Balance – Episode 43: The Eleventh Hour: Chapter Three/Transcript

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Transcript by the lovely volunteers at TAZscripts.

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Griffin: Previously, on The Adventure Zone:

[theme music begins playing in the background]

The Director: The fifth grand relic. The Temporal Chalice [pronounced with a soft “sh” sound]. Or Chalice [pronounced with a hard “ch” sound], depending on just sort of what region you’re from. We discovered this anomaly several weeks ago. It is a force field.

Griffin: Uh, this town, just to kind of give you an idea of the aesthetic, is very old western. And it says on this gate, “By their sacrifice, our home is made safe.” And this statue depicts three figures. This small human girl, she is holding hands with a large, broad, bearded human man. This figure standing behind them is wearing a robe, a bright crimson red.

Travis: Oh.

Bird: Uh, I’m called Roswell.
Taako: Ooh, great. Is Roswell the name of you, the bird, or the big fella that you’re riding on?
Roswell: I don’t see why it’s important that you distinguish between the two.
Merle: Have you heard the word of Pan today?
Cassidy: No, what’s a pan?

Griffin: It is an explosion. You see smoke coming through the windows of the bank. As the clock strikes noon, And you’re being crushed by the shattered earth as it compresses down into the ground, and all three of you have died. And you see that old woman again.

Old Woman: Oh, you’ll have to do much better than that, loves.
Announcer: Okay, campers, rise and shine. And don’t forget your booties ‘cause it’s cold out there today. It’s The Adventure Zone!

[THEME MUSIC: "Déjà Vu" by Mort Garson]


Griffin: You wake up. And you’re not dead. Anymore.

Justin: Hooray!

Travis: Yay, we did it!

Griffin: If you were dead, you were dead for just a bit. Just a second. But you’ve woken up from that white space and you are laying on the ground, and when you look up, there’s Refuge.

[“Refuge” begins playing in the background]

Griffin: And it’s undestroyed.

Travis: We did it! [Clint laughs]

Griffin: You did, in a very circuitous way, I guess, save the town. Um, but-

Travis: Another victory for the - oh, we don’t have a cool nickname, do we?

Clint: We really need a cool nickname.

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: I also don’t think “another” works.

Travis: What about The Thrifty Three?

Griffin: That doesn’t make any sense.

Justin: Tres Horny Boys.

Travis: Yeah!

Griffin: Tres Horny Boys.

Justin: No one say that out loud ever again, please.

Clint: Tres Horny Boys, you don’t want to say that out loud again?

Griffin: Well, that’s unfortunate, Justin. Everything you say on this show becomes canon. Tres Horny Boys, you’ve woken up and there’s Refuge, it’s not destroyed. You’re in front of the entry gate, where you woke up… yesterday, I guess? And standing under that gate is a big red clay animated earth elemental onion knight. With a bird on its shoulder. Who says-

[music fades out]

Clint: Do we still remember everything that happened the last time?

Travis: Good question.

Griffin: You absolutely remember everything that happened. And this - Roswell says,

Roswell: Hello, visitors! Please identify yourselves.
Taako: Hello, Roswell, not much time to talk. We’re here for an appointment with Sheriff Isaak.
Roswell: [gasps] How did you know-
Taako: If you could - sorry?
Roswell: How did you know my name and Sheriff Isaak’s name?
Taako: Sheriff Isaak, we spoke with him beforehand. And he imported us to come here, he helped open the way. And he would like us to meet with him at the sheriff’s office, if you could take us there.
Merle: We did it on LinkedIn.

Travis: I’d like everyone to know while this is happening Magnus is slowly turning and staring at Taako. This is the most competent thing Taako has done.

Griffin: Why don’t you make a - [chchch] this would be a charisma check, let me consult the list of skills, figure out this one.

Justin: Oh no, not that! Any skill but that!

[Griffin laughs]

Travis: Griffin, is there a metric like there was in fourth edition where we can assist in a check? Can we be charismatic with Taako with lots of smiles and winking?

Griffin: Uh, I - you can, I mean, if you can come up with a way narratively to do so, I might give Taako advantage. If you have something, for instance - Taako’s going to make the roll because he led the charge, but if you can think of some other little juicy nug to aid in this then, yeah, I’ll let you.

Travis: Okay.

Clint: We can always overwhelm him with numbers. You know, so if the story starts to flag, one of us can jump in.

Griffin: Uh, this would be - let’s do persuasion, Juice.

Travis: Okay, wait. Magnus says,

Magnus: Uh, yeah, Sheriff Isaak mentioned you were having some problems with some renegades, some bandana-ed fellows, and was wondering if we might be able to help out.
Roswell: Okay, I thought I had that situation under control, but-

Griffin: Taako, go ahead and make that roll and take advantage on it.

Justin: [rolls dice] Mmkay. That is a 14 or… [rolls dice] 20!

Clint: Whoa!

Griffin: Nat 20?

Travis: Heyo!

Justin: Nat 20..

Griffin: Okay. You-

Travis: I love you! [Clint laughs]

Griffin: [in Roswell’s voice] Please, have my babies.

Roswell: It’s unconventional that Sheriff Isaak would reach out like that to - I mean, it’s so rare that we have visitors for, under any circumstances, especially for security purposes, but-
Taako: Let me ask you this. Is there anything conventional about this situation?
Roswell: That’s a great point. Okay, I guess come with me. I haven’t actually seen Sheriff Isaak today, but I’m sure he’ll turn up, you can just wait at the office for now.
Taako: Excellent! Thank you so much, lead the way.

Griffin: So here is how this arc is gonna work, and I wanna lay it out straight with you fellas ‘cause - the last thing that I wanna do is have you guys just do the same shit over and over and over again. This - what you have just done, now that you have bluffed your way past Roswell, now that you have figured out a way to do that and executed it, you can just do that now in any future loop.

Justin: Okay. That makes sense.

Griffin: I’m not gonna make you do the same rolls over and over and over again. In the same sense, if you could sort of build, um, an hour of good loops, like I will let you also kind of fast forward to whatever point you need to, assuming you have like a way to get there based on the things you've accomplished in the past. Which is gonna be like... It's going to be a bit abstract to keep track of but I think it's the only way to do this, ‘cause--

Travis: Yeah otherwise we're gonna hear the same thing over and over.

Griffin: Over and over and over again and that's just gonna be really, really bad radio.

Travis: Yeah, yeah.

Griffin: Um, I’m going to try--

Travis: Dad, you know something about bad radio, right? Do you have any advice for Griffin?

Clint: Lemme tell you about bad radio everybody, [goofy voice] hi!!!

Griffin: Oh boy.

Clint: [goofy DJ voice] Hii, it’s time for some bad radio!

Justin: Love that guy.

Griffin: Oh boy. As the DM of this arc, I’m going to do my best to keep everything, to keep everything sort of straight and make sure that everybody’s doing the same shit every time. If I slip up, it's not me like dropping hints or whatever, it's an honest to god screw-up because this hour is, is this arc.

Travis: Got it.

Griffin: I also kind of, this is also a bit unconventional but, uh, in order to give you a bit of direction, I don't want you guys just kinda flailing in the wind, I wanted to lay out some objectives for the arc just so they’re a bit clear. Um, you need--

Clint: I think I know one of ‘em.

Griffin: Well, one of them is to recover the Temporal Chalice and get it out, get it out of town, and take it back to--

Clint: We also, are we gonna make Andie MacDowell fall in love with us?

Griffin: That is a sub-quest, and I’ll give--

Travis: Are we going to ruin Chris Elliott’s life?

Griffin: Ruin Chris Elliott’s life, you’ll get extra experience points for that. Umm.. No you als--

Justin: I already did.

[Travis laughing, Griffin joins in]

Justin: Just ask him about it, it's all he’ll fucking talk about anymore.

