Amnesty – Episode 15/Transcript

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Transcript by the lovely volunteers at TAZscripts.

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Griffin: Previously, on the Adventure Zone…

Griffin: I think you are surprised when you cut clean through the pole.

Aubrey: Whoops!

Griffin: And with that, the wind finally catches the Pizza Hut sign like a sail, and it falls over into the store.

Duck: Rocketeer that motherfucking sign off my dome, man!

Ned: Are you sure? You don’t want me to, like, bring it to you?

Duck: No, I’m not fucking sure, but this is the best shot I got! Come on!

Griffin: You are instantly unconscious from this huge amount of blunt force trauma you experience.

Jake: The number that called you. It was from the Eastwood Campground, and uh, RV Park.

Griffin: You hear the phone ring inside of Ned's room.

Voice: My name is Indrid Cold. I’m known as something different to the folks of this area. I don't prefer this title, myself, but, well... I'm the Mothman! See you tomorrow!

[Theme music (The Adventure Zone: Amnesty Theme by Griffin McElroy) plays]

Justin: [singing in a country style] Take me away to adventure— come on, take me to adventure. The zone that you know, that I know, that you took me to once before [Griffin sighs] when I was just a young preacher’s daughter [Griffin: Oh boy!] You showed me the way to the zone, the Adventure Zone. Take me again— only twenty dusty years have passed between then and now, but I still think fondly back to the trip that you took me to the zone, that Adventure Zone. Take me again! To that [warbling] Adventure Zone.

Clint: Bobbie Gentry is back.

Griffin: Yeah, I don’t actually have that much planned for this episode [Clint laughs] so if you could just do that for an hour, that would be actually good. And it would buy me a couple weeks to actually write some shits.

Justin: That’s the new theme song to The Adventure Zone, that I will repeat at any point… and thank you Dad, it is inspired by the work of Bobbie Gentry she’s been out of the picture for, uh, thirty-something odd years, so I’m stepping in to fill the gap.

Travis: Inspired by Cocaine and Rhinestones?

Justin: Yeah, indeed, yeah.

Travis: Mmm. My new favorite podcast. I’m pushing it here.

Griffin: And they’ve done a lot of prep work probably on that show, um [Clint laughs] they’ve done a lot of research for their episode, and maybe they didn’t spend the last, like, ten days on a whistle-stop tour of our country’s beautiful south eastern little panhandle zone. So, um, this is just us, a minisode, telling you go listen to Cocaine and Rhinestones, they’ve done their work.

Justin: You wanna hear my song again?

Griffin: Um, I mean, can you add like eighteen more stanzas onto it? Cause— no, let’s just play.

Travis: So we pick back up in the hospital room, and Aubrey’s still on the phone, and she says,

Aubrey: I’m sorry, did you say Muffin Man?

Griffin: I was actually planning on fast forwarding a little bit.

Travis: Oh, okay.

Justin: Alright, I’ll do, uh… okay—

Travis: Now you do a joke, Justin. No, wait, you did one. Dad, you do a joke.

Clint: Okay… uh, what do you call a mothman without any wings?

Griffin: What?

Clint: … A man?

[sincere laughter]

Griffin: Alright, alright, alright!

Travis: It was the delivery, the delivery got me real good.

Clint: I saved it with my delivery.

Griffin: Um, so I wanna jump forward to the following afternoon after yesterday’s sort of hectic events. And the three of you are at the Eastwood Campground and RV Park, the location that Jake Cool-Ice pulled out of the phone book, using his… just sort of remarkable phone book scanning technology. Ned, you’re feeling better after a night’s sleep—

Clint: Holy crap, really?

Griffin: Well, you woke up and you didn’t suffer severe head trauma as the doctor’s might have feared at first, and they were a bit— they had some reservations about releasing you from the hospital, discharging you. But you have recovered fairly well Go ahead and recover one more Harm.

Clint: Oh, okay! So not dead, not dead?

Griffin: Oh, you were never dead, you were unstable, but then you— you should’ve healed one while you were in the hospital, which would’ve made you stable again, and now you’re at two harm. So you know, you’re pretty bruised up.

So, you are all at the Eastwood Campground and RV Park, where this telephone call— these two telephone calls, rather, seemed to have originated from. Mama and Jake have headed back to the Lodge for the day, getting some work done there. And, yeah, so there is still some snow on the ground, it is the middle of December, after all, and this campground and RV park is fairly empty, as it’s the middle of the winter, there’s not too many campers out. This RV park is kind of a tacky looking place, I think there’s a lot of different camping opportunities in Kepler and the eastern Monongahela Forest area, and this is not one of the, sort of, more natural ones. And, in fact, it is mostly empty, there is just one vehicle parked out here. It’s got its stuff all connected to the different utilities coming out of this box, it’s got some water running into it— it is, in fact, a big, old, boxy, long beast of corrugated metal, just this hideous brown thing with a racing stripe zig zagging across the car, making the tall proud W just outside the driver’s compartment. It is a beautiful Winnebago, and there’s some light flickering sort of gently against the tinted windows, sort of suggesting that there is somebody inside.

Aubrey: Duck, you should… knock?

Duck: Well, now— why me? Why’ve I been, uh, nominated for this illustrious honor?

Aubrey: You’re an authority figure. [crosstalk] You have a hat.

Duck: [sigh] I mean, I watch over trees, I’m basically a wood elf with a flashlight.

Aubrey: Yeah, but I don’t have a flashlight. Ned doesn’t have a flashlight. You have a flashlight, and a hat, and a badge? Do you have a badge?

Justin: I’ll tap on the window.

Travis: Okay.

Duck: Uh, excuse me? Hello?

Justin: What do I see? What do I see inside?

Griffin: It’s pretty well tinted, you actually cannot see inside through the windows. But as you tap, the front door to the Winnebago just opens up. And the man who opens the door is— he is just, he is fascinating to look at. He’s kinda gaunt, he’s kinda withering away, but he looks confident and strong as he answers the door to face you. He looks— he looks young, but also kind of wrinkled? He’s got short, silver hair with hints of black peeking through? He’s wearing a tank top and some jeans, and you feel this burst of hot air as the door swings open, and that’s likely from the fleet of space heaters you can now see inside the Winnebago that is keeping his habitat a suitable temperature. And he’s wearing this pendant of this orange, crystal material, but his most eye-catching feature are his glasses. They are large, and round, and just this impenetrable, reflective red— you all catch your reflection in them as he answers the door, and he says,

Indrid: Okay, go ahead.

