Balance – Episode 50: Lunar Interlude IV: The Calm Before the Storm

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Ha! Bet you goobers didn't see that one coming! What other tasty turns and twists await you in... the Adventure Zone!?

—The Announcer

"Lunar Interlude IV: The Calm Before the Storm," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 50th episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

Our heroes have some well-earned free time between missions, although some of their sidequests are a bit more relaxing than others. Enjoy it while it lasts, fellas. Taako has a date with death. Merle spends time with some VIPs. Magnus takes a swim.

The Tres Horny Boys have some mysteries about themselves to solve, and some secrets they'd like to keep.

Interlude Activitiesedit | hide | edit source

Taakoedit | hide | edit source

In the last episode, Taako was visited by Kravitz, a bounty hunter who works for The Raven Queen. During this visit, both of them had a long off-screen conversation about the people of Refuge's situation, and whether or not the boys should be taken in for the number of the times they died during their time there. Their conversation was cut short, however, when Kravitz was summoned to hunt another bounty for the Raven Queen. Before leaving, Kravitz attuned Taako's Stone of Farspeech to his own, and told him that they'll continue their conversation at a later date. Taako, wanting to take initiative and also wanting to sway Kravitz to his way of thinking, invites Kravitz to the Chug N Squeeze to discuss the additional deaths in Refuge.

JUSTIN : It's so fun, it is a wine and pottery place. These are getting really

hot right now.

GRIFFIN : So there's one in the Bureau of Balance HQ?
TAAKO : Yeah, they opened one in the Bureau of Balance HQ, as just sort of a way to like, stress relief for everybody. So you go there, you unpop a bottle of vino and you just make a sculpture.

Taako manages to book two seats for him and Kravitz at one of the Chug N Squeeze's Cab and Vase classes, and gets there early to prep his station. Also at the Chug N Squeeze are Killian and Carey, who are there on a date. After a long while, Kravitz finally comes in, hangs up his cloak, and sits uncomfortably next to Taako, unsure of why he would bring him to a place like this.

KRAVITZ : Well, Taako, this is uh... Taako, this is a pretty unconventional place to have an argument about sort of the fate of a whole, sort of small community, but... I do like wine, so... [suddenly stops using the accent that Kravitz has spoken with since his first appearance] I'm sorry, do you mind if I drop the accent, it's like-- it's really really hard to keep it up, and when I'm not on the job it just feels weird doing it. Is that okay?
TAAKO : Yeah, of course! [lowers his voice about ninety octaves] As long as I can drop my accent too.

Kravitz asks why Taako would pick a place like this to finish their conversation instead of just finishing it in their dorm, and Taako explains that, ironically, he thought things might get weird, but now he clearly sees that this wasn't that great a choice either. Also, he was afraid of being alone in the same room as the guy who tried to kill him and his friends a few months ago. Kravitz tells him not to fret as he's not here to collect a contract on the boys or the people of Refuge, as none of them currently have any bounties set on their heads at the moment. Rather, he just wants to know what makes Taako and the boys so special, seeing as he's never seen any other group of people who can consistently do the things they do on a daily basis. Kravitz lets out a small chuckle at this, and praises Taako for his "renegade spirit". Taako, getting back on topic, points Kravitz to the middle, flat part of the bowl. He tells him that this is the part where everyday, regular "Joe Pastas" fall under, and also the only part people who maintain the status quo, people like Kravitz, should be concerned with. As long as Kravitz keeps this group of people under control, he says, and as long as he keeps the herd thin there in that part, everything will continue to be fine.

TAAKO : There's always gonna be edge cases, is what I'm saying. There's always gonna be people on the fringe that don't necessarily adhere to whatever rules you set out for yourself. That's everywhere in the universe, and every plane.
KRAVITZ : I mean... you explained to me last time we talked, sort of, what you all are doing here, and it sounds very-- it sounds important, but the fact that I've visited you as much as I have means this line of work is just preposterously dangerous. So why are you doing this, Taako? Why aren't you doing a safer career?
TAAKO : Because I'm worried no one else will have me.