Griffin: Um, you also need to figure out, in addition to getting the grand relic, you need to figure out what caused this bubble to pop up around town, and sort of discover the mystery of the bubble. Um, the other thing you need to do is figure out what is destroying the town and try to stop it. Those objectives--

Travis: And we have an hour of time in-game to do that?

Griffin: What’s that?

Travis: Or-- In game, does an hour pass? Or is it that we have an hour of recording?

Griffin: Oh god no we can’t do an hour of recording time. I saw some people asking about that in the reddit, we can’t do it like that or else this thing would go on forever. I want you guys like going through mad loops. Um, those two objectives I’ve laid out, figuring out what the bubble is and figuring out what stopping the, figuring out what's destroying the town? Not as important as the third one but they will, I will tell you they will help get you there.

Travis: Got it.

Griffin: Um, that being said, uh, you are walking into town with Roswell, and you know the layout now. Uh, you guys can consult the map at any point, I’ll just assume you all three have photographic memories. Um, and uh--

Magnus: Um, Roswell, could I ask you a question?
Roswell: Yeah, go ahead!
Magnus: Uh, Sheriff Isaak mentioned in his communication to us that he was worried about, uh, some of the more vulnerable targets in town, specifically the bank. What kind of security are we looking at, uh, around the bank? Is there a way we could go see the layout, make sure that everything’s secure?
Roswell: That’s, um. That’s really suspicious, you know that right? ‘Hey, let me see the blueprints to the bank’, that’s what you just asked basically.
Magnus: No no no. Just- instead of headed straight to the office, you said yourself that you didn't think Sheriff Isaak was there. Would you mind if we just kind of like walked around town and looked for him?

Justin: I pull out a gun, and shoot the two of them and shoot myself. [laughter]

Clint: Reboot!!

Justin: Starting again.

Griffin: He says:

Roswell: No I don't. [sigh] I believe you, that Sheriff Isaak reached out to you, but I don't know you guys. You haven't told me your names yet, which is a bit rude. Um.
Magnus: Magnus Burnsides. You can call me the Hammer.
Roswell: Oh, pleasure. Um, I think it would be best if you just kinda waited at the office for now, okay?
Magnus: Okay.

Griffin: Uh, he walks you to the office. It's about 11:05 right now, you can see, as you walk into town, you can see the clock tower from above, and turns you toward the sheriff's office, which when you walk in, it's just as you remember it. It’s– there’s destroyed chairs, Roswell's desk, there's Cassidy in the jail cell at the end, a map hanging on the wall, um, just as you left it.

Justin: Well, I’ll– is Roswell about to leave?

Griffin: Uh, it doesn't seem like it. Roswell walks in and sits down on their chair, which kind of creaks and moans under their weight. I'm trying to stick with the they pronoun, for Roswell? I keep fucking that up.  

Justin: I wanna see what, Dad plays a lot of like open world RPGs, I’m curious what Dad thinks we should do first.

Clint: We’re obviously stuck in this location for a while, right?

Justin: Well, I mean I got magic and shit. If you wanna leave, just say the word.

[Travis laughs over Clint trying to talk]

Clint: I think we, I think we need to get some more information out of Roswell, and, and then I think we need to get some more information out of, uh, Jailbird Betty.

Justin: Cassidy?

Clint: Yeah, Cassidy.


Clint: If you’re asking me, I mean I’m thinking about casting Zone of Truth, but I don't know. It’s been a while.

Justin: I would think, and I'm not sure. I don’t know if Zone of Truth – you may have to refer to your cards– I don't know if Zone of Truth would work on Roswell.

Travis: Does Zone of Truth compel truth? [Griffin: Yeah.] Or does it just stop people from lying?

Griffin: Uh, I don't know. I think those two are similar enough that it wouldn't really matter mechanically. Roswell's gonna actually ask you first, uh, they say:

Roswell: Uh, so why did Sheriff Isaak reach out to you ? Are you guys like, fixers or something? Why are you, what are you… Lemme lay it out. There's only like five of those guys, of the bandits, and they’re dicks, but they’re not especially dangerous.
Magnus: Can I ask you a que-- Five that you know of, Roswell.
Roswell: I mean, there's only like. A little over a 100 people living in Refuge, I'm pretty sure if given enough time I could kind of list them all out by name.
Magnus: And how long have you been looking for these 5, and how many have you arrested?
Roswell: Um, that’s a good point. That’s a good point. Asked and– asked and answered.

Clint: [doing a goofy voice for Merle] Look, let me tell ya a lil’ something–

[Horrific amount of crosstalk ensues.]

Travis: No–

Justin: That cannot be– that can’t be– that can’t be–

Clint: You don’t want that to be the new voice? Okay.

Merle: Okay, let me ask you this: isn’t it possible that maybe– you don’t have the Sheriff’s confidence totally? I mean, he brought us in–

Justin: Shit, we’re just gonna dismantle this thing from the inside out, huh?

Merle: [crosstalk] And you haven’t arrested anybody– y’know, Roswell, maybe you just ain’t getting the job done?
Roswell: Yeah, I guess I– you know, I’m not the fastest, um, in the world, so–  I mean, it’s hard to catch them, sometimes. Certainly you can relate to that–
Taako: Think about this– you’re what, one year old, max– there’s no way that you’d be– have the cunning to arrest these guys.
Roswell: Kind of feel like I’m getting dunked on a little bit here, so–


Taako: No, no, not that–
Magnus: Think of us as consultants–
Roswell: Sure, sure–
Magnus: We’re here to help you, we wanna make you look good.
Taako: It’s your lead. It’s your show, baby.

Griffin: You hear, from down the street, [a whooshing noise] and the sound of some furniture getting tossed around. It sounds like a scuffle is happening down the street. And Roswell says,

Roswell: Let’s see if I’m competent enough to handle this.
Magnus: Yeah, let’s go check it out.
Roswell: Yeah, I guess we can - I guess y’all can come along.
Merle: We’ll go with.
Roswell: Just stay behind me, let me lead the charge ’cause you guys don’t really technically have any authority here yet.
Taako: Sure.
Magnus: Yep, you got it.
Merle: Let the slowest guy lead the charge. Go for it.

Griffin: You go outside with Roswell. You can see up on the clock it’s 11:10. And just like the last loop, you see some dudes in purple kerchiefs that’ve been blasted out into the street out of the front door of The Davy Lamp, the local saloon, and when they see you all coming they turn tail and just hoof it, start hoofing it down the street back towards the entry gate and then they turn a sharp right into some buildings.

Travis: Do I have the chance to bow-and-arrow somebody?

Griffin: Yeah, sure, if you want.

Travis: I’m gonna bow-and-arrow and aim for a calf.

Griffin: That’s grisly.

Justin: Debilitating.

Clint: That’s his name?

Travis: And that’s a 17 plus 8, so 25.

Griffin: Okay, yeah, you hit one of them in the calf, and they don’t like...taking that damage. [Clint laughs] And you get them just as they’re turning the corner around the building, and you hear them yell,

Injured Bandit: [yelling] Aw, dang it!

Travis: That was 1d6, that’s a 6 plus 2. So it’s 8 damage, in case it matters.

Griffin: Okay, so it’s more like,

Injured Bandit: [much calmer] Aw, dang it.

Travis: Eight damage is pretty good!

Griffin: Yeah. They don’t fall to the ground crying, yelling “Okay, arrest me now,” and they sort of run out of sight. Roswell’s gonna keep on chasing them down the street, though. Stay on the hunt.

Merle: I’m feelin’ kinda thirsty.
Taako: Okay. Let’s head into the- [crosstalk]

Travis: We haven’t worried about food or drinks so far in the game, but I guess now we will?

Justin: Let’s head into the - [in Taako’s voice] I wouldn’t be opposed to a- a- a refreshment.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: I was trying to think of like a fancy word.

Travis: Yeah, but it sounded like you were skipping.

Merle: A pilsner?
Taako: A pilsner? That’s great, let’s go into The Davy Lamp.