Aubrey/Indrid: [simultaneously] Uh, where are your wings?

Indrid: Obviously, you can’t see them right now because I’m wearing my disguise. Would you like to see my wings?

Aubrey/Indrid: Yes.

Indrid: I don’t know you very well, so no, not quite yet.

Aubrey: Then why did you ask?

Duck: Seems, like, kinda crappy, to just offer like that and yank it away.

Ned: Uh, Fitainly would— pardon my rude friends, hello, I’m—

Ned/Indrid: Ned Friendly Chicane.

Indrid: Um, yes, I know who all of you are— conversation is difficult for me because I’m always going to be just a little bit ahead. Um, but if you—

Aubrey/Indrid: What am I gonna say now?

Indrid: Yeah, it’s—

Aubrey/Indrid: Ah, nice, nice.

Indrid: So, um, yeah, come on in, we have important things to discuss, and not much time to discuss them, if my estimations are correct.

Aubrey: Real quick, over here, a little parley over here, if you don’t mind.

Duck: Uh, it seems like a weird time, but sure, what’s up?

Ned: Hm?

Aubrey: [whispering] We need to get his glasses.

Duck: Need to get his glasses? What?

Aubrey: Yeah, the bounty, a seer’s spectacles.

Ned: The Marmaduke thing.

Duck: Ah, damn, alright. Well, that’s something we’re gonna keep in our pocket when it makes the most sense, but you are right, thank you for the reminder. We will steal this man’s— [Justin and Clint laughing] Lemme try to say that again in a cool way. [lowers voice] We will steal this man’s glasses— [regular voice] You know, it’s funny… it feels mean. No matter how many different ways I say it, it does feel like a mean, non-heroic action, if I’m being honest.

Ned: Well, thank god one of us has experience in stealing things that doesn’t belong to him.

Duck: … Yeah, but glasses, man. [Duck laughing] I mean, it just seems kinda fucked up.

Aubrey: Maybe he’s got a spare pair? Like, he’s got like a—

Duck: I’m not gonna steal his glasses, if y’all want to for another, I don’t know, experience point? Zenni? I don’t exactly know what we’re stealing stuff for, but if y’all want to, you go nuts.

Griffin: Uh, he motions you all inside, and you enter his Winnebago. And it is—

Ned: Holy moly, it’s hot in here!

Griffin: — it’s hot as hell, I think you all feel the sort of impulse to remove your winter outerwear, and sort of protect yourself against the searing heat coming off of these four space heaters that are kind of precariously plugged in to one big chunky power strip. It is… not the cleanest in here. It is not the cleanest space you’ve ever been in. It almost kind of reminds you of Mama’s office, pre-Barclay cleaning it up. There is a sort of map of Kepler up on the wall with so many pins in it that you actually kind of have a hard time deciphering, ‘Oh, this is in fact a map of Kepler’. Um, there is just like dirty dishes all over the place. You see, like, an old McDonald’s commemorative set of Batman drinking glasses that have, like, eggnog in them— ancient nog. [Justin: Ugh, gnarly] So he takes you over to— he actually folds down, there’s like a table that he just kind of brushes some junk off of and he fold it into the wall and a sort of couch pops into place, and he offers you all a seat, and he says,

Indrid: Can I get you all anything to drink? Or eat, or—

Ned: Oh, god, no. [laughing]

Duck: Nah, no thanks.

Indrid: I haven’t entertained guests in quite some time, so I apologize that I don’t have more to offer.

Duck: Mr. Mothman—

Indrid: Please… can you call me Indrid? It’s— I don’t prefer Mothman.

Duck: … Alright, Indrid. Um, are you like super into nog? Or what’s the story?

Indrid: Who isn’t?

Griffin: He says, and he takes a belt of some [Justin: Nah, nah, nah] fresh nog from the fridge. He finishes taking a drink, and you all have gotten as comfortable as you’re gonna get in this room. And he walks over to this one wall that is opposite you— it is just next to this big map. And there are, like, eight pencil sketches of just, like, various things, it looks like he just kinda walked around Kepler and just sketched some things. Just some local buildings, and there’s one of the funicular tram that connects the top side and river side, and there’s one of the Cryptonomica, there’s just lots of sketches. And as he’s getting you all comfortable in this room, he sort of perks up and he walks over, and he takes down one of the drawings, and he crumples it up and throws it away. And he says,

Indrid: I know you all have lots of questions, and I actually know what most of those questions are going to be, but in the interest of making this feel like a normal conversation, what is it that you all want to know, before I tell you what I need?

Aubrey: … Can I have your glasses?

[someone snorts]

Indrid: No, I really—

Aubrey: Like, do you have an old pair?

Indrid: Why do you need— you need my glasses for what reason?

Aubrey: A big cat?

Duck: I thought you would know our reason. [Aubrey: Ooh.]

Indrid: I’m not a mindreader, that’s not really how this works, I have no conceivable idea why you need my glasses other than the fact that they’re very stylish.

Duck: Alright, keep your glasses, listen: I— what is going on with the— okay, let me back it up even further. Uh, it seems like snow, or wind, has been acting all… goofy? I don’t know how to put it into technical fantasy terms, but it’s been acting all shitty and weird. Um, do you know what the story is? What’s causing it?

Griffin: He, uh, he says,

Indrid: Hm.

Griffin: And he turns and he crumples up another one of those drawings, and he throws it away. And he says,

Indrid: There are a lot more… powers, that are misbehaving at the moment than just the snow or just the wind. I— okay. So I can see the future—

Duck: Cool.

Aubrey: Mhmm.