Kravitz is taken aback by the honesty of Taako's answer, and Taako responds that if he "can't be honest at the Chug N' Squeeze then frankly, my man, I don't know where I can." As far anyone else is concerned, his days as a celebrity chef is over, and, due to the nature of his job, he can't put any of the cool stuff he's done working for the Bureau on any future resumes, so what else can he do? Kravitz can relate to what Taako is feeling, and explains that he never thought in all his life that he would land a job working as a bounty hunter for the goddess of death.

KRAVITZ : I didn't grow up wanting to be that, of course.
TAAKO : Who does?
KRAVITZ : No. I wanted to be a conductor. But unfortunately, you know, just... life finds a way... or death, I guess, the goddess of death.
TAAKO : In this case specifically, yeah, death.

Kravitz tells Taako that he appreciates him being open and honest, and, hoping to sell Taako's case to The Raven Queen, asks him much more death he can expect from the boys.

TAAKO : Well, I mean, there's gonna be some. The thing at Refuge was definitely an outlier, I don't plan to die that many times again. So that was probably-- here's what I'm going to say.
JUSTIN : And I put my hand on his hand to help him shape the vase he's been working on.
GRIFFIN : It's very very-- it's very cold, his hand is.
TAAKO : Oh boy. Oh, boy howdy, that is a clammy one. Listen. If we can overlook that unpleasantness, I think you're going to find a very acceptable level of death in the days and weeks ahead. That's what I'm going to say to you. A very normal, sort of corporeal, just, usual amount of death.

Kravitz closes the boys' and Refuge's case, and the two of them spend the rest of their time together drinking wine and making vases. Cut to nighttime, where a tipsy Taako and Kravitz are making their way through the grassy quad of the Bureau HQ, their vases in tow. Kravitz stops to ask Taako if their meeting/date was for business or pleasure, and Taako tells him it might've been a bit of both.

TAAKO: I, uh, for sure didn't want to be dragged to hell or whatever it is you do. Stored in the ghost house with Casper and the lot. Don't wanna do that. In the mirror, if I remember? I am not interested in that. But, also, I love your style. Not crazy about the sort of cold clamminess of the skin, but like, yeah, you know, it's been a while out here.

After Taako says that, Kravitz takes a step backward and he goes full Grim Reaper mode, skull face, scythe, and all. Kravitz tells Taako that he senses something that he sensed when he first met the boys. Something very powerful and very dead. Kravitz turns his back to investigate the quad for the source of this magical energy, and, as he does so, Taako's Umbra Staff begins to rise on its own, and begins pointing at Kravitz's back. Taako sees that the staff is charging up a spell, so he forces it upward, where it shoots a Scorching Ray]] into the sky.

The sound of this happening grabs Kravitz's attention, and Taako explains that the Umbra Staff just tried to kill him. Kravitz inspects it, but sees nothing out of the ordinary with it. He tells Taako to get it checked to see if it's cursed or possessed by a lich, and prepares to leave through a rift he cut open.

KRAVITZ : Taako, I've had a lovely evening, do you think I'll be hearing from you again any time soon?
TAAKO : Ah, yeah! I mean, as long as I don't… you know… die… again…
KRAVITZ : Well, even so, we have ways of dealing with that.
TAAKO : Well, yeah, that's pretty much the best excuse I ever have, so I think you'll definitely be seeing me again, for sure.
KRAVITZ : [chuckle] Well, if that's the case, then hopefully not too soon. Goodbye, Taako.
TAAKO : Adios!

And the rift closes.

Merleedit | hide | edit source

Merle is on a secret away mission in Neverwinter, something he's been doing frequently on the days where he's not getting nearly killed. Specifically, he's at the Sea of Gardens in Neverwinter's Blue Lake district, which is essentially a public park that also happens to be Merle's favorite part of the city.

CLINT : Is the Blue Lake district anything like the red light district?
GRIFFIN : No, it’s actually the exact opposite.
CLINT : Ok, cool, cool, cool.

