doing the loop-de-loops.
M: Because it was a 20, may I incorporate magic to enhance the stunts?
E: Yeah absolutely.
E: All right so we're going to do some loop loops. We gonna do some, like you fly upside down for a while, you are just like a free flowing roller coaster right now.
A: This is like that scene in Grease where they have the drag race in the L.A. River only actually good.
E: Yeah, well while he does the stunts he goes. Ba ba ba ba ba ba (to the tune of “Grease Lightening”).
A: (Sings along)
M: Meanwhile Johnny obviously is shooting off lights and color sprays everywhere to enhance all these amazing stunts that are happening.
B: Tracey from like, what like 100 feet away? 50 feet away or whatever?, like sees all of this is happening and his wonder sensors again are just lighting up. And I think the bombilates are probably like pretty stoked about it too.
E: Oh yeah they're flapping really quickly. Okay so the final thing that Stoneface does, he does a wide arc kind of around this side of the castle. And you can actually see the entire city stretched up in front of you from this high up. You see the market where you started your journey and the many multicolored roofs, each one designating a new neighborhood. It's like an orderly kaleidoscope or like someone threw paint swatches into the air. You also see on the far edge of the city where it's walled off and there's actually a massive mural that stretches across the entire eastern wall. The wall is of the night sky with stars bobbing and weaving around. There are three celestial bodies in the sky: a sun, a moon, and a triangle. But even from that far away you can see that something is off in the mural. Something has been painted over the triangle. It's like spray paint or like a massive burst of color spray. The entire triangle is a deep red.
M: I'd like to assume that Johnny was able to recognize and then maybe take note of this mural when he came in. Does it seem new, this color spray?
E: Yes it does.
M: Is he worried that he did it.
A: Johnny’s version of waking up after a bender is just looking around for like evidence of paint trails and footprints.
M: The thing is… yes.
M (as Johnny): (Echoing) Oh, it that why I was thrown in jail? No, no, that was clearly there. That must have been there.
A: Nice, nice, nice. Good job Johnny, good job.
E: Johnny is so selfish. It blows my mind. Stoneface makes the wide arc and drops you back off in the rookery. He even sticks out a stony hand and pulls Tracey fully back into the rookery.
M: Johnny Pats Traceys back and says
M (as Johnny): Nice landing, my friend.
B: And Tracey winks at Johnny.
E: All right, I’m going to go over to Inara now that you two are safe.
A: Just me and my hummingbirds communing with nature, man.
E: The bombilates have kind of like hoverboard-ed you to Alonzo and you're like hovering about ten feet up, and he doesn't even hear it even though it is pretty loud with the flapping. He doesn't hear it. He's still like kinda trying to concentrate on his magic spells.
A (as Inara): Uh, Alonzo, Check out my sweet new ride.
E: Alonzo looks up and he...
E (as Alonzo): What what. What's that. What are you doing? Where did you get those?
A (as Inara): It's a long story. We were like locked into our room this morning and we just didn't really feel that good about it. So we kind of jumped out the window, kind of fell, kind of used a rope, it's fine, don't worry about it. We met Stoneface. Nice guy. I hear his dad Mr. Gargoyle is just, really, you know, has a great reputation. Anyway here I am now and I just wanted to check out, looks like you are doing some target practice. I'm all about learning and stuff. So I was wondering if you could tell me what you were checking out.
(Pause, followed by laughter)
E (as Alonzo): Oh oh oh. You said a bunch of things at the same time, who locked...? You got locked in?
A (as Inara): Have I mentioned that I like communed with four bombilates to form a greater more evolved creature? I'm really hype right now.
E (as Alonzo): I by no means... I mean this is where I live, and I have never gotten that close to these guys. Oh man. Okay. Let me I'll meet you inside. Just go back... what floor... you're in the rookery right? Okay. So just like you stay on that floor. Like do you... I don't want to like lock you... who would lock you in? That's crazy. I'm going to, I'll meet you up there. Just go back to the rookery and like chill out. You can, you like go out on the floor. I'm not going to. I'm not going to lock you in. Yeah, just do it. I'll meet you up there.
A (as Inara): Not that I don’t like trust your word, man. But there were some like mad tension happening in the castle right now. Also we're going to need breakfast like in the next ten minutes or else we're totally not going to be able to stay in whatever room you put us in.
E (as Alonzo): Yeah, um okay...
A (as Inara): There's things like dust sandwiches. I'm just not about that. I don't want to disrespect your cuisine or your culture, whatever, great wedding, love you, love you and Greg, great couple, love it. However. We're just going to need some like non dust-based food
M: Johnny smiles. Without knowing what's happening he just feels...
A: Johnny feels touched by an angel. He's just, on the back of his neck he's like, “Ahhh.”