Indrid: — in a manner of speaking. And, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. There is something out there that is… changing the future. Or rather, maybe changing the present, to alter the future? This might be kind of complicated. So, I was the court seer when I was still in Sylvane— this was well over a century ago, so it’s been some time. And the power that I developed there, thanks to the powers that I inherited from Sylvane, were the powers of clairvoyancy [sic]. It’s not like seeing what’s going to happen a few minutes from now— I see several hundred futures, that could potentially come to pass. Imagine that you’re sitting in front of a big wall of televisions, hundreds of them, and there are different television shows on those screens all starting at different times. That’s what I see, potential futures. Sometimes I see patterns, I see several nearly identical futures, maybe suggesting a higher likelihood that they’ll come to pass. Sometimes I see futures disappear, when events render them impossible. But, something is making the patterns change more quickly than even I can track. Something— something unnatural.

Griffin: He says, and he crumples up another drawing and throws it away.

Indrid: I don’t know whatever it is, but I’m assuming it has something to do with the abominations, and I figured that I can help you all out. I haven’t really been in the, uh, interference game, ever since… you know, the Silver Bridge, but I figured maybe this would be a pretty good chance to do so.

Aubrey: Silver Bridge?

Duck: Yeah, it was… back quite a while— I’m telling the story as we know it, because I have to imagine that your take on it is probably a little bit, um… different from ours. But, uh, back around Point Pleasant, when a lot of people were sighting… Mr. Cold, and the Mothman quite a bit, there was a disaster— the Silver Bridge there in Point Pleasant collapsed… took a bunch of people with it.

Indrid: Forty six people.

Duck: Yeah.

Aubrey: Oh.

Indrid: Yes, it was certainly my most newsworthy failure.

Griffin: He says, and he crumples up another drawing. And he says,

Indrid: I came to this world, like I said, a little around, about a century ago, and I came here trying to find answers for the difficulties that my world’s experiencing. Instead, I found myself falling in love with your world and wanting to protect its people from harm, but it seems like people weren’t especially interested in listening to me, which I can’t blame them for. I did try to remain sort of mysterious and clandestine about my warnings, that was my undoing, but after the Silver Bridge, I walked away from the soothsaying business. It was too much, too much failure, too much, believe it or not, unpredictability. But whatever is happening now, this is not, these are not natural occurrences. This is something else entirely, and it’s something that needs to be stopped.

Griffin: And he crumples up another drawing.

Aubrey: Wait, hold on. Is this, like, a jinx thing? Like, this is, like, because we saw, y’know, the sign falling, like, that could be, oh, just an accident, and, like, the car accident with the gatorade bottle under the pedal, like, oh, it’s just an accident. But if something is changing fate? Is it, like, a jinx, curse kinda deal?

Indrid: If that were the case, that would mean that this abomination you’re facing off against is stronger than any the Pine Guard has ever faced in its illustrious career. That would be very unfortunate, indeed.

Griffin: And he crumples a few drawings off the wall now, and he closes his eyes, and he pulls the last remaining drawing off the wall. It is the drawing of the funicular train. And he looks at it, and he looks up at you, and he says,

Indrid: Okay. The funicular that connects topside and riverside is about to come crashing down the mountain, slamming into town, and destroying the base station. There are three passengers on it right now. They’ll all be killed, and an engineer at the base station will be injured as well, but he’ll pull through. Good news, though. You have six minutes this time.

Griffin: And he hands you all the drawing.

Aubrey: Go!

Indrid: Yes, go!

Aubrey: I’ll be back for those glasses!

{music 19:04 - 19:17}

Clint: Will the road get us completely there?

Travis: We’re not gonna switch to your Bobcat or whatever, Dad.

Clint: Trax ST1, Travis. 400 horsepowers of snow-cruisin’ speed, man.

Justin: Sorry, Dad just—I have to take a moment. Dad, I think, is the first person in history to ever say the plural horsepowers? Because 400 horse powers is, like, I don’t even know how far I can get. Running very fast, super beauty, flight, that’s the only three horse powers. I can’t even think of 400 altogether.

Clint: Pooping. Pooping, [crosstalk] if you’ve ever been around a horse—

Justin: [crosstalk] Pooping, super pooping.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Eatin’ lotsa oats in one sitting, is very impressive.

Travis: I thought it was supposed to be “horses power.”

Justin: Get it, oats?

Travis: Like attorneys general?

Griffin: Um, you all pull into the topside station for the funicular tram that connects Kepler’s two halves. It took you, let’s say, like, three and a half minutes to get over here, you were pretty close. And as you all approach the station—you all probably know it fairly well, like, this is, like, the main form of public transport in all of Kepler. And it sorta keeps you from having to, like, drive up the sort of winding mountain road that can get kinda treacherous, especially in the winter. And especially during sort of peak tourist season, it can get pretty busy. But as you approach, you all see the station. So, both the train and the station are fairly old. It’s been in operation for well over 30 years at this point. The station has, like, the same alpine cabin aesthetic as other buildings on topside, with just sort of a large open wall at the end of the station where the tram comes in, and a boarding platform where riders can access the arriving tram. This funicular just has a single rail and a single car. It takes about 6 minutes for a full trip between the two stations. There is a small parking lot just outside of the station where commuters can sorta leave their cars as they transfer between the two halves of Kepler. Duck, among the cars parked here, you see a Monongahela Forest Service truck.

Justin: Uh, whose is it? Do I recognize?

Griffin: Um, yeah. There is a name on the door. It is Ranger Juno Devine’s forest service truck.

Justin: Uh, so what do we do?

Travis: I—

Justin: I’m just, I’m just a tough— [laughs] I’m just a tough guy.

Travis: I’m gonna do kind of a scan first, see if the— ‘cause now that we know that possibly someb—something or someone is acting on this, I’m gonna, like, scan and look for anybody or any strange shapes or shadows or anything like that, just anything—

Griffin: Sure, you are outside of the station? Or do you wanna go inside of the station? And I’m not saying there is a wrong or right choice, there is stuff—

Travis: I’m just gonna start, I mean, we pulled up, first things first, just, like…

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Scan and look at…

Griffin: You hop out of Ned’s car and do a pass for Read a Bad Situation, I’m assuming?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Yes, okay. Go ahead and roll.

Travis: Ooh, nope! Snake eyes!

Griffin: Oh my god.

Justin: The worst possible read. Like, Aubrey looked around and was like, “I think this is a dream.” Like, “No, it’s all a dream! Trust me, I’ve read the situation.”

Clint: It was a two, folks.

Griffin: Uh, yeah.

Travis: It was a two, snake eyes.

Griffin: Okay, go ahead and mark experience.