Merle gets the impression that someone is following him as he strolls through the park, and is able to quickly spot someone in a feathered cap ducking behind a tree. He calls for whoever is following him to come out of hiding, and out from behind the tree steps Angus McDonald, boy detective. The panicking detective tries to apologize and explains that he knew about Merle's secret mission and tried to talk to him about it, but he got too nervous and decided to do some detective work on him.

CLINT: I take the Adamantium [sic] Spanner, and I walk over and I raise it up and--

But before Merle can do anything to Angus, he is tackled to the ground by a small dwarven boy with wild, dark hair, several missing teeth, and a beanie with an illustration of a hamburger on it.

DWARVEN BOY: Whaddya get me?! Whaddya get me?!

Accompanying this dwarven boy is a dwarven girl who looks to be a few years older than him. She has straight red hair, glasses very similar to Merle's, and she's wearing clean linen robes with a book bag slung over her shoulder.

DWARVEN GIRL: God, how many times do I have to tell you, don’t tackle him every time you see him.

A confused Angus asks Merle who these two people are and how they know who he is. Seeing that the cat's out of the bag, Merle lets out a deep sigh and makes Angus promise that he won't tell anyone else what he's about to tell him, under the threat that, if he doesn't keep his promise, his "Adamantium" Spanner will make him go "splatskie". Angus crosses his heart, and Merle lets out another deep sigh.

MERLE : Angus. I want you to meet… my… kids…

Merle first introduces the nerdy looking one as Mavis, who does a little curtsy. She asks her dad about Angus, and he tells her that he's a boy detective, or something, that she shouldn't concern herself with as this will probably be the last time she'll be seeing or hearing from him. Merle introduces Mookie, his little fireball, next, who doesn't even acknowledge Angus' existence. Still pinning Merle to the ground, Mookie starts to once again demand that Merle tell him what he got him from his last adventure.

MERLE : [amused] Alright alright alright, god, okay, wrassle wrassle wrassle! Wrassle wrassle wrassle! Haha, okay! Here ya go, fireball! I got you this delicious root beer barrel.
MOOKIE: It’s dirty! It’s real dirty! Is it-- is it okay to eat still?!
MERLE : …Yeah! Listen, let daddy tell ya, that’s called “roughage,” and you eat the root beer barrel, and it makes you regular.
GRIFFIN : He throws the root beer barrel in his mouth and, just, is love-in’ it. Lovin’ it!

Mavis walks over to Angus and explains that she is Merle's daughter by marriage, Merle having had a short-lived marital union with her mother, Hekuba Roughridge, and that Mookie is a result of that union, making him her half-brother. Angus can only stand slack-jawed at this revelation, and Mavis goes to lift Mookie off their dad. She asks Merle about his latest adventure, and he explains that it involved giant worms and him and the boys dying a lot.

MOOKIE : Did you go to heaven?!
MERLE :, [chuckles], not much chance of that, fireball, no, not much chance of that... Everything worked out, and we were actually heroes! This is one of the few times where we didn’t uh, kill a bunch of people and, and blow a bunch of towns up so uh, it was kind of a, a, blue ribbon day for the Tres Horny Boys-- uh I mean uh, your--
MAVIS : The what, the--
MERLE : Daddy and his co-workers.
MAVIS : ...what did you call yourselves before?
MERLE : Nothing, no, no, it was, it was-- it’s anoth-- it’s like another language, it’s uh, it’s uh, Phandalinian, so uh, yeah don’t worry about that.

Merle tells Mavis that he's also got a gift for her, and he hands her a Stone of Farspeech so they can stay in touch more often.

MAVIS : Oh, man! I've actually been wanting one of these-- all the other kids in my class have a Stone and like, Mom won't let me have one yet, so, I'll just keep this one secret, I guess?
MERLE : I still have to, you know, okay any apps that you put on your Stone of Farspeech, and, you know, there is a data limit, but... you know, I just, I think you're of the age now where you could, you know, use some sage advice and, while you won't get that from me, at least maybe I can tell you somebody to talk to.
GRIFFIN : Mookie spits out his root beer barrel which he's been sucking intently on and he says,
MOOKIE : Does mine have apps, too!? Can mine get apps?!
MERLE : It has... app-etizing flavor!
MOOKIE : Good enough!
GRIFFIN : And he pops it back in.