E (as Alonzo): Yeah, okay you're on.. Okay. (Muttering) The Rookery is on the eastern side of the fourth or fifth floor. Fifth floor. Yeah, um, there should be... Let’s see. Oh! You know what's up there, the alchemy room, the alchemy room is up there. I spend so much time in there. You can, uh, it’s in one of the rooms on the fifth floor. I keep a bunch of snacks and stuff because I'm in there for a long amount of time. There's definitely enough up there. I'll meet you up there as soon as I can. Don't worry don't worry about the tension, it's just... I stopped time! You know, it's one of those things. I'll see you later. Just, I’ll meet you up there.
A (as Inara): I know, it's tough, man. Day after the wedding, some people do brunch. It's always hard. Weird day, weird feelings. I’ll see you up there, bye.
A: And Inara, just without, without even making any kind of gesture, the bombilates lift her seamlessly back up into the air and we're going to fly off back toward the castle.
E: Yeah. That's exactly what happens. The bombilates kind of bring you over to the rookery and drop you very delicately through the open window, which is into the rookery.
B (as Tracey): Oh hey inara, where have you been?
A (as Inara): Oh, what’s up, Tracey! I’m glad you didn't get killed in that fall.
B (as Tracey): Me too!
A (as Inara): Awesome news. Johnny, I found you some food.
M (as Johnny): I knew being friends with you would be the best thing to happen to me this week.
A: And Inara feels like, a little just like pleased glow come over her to have the approval of her like granddad Johnny B. Goodlight. So anyway,
A (as Inara): So Alonzo told me that it's in the alchemy room. I don't know which way that is, but I think if we just go out this door of the rookery we should be able to find some snacks nearby. He's going to meet us there.
B (as Tracey): I found some snacks!
B: And Tracey walks over to the bowls of sugar water that I assume are there and just like tries it. does he, does he like it?
A: Does he develop dysentery?
E: It tastes like sugar water.
B: So I think he really likes it.
E: Yeah. You keep drinking it?
B: Yeah he's bonded with the bombilites a little bit. Like he's sharing a bowl with the one and they're like really enjoying each other's company
A: Have you like common law married a bombilate? Is this happening right now?
E: I do like the image of you, it's like you're like trying to lap up the sugar water. There's another bombilate with its really long like proboscis tongue trying to lap it up at the same time.
M (as Johnny): There are two things I love. Snacks and alchemy. There are many other things I love. But right now I'm hungry. Shall we? Stoneface, come on with us.
E (as Stoneface): Eyyy, uh, you know, I got to watch over my, I got to watch over my flock. I got to do my job you know? Man's job is a man's business. That's what I always say. So I can't, I can't go with you but you know if you ever find yourself in like in this area of the castle, just like hit me up.
E: He tries to do high fives with all of you.
M: I have arcane secret handshake knowledge. And I immediately start doing the coolest handshake with this gargoyle.
E: Why don't you roll for it and add your charisma and add your proficiency bonus.
M: 11 plus two. That's a 13.
E: Actually with a 13 you two invent a hand jive together.
E: Up down up down, side, side, over the shoulder, over the shoulder.
M: Yes yes yes.
A: I’m glad that in our fantasy universe is enriched with the existence of the hand jive, leather jackets and pomade are soon to follow.
A: So Inara learned Thieves Cant just before setting off for this journey, and I would love to leave a message in like the archway or right outside on the stone outside the window. Like, you know, ‘this is a safe place and Stoneface is an ally.’ So would I be able to use one of the chisels in my lockpicking kit or my thieves’ tool kit to to carve that message real quick?
E: Yeah you take out your chisels and you chisel three symbols into the archway. One says "safe," one says "rest," and one says "friend". And those are the three in there, right next to Stoneface’s kind of like perch.
A: Would it take too long to write. "Call him Stoneface, Mr. Gargoyle is his father?"
E: That would take too long yes.
A: Just checking, just checking.
E: Fine you add, you add a fourth one that says Dad.
E: That's all you can do
B (as Tracey): Hey Inara what are you writing?
A (as Inara): Oh I'm just, I'm just leaving a quick like “We were here” message, you know. I'm like, off on my own for the first time on the road, I really like to mark my place in the world, so that's what I'm doing.
B (as Tracey): Cool I love it.
E: Okay you walk out of the rookery and you are in a hallway. There are three doors you can see out here. There's one to your left and there are two to your right.
A: Can we roll perception or investigation to see if either one, like, looks more like an alchemy room than others?
B: I want to roll perception to see if I can hear anything to the doors.
E: Inara you want to look, and Tracey you want to hear?
B: Yes sir.
E: All right.
M: I'd like to detect the presence of arcane forces.
A: I've got 12 on looking
E: All the doors look pretty much the same. Yeah, you can't you can't really tell anything.
B: I've got a seven on perception.
E: Hearing? It's quiet.
M: 18+4 I believe.