Travis: Mm-hm.

Griffin: I get to take a hard move. I’m not gonna take a super hard move since that was sort of a, y’know, a preliminary look-around. Were you using your third eye?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Yeah.

Justin: Now, be honest.

Griffin: Yeah, I mean, that’s, like—

Travis: I mean, I was going to, yes.

Griffin: Yeah, I figured when you said, “scan.” Um, you just get a pretty bad headache. You just get kind of a, uh, you don’t really notice anything, and you sorta kick on your third eye, and it sort of immediately kicks off, and when it does, like, you just feel this really quick sort of stabbing pain. Uh, like in your temples, but then it quickly passes.

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: Uh, yeah, I’m not even gonna make you mark harm. ‘Cause it just comes and it goes. Anybody else wanna do something?

Justin: I would probably, I mean, are we in shouting distance?

Griffin: Um, n—I mean, it would be, probably not, ‘cause the station’s, like, an indoor building. Um…

Clint: Time to go into the station, then.

Justin: Let’s—I think Duck is going to, and y’all can do what you like, but Duck’s probably gonna rush into the station to see who’s still in there, what the deal is.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Yeah, I think Aubrey’s going to, as well.

Griffin: Ned, you gonna do anything while you’re still outside?

Clint: Uh, no, I’ll...I’ll follow them cautiously.

Griffin: Okay. All right, you all race into the station. And as you enter, there is a desk just in front of the entryway next to a turnstile that grants access to the tram beyond. There is an engineer here, behind the desk, a broad-shouldered dude wearing a Mount Kepler Ski Trails fleece. He’s got a radio clipped to his belt. He also has a space heater back behind his desk keeping him warm, because there is a serious draft coming in through the, you know, open wall of the station. A tram has just arrived and is taking on passengers. There is what looks to be a fairly, like, bougie man and woman canoodling on two open seats inside the tram, just some unsightly PDA happening there.

Justin: Bleh.

Griffin: And there’s a third person who is just about to walk through the automated sliding doors to board the funicular, and it is Ranger Juno Devine.

Duck: Juno, stop.

Griffin: Uh, she does. She stops as she—and she’s kinda just sorta hanging out of the tram door now, she says,

Juno: Oh, hey, Duck. What are you doing here? Are you about to hit the trails?

Travis: I would say that while this is happening, Aubrey just keeps going for the tram, for the door, maybe, like, shoves past Juno into the tram itself. Like, jumps the turnstile, let’s be honest.

Griffin: Jumps—sure, okay, you’re jumping the turnstile?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Okay, that engineer at the desk says,

Engineer: Hey, you need to stop! Hey, you need to get pa—

Aubrey: Oh, piss off!

Ned: I’ve got—that’s all right, here, let me take care of it. I’m local businessman Ned Devine. How much is it, five, ten dollars?

Griffin: Wait, what did you say your name was?

Clint: Local businessman Ned Devine? Ned Devine?

Travis: That’s not your name.

Griffin: Yeah.

Clint: I know!

Griffin: I didn’t know that you and Juno were related, that’s cool.

Justin: Waking Ned Devine is a movie that came out, like, ten years ago.


Clint: I am…

Ned: How much is it, goddammit, how much you need? Here’s 10 bucks, is that all right?

Engineer: Well, I mean, a trail pass is 40 bucks per person for the day.

Ned: 40 bucks per—oh my—

Engineer: I mean, it’s peak season, man, what do you need?

Ned: Would you guys like to work out a co-promotion with a lovely place called the Cryptonomica? You know, they take a ride with you and then for an extra five bucks, they get admission to the Cryptonomica? I can see it tying in very nicely. Let’s talk about it, you and me, let’s talk.

Griffin: I mean, if you’re trying to convince him to, like, let you all through, that would be a Manipulate Someone roll.

Clint: Manipulate Someone, I’m going to manipulate him.

Griffin: ‘Kay.

Clint: All right, 8 plus 1 charm.

Griffin: Okay, so you have a 9. On a 7-9, they’ll do it, but only if you do something for them right now to show that you mean it. If you ask too much, they’ll tell you what, if anything, it would take for them to do it.

Clint: Ned gives him five free passes to the Cryptonomica and says,

Ned: Come and see the place, or have your bosses come and see the place. See what a great tie-in it would be, and we would like to do the same by taking a ride on your tram to kind of see, you know, if it’s worth promoting with you guys as well. See, it’s kind of a, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.”

Engineer: Uh, Mr. Devine, I’ll make you a deal. These five passes are good—

Ned: Chicane, it’s Chicane.

Engineer: Okay. Mr. Chicane, I’ll tell you something. I’ll tell you, these five passes are nice, it sounds like your museum’s a lot of fun, but, um, I want one other thing, and that’s 40 dollars per person per day for the ski trail passes. It’s just a—it’s 120 bucks, and y’all can go about, y’know, hit the slopes and do whatever you want.

Ned: Well, you can knock some of that off with the passes to the Cryptonomica, right?

Engineer: Okay. Yeah, it’ll j—118 dollars.

Ned: All right, here. Let me write you a check. I have my checkbook right here.

Griffin: Okay, you are writing him probably what is going to be a fake check that is going to super bounce.

Clint: Yes.

Griffin: And while that is happening, we can do Duck talking to Juno. She steps back out of the car and she says, uh, and Aubrey, you said you ran into the car?

Travis: Correct.

Griffin: Okay, we’ll resolve—

Travis: To get the other two.

Griffin: We will resolve that as...we get to it. Um, Juno says,

Juno: Well, what do you need there, Duck? What’s going on?

Duck: Aw, ugh, Juno, this is so embarrassing. Um, last week...uh, my truck got beat up, and I—I had to take it over to Whistles’...and he, while he was fixin’ it up, I had to borrow yours to run out...uh, to do a check on...a...body of Forest. Fuck! It was a body of water in the tree zone?

Griffin: Okay—

Duck: And I had to check on it in your car, and when I—I drove your car without asking, and I think I—no. Wallet? Money. I left my wallet in your truck, and I was wondering if you could go look for it real quick.

Juno: All right, so that was all lies. Duck—

Duck: [yells]

Juno: Yeah, we’ve worked together for quite some time there, buster. I know when you’re pullin’ a fib.