Travis: Ooh, maybe they have the honey apple mead. What was it? That Noelle made?

Griffin: Redcheek… that good, good Redcheek sauce. I forget what it was.

Clint: I’m gonna get a Harvey Wallbanger.

Griffin: Actually, it would actually be called, their brand was Applesauce. It was like a fun play on words.

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: But it was, like, really strong booze just made of apples. Okay, yeah you walk in through those old-timey saloon doors into The Davy Lamp. Despite the fact that it seems like kind of a kerfuffle just happened in here, it doesn’t seem like anybody was really paying it any mind, because this kerfuffle happened, like, thirty seconds ago and there are no signs a fight happened. So it kind of seems like those two ruffians kind of just got their asses handed to them very efficiently.

Travis: I wanna step in here, just so anybody listening is like, “Why did Magnus shoot that person with the arrow and then do nothing about it?” I’ve got a thing called Lens of Straight Creeping that lets me follow people, follow tracks-

Griffin: Yeah, sure.

Travis: So I would be following the scuffling one in case I need to.

Griffin: Yeah, that works. Okay.

Clint: That is– and it’s so Magnus, just shootin’ somebody.

Travis: Well, hold on-

Griffin: And also maybe you just wanted to hurt someone.

Travis: Yeah. I haven’t gotten to hurt anyone so far in the episode and one-tenth we’ve recorded.

Griffin: Sure. Okay, yeah, but you make your way into The Davy Lamp. There’s maybe about a dozen people in here.

Clint: Are you saying Baby Lamp?

Justin: You’ve got a map right there.

Clint: Okay, but… Davy Lamp. Okay.

Griffin: That was like an old-timey lamp that was less flammable that miners would use.

Clint: Ohhh.

Travis: You just blew Dad away. Now the son has become the dad.

Griffin: I blew Dad away with the-

Justin: Congratulations on your new dad promotion.

Griffin: Look at me. Look at me. I’m the dad now. [Travis laughs]

Clint: Take it.

Travis: [laughing harder] This shit sucks!

Clint: Wait your turn, pal. Just wait, just wait.

Griffin: Let me describe the scene a little bit. There’s a piano. There’s a guy playing the piano.

[“The Davy Lamp” begins playing in the background]

Griffin: There’s about a dozen people here. Most of them are just kind of sitting around tables, drinking. There is an elf wearing a really slick-looking poncho who’s playing poker.

Travis: Ooh!

Griffin: They’re not playing poker-

Travis: Aw.

Griffin: They’re playing some card game that you never really seen before one-on-one. It is a one-on-one game that they’re playing against some other nonessential NPC. And then there’s the bartender, who is polishing - oh, shit, this is gonna be - she’s a dark elf woman who is holding a magic rod which is, like, halfway between a wand and a staff, that seems like - imagine gunsmoke is coming off of it. You can tell, Taako, that this rod was just used to kick the asses of those two guys.

Taako: This rod was just used to kick the asses of those two guys.


Merle: How’d you know that?
Taako: Oh, arcana, my friends.

Clint: Can there be a shuffleboard game? Please, please, please, please, please. One of those shuffleboard games with the sawdust, please?

Griffin: There’s one of those shuffleboard games with the sawdust.

Clint: Yeah!

Griffin: But it’s one of them, like, one of the legs is a little short, so the game is just absolutely not fun to play.

Clint: Aw.

Griffin: Ummmmm. Fire and ice, baby, that’s me. That’s how I do it. Coming at you hot and cold. [Clint giggling] But anyway, it is a lively scene that, as soon as you walk in, becomes a not-lively scene. And despite the fact that an apparent barfight did not interrupt the flow, the party flow in this spot, the three of you walking in definitely does.

Travis: Wait, are you telling me that they’re not being rustically hospitable to me?

Griffin: Uh, in this exact moment? No. They’re not being mean to you, they just look at you with shock, bearing in mind that this is a town that like a hundred people live in and, hey, here’s three new people.

Magnus: Hail and well met.

Justin: Yeah,

Merle: No.

Justin: I go to the bartender.

Clint: Saunter. Saunter over to them.

Justin: I saunter. That’s good, Dad. I saunter over.

Taako: Uh, listen, I just wanna say that was a heck of a shot. I love magic too.
Bartender: Oh. My. God. You-
Taako: It’s actually Taako.
Bartender: You’re Taako!
Taako: Yeah, I’m Taako.
Bartender: You’re the Taako!
Taako: Oh, well it’s always nice to meet a fan. [Merle laughs]
Bartender: The magical chef, I saw your show in the Underdark!
Taako: The magical chef, that was me.
Bartender: When you played the Underdark! You - oh my god, you - you like - you’re my inspiration!
Taako: That was the quiche lorraine, wasn’t it? That was the quiche lorraine, I remember.
Bartender: That was the quiche lorraine! I’ll never forget, that was the first thing I ever cooked! You, like, inspired me to start cooking, you helped me get out of the Underdark! That’s - I - what are you doing here?
Taako: Well, I’m bringin’ the show to you. [Clint wheezing] I’m on tour, I guess, me and my friends here. We’re - I’m sort of doing, I guess you could call it, some undercover work. We’re fixers. The sheriff brought us in to sort of investigate how things are going here in the town. Sounds like there’s a little bit of trouble, we’re just trying to figure out the lay of the land.
Magnus: Madame, we did not catch your name. What was your name?
Bartender: Who- I’m Ren. Who are - you look familiar too. Have we met?
Magnus: Uh… Nah.

Justin: Sorry, R-E-N or W-R-E-N?

Griffin: Uh, just R-E-N.

Clint: How about R-E-N-N? Then there could be a Footloose connection.

Travis: No.

Griffin: Nope!

Clint: Okay.

Magnus: Ren, have you ever had any carpentry work done?
Ren: What a ridiculous - that’s kind of a ridiculous question, no.
Magnus: I know, but I can’t think of where else we would’ve met.

Justin: What is it about the three of us fuckin’ playing Dungeons and Dragons where- just the basic keystones of human conversation, just like instantly escape us-

Griffin: Go right out the window, yeah.

Travis: No, I’m playing Magnus! He’s not charismatic!

Justin: [in an imitation of Magnus’s voice] “Did you need anything fixed?” [back to normal] Like, that’s not charismatic! There’s nothing less charismatic than that.

Clint: I’ll tell you what, I have an idea.

Ren: What’s your - what is your name, though?
Magnus: Magnus Burnsides.
Merle: Let’s go play some shuffleboard and let Taako talk to the lady.
Magnus: Ren, can I just talk to Taako real quick just one second?
Ren: Yeah, sure - hey, Magnus, I feel like being hospitable to you for some reason.
Magnus: Hey, thanks. I get that a lot, it’s the sideburns. Um… hey, Taako?
Taako: Yeah?
Magnus: How long ago was your show in the Underdark?
Taako: Um… let’s see…

Griffin: It was about - your show in the Underdark was about six years ago.

Taako: Six years ago, if memory serves.

Griffin: The horrific event that caused you to stop doing the show, the big poisoning, that was like five years ago.

Travis: Got it.

Taako: Okay.
Magnus: Taako, ask her how long ago she saw that show in the Underdark.
Taako: Okay, I’ll give it a shot. Do you wanna just - I’ll just talk to her and get the lay of the land.
Magnus: I’m gonna head to the piano.
Merle: [loudly] Who wants to arm wrestle my buddy? He can whip every ass in here!
Taako: Oh, that’s good, that’s rustically hospitable.

Griffin: Yeah, thought that’d be good.

Merle: [still loud] I’ll pay big money to anyone that can out-arm-wrestle my pal Magnus!

Griffin: Let’s do two quick scenes, ‘cause I do wanna follow up on that.

Clint: Okay.

Griffin: Taako, let’s do this conversation between you and Ren first.

Justin: Great.