E: Sure, there is definitely one room that you're getting the most vibes from. It is the one all the way on the right. However, you are also getting some vibes from, some lesser vibes definitely, from the one closer to your right and the one on the left. Actually the one on the left you're getting... so, most vibes all the way on the right, a middling amount of vibes to the left, and there is a small amount of vibes to the one to your close range.
M (as Johnny): Great news, guys: There's definitely an alchemy room here. Bad news: there's magic all over the place. I think it's the one over there.
M: And I point to the one you told me.
M (as Johnny): There is a magical presence in some of the other ones. I say let's take a look everywhere. There's three of us, there's three doors. Let's open them all at the same time and have a party.
A (as Inara): All right, whatever, man. I'll take the one the left.
B (as Tracey): That sounds like a horrible idea. I say we all just go into the far right room and then if there's something there we go to the other rooms.
A (as Inara): And like Alonzo said we should just wait there for him. I don’t think he set a trap for us, so let's just check it out. The one we think is most magical.
M (as Johnny): I really hope there's snacks there. Let's do it.
A: So we walk over to the door to the far right.
B: I'm going to put my shield in front of me walk up to the door and say
B (as Tracey): Hey Johnny, you want to flip that switch for me, buddy?
A: And Inara is just going to hide behind Tracey just a little bit, just in case.
M: I flip... Also, real quick, what's the light situation in this hallway?
M: This was a mistake, I forgot. We were just outside so I know it was fine there. But it's very important, what's the light sitch?
E: The sconces is are all lit. You are all good with the light.
M: Thanks man.
A: You are ensconced in sconces. Heyyyy.
B: Very good.
M: Johnny flips the rage switch and says
M (as Johnny): it's all yours buddy.
B: Tracey just rips the door open.
E: All right make a strength check.
M: Okay give me that dice. That dice is no good.
A: That dice has got to get burned.
B: Hang on, I get advantage on strength checks.
E: Well you just rolled a crit one so hopefully you do better.
B: Yes, that is much better. That is a 14 plus three plus two, so 19.
E: With a 19. You rip the door off of its hinges and in front of you are standing two identical twins, tiny dragonborn, both of whom have their hands where the door handle used to be.
(Slow music starts to play)
E: Hey, it's Eric! Welcome to the Midroll. It’s like you’re out on the beach and you’re jumping through waves and letting sand crunch through your toes. You suspect that your skin isn’t sunscreened anymore and you remember that you have half a turkey sandwich and a capri sun in a cooler under the umbrella. This is the umbrella. It has polka dots!
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That is the end of my serious broadcast.
All right, let's get back to the party.
(Slow music fades out)
E: Tracey rips the door off its hinges and standing in front of all three of you are two small dragonborn, both of whom have their hands where the door handle was about to be.
A: What do Dragonborn look like? Are they like lizard people? What's going on.
E: Dragonborn are humanoids. They stand on two legs they have two arms. They are covered in scales and have a dragon face. They can also breathe the certain elemental depending on their skin color and like their Dragon lineage these dragonborn are gold.
E: And they also have a tail, little tail flipping about
A: Okay. cute
E: Yeah. These two are, they look smaller than you. They're about like four and a half feet tall. They kind of look like children or like lil preteens, and they look exactly the same, except one of them has a very big birthmark over one of their eyes. They're actually holding hands and they're using the other hand to grab to where the door knob used to be.
E: And they see the giant robot pull the door off the hinges and they both go.
E: (In high-pitched voice) Aahhhhh!
E: And they run away. One jumps into a very large cauldron that is on the other side of the room and the other one scampers up a very large bookcase that is on the far left of the room and it's kind of like crouching at the top.
(Crackling wood fire sound effects)
M: So this is the alchemy room and I don't see any danger. Johnny flips the switch down and kind of pats Tracey on the back saying
M (as Johnny): You done good kid.
B: And Tracey kind of rubs his eyes and he's like
B (as Tracey): Oh. So there was no one in here, huh?
A: And Inara looks up at the one in the bookcase and says
A (as Inara): Uh, hey guys, we are totally coming in peace and stuff! Alonzo set us up here to just hang out and wait and have some snacks. Are you guys hungry or do you know where the snacks are? We're totally here in peace.
B (as Tracey): Oh my god I'm so sorry. Are you guys Okay.
E: The one on top of the bookcase yells over and says
E (as Taylor): Tammy, theyre coming for the snacks!
E: And the other one jumps up out of the cauldron and says
E (as Tammy): Taylor don't let them take the snacks!
E: and then ducks down in the cauldron again
A: Inara goes
A (as Inara): I am so totally not here to steal your snacks man. I just. Never mind what I said about the snacks. We were just here in peace. Don't be scared. I don't want to like make make Alonzo mad by making you mad.
M (as Johnny): They're playing hard to get. I'm sure we can negotiate for some snacks
E (as Tammy): No I’m super serious go away from the snacks
A (as Inara): Johnny. I'm totally doing a bluff here to make sure that they don't get like super fire breathey.