Travis: Literally everyone does.

Duck: Juno, look in my eyes. Do you know when I’m pullin’ a fib?

Juno: Yes, it’s when you start stumbling over your words a whole lot and you say “fuck” a bunch.

Duck: Juno, don’t get in that car.

Griffin: Let’s jump inside the car, Aubrey, what are you doing? This couple is in here, I’m imagining sort of, um… Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the other dude from Christmas Vacation, just, uh…

Travis: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Griffin: Just ski bunnies, [Travis: The worst.] just kinda fawning over each other. And they look up at you, and I think the, uh, the woman whispers something to the man as you come in, that you can’t quite make out.

Aubrey: Hey, folks! You seem like the type that loves—

Woman: Is this a robbery?

Aubrey: No, it’s a magic show! Y’all wanna see some magic?

Travis: And she,

Aubrey: I work with the railway here to just provide a little en route entertainment.

Travis: And so she’s going to do a ma—like a trick, a magic trick.

Woman: Is this what the common folks enjoy, is magic tricks on their public transportation?

Aubrey: Indeed, they do! Allow me to demonstrate.

Travis: And she’s gonna do some of the more, you know, like, flash paper…

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Alight in her hands, but with the intention of doing it and making it seem as though she has messed up the trick, and trying to catch one of their sleeves on fire.

Griffin: Oh, boy.

Justin: Quick update from me to you, the Adventure Zone listener. Uh, these characters, whatever their names are, are now the only ones I like on the whole show, and for—the rest of TAZ is about these two characters for me, thank you very much.

Griffin: Okay, so is this a Use Magic roll, if you’re actually trying to set their, set them on fire, kind of?

Travis: But I’m using trick magic. I wanna make it super clear here, Aubrey is not trying to use real magic.

Griffin: Are you saying that because you rolled a 4?

Travis: No. I’m saying it for reasons that will become clear later.

Griffin: Okay. Um—

Travis: Um, somebody pointed out something I didn’t do last time that we could’ve totally done that I’m gonna do now, and I am going to use luck.

Griffin: Ohh, okay.

Travis: To make it a 12.

Griffin: I was gonna say—

Travis: And burn one of my luck slots.

Griffin: With a 4, I wanted you to do sort of a Gob Bluth, like, spray lighter fluid on them, like, oh, but where did the lighter fluid come from?

Travis: No, I’m using a luck slot here to save two lives.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: And when the sleeve—I’m gonna grab ‘em and be like, “oh, you need to get out, oh, we need help,” and shove ‘em out the door, like, “oh, gotta get this taken care of right now, sorry, so sorry,” and shove ‘em outta the door of the tram. [crosstalk] Aubrey’s gonna—

Man: Muffy, Muffy, I’m burning, Muffy!

Travis: Now wait, which one’s Muffy, Griffin?

Griffin: Doesn’t matter, does it?

Travis: Correct.

Justin: Muffy, and what is the man’s name? Can I vote for Winthrop?

Griffin: I’s Muffy and Winthrop, yes. Uh, Justin—

Clint: Yaaay!

Griffin: —knew it.

Travis: Can he go by Winnie? Can it be Muffy and Winnie?

Griffin: Um, no, it’s Winthrop and Muffy, and Winthrop’s sleeve is on fire. He stands up, yes, understandably kind of panicked, and he doesn’t know what to do because he’s never been on fire before.

Aubrey: Oh, quick, we need some help! Oh, look, there’s two rangers, they can help you.

Travis: And shove ‘em out the door.

Griffin: Okay. Uh, yeah. That works. And go ahead and mark off that luck point. This is a very, very valuable resource that you do not get back, so I’m expecting you [Travis: Absolutely.] to really keep track of that stuff. Okay.

Travis: I am, however, Aubrey is going to stay in the car to investigate.

Griffin: Yeah, I don’t know that there’s necessarily anything to investigate right now? This is still, like, this is still a dangerous situation, so I think this would still be Read a Bad Situation. There’s not, like, clues or somebody to talk to, you know what I’m saying?

Travis: Okay, so maybe, like, steps outside the car and, like, looks up and down the track to read a bad situation? Can I see the track?

Griffin: Yes. Yeah, yeah, no, definitely, you can see the track. Um, yeah, the—

Travis: Okay, there we go.

Griffin: The mechanics of the funicular tram are that it’s just one rail with one car on it, and there’s a cable that is tethered to the front of the car that pulls it up the mountain. [Travis: Mm-hm.] It runs through a pulley, and then it connects to this counterweight that kinda slides beneath the tram, so as the tram sort of ascends, the counterweight drops down to the lower station, and as the tram descends, the counterweight rises up to sort of conserve energy, using physics. Um, and there’s, uh, there’s, yeah. That’s sort of how this all works. So you wanna read a bad situation out there?

Travis: Yeah, so the question that I want answered is, “what’s the biggest threat?”, and I’m going to say that I’m looking for, I don’t know, a frayed wire or some kind of damage to the counterweight or something along those lines.

Griffin: M’kay.

Travis: And I will also say that, along with that, she is going to attempt to use her third eye as well.

Griffin: Okay. Does the third eye count as a separate question? just…

Travis: It says when you re—you can open up your third eye for a moment to take in extra information, take plus 1 hold on any result [Griffin: Sure, okay.] plus you can see invisible things.

Griffin: All right, here’s what happens. You look up and down the track, you take a look at sort of all the mechanisms of the tram, and you don’t necessarily see anything threatening at all. And then, flakes slowly start to appear outside. And with that, your third eye, it just kinda st—it just kinda goes wild. It looks like all of these flakes are kind of glowing, as if it’s all magic. All of this stuff that is falling from the sky is definitely magical in nature. You also get, uh, you sense a presence out, back out the front door of the station that you are in. You can’t, you know, see this presence, you just kind of sense this, uh, magic power, presence outside. And then, you can see through the open wall of the station that the storm outside quickly subsides. And now you can see the threat. There is a brake pad on the pulley that the cable attached to the car runs through. And this brake pad has a bolt on it that is just kind of...corroded through, and you can hear this brake pad, like, vibrating, you can hear it squeaking. There is, the pulley is kind of moving back and forth ever so slightly as it’s vibrating, and with each kind of, like, tug that this pulley tries to make as it tries to, like, release some tension off the cable, that bolt is sliding further and further out of its housing.