Taako: When did you - remind me, how long ago was that show in the Underdark?
Ren: Do you remember me? There weren’t that many - it was the Underdark, so there weren’t that many people interested in watching a cooking show.
Taako: Sure. Right, but how long - I mean, was that-
Ren: It was about - not that long - I don’t know, it was about a couple years ago? It was shortly before I came here.
Taako: A couple years ago, right, yeah– that sounds right.
Ren: Can I get you anything to drink or anything, or… oh, here, I know what I can do!

Griffin: She reaches down under the table and gets a key for you and hands it to you and says,

Ren: Please, you guys are new in town, it seems like you could probably use a place to stay, so why don’t you use the room upstairs for a while? Check-in is at noon, um, so just wait around till then and just go ahead and drop off your stuff. It’s our best room, and god, I wish that we had something nicer. I’m sorry, I’m kind of geeking out right now.
Taako: Check-in’s at noon?
Ren: Yeah.
Taako: Okay, well, why don’t you go ahead and hold on to the key for me for a little bit? [everyone laughs] I’ll come back and get it.

Travis: See you at noon-oh-one.

Justin: I’ll be there at 12:01 prompt.

Clint: Is there early check-in?

Taako: So can I ask a weird question? And this is gonna sound like a complete outsider, but I think you get me enough to know that I’m sorta on the level with this.
Ren: Yeah.
Taako: What is with the bubble, right?
Ren: Yeah, it’s - it popped up a little over a year ago and… I don’t know. I’m sort of ambivalent about it, like, obviously it keeps us safe from the dangers of outside and all that, but I feel a little cooped up from time to time.
Taako: Right, yeah.
Ren: But things were not actually-
Taako: How long has it been since you went outside the bubble?
Ren: Nobody goes outside the bubble.
Taako: Right, okay, good. Has anybody ever left?
Ren: Not that I know of. Um, yeah, no, I don’t think so. Yeah, it popped up a little over a year ago. Things weren’t so great in Refuge before it went up. We were, you know, it was a little quiet mining town for a while - well, it was a loud mining town for a while.
Taako: Sure, with the mining.
Ren: We did diamonds. We had a big motherlode underneath Refuge that dried up pretty quickly, and when it dried up, the town kinda dried up. And things weren’t going so great, and honestly, things have gotten a bit better when the bubble went up. We’re all, like, pretty nice to each other. It’s a pretty safe, chill place to live.
Taako: So it went up a year ago, but before that everybody just sort of came and went as they pleased, huh?
Ren: Yeah, sure. I mean, it was a town.
Taako: Sure, a town. I mean, don’t get uppity, you live in a bubble.
Ren: That is fair.
Taako: Like… I don’t think there’s any such thing as a stupid question. You live in a bubble.
Ren: No, it’s an unconventional way to live, definitely.
Taako: So what’s - what do you think about Sheriff Isaak, what’s the story there? He seems like a good dude to me.
Ren: Yeah, he’s pretty good. A lot of people preferred the last elder, Jack, but, you know, him and June… they, they died. And by their sacrifice our town is made safe, and all that. But I like Sheriff Isaak all right. He’s not - I’m a bartender, I run a bar, and it’s important for me to keep kind of a fun, flirty atmosphere going in here, and kind of a sourpuss like him doesn’t exactly lend itself to that, but, yeah, you know. He does - he’s doing his best.
Taako: Yeah, you don’t want everybody to head into that other bar.
Ren: That’s a - okay. No, that’s fair.
Taako: I’m just like– you’re trying too hard, I think you could take it easy and then you’ll be fine. Jack and Jane, they’re the ones on the statue?
Ren: Jack and June, they’re Jack and June.

Clint: June. June.

Taako: Jack and June are the ones on the statue?
Ren: Yeah. That’s them.

Griffin: I wanna do the arm-wrestling scene. That elf in the poncho motions you, Merle and Magnus, over.

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: And the big, big, big guy that the elf in the poncho was playing cards with, the elf motions and says,

Elf: I would love to watch you arm-wrestle this guy here.

Griffin: And the guy he motions to is - it’s a goliath, which is a race in D&D 5e that is, as the name might denote, a big race.

Elf: I enjoy wagers, so how much are you willing to bet on your horse there, dwarf guy?
Merle: I don’t know, I mean, you sure you wanna take that on? Your guy looks pretty much like a wimp compared to my boy Magnus. Isn’t that right, big fella?
Magnus: [hesitantly] Uh, yeah.
Elf: I mean, that’s just factually inaccurate. You can look at them.
Merle: Flex for them.
Magnus: I mean, he’s pretty big there, Merle. Um…
Merle: Nah, he’s not nearly as good as when you whipped that Klaarg guy arm-wrestling. You remember that, buddy? Show ‘em the pecs! Show ‘em!

Griffin: Do you show them the pecs?

Travis: Ehh - noooo-

Griffin: Do you show them the pecs, summer boy?

Travis: Yeah, you know what? I do, fuck it. Magnus rushes in, I show them the pecs and I sit down at the table.

Clint: Yeah!

Magnus: I’ll make you a deal.

Griffin: The goliath also flexes and he has four pecs.

Magnus: I’ll make you a deal. How about we play for information.
Elf: That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard, and I have to be honest, it’s not especially interesting to me.
Magnus: Oh, okay, sorry. I thought that you were a gambler but you’re a coward, that’s fine.
Elf: Okay, well, that also works as well.
Merle: We gamble gold and you gamble information.
Elf: I’m not really interested in gold, we have a strictly diamond-based economy here.
Merle: Well, I meant diamonds, of course.
Elf: Okay, yeah, why not do both? I’ll put up ten diamonds on my boy here, what do you say?
Merle: Yeah, I’ll match even odds. I’ll put ten diamonds up. I mean, look at him!

Travis: I lean in to Merle.

Magnus: [muttering] We don’t have diamonds.
Merle: [muttering] I know, and you’re also not gonna be able to beat him.
Magnus: [muttering] Yeah, ‘n everything ends in 45 minutes anyways, so fuck it.
Merle: [muttering] So why are we talking out of the sides of our mouths like this?
Magnus: All right. Yeah, sounds good! Ten diamonds and information.

Griffin: Okay. The elf and this goliath accept your bet, and, uh-

Travis: I put up the hand with Phantom Fist on it.

Griffin: Okay.

Goliath: I don’t - no, come on. That’s, come on, that could be some kind of power glove. That could be a Nintendo Power Glove. [Travis laughs] I’m not doing that.

Griffin: And the elf says,

Elf: Would you remove the glove, please?
Magnus: It smells really bad under there. [Clint laughs]

Justin: The classic “my glove smells bad” play.

Elf: Sunshine’s the best disinfectant, let’s… come on.

Travis: All right, I remove the glove.

Griffin: Okay. You’re - so we’re arm wrestling, then.

Travis: I guess so!

Justin: Do I have any awareness of this? This is happening simultaneously with my scene.

Griffin: Yeah, this is happening behind your back.

Justin: Okay. [dice roll] I’m good out here.

Travis: Oh god. [dice roll again]

Clint: Is there any way I can cast something without everybody knowing it?

Griffin: You can cast something. Whether or not nobody knows it is-

Justin: I think it would be - I think it would be dependent on what type of spell it is.

Griffin: Yeah, some of it is verbal, some of it is material-based.

Justin: If it has a V on it then it’s verbal, which I guess you could do a… I don’t know.

Clint: I have an idea.

Griffin: Fucking cough under your breath, be like, “[coughing] super strength!”

Clint: No.

Merle: Fellas, as you may know, I am a man of the cloth.
Elf: I don’t know anyth- I don’t know fuck-all about you.
Merle: I know, that’s why I’m here. I’m here to spread the word of Pan. So before we indulge in this athletic competition, may I say a quick blessing, please?
Elf: No, no, that’s not how - that’s not-

Clint: I put my hand on Magnus’s shoulder, just charging straight ahead, and start mumbling some mumbo-jumbo, but as I do that I cast Bull’s Strength on him, from Enhance Ability.