E (as Taylor): Get out of here! I don’t care what you have to say!
E: The one in the cauldron pops up and says
E (as Tammy): Yeah, get out of here!
E: And they both kind of hiss you. (Hissing noise)
B: Tracey steps up and he goes
B (as Tracey): Would it make you guys feel more comfortable if I just step out of the room for a little bit?
E (as Taylor): That was a very rational thing that I wasn’t prepared for!
A: And Inara whispers,
A (as Inara): Hey Johnny why don’t you put on a little light show and entertain the kiddos here? ...I can’t believe I’m asking you to do something light trick related.
B: And Tracey kind of looks at Inara and Johnny and nods and then goes. Walks out the door frame. tries to like put the door back on its hinges a little bit, maybe like uses some, a little bit of his rope to like try to tie the hinges back up, and then stands in Sentry mode outside the door.
M: Johnny’s just a little surprised I guess that there were dragonborn.
M (as Johnny): (In accidentally creepy voice) Hey kids, want to see a magic show?
E (as Tammy): NOOOOO
E: They both scream again. The one on top of the bookcase says,
E (as Taylor): If James knew someone came in here he would be so mad at us! And then we’re gonna have to clean this whole thing! Tammy what are we supposed to do?
E: And the one in the cauldron says.
E (as Tammy): All right, activate plan alpha!
E: And they congregate in the middle of the room. One jumps down off the bookcase. The other one jumps out of the cauldron and standing side by side they open their mouths at you.
A: Inara yells
A (as Inara): Tracey! Get in here!
B: Yeah, and Tracey has Danger Sense so he kind of intuitively understands that something is about to go down. So he… (Pause) ...he gingerly opens the door. And then like somersaults into the fray and in front of Johnny and Inara and stands with a shield in front.
M: Johnny’s absolutely is going to take this opportunity while they're like collecting themselves in the center to just jump out of the way.
A (as Inara): Guys, we are totally not fighting you here. I know that sounded really creepy. I also heard about stranger danger--
A: --I’m also a kid so I know what you're talking about. And, uh, you know, we're just here to chill. If we want to chill in the hallway, we can do that too. Super sorry.
E: Persuasion check please
A: Sure. I got a 14 plus two for 16.
E: All right. They both close their mouths and they say
E (as Tammy and Taylor): Hey are you, uh, are you with the magic guy? Is he creepy? He seems creepy.
A (as Inara): No. He's just like, he’s just like been alone for a long time. Anyway it's fine. And he's, he's super chill. This robot guy, super nice. Like looks a little bit scary but I promise he's a good dude.
B: I put my shield away and just like take a knee.
M (as Johnny): Yeah, kids--
M: Johnny says from behind the table.
M (as Johnny): Yeah, I'm not the worst. Here:
M: Johnny casts prestidigitation on some of the vials and things near the kids so that they see that it changes colors and...
A (as Inara): And that is totally not ominous he is just trying to show off. No, he's just like, just really loves the light, you know. It's a whole thing, I don't really know much about it anyway.
M: Ha magic, ha ha ha!
A (as Inara): Do you guys live here? Do you know Alonzo? He's our buddy.
E: The two dragonborn look at each other for like a few seconds. you feel like they're talking to each other and they're having a conversation with each other without saying anything. And Tammy says,
E (as Tammy): challenge?
E: and Taylor says
E (as Taylor): challenge.
E: And they look at you both and Tammy says,
E (as Tammy): Okay well if you guys aren't super weird and fun, why don't you help us play a game?
E: And Taylor says
E (as Taylor): You know, I don't know if you could tell but like we're twins, we, and we--
A (as Inara): Really?
E (as Taylor): We have a running tally about like who gets to do stuff. We're James's apprentices. We're alchemy apprentices.
E: And Tammy says
E (as Tammy): I'm the best one at it.
E: And Taylor says
E (as Taylor): No I'm the best one at it! This is, this is why we have to resolve it.
E: And they point over to a corner of the room. Here's what the room looks like. On the far left is a very large bookcase...
B: Sorry, is this a square room?
E: It is a square room, yes. There is a very large bookcase with tons of books jammed into it. in kind of like the back middle is a large cauldron that Taylor was hiding in, and behind that is kind of like a giant card catalog. Each one is distinctly numbered 1 through 20. And there is another one that's written in a language that none of you understand. It is written in Draconic. So also behind that there are a bunch of tables and vials and things. And there's also another window that looks out on a similar area that you were in and in the corner is, like, a kind of like a large locker that is closed. And Tammy continues,
E (as Tammy): So let’s do a challenge. We each have to clean the cauldron. James makes us do it in the morning. But we hate it because it smells like butts. And...
E: Taylor agrees,
E (as Taylor): Yeah. Smells like butts all the time, always butts.
A: The one thing we can truly agree on.
