Balance – Episode 37: The Crystal Kingdom: Chapter Nine

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Can our heroes claim victory once again against their old nemeses? I don't know, I haven't listened yet, don't spoil it for me! It's the Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"The Crystal Kingdom: Chapter Nine," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 37th episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

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Full transcript available here.

It's going down. Our heroes have a thrilling showdown with three of their most deadly, most dead foes -- but will they fare as well in Round Two as they did the first time around? Taako defies gravity. Magnus adds to his collection. Merle learns the basics of the Cleric class.

Our heroes are facing Magic Brian, Jenkins, and Maarvey in their new robot bodies. Also, Travis has new dice.

The robots start cackling. (MAGNUS: I cackle right back! A-backle!) Magic Brian says that he’s psyched to fight the boys again, and that he’s been looking forward to this since he was vanquished. Magnus asks if he’s a ghost in the machine. Magic Brian explains that after he died, he ended up in the Astral Plane. He says that being dead is pretty chill, but he prefers living. He adds that he is engaged and was going to invite Taako to his wedding, before he was so rudely betrayed. Magnus offers to let them all go, saying that they don’t have to fight again. Jenkins says that although he does want to get back to work in his garden, he had also been looking forward to this.

TAAKO: Are we fighting or what?

JENKINS: Oh-yeah. We can–Let's move on to that.

TAAKO: I feel like–listen. I’m not here to dictate the narrative, but I feel like we’ve really explored your individual arcs pretty thoroughly. I’d like to get to the part where I shoot you in the chest with an acid arrow.

JENKINS: It’s too bad that you’re going last in the initiative order then.

The fuse in the middle of Jenkins’ robot body begins to glow brightly, then a wave of supersonic sound shoots out of him. Everyone has to roll a wisdom saving roll. Magnus and Taako fail, and are confused. (TRAVIS: Well, what else is new.) Travis then rolls a ten and seems to shake off the effect of the spell. He charges Maarvey and attempts to hit his fuse with his axe, but he misses. He tries again, and hits this time, managing to crack the glass fuse. He goads Maarvey about killing him last time, but mixes him up with Barbara.

MAGNUS: How did we kill you? I don’t even remember.

MAARVEY: You didn’t throw me off a cliff or nothin’! I’m too tough for that. You cut me in half!

MAGNUS: Oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah. Sorry, it didn’t register, it wasn’t even in my Top 10 kills.

MAARVEY: Well. Let’s see if I can make a mark in that book on my–in my–hey, fuck you!

JUSTIN: Travis you’re fighting Paul Blart, Mall Cop right now.

Maarvey tries to make another comeback, but fails heartily. He does hit Magnus with his giant fist, sending him flying across the chamber, where he lands prone.

Merle attempts to cast Dispel Magic, but Confusion is a 4th level enchantment and he can’t dispel it. He then tries to cast it as a 4th level slot.

CLINT: So! Consider the spell ended.

TRAVIS: Did you roll?

GRIFFIN: Did you roll, did you do any of the shit?

CLINT: I am getting ready to do... I am preparing to do... the shit.

JUSTIN: Here comes the shit, everybody.

CLINT: What am I rolling?


CLINT: *laughs* A d20? *rolls* And it’s... it's a 3.

Needless to say, the spell was not ended. Griffin remembers that Magnus had still been riding Garyl, and explains that he would have vanished when Taako was confused. Justin retcons that Garyl muttered “peace” before blinking out of existence, knocking Magnus to the ground. It would have been really funny if they had remembered.

Carey pulls what looks like a white pebble out of her pocket and throws it into the air. It hangs there for a moment, emitting some kind of strobe light, catching everyone’s attention. While the robots are distracted, Carey leaps at them, holding daggers in both hands. She chops Maarvey’s back in a sneak attack, for 28 damage. A shower of sparks shoots out of his wounds like wings. Carey backflips off his back and lands behind him.

After rolling a d10, the confused Taako has to attack a random creature within his reach–which is Merle. He rolls a 19 and attacks him with his shortsword. Merle is unperturbed, however.

Magic Brian tells the group that he has a new and improved Magic Missile, and casts Fireball at them from his cannon arm. He hits Magnus and Merle for 24 points of damage. Merle’s wooden arm is a little bit on fire. Jenkins casts Stoneskin on Maarvey.

Magnus gets up and charges Magic Brian. He manages to pry off his cannon arm with his crowbar. (GRIFFIN: Oh, this ol’ fuckin’ chestnut.) Magnus then shoots Magic Brian in his glass fuse with his own fuckin’ arm, blasting him with the remaining fire. The fuse shatters and Magic Brain, inhabiting a white ball of light, floats into the air. He laments the loss of his body and then flies into the robot containing Jenkins.

Maarvey Thunderclaps Magnus with his giant gorilla arms. Magnus parries and reduces damage, while Merle casts Prayer of Healing. Carey rolls and lands behind the Jenkins and Magic Brian robot. She grabs a fistful of wires and drags a knife along them, giving them a “rude haircut”. Jenkins and Magic Brian cry out at the same time.

Taako finally snaps out of his confusion by saving on his wisdom saving roll.

TAAKO: Oh thank god... okay, first off, some apologies are due to the stabbed parties I have so grievously wronged. I am sorry about that, darling.

MAGIC BRIAN: There’s that sweet voice I have missed so much.

TAAKO: You’re on the list, bucko.

Taako and Magic Brian have a brief conversation about what kind of food will be served at Brian’s wedding. He says there won’t be any vegetarian dishes, although there will be some sides. Taako pulls out a glass sphere.