For the rest of the day, Merle spends some quality time with his kids and Angus. Merle pulls Mavis off to the side to ask her a question while Mookie starts trying to wrestle with Angus, who's definitely never wrestled before.

CLINT: Oh, he'll kill him.
GRIFFIN : Oh yeah, Mookie is just like, destroying him.
MERLE: [calling out] Mookie! Go easy! He's a big weenie!

Merle asks Mavis how Hekuba's been doing since he left her and the kids, and she tells him that, in addition to her pearl farm being productive this year, she's started dating Glymeth of the Coralheart Clan. Merle is somewhat surprised by this news but is happy that she's doing well these days. Mookie takes a break from destroying Angus to interrupt their conversation by asking his dad how much longer he'll be adventuring for. This leads Merle to suggest that maybe when he's done with this current gig, he and them could start their own adventuring business.

MERLE: You know, it would be, you know, Highchurch and Son and Daughter, or Highchurch and Daughter and Son.
MOOKIE: [simultaneously] That sounds like fun!
MAVIS: [simultaneously] That sounds extremely dangerous.

Merle reassures them that it'll be alright, as they'll have ol' dadski around to protect them from danger.

MERLE: You know, I don't like to brag, but in my little group, I'm the go-to guy for any action, any fighting, any combat. Any spellcasting. I'm kind of the guy.

Angus can only respond to this clearly false claim with a big fake shit-eating grin and a thumbs-up. Merle responds by glaring at him and putting his hand on the Adamant Spanner threateningly. Cut to late at night, where the four of them are crossing the bridge leading out of the Blue Lake District to head to the boat docks so Merle can get his kids back to their mother. As Mavis goes to console a grieving Mookie, who's upset that the sweets shop near the docks is closed, a curious Angus asks Merle why he hasn't told anyone at the Bureau about his children.

MERLE : Angus, I was a really crappy dad, and I was an even crappier husband. And, you know, one of my biggest shames is that I kind of left 'em in the lurch, and I've been... [sighs] Now that I've come into a little bit of dough, I've kind of been, you know, trying to rebuild my relationship with the kids, and, you know, I'd-- I don't want everybody to think I was a complete and total shithead. Oh, I'm sorry, poophead.
ANGUS : Oh, you can swear in front of me.
MERLE : Oh, shit, thank God. So... I didn't want them to know what a turd I was, but I really... [emotional] you know, Pan has really helped me turn my life around. I'm a new man. I'm a new man in Pan.

Angus assures Merle that, after seeing him today, he shouldn't have to worry anymore if he's a good dad or not. Merle thanks him and tells him that he appreciates the compliment, and he trusts Angus not to let word of this get out. Because if he doesn't, he knows what will happen.

ANGUS : Yes, I know, you'll beat me to death, I gotcha, I gotcha.
MERLE : I'll murder you.

Merle hears some commotion about eighty yards ahead from him, and he sees a huge, runaway wagon loaded with crates of trade goods barreling down a long staircase towards the dockyard, where Mookie and Mavis are currently situated. Unfortunately, Mavis is too busy trying to wrangle Mookie away from the candy store to notice the wagon that is flying directly at them, and Merle is too far away for him to be able to do anything except run towards them and watch what happens next.

Just as the wagon is about to collide with Merle's children, it suddenly swerves right and crashes into the front of the candy shop. As Angus sprints towards the kids, Merle sees, off in the distance, the same red-robed figure him and the boys have encountered dozens of times now.

GRIFFIN: And his arm is outstretched and crackling with energy. And he lowers his arm, and he turns to face you, and nods, and then disappears.

Magnusedit | hide | edit source

Magnus is having a rough time dealing with the revelation that was shown to him in the scroll that June gave him at the end of the Eleventh Hour arc. While his mind can understand that this himself wearing the red robe, it can't seem to comprehend whether or not this means he is a Red Robe or not. Almost like someone or something's blocking him from thinking any more about it than he already has. Figuring this might have to do with The Voidfish, Magnus decides to go to visit it at its chambers late at night. He puts his hand up to the glass, and the Voidfish puts a tendril where his hand is.