E (as Tammy): So each of us are going to pick one of you and we're going to try to make the best potion possible. And whoever wins is going to make the other one clean the thing. Oh and we have a big board where we are where we keep track of it.
E: And on the big board over next to the locker is like a really big chalkboard. And one says Tammy and the other and says Taylor and they actually have like a ton of tallies on it and they look pretty much even.
E (as Tammy): Alright so we are going to pick teams. Well why should we pick you?
M (as Johnny): Well I'm not going to brag, but I... know my stuff.
E (as Tammy): That’s very creepy, continues with the same theme that we had before.
E (as Taylor): Got him sick burn.
A (as Inara): And you know I was totally like raised in the woods man. I'm a half elf and we just you know always like making potions foraging going out in a new environment, whatever. And also I am I'm very slowly learning poisoning and antidotes and I know at least a little bit. I've saved at least one life with antidotes and I am I'm here and ready.
E (as Tammy): Lit.
B: Tracey gets off a knee and stands up his full height and broadens his chest and says,
B (as Tracey): I can read that entire bookshelf in twenty eight seconds.
E (as Tammy and Taylor): All right prove it.
E: They both say at the same time.
B: So I walk over to the bookshelf and I attempt to read the entire bookshelf in 28 seconds.
E: Here's what I want you to do. I want you to roll a d10 to figure out what book you pull off the shelf.
B: Yes sir. Two.
E: All right. You kind of peruse around and with a two you grab a very large tome off of the bookshelf. I don't know if you did this on purpose but you kind of pick the biggest and oldest book off of the book shelf. It was kind of like at waist height. So you didn't really have to grab for it but you have it in front of you and it's super dusty. And like almost like falling apart and you have to hold it gingerly. And the cover is written in the language that you do not understand.
B: What Tracey is going to do... is a bluff. He's going to like tear through the pages. He understands that he can't read this script so he's just going to rip through the pages and pretend like he read it.
E: You want to do a persuasion role?
B: Yep. That's a three.
A: Tracey is the bluntest instrument in our toolbox
E: What do you say to try to convince these people?
B: So he just stares at the book for like half a second and puts it back and says
B (as Tracey): Done
E: Tammy looks you and says
E (as Tammy): So what was it about?
B (as Tracey): Well it was, a very enlightening to read on the use of frog slime in the application of transmutation potions.
E: They both look at each other and they will snort and they both say
E (as Tammy and Taylor): Yeah we're not picking you. Liars don't get to be picked.
E: They actually play some game really quickly. It's not rock paper scissors, It's like a like a different version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It's like Elf, Giant, Cow.
A: Cool cool cool. So how does cow beat giant, does he choke on it?
E: Uh… uh… yeah.
A: Okay. Okay. Let's let's go to the permutations.
E: So elf, elf, like, okay...
E: Giant kills the elf, elf kills the cow, cow kills the giant.
A: How. By choking?
E: Yeah by choking as they try to eat it and the cow gets lodged in its throat.
A: Ok. Whatever you say.
E: Yeah. And Taylor goes first, Taylor wins and he points at an Inara and says
E (as Taylor): I want the teen
A: And Inara gives him a double thumbs up.
E: And Tammy says
E (as Tammy): All right I get the weird guy. All right. Liars don’t get to play.
B (as Tracey): Oh I'll just ref I guess.
E (as Tammy): Okay. Tight.
E: All right. Fish and Amanda, here's what I want you to do. You're going to roll a d20 and d10. These are going to give you components to make potions. However you need to work with Taylor and Tammy and do whatever like thing you want to do with them to try to improve this potion in some way. But that is how I'm going to give you these ingredients and you are gonna work with these two. Amanda let's start with you.
A: I got an 18 and a two.
E: Okay. So you and Taylor walk over to the two cabinets. You pull from the 18 slot, which, you have a glowing stone in your hand.
E: It's kind of like it's glowing like light white and it has like little kind of like pockmarks in it.
E: You go over to the one written in Draconic and Taylor kind of like scrambles up and pulls something out and it is dried ephedra and it's just dried root and it comes out.
A: Okay, cool.
E: Johnny. What did you roll?
M: Johnny rolled a 15 on the d20 and a three on the d10.
E: Okay. You walk over to the 15 and you pull out this kind of like winding ivy from there. And Tammy scrambles up and pulls out this kind of like a bowl of wax and pulls it down. Taylor says,
E (as Taylor): All right now that we have the ingredients it's time for Chopped! We call it chopped because we chop things to do it.
A: Oh no...
E (as Taylor): We have five minutes! One, two, three, go.
E: They both make a move towards the cauldron.
A: What are we gonna do, man? What do we need to do?
E (as Taylor): What is this. what do we got what do we got?
A (as Inara): Oh we got some kind of like porous glow-y stone thing. And then also some some root which you said was... ephedra?
E: Taylor pulls you over to the library section. He says,
(Low light music begins to play)
E (as Taylor): Look for something that has stones, stones or glowing stones.