Aubrey: Duck! Car’s clear, that bolt, the brakes are about to go! Out, out! There’s something—parking lot, now!

Duck: See? Do you see? That’s what I’m talking about, Juno. It’s dangerous, and you gotta take my work for it, and you gotta help me get these people out. I’ll explain later, I promise.

Travis: Aubrey’s on the move.

Griffin: Yeah, for sure.

Travis: Like, grabs, uh, grabs Muffy, grabs Winthrop.

Ned: C’mon, everybody, uh, I’ll give you a ride back into town! Come on!

Griffin: I think, as you all are heading to the door, the engineer at his desk steps over to the sort of boarding area and looks down and sees that the brakes are about to go, and he says,

Engineer: Aw, shit, I gotta warn Mark!

Griffin: And he pulls up his radio, and he says,

Engineer: Mark, come in, you gotta evacuate the base station, okay, this thing’s about to come down. [pause] Mark?

Griffin: And he slaps his radio, and there is nothing on the other end. And he looks up at the rest of you, and the brake pad just explodes.

Justin: Haha, shit.

{ad break 37:03 - 42:54}

Griffin: Okay. Two bad things are happening basically at the same time. Uh, you all were heading out the door when the brakes went off, and the car has very slowly now, just for a few moments, started to descend down the rail. The pulley is making this horrible, horrible squeaking noise, and you all also have that presence outside that you were heading out to investigate. So, who wants to go first?

Justin: Duck’s going after the presence. I feel like he’s pretty focused on that.

Griffin: Okay. You head outside, back into the parking lot outside the station, and there doesn’t appear to be anything that your non-magic eyes can just see with a quick glance.

Justin: I think he’s got good, from his job, I think he would have good situational awareness. I think it’s like, what is disturbed? Right, [Griffin: Yeah, sure.] ‘cause I’m assuming there’s forest around here, that kind of thing.

Griffin: Yeah, absolutely, right up against the trail, there’s, like, it just backs up into the woods.

Justin: He’s not, like, a game tracker or anything, but I definitely think he would recognize, y’know, a path or footprints or something if he saw it.

Griffin: That is a very good justification. I think that you, I actually don’t think you need to roll anything, I think you see these same hoofprints that you saw out near Leo’s store. And you know what hoofprints in the snow looks like because you fuckin’ see them all the time at work. [Justin: Right.] They are indeed leading back into the woods that are sort of just off to the side of the Mount Kepler Ski Trails that the station is right next to. Are you [Justin: Yeah, I’m—] going to follow them?

Justin: I’m following them.

Griffin: Okay, Aubrey, what are you doing?

Travis: So, what—uh, that question will be answered by this question: what are the NPC’s doing?

Griffin: Um, Muffy is still running around with— or, rather, Winthrop is running around with his arm still a bit on fire. I think he runs out into the parking lot and jumps into the snow, and Muffy is tending to him. Juno is just kind of in shock, because now she is just now kind of realizing that she just almost died, and that Duck, who knew that the car was about to fall, saved her life, which is weird? And the engineer is just frantically trying to get his radio to work, but it is not. They are all outside of the station, and out of harm’s way.

Clint: Could Ned drive down the hill?

Griffin: Ned absolutely could. It would be very— uh, it would be buck— a buckwild thing to do, but he could, for sure.

Aubrey: Ned, do you have a winch?

Griffin: This car is already, like, is going.

Travis: Oh, ok.

Griffin: Yeah.

Clint: I’m just saying that Ned would jump in the car to try to drive down the hill to warn whoever’s at the other station.

Griffin: Yes, for sure. There is no road, [Travis: Do that.] it is just sort of a snowy— there’s some— some trees that the rail cuts through, but there is no road. You can do it in the Lincoln, but I’m gonna have you— I’m going to have you roll for it.

Clint: He’s an excellent driver.

Griffin: [doubtfully] Okay! He’s driving off a cliff, so we’ll see— he’s going to put that to the fucking test, [crosstalk] yeah!

Travis: [crosstalk] Go for it, [?? 45:55]

Griffin: Uh, ok. You are heading to your car, and— Aubrey, what are you doing?

Travis: I— Aubrey steps up and thinks, like, ok, so I’m going to push the car over, right? So it’s on its side instead of on its wheels, won’t roll down or like try to push it off the track, or something so that it—

Griffin: With magic, right, not just—

Travis: With— yeah, with like a force, like a— yeah, like with a big wind, you know, like she’s used before to push Duck. And she steps up to do it, and finds herself like as she starts to think about it, and like channel, just basically her own voice in her head is like, “Don’t fuck up.” And like, it— she can’t focus, she can’t do it.

Griffin: Ok. Yeah, I think you only have a split second to do this, because, like, the train is now just out of the station, and has started to roll down the hill, and it is picking up speed, and it is well beyond the point now where you could reach it to blast it.

Travis: So she runs back in to where the dude— uh, the engineer is—

Griffin: Right.

Aubrey: Ok. Do— is there— do you have his phone number? Can you call Mark?

Engineer: I mean, there’s not a phone down there, we just use these fuckin’ radios, I—

Aubrey: Any kind of signal? A flare? A flag? Anything?

Engineer: I don’t have a flare! I don’t have a flare gun! We don’t— this doesn’t happen! I could try yellin’?

Griffin: And he just runs down to the open door— I think he just takes off, he’s now running down the rail trying to chase the train, and he’s just screaming,

Engineer: MARK! MARK! HEY, MARK!

Griffin: Uh, let’s get to Duck. Duck, you are running into the woods, and there is like ankle high snow in the ground, so you’re having a little bit of trouble as you are chasing after this thing. And you can’t— you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve just been following the tracks in the ground. And you move through some brush, and you start to see this hooded figure like 30 feet in front of you. And he doesn’t appear to be having any trouble moving through the snow at all, and you’re having a little trouble just sort of keeping pace with him. And then he disappears through like another layer of brush, and as you punch through that, you see this figure waiting for you. Its got its hood up, it is still towering over you, and he’s holding in his hand just an axe, like a wood chopping axe, and you actually recognise that there is a— like a sticker, like a label on the handle, and this axe belongs to the Monongahela National Forest Service. And he is waiting for you, axe in hand, as you come through the brush, and end up about ten feet away from him in a clearing. What do you do?