Griffin: Okay.

Magnus: Amen.
Elf: I think it’s only fair that I am allowed to pray to my god as well.

Griffin: -the elf says, and they put their hand on this big goliath.

Elf: Okay, are we ready to wrestle or what?
Magnus: Yeah, you know what? Fuck it!
Merle: I’m in. [possibly ‘amen’]
Elf: A-mem!

Clint: Bull’s Strength. It… you gain this effect until the spell ends.

Travis: Great.

Clint: Hold on.

Griffin: [laughs] It is a spell and when you have it, you got it. When you get the spell, it does the thing the spell does.

Justin: When you got it, you will know.

Travis: You will know in your heart the bull was in you all along.

Clint: You have advantage on strength checks.

Travis: Okay. Okay!

Clint: So he has advantage on strength.

Travis: Am I gonna roll first, or is Goliath gonna go first?

Griffin: I already rolled, you go ahead.

Travis: [rolls dice] Okay, well, thank god for advantage, cause that was an 11. That was a 19. Uh… 8, so 27.

Griffin: Uh, this goliath rolled a 29.

Travis: Tits!

Clint: Wow!

Griffin: Slams your arm down harrrrd.

Travis: Now hold on, 29 versus 27, you think that slams it down, Griffin?

Griffin: I think the 29 can do whatever the hell it pleases.

Travis: So there was no way I was going to beat this goliath.

Griffin: Not the way that this situation went down, no. Slams your hand down-

Travis: We’ll get him again next time.

Goliath: [laughs] It’s pretty– ‘s not bad, but I’ve had better.

Griffin: And the elf says,

Elf: Diamonds, please.
Magnus: Double or nothing?

Griffin: They hold out their hand.

Merle: Yeah, let’s double or nothing this.
Elf: Nah, let’s just cash out, what do you say? Diamonds, please!
Magnus: Oh, okay, do you guys wanna run away? Is that why you wanna cash out? Do you not have twenty diamonds? If so, then that’s fine.
Elf: Do you not have ten diamonds?
Merle: We got ten diamonds, pal.
Magnus: We’re willing to keep playing. You guys are the ones that wanna walk away, so.
Merle: We’re sportsmen! We’re sportsmen.

Griffin: The goliath, with a single hand, picks up the table in between you and like lifts it in the air and sort of sets it down at his side so there’s nothing between you and says,

Goliath: I think I’d like those ten diamonds now.

Travis: My hand goes to my sword.

Griffin: You don’t have - oh, your rapier?

Travis: Mhm.

Griffin: Okay. Alright. If we’re doing this thing, let’s fucking do this thing.

Travis: Oh, no, I didn’t draw it, my hand just goes to it.

Griffin: No, that was the goliath.

Goliath: If we’re gonna do this thing, let’s fucking do this thing,

Griffin: -he says, and stands up.

Merle: So you’d rather fight than arm wrestle.

Griffin: I’m gonna hop back into the other scene because I think at this point Ren sees what’s going on and says,

Ren: Hey, hey, cut that shit out. Give them their diamonds and get out of here. If you’re gonna cause trouble - Taako, are these guys with you?
Taako: No. Give them their diamonds! [everyone laughs]
Magnus: Okay. Sounds great!

[“The Davy Lamp” begins playing in the background]

Travis: Magnus runs out of the building.

Griffin: Okay.

Goliath: Dwarf man, you’d better have those diamonds, or else we’re gonna have problems.

Travis: Magnus yells back,

Magnus: I’ve gotta go to the bank and get ‘em! [Merle laughs] They’re in my other pants!

[interlude music continues]


[commercial break]

[interlude music returns]


Griffin: Suddenly, an earthquake.

Travis: I am running towards the bank, that is what I was doing.

Griffin: Okay. It is 11:30, which is earthquake o’clock. There is a short but powerful tremor that rattles the whole town. Merle and Taako - what are you guys doing, are you just hanging out in the bar?

Justin: I’m like chilling. I’m asking Ren, like,

Taako: Does that happen a lot?
Ren: No. That was weird.

Griffin: She’s scooping up some broken glass that’s on the floor. Some bottles have fallen down, some glasses have been knocked over, and there’s some broken glass on the floor. She says,

Ren: No, I don’t… [sigh] I’m sorry, I need to take care of this, so– is there anything else I can help you figure out, what’s the-
Taako: Real quick, the bubble we talked about. Do you have any idea what’s making it? Did somebody cast a spell at some point? Does it seem to emanate from anywhere, is there any place you’re not allowed to go? Any ideas?
Ren: I mean, I don’t know, it’s… I don’t know. What caused it was Jack and June, their sacrifice, making-
Taako: Wait, so what was the sacrifice?
Ren: Well… I don’t like to talk about it, it’s pretty sad, I liked them both a lot. But June liked to play in the mines, and she got lost, and Jack went to find her, and then they fell– and died, and right when that happened, that’s when the bubble popped up. They were in the quarry, I mean I guess if we’re trying to figure out where it originates, that would be it, I guess?
Merle: Weren’t there three figures in the statue?
Ren: Yeah, there was the visitor that brought them to Refuge.
Taako: So wait, the visitor brought them to Refuge and then Jack was made the elder?
Ren: Yeah. He was really great. He was a really great guy. The elder before ran the mines, so when that dried up there wasn’t a lot for them to do. You know who you should talk to-

Griffin: By the way, this conversation is only happening with Taako, because Merle, unless you run away or do something you are still on the hook for those diamonds.

Ren: You should talk to Paloma. She-
Taako: Who’s Paloma?
Ren: She’s great. She lives out in the woods. A lot of people don’t love that she’s just kinda out there doing her own thing, but she’s really good at helping people kinda figure out - get their bearings, so to speak. She’s a witch.

Travis: That’s the witch - yeah, okay. That’s the witches thing, okay.

Taako: She’s a witch, okay.
Ren: Yeah.
Taako: Hey, can I have that key? We’ll come back a little later and get our stuff all checked in.
Ren: Uh, yeah, sure, here you go.

Griffin: She hands you the key. Merle, what are you doing?

Goliath: [chanting] Diamonds! Diamonds! Di-
Elf: I have to agree with my accomplice here. Diamonds.
Merle: You know, fellas, wealth is not important. It’s more important to have spiritual diamonds. You know what I’m saying? [dice roll in the background] Laying up those diamonds in heaven-

Griffin: The goliath has grabbed you by the ankles and is now shaking you violently to try and make diamonds come out of you.

Clint: I poop a diamond.

Travis: Wait, what?

Griffin: No, that is a dwarf racial feature. [Clint laughs]

Justin: That’s a dwarf racist feature that people’s racist grandpas say about dwarves.

Merle: Okay, put me down, put me down. Let me handle this. Go ahead, put me down, put me down.
Goliath: Okay.

Griffin: He puts you down.

Merle: Okay.

Clint: I hold up my tree hand.

Griffin: Okay.

Merle: Do you see this?
Goliath: Yeah.
Merle: Now you see me raise it in the air?
Goliath: Yep.
Merle: You see me moving it back and forth?
Goliath: You trying to hypnotize me or something?
Merle: No no, do you see it waving back and forth?
Goliath: Yes, yes yes yes.
Merle: See ya!

Clint: And I turn and run. [Justin laughs]

Griffin: Okay.

Taako: Man, these guys, huh? You know what, I’ll catch him.

Justin: And I run after him.

Griffin: All right. It’s a little bit after 11:30. You see Roswell, who doesn’t see you, walking his way into Helpington’s, where you saw-

Justin: Oh, by the way, I just - point of order, I catch them up on the stuff that she told me.

Griffin: Okay, that’s fine.

Clint: [gibberish meant to indicate speaking quickly]

Griffin: You see Roswell walking over to Helpington’s to do some clean-up, help with clean-up like you saw in the last loop. What are you– doing– Oh, you also see, I should point out, coming down the street, coming out from around the jail, from the sheriff’s office, you see Cassidy, who kind of like pokes her head down Main Street and looks around and then turns and walks back out of sight. What do you want to do?