A: So Inara knows five languages she knows, common, Elvish, and I don't haven't chose the other ones yet.
B: Oh that’s great, you know Draconic!
E: Why don't you make a perception check to try to see something in the library.
A: Okay. I should probably choose my languages! I got a 16 plus five for 21.
E: Sure you pulled down a book that is ‘The Big Book of Stones!’ and you can read through it.
A: Okay great, so DM, what does what does this white pourus stone tell me?
E: This is a moonstone. It gives you one hour of lycanthropy.
E: You turn into a werewolf for one hours.
A: Wait who would want that?
E: I mean it's pretty dope.
A: And is our goal here to make a potion or to, like... like what is what kind of potion are we trying to do?
E: The goal is to make the best potion possible as determined by Tammy and Taylor.
A: Well as a #teen, a lycanthropy potion is the dopest.
M: Teen lycanthrope [bad attempt at Teen Wolf reference]
A: (Pity laugh) Nice. So I turn to Taylor and say,
A (as Inara): Ah, okay, so it says here that this is,
A: and then I whisper,
A (as Inara): a lycanthropy potion! That's a werewolf, bro! That’s totally dope. So let's just make that potion right now.
E (as Taylor): Let's do it. (Whispers) Oh yeah we have the best! Nice!
E: And then you high five.
A: Cool, we high five soundly.
(Sound of Eric and Amanda high-fiving)
A: And we go off to the side of the room with our chopping board and mortar and pestle and things to make the potion.
A: Per the book.
E: So at the same time...
M: At the same time I'd like to roll perception to see if just by grabbing these I'm able to spot what they are with nature.
E: Nature check.
M: Thats a nat 20.
E: With a nat 20 I'm going to let you recognize both of these things.
E: You have something called Fiend's Ivy, it is a component to make mind reading. This is the thing that makes the potion of mind reading. You've got the wax, right?
E: You realize this thing is called Emeric wax. He delays how the potion works by 12 hours.
M (as Johnny): Tammy, I have one of my favorite components here. This is Fiend's ivy. Have you used the before?
E (as Tammy): No not really I just kind of clean up the cauldron and stuff.
M (as Johnny): This lets you mind read, and this guy delays actions, which isn't as cool. What do you think we can do to make this super cool?
E: Tammy gets a look on her face and says,
E (as Tammy): Trade with them. Trade the two bonus component we got from the Draconic because it's going to be dumb as hell if we try to use it and it is going to be delayed by 12 hours. That's hilarious.
M (as Johnny): How do we initiate this trade?
E (as Tammy): Just go over there and try to swap. It's really easy. Haven’t you ever played a game before?
M: Well --
E (as Tammy): You’re so old! Why are you such an old! Oh my god, go over there!
M (as Johnny): I'm very old. Listen. How'd you like to be invisible.
E: Her eyes go very very big.
M: Here's what I need you to do. Here's the wax. Hold on to it. I'm going to turn you invisible and you’re going to go over there, swap the items. No one will be able to see you and we’ll take care of this. We'll get this happening.
E (as Tammy): Hell yeah, lets do it!
M: Johnny casts invisibility on Tammy.
E: Tammy blinks out and so does the wax in her hand and you kind of hear like little sneaky steps happening over there. And Tammy… I gotta give her advantage…
(Sound of dice rolls)
E: Tammy walks over and you see the root just go invisible. You guys are like kind of poking at this Moonstone and Tammy drops the wax, and now the root is gone, and you hear someone go “Hehehehe.” Why don't you make a perception check.
A: Yeah, lots of opportunity for defense here.
A: I've got a 19+5 for a 24.
E: You look up and you realize that there is now wax where there used to be a root.
A: Inara turns around and says,
A (as Inara): Johnny what are you up to? You can't just take my item! That’s not how this works!
B: Tracey steps up and says,
B (as Tracey): As the referee she's correct.
M (as Johnny): You know, that's crazy you accuse me of that, because I've been standing here the whole time. But you know who's being caught red handed right now?
M: Johnny Casts…
A: Oh god.
M: Prest… prestidig… presti… Johnny casts presti…
M: Johnny casts… Johnny casts Prestidigitation on Tracey's hands to make them look red.
A: Ugh. You're such a jerk.
E: And Taylor looks up and sees what happened and says,
E (as Taylor): Damnit, Tammy, I know what you’re doing! This is bull crap! I’m going to go back, we’ll do the regular foul ‘cause you definitely messed with it. That is a pretty sick burn though.
E: I want you to roll a d10 again.
A: Okay, can I just do a nature check real quick on the wax to see if I know if that's better than what I had before?
A: All right. I got an 11 plus two for a 13.
E: So you didn't do a check on the ephedra before, the dried root.
A: No, because I forgot.
E: But you do know that this wax delays the effect of a potion and you do not know for how long.