TAAKO: You know, you two remind me of somebody.

MAGIC BRIAN: Who’s, who’s that?

TAAKO: You remind me of the babe.

He throws the glass sphere at them and it shatters. Suddenly, there is no gravity around the bots, and they float into the air. Taako scurries and hides behind Magnus. Magic Brian and Jenkins argue over control of their wires. Magic Brian casts Haste on his and Jenkins’s body, doubling their speed, gaining +2 to their AC, and giving them advantage on dexterity saving rolls.

MAGNUS: What the fuck, can you do that Merle?! Where have you been??

MERLE: N-no??

MAGNUS: I’ve been begging for extra AC!

MERLE: I don’t have the components!

Jenkins’s 28 wires point at Magnus and cast Dominate Person. Magnus saves and is able to avoid it. Magnus grabs the wires and swings the Jenkins/Brian bot into the Maarveybot. They collide, and the fuse containing Magic Brian and Jenkins shatters. Two balls of light fly out of it and into the Maarveybot. The group can hear the three of them fight amongst themselves. Magnus uses his second attack to Phantom Fist the remaining robot, but it’s not effective due to the Stoneskin. The robot hits Magnus, who blocks. Magnus ripostes and attacks the robot again, hitting this time. This is enough to make the fuse explode, and the three souls fly out. They yell at each other as they escape, and begin to fly away to find new robot bodies. Carey asks Merle if he can do anything to banish them, so he casts Turn Undead. All three fail their saving rolls, and the lights slowly disintegrate.

JENKINS: Looks like Team Rocket’s blasting off again…

Carey and the boys celebrate their victory, then notice that NO-3113 is being very quiet and sullen. They determine that she must be bummed because now knows that she is also a spirit in a robot body. Magnus reassures her that while he recognizes that she is a spirit, he appreciates her as a member of the team. Taako attempts to comfort her as well, poorly.

NO-3113 suddenly begins to remember her past. She says her full name is Noelle Redcheek, and her family runs a cider press in Hogsbottom. She reveals that when she died, she was making a delivery to a bar in Phandalin. She had been helped by Barry Bluejeans, who hid a group of people in the stock room as he tried to fight off a flaming dwarf.

MAGNUS: But what matters now is that you’re technically alive.

MERLE: Well, not technically.

MAGNUS: No, literally technically. You’re in a techno body. You are technically alive.

She laughs at this. Her last thought was that the world had to be ending, and she is relieved that it wasn’t the case. She asks what happened to Phandalin, and at first the trio tries to play dumb. Taako then carefully explains that they work to prevent events like Phandalin’s destruction. He tells NO-3113 that in order to prevent catastrophes like Phandalin, she needs to help them with their mission.

TAAKO: You can save the world, Noelle.

NO-3113: Alright, then. Let’s fuck ‘em up.

The fuse pops out of NO-3113's chest, and the light bursts out. She floats to the pile of abandoned robot parts, and flies into the gorilla-like one. She then stands up and begins to pick up robot parts and attach them to her new body. Taako throws her the cannon arm that had been Magic Brian’s and she attaches that as well. She finishes combining the four robots together, Voltron-style, and cocks her gun arm.

NO-3113: Hero time!

Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Personal message for Captain Brotastic, from Andrea , Alice, Ray, Morgan, The Honey Swadger, and Zack: Joe, congrats, you survived another year. You dinged! Let joy be unrestrained and so-on.  Without your unpredictable, capricious, and invariably excellent rp, our games would be impoverished, and in general our lives would be mired in insupportable dreariness and ennui.  Boundless love from your DM and your fellow skidmarks.  And hello to Jason Isaacs. 

Personal message for Ryan, the Supreme DM, from Lydia Knife-fight, Oliver Depuster, Gildersleaf III, Milhouse, Dawood, Tuscon Smith, and Dolomite Vat: Happy International GM's Day, Ryan.  We hope your day is like rocks. 

Personal message for Bob, from Chelsea: Happy birthday, Bob. I can't wait until this summer when we get to move in together and be the amazing gay sibling duo we were always meant to be. Thanks for always being there for me, and I hope hearing a birthday message from the brothers who are almost as cool as you is as awesome as I think it will be. Love, your sister.

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

  • Lucas's Lab

Quotesedit | hide | edit source

The begonias also went to the Astral Planeedit | hide | edit source

JENKINS: I have a beautiful garden that I need to go back and tend to, I have some begonias–

MAGNUS: Ohhh no.

JENKINS: What’s wrong.

MAGNUS: Nothing. Your garden is great.

Merle 2.0: Competenceedit | hide | edit source

CLINT: Alright–this is the new Merle. This is the new competent–

GRIFFIN: Oh boy, I’m very excited for this–

CLINT: –well-read, confident, Merle. I will be throwing spells around like a dog shaking off puddle water.

GRIFFIN: Is this your press conference?

Clint 2.0: Competenceedit | hide | edit source

GRIFFIN: So, lemme explain, in this game, clerics can cast buffs on the other members of their party, to like make ‘em more survivable, and keep them from getting hurt and taking damage–it’s like a really good thing that clerics can do. This is the first time you’re learning this information.

JUSTIN: He’s not reacting at all.


He’s toastedit | hide | edit source

MAGIC BRIAN: I’ll send you a link to my registry later. I had a toaster on that registry but I no longer think that will be necessary.

GRIFFIN: And you see a little toaster attachment pop out of that robot and two pieces of bread pop out of it.

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

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