Travis: Wow. Um, so here’s-

Clint: Why don’t we go on to the bank?

Travis: Yeah. So here’s what I know. Magnus knows that there was a hit on the bank in the last loop.

Griffin: Right.

Travis: And people died.

Griffin: Sure.

Travis: So I feel like Magnus wants to hang around the bank to prevent that from happening again.

Griffin: That is totally fair and that’s your prerogative. Point of order, about fifteen minutes after that, everybody dies.

Travis: Yeah, but we’re trying to figure out the perfect loops, right?

Griffin: Sure, yeah.

Justin: Yeah, but I feel like the perfect loop involves not everybody dying.

[Clint laughs]

Magnus: You know what? If Taako’s caught us up on that, I say we head for the witch. I say this is not our last time doing this loop and what we need now is information.
Taako: I agree, but Cassidy is right there.
Merle: She’s right there!
Magnus: Yeah, but remember the last time we tried to talk to her and she was all garbled and didn’t give us a straight answer to anything?
Taako: Yes.
Magnus: I feel like the witch is our best bet.
Taako: She’s right there!

Griffin: I would let you guys split up if you wanted. If you wanted to split up and we could do two quick scenes. I mean, you got an hour, so that might - it might be the best way to get stuff done.

Travis: I’m down with that.

Magnus: I’ll go check out the witch, you go get Cassidy.
Merle: I’ll go check out Cassidy, where’re you going?
Taako: I would probably be the most help with the witch, ‘cause magic.
Magnus: Go for it.

Griffin: Okay. So we’ll do, uh, witch first, and then we’ll do Cassidy.

Justin: Okay.

Griffin: So, Taako and Magnus, you two are going to the witch, going to visit Paloma?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Okay. You make your way into the woods behind the elder’s manor.

Travis: Just to double-check real quick, I’m gonna pull out the Lens of Straight Creeping and make sure that we’re not about to be ambushed or anything, that this isn’t the way that the people went.

Griffin: Um… so, hm. Which way would the people have went? No, I don’t think you necessarily see the footprints here.

Travis: Great.

Griffin: Or the blood trail that you also would’ve caused.

Justin: I’m - as we approach, I’m gonna cast Detect Magic.

Griffin: Okay. There’s a lot of it!

Justin: Okay, but what this does- I’m basically trying to watch out for traps, so this puts an aura around anything magical.

Griffin: Oh, okay.

Justin: So in case this witch doesn’t want visitors, I wanna know.

Griffin: Sure, sure, sure.

Travis: Are we dealing with a Baba Yaga situation, Griffin? If so, you have to tell us. Otherwise it’s entrapment.

Griffin: No, no, legally - sure. No, you don’t - you detect a lot - so you see the hut. I should say, actually, before you see the hut, you smell the hut. And it smells amazing. You know how - the Heiner’s factory in the west end of Huntington, West Virginia?

Travis: Oh, sure.

Griffin: Once you’re within, like, a mile of - Heiner’s makes amazing bread, and once you’re within a mile of that place, you could literally- it literally - it produces visible stink lines that you could follow through the air like a cartoon cat.

Justin: Fucking float.

Clint: And you fly, you float.

Justin: Yeah, you float on, like - like oh.

Griffin: That’s literally what we’re talking about here. You smell, like, sweet bread and pie and sweets.

Clint: Another stop to make next Candlenights, folks.

Griffin: Sure.

Taako: I’m gonna eat that house!
Magnus: Taako, no!

Clint: It’s gingerbread!

Griffin: No, it’s not a gingerbread house, holy shit, no, that would be too much even for me. You, using detect magic, Taako, you detect - I mean, some fucking magically delicious baked goods, but also, like, divination magic, like out the ass.

Travis: Just for simplicity’s sake, Griffin, let’s just say that we have our Stones of Far Speech open.

Griffin: Yeah, sure.

Travis: So when Dad makes comments on stuff it’s not weird.

Griffin: Yeah, okay. [Clint laughs] So you make your way up to the hut. There’s no traps you can see. It is a small, very small cottage.

Travis: I knock on the door.

Griffin: Okay.

Taako: Oh, okay.

Griffin: You hear,

Paloma: [strange Scandinavian(?) accent] Come in!

[Travis and Clint laugh]

[“Paloma” begins playing in the background]

Travis: Okay. I do.

Griffin: Okay. You open the door and you enter into a very strange room. Hanging from the ceiling are a bunch of crystals of some sort, and they’re all in the shape of teardrops and they’re various sizes, just kind of hanging from the ceiling on these very thin threads. Floating around this room - it’s a small room, it’s cozy and kinda cramped. There’s a lot of stuff in here, including a lot of cakes and pies and cupcakes that are kind of floating freely around the room in these little glass-covered serving dishes.

And then sitting behind a table and in front of a large, round oven is a woman, a human with a kind of rosy complexion. Wearing some… -she’s wearing an apron, a cooking apron. She’s wearing some white, sort of frilly robes. She says - let me figure out what the fucking accent’s going to be before I just kinda - run into it.

Travis: Yeah, that’d be great.

Griffin: I wanted to do, like, Björk.

Paloma: You need help, don’t you?
Magnus: Why, yes we do.
Paloma: You already know my name, yes? Introductions are not in order, Magnus, Taako.
Magnus: Paloma, it’s a pleasure to meet you.
Paloma: I’m sure it is. What can I help you with?
Magnus: We come from outside the bubble.
Paloma: I know this.
Magnus: And we’re here to solve the problems of Refuge.
Paloma: I know.

Justin: Wait, is this the old woman?

Griffin: Nope.

Justin: Okay.

Paloma: I know this too.
Magnus: So what do we do?
Paloma: We could consult a prophecy.
Magnus: Sounds good.
Paloma: Your friend doesn’t talk much.
Magnus: He’s a bit of a magical observer.
Paloma: You do seem very magical, Taako.

Justin: I don’t know, I just don’t have anything to add right now. I talked a lot to Ren, so I’m just trying to let him take the lead.

Travis: He’s being a good partner, Griffin.

Justin: If you want everybody to shout simultaneously on our podcast, we can definitely get around to that.

Griffin: Please do.

Travis: We’re playing Good Cop, Hungry Cop.

Griffin: Paloma says,

Paloma: Okay, well, I offer small prophecy and I offer big prophecy. Which one do you think you would need?

[music fades out]

Griffin: To give you an idea, the small prophecy - Paloma’s kind of here as a guide to help keep you guys on track whenever you need advice. Sort of like the fortune teller in the Zelda games. If you need immediate direction, small prophecy is your jam. If you need something or you - not need but maybe want to know something a bit more big-picture, a bit more long-term, that would be a big prophecy. She says,

Paloma: It’s easy, one diamond for small, and ten for big.
Magnus: Okay, Paloma.
Paloma: Yes?
Magnus: We do not have any diamonds.
Paloma: Oh, that is unfortunate.
Magnus: But we are looping through this world in such a way that when we come back we will have diamonds for you.
Paloma: I know there was something strange about you!
Magnus: Yeah. So this is not our last time - or, I would guess, our first time here.
Paloma: Hm! That is an interesting proposition. You’re saying in the future you will have diamonds for me?
Taako: No, not exactly like that.
Magnus: No.
Taako: We’ll have them now… later. [Griffin and Clint laugh]

Travis: We’re getting in some Bill and Ted shit and I love it.

Magnus: We will remember to have some diamonds for you–
Paloma: Do you have anything magic-
Magnus: –when we’re here now.
Paloma: Do you have anything magical you can leave with me? I like to collect trinkets, something I can maybe help cook with. Something that-
Magnus: Do you ever cook with alcohol?
Paloma: Sometimes. Rum cake, buttered rum.
Magnus: I have this magic tankard-
Paloma: Oh, this is good.
Magnus: -that increases the potency of alcohol.