A (as Inara): Taylor do you know what that Ephedra was supposed to do. I got so excited by the lycanthropy that I just like didn't even check, but this wax will just delay the onset of the effects. So I think it's kind of lame.
E (as Taylor): Yeah it's pretty lame to go swap for another one. It's our usual foul if someone messes with the other person they can like take a new, a new component
A (as Inara): Alright cool.
A: So Inara walks over to the Draconic cabinet and pulls up a drawer to get something else out.
E: Okay. Why don't you roll a d10
E: Okay. You pull open a random drawer and inside are some berries. They are light blue and they are splotched with white.
A: May I do a nature check before I forget.
A: Well that's a two plus two for four.
E: Those are some pretty ass berries.
A: All right. All right. All right.
M: So I would love to figure out what that is. If I may
E: Which, the dried ephedra? Nature check.
M: Five plus two plus one.
E: Nah, you two can’t figure it out. All right. So about this time Tammy, who's still invisible, grabs all the of the items and goes over the cauldron. [She] lights the cauldron (sound effect of a burner turning on) using some secret fire breath and then starts like working on the cauldron. Taylor looks up and says,
E (as Taylor): They got the cauldron first so I guess we have to wait.
A (as Inara): All right, that's cool, man. We’ll just keep making that lycanthropy potion, and we'll just make some, and then let's take like half the potion maybe and just put in some berries and like see what happens.
A: We are preparing our mise en place
A: and getting ready for the cauldron to be free. It's like on Chopped when the ice cream maker is taken and you just have to like stand at the ready with not just your ingredients but also some hot water to rinse out that ice cream machine. Because God forbid someone’s like wasabi sorbet messes up your chocolate ice cream for the top of your souffle. Come on. I'm not a rookie. I watched all 21 seasons of chopped.
B: I just realized I was a sous chef and I didn't advertise that.
E: No you did not. Let's go to Tracey, Tracey what are you doing?
B: So I think Tracey is just going to kind of do nothing exciting, but he wants to go over to the bookshelf and see if he notices any books that are in languages he understands, which are Common, Undercommon, Elvish, and Goblin. Does he see any books?
E: Aight, roll that d10, dawg.
E: You pull actually pretty slim book off the shelf. It is a children's book written in Undercommon. And it's called Darwesh and the big cave. It is a nice moral tale about how Darwesh, a little Drow dark elf, confronted his fear about going into a cave.
B: Tracey loves this book. He goes into a corner and sits down and kind of like wraps himself in his cape so it's nice and comfy and starts flipping through it.
A: Does he does he emit a single tear as he thinks about his own overcoming fear?
B: It's a little bit of Sap comes out of his eye
A: Cool. Cool.
M: Johnny B. would not have approved of this book. It breaks all conventions, clearly not written by an actual Drow.
M: They are born and live in caves! Why would they be afraid of caves?
E: All right. Johnny is done with the cauldron and Inara jumps on and--
A: I'd like to point out that they did not clean out the cauldron properly has happened every time with the ice cream maker on Chopped. So we just give it a little like scour with just some water or something, and then and then wipe it clean with a rag and then start on our own potion.
E: Good. I'm going to give you +1 your potion because you remember to clean the cauldron first.
A: Thanks, DM. I’m no idiot.
M: Johnny wants to attempt to identify the potion now that he's done using all the different tools and things around and his... skills.
A: Your potion or my potion?
M: My potion because it's done at this point so the effects should be...
E: Why don't you do a nature check and I'll give you plus two
M: Plus two? 12.
E: Ok, it worked is a potion of mind reading. However you do not know what the dried root did.
A: So we are going to finish our potion pretty quick because we had all the all the mise all set up. And as in cooking that's what you really want to do…
A: is just do all the pre-production, the pre-pro, to make sure that everything is all set for when the time the crap hits the fan and the stuff hits the sautee pan. Like, you can be all prepared and ready. Anyway! So we made our potion and at the very end, at the last step, we scooped out half the potion, put it into a vial, and then I add some like macerated berries to the rest of the potion. Kind of fold it in gently as you would with like cacao nibs and a nice velvety ice cream. So then we have both vials next to one another. I'll put that half into another vial. And can I roll any kind of perception or nature to see if I can tell the difference between these two with and without berries?
M: That is a viscous potion.
E: Sure, I am going to need nature plus two.
A: I rolled a four plus two, is a six.
E: Nah you don't know, you can't tell the difference.
A: Oh well, man.
E: They look at each other, Tammy and Taylor, and they start a countdown and they go
E (as Tammy and Taylor): Five, four, three...
E: And you guys are like scrambling like to put everything together...
A: I’m sprinkling parsley on top. You got to get some textural and colorful elements, come on!
E: Johnny, do you do anything in the last five seconds?
A: Presentation is half the battle!
M: I put it in a nice bottle.
A: Is it like really wide white dish like a very small inset bowl in the middle, very like nouveau cuisine late-90s?