Duck: Hey, what the fuck?

Griffin: It starts taking a step towards you.

Justin: Is there any handy sticks?

[muffled laughter]

Griffin: Do you not have your sword on you?

Justin: Yeah, I do have my sword. [laughing] I do have my sword on me, it just felt like cheating. I pull out Beacon.

Beacon: Duck Newton, you seem outmatched. Once again, you turn to me, Beacon, to help even the odds, ah?

Duck: [to Beacon] Hey, li— just pipe down for just a second. [to the creature] Hey, I don’t want to hurt you. Maybe I do, because I don’t actually know what or who you are, so there’s a decent chance I want to hurt you, and I know this dude does. But like, what the fuck?

Griffin: It starts to slow down for a second as if it is kind of like second guessing whether or not you’re worth it, and I think it actually even turns back away from you for a second, and then it re-thinks it and it turns back to face you and starts walking towards you, now kind of a little bit faster as it starts to rear up the axe.

Duck: Ah, shit. Um, all right then, fine! This is out of my nature, though, I do want that to be clear, because we don’t know each other so well.

Justin: But I guess I’m going to Kick Its Ass?

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: I’m probably going to swing, though, like at the arm with the axe, like— yeah, like—

Griffin: Oh, I see. Okay.

Justin: Yeah, I’m not trying to like kill. I’m not— you know, I’m trying to dis— to diffuse the situation as best I can, but I also know I’m dealing with like some otherworldly shit.

Griffin: Yeah, so why don’t you roll to Kick Some Ass, and we’ll see how well you do at this.

Justin: That is an eight, plus two! Ten.

Griffin: Awesome! So you all will inflict harm on each other. On a ten plus, you can gain the advantage; take plus one forward, or give plus one forward to another hunter; you inflict terrible harm; you suffer less harm; or you force them where you want them.

Justin: I’m gonna force them where I want them.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Which would be on the ground.

Griffin: Okay. What does this look like? Okay, so the robed figure—

Justin: The robed figure, I think, probably comes in for a swing— is that fair? You didn’t say that, but I feel like that’s what we’re moving towards, right?

Griffin: Yeah, for sure.

Justin: In this moment. So in that moment, I think Duck sort of swings up and hits the axe hard with Beacon, and whatever this thing is, I think it makes sense to me at least that it’s not ready for that. That— whether it is physically stunned, or just like, ‘Whoa, what the fuck is that? What the fuck is going on here? This is unexpected.’ It’s sort of like knocked off kilter, and Duck just sort of buries his shoulder into the du— thing’s chest, whatever the thing is, and knocks it to the ground.

Griffin: Okay. So you didn’t actually attack with the sword?

Justin: No, I did, I used the sword to hit the axe, and it’s like—

Griffin: [crosstalk] Oh, okay, okay, okay.

Justin: [crosstalk] Not— no, yeah, I wasn’t like scaring it. No, I— literally like hit the axe, and I think sort of knocked it off balance, and then fully knocked it off balance.

Griffin: Okay. So I guess the two harm is just from you shoulder— shouldering it very hard?

Justin: It fell on a rock.

Griffin: It fell on a rock, and it hurt its butt. I think as the axe swung away from you, as you disarm it, as you knock this thing to the ground, its free hand, the one that was not holding the axe, kind of swung around very quickly as you knocked it down, and just kind of pounded you in the chest for two harm, but you don’t take any of that. And you knock it to the ground.

Justin: Great.

Griffin: Let’s jump to Ned.

Ned: Aubrey! Grab the radio and come on!

Clint: And Ned jumped behind the steering wheel of the Lincoln and fires it up. He happens to remember that Mark is one of the best customers the Cryptonomica has—

Griffin: [laughs slightly] Okay.

Clint: —and he wants to warn the guy that something bad is coming, so he’s going to try to drive down the hill using his amazing driving skills—

Griffin: Sure.

Clint: And his brand new chains, I wanted to point that out— brand new chains. Said it all along, brand new chains on the Lincoln.

Griffin: Okay, you did, that’s right. God, you remember everything this game!

Clint: It had to happen once.

Griffin: Yeah, sure. You yelled for Aubrey. Aubrey, are you going with?

Travis: Umm, yeah. Let’s do it. [Griffin: Okay.] I run and do kind of a cool Starsky and Hutch thing.

Clint: Cool.

Ned: Buckle in, please.

Aubrey: Go!

Clint: I slam the 8-track— I slam the soundtrack to Live and Let Die into the 8-track and go plunging out of the parking lot, and go driving down the hill, fishtailing back and forth, and trying to dodge trees and, uh, and all kinds of— you know like plunging through snow drifts, trying to keep pace and trying to pass the train.

Griffin: Okay. Go ahead and Act Under Pressure for me.

Clint: Eight, plus one for Cool, that’s a nine.

Travis: Could Aubrey help?

Griffin: If you tell—

Clint: Pointing out trees?

Travis: Like, yeah—

Aubrey: Look out!

Travis: And like jerking— jerking the wheel or something, you know?

Griffin: Yeah, sure, go ahead and roll to help out.

Travis: I have rolled [crosstalk] so bad.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Oh my god, Trav!

Travis: It’s a five. That don’t help.

Griffin: No, and in fact— yeah, you don’t do anything, you are exposed to the trouble or danger of the roll, and— yeah, okay, so no help there. You have a mixed success here. So— I’m going to get to the price of this mixed success, but for right now, you go off the paved parking lot, and just over the cliff, and I think everybody sees you like, “Oh shit, what? How— oh, God! Why? Huh?” As your Lincoln goes over the hill, and sure enough, you are driving down this very, very steep sort of hillside alongside the rail, and dodging trees and rocks and debris as you go as Aubrey sort of points it out, and you manage to get alongside the train car. Here’s the choice I’m going to give you: you can get past this train and you can get down to that base station before the train does, but you are going to come in very very very hot. You are going to come in, you know, faster than a speeding train, and you have no real guarantees that you are going to be able to stop safely.

Clint: Or would I have time to pull in front of it?