Griffin: Yeah, she accepts that as payment.

Travis: Great.

Magnus: I’ve never used it.

Griffin: She says,

Paloma: I will do small prophecy for you for this.
Magnus: That’s not worth a big pro- Paloma!
Paloma: The big prophecy is ten diamond. No, no, no.
Magnus: Okay, fine, a small prophecy.
Paloma: Not for a little cup, no. No. Magnus.

Travis: So Griffin, I have a question before we move forward with this.

Paloma: It’s a cup!
Magnus: It’s a magic cup!

Travis: So when this loop resets, is the cup gone?

Griffin: You don’t know.

Travis: Oh, no. My tankard.

Griffin: She invites you to sit down at this little table, there’s a little bench with a rug over it. As you sit down the room goes dark. It’s not like any lights went out, it’s kind of like darkness filled the room up. You can see Paloma. Her oven is still on, and there’s something fucking intoxicatingly delicious being baked in there, but it’s also providing some backlighting for this scene. And from the ceiling, a small one of those crystal teardrops falls on the table and shatters, and the dust hangs in the air.

Griffin: And you see, in this cloud of dust, you see what looks like the entrance to a cave or something. It looks like the - not a cave, because it looks more man-made. And it is - whatever has happened there, there’s been a cave-in, and this entrance is completely surrounded by rocks. And she says - and her voice sounds a bit different now as she’s in prophecy mode, and she’s no longer looking you in the eyes. And she says,

Paloma: [voice echoing] Imminent destruction comes from below. Before you can learn how to stop it, you must figure out what it is you must stop. Turn your eyes to the quarry. You’re not ready to face what awaits you there, but you must know its face.

Griffin: And then the light comes back on.

Taako: Man, I was gonna go to the quarry anyway. What a rip-off.

Griffin: She says,

Paloma: Is that all? Is there anything else? If you give me something very valuable - maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe I will consider a big prophecy. But you’d better come back with those current-future diamonds.
Magnus: You got it.

Justin: I’m gonna say, Trav, I think we should go ahead and bolt. We’ll come across some diamonds at some point when we actually need this. I think we have some good leads to go on.

Travis: Yeah, I think maybe we’ll have some diamonds at the quarry.

Justin: Well I don’t know, maybe.

Griffin: Let’s jump on over to Merle. Merle, you see the boys run off into the woods, and as you walk past the jail and turn the corner, you see Cassidy, and she is working her - she’s walking towards the quarry. Again, there’s a very tall wooden wall, and you see her actually - when you first lay eyes on her, she is scurrying up and over that wall and then out of sight into the quarry.

Clint: Well, shit.

Griffin: Well, I mean, it’s not-

Clint: I scurry after her, I’m just not a good wall-climber.

Griffin: Okay, that’s fair. There’s a gate that you can see. It’s not walls all the way around. In fact, the road out of town actually dead-ends at this gate. It’s as tall as the rest of the wall and as thick as the rest of the wall, but it has a large metal padlock on it.

Clint: Okay. I walk up to that padlock and pull out The Nitpicker.

Griffin: Okay. Yeah, you drop the Nitpicker - what did we name the Nitpicker? Anybody remember? Probably not. You put the Nitpicker down and it animates and comes to life and says,

Nitpicker: Where’s your dumb friends?

Travis: Uh, Bud.

Griffin: Bud! That’s right.

Travis: But Nitpicker insists that his name is Ernest.

Griffin: Ernest, yes! That’s better. Ernest says,

Ernest: Where’s your dumb friends, huh?
Merle: I don’t have any dumb friends. Yeah I do, yeah I do...
Ernest: Oh, good comeback. Good comeback, guy. It’s a real Night at the Apollo here.

Griffin: And he starts working on the lock and says,

Ernest: You always bring me to the nicest places. Haunted crystal torture chambers and towns that explode every fucking hour. This is great stuff, Merle, I really enjoy living in your bag. [Merle sighs] Hey, by the way, you’ve had an old sandwich in there for, like, a month. So do something about it. Hey, let me ask you a question, you gonna return to that half-eaten box of Lunchables in there, or what’s the situation vis-a-vis the Lunchables?

Clint: I feel like I’m doing a scene with Gilbert Gottfried.

Travis: You wish.

Ernest: You’ve got stinky meat in your bag, son. Fix it.
Merle: Well, you’ve got- stinky meat in- your pants!

Justin: Hey, Nitpicker, ask him why he sounds like my dad and not his character.

Merle: [now in character voice] Hey, you’ve got stinky meat in your pants!
Ernest: Jesus, you sound like you’ve aged forty years since the last time we talked.
Merle: It’s a lot of responsibility.
Ernest: This is just horrible.

Griffin: You hear a click as the padlock unlocks, and the gate starts to give.

Ernest: Okay, back into the stink bag I go, hooray.

Clint: I grab him by the feet, I shove him back into the pack, and I say,

Merle: Enjoy your stink meat. [in character voice] Enjoy your stink meat! Dumbass.

Clint: I sound like Red from That 70s Show.

Griffin: From inside your bag you hear,

Ernest: Well, maybe I will!

Griffin: Then he shuts down. Okay, yeah, the gate is unlocked.

Clint: I run through and I chase down Cassidy.

Griffin: Okay, you’re just gonna fucking barrel on through, what’s your MO? How are you…

Clint: I’m gonna approach her. I have an idea about an opening.

Travis: Then do it!

Griffin: Okay, uh, let me lay this out first. You make your way into the gate and you see Cassidy, who is - she looks kind of suspicious. She’s, like, creeping. There’s kind of a ramp that folds in on itself that goes back and forth as it lowers you down into the quarry because the quarry is a good eighty feet down from the level of the town. So she’s making her way down this ramp, and you are above her, and from above her she does not see you yet, but you can see her kind of creeping. Creeping into this quarry.

Clint: I call out to her.

Griffin: Okay.

Merle: Excuse me, miss! Miss?

Griffin: She looks up at you and she runs, she’s just bolting. She’s running down this ramp.

Clint: I’ll chase after her!

Griffin: Okay. She’s actually yelling behind you,

Cassidy: What do you want? Leave me alone!
Merle: I’m here to help! I know you’re in trouble!

Griffin: Is this yelling conversation happening while the two of you are running back and forth down this stairwell, basically?

Clint: Yeah, I love it.

Merle: [panting] I’m here to help!
Cassidy: [panting] I don’t - I don’t want your help, just leave me alone!
Merle: [panting] No, you don’t want me to leave you alone, you’re in a shit load of trouble, Cassidy!
Cassidy: [panting] How am I supposed to know you’re not some sort of gerblin?
Merle: [panting] Pan sent me!
Cassidy: [panting] I don’t - oh, like a pan where you go panning for silver and gold and diamonds? I like those!
Merle: No, no, it’s a god! It’s a god, and you need God’s help!

Griffin: She stopped yelling at you, and as you turn a corner down this ramp, you kind of lost track of her. And you don’t see her, and you’re a few kind of ramps down from reaching the bottom of the quarry.

Travis: Wait, we have the Stones of Far Speech, right?

Griffin: Yeah.

Magnus: Merle, can you hear me?
Merle: Yeah.
Magnus: So the witch told us apparently there’s something, like, super scary and dangerous that we’re not ready to fight in the quarry. So you should probably stay out of the quarry, just a heads up. [Justin snorts]
Merle: Okay.

Griffin: Are you gonna heed his instructions or keep following Cassidy down into the quarry?

Clint: I’m gonna keep following her.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: [laughs] Okay!

Griffin: You make your way down to the bottom of the ramp, and you don’t see her anymore. What’s your passive perception?

Clint: What is that under?

Griffin: Your skills.

Clint: Oh, um, plus 3.

Griffin: Okay, I rolled a stealth roll for her, and it was not good. You hear the sound of soft sand crunching behind you from underneath the ramp that you just ran down. Sounds like someone’s about to get the drop on you.