M: Yeah, the bottom half of the bottle is as wide as if you put two hands together and stretched out the fingers. But the top is, the spout of it is basically the width of a pencil.
A: Like an extreme bud vase.
A: Bold choice, bold choice.
E (as Tammy and Taylor): Five four three two one...
E: and they both go.
E (as Tammy and Taylor): (Like a buzzer) BAHHHH!
E: And they shake their hands in the air.
B: And then Tracey five seconds later goes
B (as Tracey): time!
E (as Tammy and Taylor): All right, good job.
E: All right. And as you guys both say time they're kind of like readying their things. Someone else opens the door and it's Alonzo.
E: Alonzo is walking in like,
E (as Alonzo): A lot is going down in here! I can hear you all down the hall. This is great. All right. What are you, what are you doing?
B: Tracey quickly puts the kids behind his back
A: And Inara says,
A (as Inara): Alonzo, man, I totally told you that bad stuff happens when you leave us alone in your castle. We just are trying to like roll into the alchemy room like you said. We have not had any snacks, just want to put that on the record, and we come in here and your your little little babes apprentices like challenge us to a duel. And I don't know. It's just, it's been a rough morning.
E: Alonzo looks at Tammy and Taylor and he says
E (as Alonzo): You playing Chopped without me?
E: And they both go,
E (as Tammy and Taylor): Yay!! You’re a judge! Yay!
E: And they come over and they start to present.
A: Who is the Ted Allen of this situation?
B: Tracey steps forward.
E: (Laughs) And so it's going to be Tracey and Alonzo are going to be the judges.
B: No, no, I’m the Ted Allen. I'm the host.
A: So Tracey's going to present the dish and then ask us one like biting question about our backstories and like our pathos.
A: While wearing glasses that play off an accent color in his tie and/or pocket square.
E: (Off-mic) Oh my god.
E: All right, you're all setting up to get this done. They actually know what they're doing and Alonzo has obviously done this before. And Alonzo is kind of set up and he's looking around. And Tracey, make a perception check.
E: Yeah. You look over Alonzo and he looks happy to you and Alonzo kind of looks over and he's like
E (as Alonzo): You know what, this is nice. This is, this is nice. It's like something to keep my head off the, all this stuff that's happening.
A: Having seen Alonzo earlier this morning, do I notice anything different in his demeanor?
E: Yeah why don't you make an investigation check.
A: I sure will. Well that's a three plus four for a seven.
E: I mean it's pretty obvious. Alonzo, he's obviously trying to put on a little bit of a front here. He's trying to like have fun with the kids. You have like a little more insight. You saw him trying to like hit those targets and he was not really doing anything. He was frustrated. The reason why he's here and not with Greg is a little bit weird to you.
A: All right.
M: Johnny goes up to where he knows Tammy to be hanging out even though she is still invisible and says,
M (as Johnny): Tammy, here's the deal. You can get all the snacks right now and you won't have to share them if you give me a cut.
E: You see someone tap you on the shoulder and say
E (as Tammy): I'm behind you! I don't know what you're doing. Get me un-invisible I have to be presentable for the, for the challenge! It’s for Chopped!
M (as Johnny): Presentable?
E (as Tammy): Yeah.
M (as Johnny): I will make you look great.
E (as Tammy): Do it!
A: Oh no...
M (as Johnny): I'll make you look great but I want a snack.
M: Johnny dispels invisibility and casts prestidigitation to make Tammy look the best, for a young dragonborn. And appropriate.
M: And to perhaps make the presentation of their wonderful potion even better.
E: Tammy is looking fly. Her scales are all shiny, she looks great, yeah, like a beautiful selfie filter has been put on her. And they are about to set up, and I want you all to make perception checks.
(Music with a strong beat fades in)
A: I got a 13
E: Inara you notice behind you that the locker has opened, and inside is a big magical gun, the Blunderbuss. And it’s kind of like fallen out of the locker, and it is pointing right at Alonzo.
A: Can I cast mage hand to slam the locker shut as I yell at Tracey and Johnny that there's something dangerous in the locker?
E: Sure, you cast mage hand and you try to slam the locker closed. And we are going to do a strength contest.
A: Okay how does that work?
E: So you use your strength to try to slam the locker closed and something is going to push against it, and whoever wins, wins.
E: Yeah, d20. It's a strength check.
A: Well, I got a 3.
E: I got a 9. You try to slam the locker closed but the gun is almost pushing against the locker and it's still leveled at everybody but you did shout out and say,
A (as Inara): Guys, there’s something crazy in the locker! Look out! Alonzo!
E: And everybody looks over. And while that happens you see two shadowy figures come up on either side of the room. The two children duck. Alonzo looks up, and I want everyone to roll for initiative.
(Music continues to play, eventually stuttering to a stop. Theme music fades in and plays.)
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 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.
M: 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.
B: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: 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.
E: We’ll see you in two weeks. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.