Griffin: Yes, I mean, you could do either thing, but again, the choice I’m giving you here is, like, you’re gonna— the Lincoln is going to get— it’s not going to, uh—

Travis: Survive.

Griffin: No, the Lincoln’ll survive, we’ll— we’ll roll to determine that, but it will take a hit. You’re going to put your car in danger, basically, to fix this situation, because I think getting down the hill before the train safely is now impossible. So you can either drive down and crash into the station, which will probably get the people out of it, or you can try to intercept the train car. So which option are you going with here, Mac?

Clint: I’m going to go with the collide, and [Griffin: Good.] and try to— try to slow it down or stop it. I was thinking that if he can accelerate enough, and jump the Lincoln in front of the train, and then hit the brakes and the emergency brake and everything else, that it might at least slow the train down so it won’t crash into the station as badly.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, I think that’s going to definitely be another Act Under Pressure roll, and this one is going to be, I will say, a lot more high stakes than the last one is, because that’s kind of the position that you now find yourself in.

Clint: Okay. So he hits the gas, he floors it, it goes shooting up, and then he hits the steering wheel to the left and it jumps over the tracks, those chains just dig right in, and he hits the brakes, hits the emergency brake— I rolled a ten.

Griffin: Cool!

Clint: Plus one for Cool, which is eleven.

Griffin: Yeah, you do what you set out to.

Travis: Sick.

Griffin: You get the Lincoln in front of this tram— again, it’s just like a single small single car tram, and it was going very very fast, but you manage to just barely get ahead of it, and as you slam on your brake, you can see it start to slow down and you feel actually some metal in the back of your car crumpling, but it's not going to give way entirely because it’s a Lincoln, it’s a very sturdy beast. And—

Travis: A sturdy American automobile!

Griffin: And you still have some time before you reach the station. However, there is one problem, and that is the counterweight that is now coming up towards you from the bottom of the track from the base station, that is fairly sizeable and is moving at you fairly quickly. The tram is designed to sort of harmlessly go over it, but your car is not— your car does not have the height that the tram has, so that is going to be a situation, unless you can figure out some way out of it.

Travis: How fast are we moving?

Griffin: I would say you’ve got it down to about 40 miles an hour.

Aubrey: Hey, Ned?

Ned: Hmm?

Aubrey: We should jump.

Ned: Oh...I just got it waxed! I just— [groaning] Oh… All right, let’s jump!

Griffin: Okay. I mean I’m not going to make you roll for this, because this is a sacrifice that is considerable—

Clint: Isn’t there a lot of snow?

Griffin: Uh, yeah, sure— no, I’m not talking about your life being sacrificed.

Clint: [dejectedly] I know.

Ned: I love that car.

Aubrey: We’ll get you a new car, Ned.

Griffin: Okay. You all jump out the side, and—

Clint: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! I pull the Live and Let Die 8-track out of the 8-track player, because that is irreplaceable.

Griffin: Okay. And with that, you tuck and roll out of the vehicle, and are harmlessly caught by a thick pad of snow, and you roll to a stop and seconds after you do so, you see the counterweight smash into the Lincoln, and the Lincoln now sort of gets tied up between the counterweight and the tram [Clint moaning sadly] and I think with that, the tram also now skips the tracks and now is kind of tumbling down the hill, and now all of it— the counterweight and the tram and your car kind of tied up in this cable, are very very slowly, slowly skidding to a halt just in front of the base station

Ned: [sobbing] Oh, poor Ruby!

Aubrey: I’m proud of you, Ned.

Ned: [sobbing] And the 8-track got smashed! Oh, god! I’ll have to steal another one from McCartney!

Griffin: Let’s get back to Duck. You have knocked this thing down to the ground, and disarmed it. And as you’ve done so, as it kind of rolled on the ground, you see that it's hood has come off of its head. And what you see there poking out of this brown robe, you see a goat’s head. It looks a lot like Vincent, actually. It looks like it could be Vincent’s very very jacked brother. But there is a goat man laying on the ground in front of you. What do you do?

Duck: Vincent?

Griffin: It looks up at you, and it just has these wild eyes and these kind of scared eyes, and it starts bleating at you very very loudly. And it doesn’t seem to recognise you, I don’t know if that’s what you were going for? It is just kind of shouting at you as you’re on top of it.

Justin: Duck has like, realised that he does not have the Greco-Roman training that maintaining the situation is going to require. So I want you to imagine clumsily while holding the goat man’s arm— axe arm down with his left hand— or, sorry with his left foot, he reaches over with his right hand and like punches the goat’s wrist to try to get it to let go of the axe. It is very ungraceful, and probably ineffective.

Griffin: No, yeah, you’ve definitely— definitely disarmed it at this point. And I think he is wrestling to get you off of him, are you trying to maintain this position?

Justin: Yes, I’m trying to maintain the grip so I can— I mean, he’s just bleating at me, remind me— I’m having some trouble remembering, is there any reason why someone from Sylvain wouldn’t necessarily be able to understand me? Like, they can speak our language, right?

Griffin: Yeah!

Justin: I mean, we speak the same language, I guess is what I’m saying?

Griffin: Yeah, for sure. There is no reason why this goat man would not be able to understand you if he’s from Sylvain. [Justin: Okay.] But it’s— this goat man starts just shouting more and more and more and it’s just echoing through the trees. And then it is answered, by another loud bleat nearby in the brush, and then a second, also close by.

Duck: Aw, ffffffff— shit.

Travis: Fuck.

Griffin: And then two more robed goat men step out of the brush flanking their companion. One of them is wielding a shovel and the other one is wielding a large pair of shears. And they see you on top of their goat brother and start charging in your direction.

Justin: By the time they have— I have first seen them and realised what was developing, as soon as they get within eye shot of me, they noticed that maybe even without me sort of necessarily doing it, Beacon has now coiled its way around the goat’s throat.

[Amnesty theme begins to play]

Griffin: The two goat men stop and they look at each other, and you can’t tell if they’re scared or confused as they turn to you with silent attention.

Duck: Hold up, hold up. Y’all don’t know me— listen, I would not just kill your friend lying here unarmed on the ground like this.

Beacon: But I most definitely would.

[The Adventure Zone: Amnesty Theme by Griffin McElroy plays]

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