Clint: I’m gonna make a bold move and turn around.

Griffin: Okay. You see Cassidy, she’s got a big shovel, and she has it up in the air and sees you and says,

Cassidy: Aw, dang it. Okay, listen, I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you’re doing here. I don’t know why you thought it was okay to just follow me down in the quarry. I’m a little bit jumpy. And you know what, I don’t know you! Who are you, mister?

Clint: I lift the Extreme Teen Bible. I smile at her gently. And I sing,

Merle: Hello, my name is Elder Merle, and I would like to share with you this most amazing book.

Griffin: Okay. [Travis laughs] She brings the shovel down directly on top of your head. [rolls dice]

Merle: [still singing] It’s called Extreme Teen Bible, it will solve your problems, do you want to take a look?

Travis: Clinton, you just got clocked by a shovel.

Griffin: 24 versus your AC.

Justin: [laughing, snorts] Oh, man, that’s an amazing visual.

Clint: My AC is 18.

Griffin: [rolls dice] She hits you for 19 points of damage, and you are stunned. You kind of topple over backwards and she runs off deeper into the quarry. And you hear an explosion coming from the town above you.

Merle: Pan loves you anyway!

Griffin: She is gone into the quarry. Magnus and Taako, what are you guys doing?

Magnus: Taako, I just had an idea.
Taako: Piggyback ride. Yes, I’m onto it.

Justin: And I hop on his back.

Magnus: That’s step one.

Travis: And I start running towards the town. All the while I’m yelling my plan to Taako.

Griffin: Okay. A lot of running while yelling. It’s like a fucking high octane Aaron Sorkin piece in this motherfucker.

Magnus: We need diamonds, right?
Taako: Right.
Magnus: And the bank just got blown wide open, right?
Taako: Hell yeah.
Magnus: All right.

Travis: So we’re running for the bank.

Taako: Hey, wait a minute! Wait a minute. We need to get there fast, right?
Magnus: Yeah.
Taako: And time’s about to reset, right? So I can start fucking burning spells.
Magnus: Yeah!
Taako: Let’s get a ride!

Griffin: Okay. I’m get-

Justin: [imitates a horse whinnying] [Clint laughs]

Garyl: Yo, what’s up.

[“Garyl” begins playing in the background]

Griffin: Man, I’m assuming Garyl’s gonna be in basically every episode of this arc.

Garyl: Y’all going to the bank or what?
Magnus: Yeah!
Garyl: Hell yeah.
Magnus: Punch it.

Griffin: Okay, you mount up. Who’s in front?

Justin: That would be me. I’m the only one who can control Garyl. [Travis laughs]

Griffin: Okay.

Garyl: Wild stallion.

Griffin: You mount up and run to the bank. You get there quick, like-

Garyl: Is that a bubble? Shit. This place is crazy!

Griffin: You get there in like 45 seconds.

[music ends]

Griffin: There’s a guy there laying on the ground who’s just been terribly burned, and you hear the sound of fighting coming from inside.

Travis: Okay. We run in, or at least I do.

Griffin: Okay.

Taako: I’m good out here, but Garyl and I are gonna keep watch to see what happens. [laughs]

Griffin: Okay, you run in and you see Roswell handily beating the shit out of the other guys in there, and you see the guards dead. You see some ruffians dead. And you see the dwarf woman in the back of the room, who is really bad off. And yeah, there’s some diamonds scattered across the floor. Not, like, a lot. Not like the vault was blown open. Again, the vault is still secure. A little bit scorched, but whatever was in the banker’s till or whatever it’s called got scattered across the room.

Travis: Okay, I scoop up as many of them as I can.

Griffin: Okay. While the fight is happening?

Travis: Yep.

Griffin: Okay. Roswell sees you doing that and is like-

Clint: That sounds more like a Taako thing.

Griffin: Roswell looks at you and says,

Roswell: [sarcastically] Well I sure am glad that Sheriff Isaak brought you guys here to help out. You’re doing the lord’s work.
Magnus: Don’t worry, I’ll do better on the next time.
Roswell: What are you talking about?
Magnus: Don’t worry about it. [Chanting] Fight those dudes! Fight those dudes!

Griffin: You say that as you [laughing] walk backwards out of the burning bank?

Travis: Well, hold on, how many diamonds do I have?

Griffin: You picked up all the diamonds that were around the room, you have about twenty. No, you know what? You have a lot. You got about fifty diamonds.

Travis: Great. While I’ve got those scooped up, I put them in my bag, I’d assume? And I’m gonna run and go grab the dwarf woman.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Wait, this is really important. While he’s doing that, Taako, having figured out that time’s about to reset, is just fucking blasting spells into the air for no reason. Just, like, Wall of Force, Wall of Stone, everything. Just blowing out spells out of his wand.

Griffin: Alright, you’re doing that. Merle, you kind of come to, and from your position on the ground you see Cassidy, who is now - she walked to the right after she knocked you out, away from, if you consult the map, away from the entrance, deeper into the mines. Now she’s walking towards that entrance, which you can see looks like a man-made entrance. There’s some wood framing that looks like it’s been caved in.

Griffin: Cassidy is holding what looks like a giant cluster of green grapes, but they’re not grapes, they just kind of have that shape that is attached to a long wire with a plunger. And she is walking over to those rocks and she starts fiddling around with that, but you are still pretty much incapacitated. You could actually - do a constitution saving throw?

Clint: [rolls dice] [sarcastically] Great! It’s a 3. And with my modifier, it’s a 6.

Griffin: No. Yeah, you’re still stunned. Okay, Magnus, you pretty easily get through the fight, and you grab the dwarven woman and bring her outside, and she says,

Dwarven Woman: [out of breath] Who the hell are you?
Magnus: More importantly, what is your name?
Dwarven Woman: My name is Brogden.
Magnus: Great. Great.

Travis: I set her down.

Griffin: Okay. You set her down and she just kind of passes out on the ground. It is - you hear the fighting inside kind of stop, and pretty much as soon as you get her outside, the bank collapses again, with Roswell and everybody else who was inside - inside of it.

Travis: I will definitely get Roswell next time.

Griffin: Okay, but now you have fifty diamonds. All three of you, from your relative positions - actually, Merle, your position’s a little bit further away. All three of you go through essentially the thing that just happened again. You hear the clock chime, starting its countdown to noon. And right as it hits that twelfth chime, the clock tower, which is on fire from the bank, snaps in half and falls over into the elder’s manor, destroying it. And the ground kind of swells up as cracks form, and heat starts to push out from those cracks, and then just like that, the ground compresses.

[“The Clock Strikes Noon (Apocalypse)” begins playing in the background]

Griffin: And it pulls you down in with it, killing you, Magnus, and killing you, Taako, pretty quickly. Merle, you are also subject to this catastrophe, although right before it happens, those rocks - before Cassidy can do whatever she was doing to them, they get blasted out by a wave of force, like buckshot from a shotgun as the ground pulls you under. You are burned. And you are crushed. And you are dead.

Travis: The end. We only actually got two chances.

[music fades; eerie background noise begins]

Griffin: And you wake up in that white space again, and the old woman says,

Old Woman: Somehow you did worse that time. [Merle laughs]
Magnus: We’ve gotta move back to get forward. What is your name, before you send us back?

Griffin: You don’t get the chance to get an answer from that question as she kind of fades out, and you wake up again on the ground in front of Refuge.

[background noise fades out]

Clint: Oh, boy.

Travis: First thing I do is check my bag.

Griffin: The good news is, you’ve got your cup! The bad news is-


Travis: Shit!

Griffin: You do not have fifty diamonds.

Travis: Okay, well, that answers that, huh?

Justin: I’m gonna delete the YouTube video I was making about how to do an infinite diamond glitch in The Adventure Zone. [everyone laughs]

[theme music plays; MaxFun end card; ad for Still Buffering; episode ends]

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