MAGNUS: Hey buddy.

It starts to sing another refrain of the song it sang during Lucas' visit and motions to the top of its tank. Magnus climbs a ladder (one-handed) leading to the lid of the tank, and, after stripping to his fantasy MeUndies, hops into the Voidfish's tank.

TRAVIS: I do want to say it's just occurred to me that if anybody walked into these chambers right now... I would probably either never live it down, or get in the most trouble. Like, this thing that I'm doing, I almost guarantee there's probably rules against like, please don't get in the Voidfish's, like, pool.
GRIFFIN : Yeah, people have to drink this stuff, right? At the very least you are hopping into the beverage center of people of like, the inoculation station.

Once in the water, Magnus discovers that, oddly, he can his keep his eyes open in the Voidfish's water and that they don't sting. The Voidfish touches Magnus on the forehead with one of its tendril, causing his vision to go dark, and he recalls a memory from the Voidfish's perspective of a dark cave filled with shimmering crystals and other Voidfish of varying sizes. These other Voidfish seem to be communicating with each other of a coming storm that will doom their home and world, and how, as a defense, they've isolated themselves far away from it.

GRIFFIN : Because they're sort of isolating themselves from this coming storm, they don't really have any interest in entertaining these visitors that arrive, who are "groundwalkers", and they're clad in these brilliant red robes--

The vision suddenly turns to static, and the Voidfish pulls away from Magnus in shock. Magnus goes up to get a good gulp of air, and, once he returns, sees that the Voidfish seems kind of scared. After hesitating for a moment, The Voidfish touches his forehead again and shows Magnus a memory of it being carried away by a Red Robe sprinting towards a silvery ship that is starting to lift into the air. The vision turns to static again. Magnus asks if it can hear him, which it confirms by singing at him, and he asks why it's showing all of its memories. It shows him the same memory again, a few seconds before it statics out, and this time Magnus sees that the skies are pitch black.

GRIFFIN : And you also see something horrifying, it looks like there are these big black pillars of tar, sort of just falling out of the sky and smashing into the world that you're on. And you also realize that you are sprinting towards this ship, and then the vision goes to static again. And it pulls back away from you.

Seeing as the Voidfish can't speak, Magnus has it answer his questions by having it flash once for yes and twice for no.

  • Q. Is that a vision of the past? A. Yes
  • Q. Is that a vision of my past? A. None
  • Q. Is that a vision of your past? A. Yes
  • Q. Were you separated from your family? A. Yes

Magnus goes back up for some air, and comes back to see that the Voidfish is spinning like it has an idea. It touches Magnus and shows him a vision of a galaxy, but it quickly statics out. After a few more tries, with the vision becoming more and more abstract with each attempt, it finally manages to abstract it down to look like a child's drawing, which Magnus can see without it being interrupted by static.

Magnus sees twelve circles of all different colors all arranged in a larger circle, and they're rotating in perfect harmony with each other. They continue this orbit for a few seconds, and then a bright white circle of light flies in and lands in the middle of their dance. For a moment, these twelve multi-colored circles rotate a bit faster, with more complex rhythms, spiraling inward and outward, all with that white light at the center of it. During that movement, another shape appears, and it's a huge black circle that slowly encompasses everything Magnus sees. And it grows larger with each circle that's consumed, and then it's just that big black circle, all menacing and stationary. But then the white light shoots out of its mass, out of its side, and flies away, and then the black circle moves slowly in pursuit. And then the same cycle happens again, of the spinning circles and the light appearing and then the big black circle coming to devour all of it. 

After watching this cycle about four or five more times, Magnus goes up to get some air and then comes back down to ask some more questions.

  • Q. Does this have anything to do with the planes that Lucas was working with? A. None
  • Q. Are you a prisoner? A. No
  • Q. Would you like to be free? A. It sings another refrain of its song and then becomes exhausted
  • Q. Should I trust the Director? A. "It doesn't answer you. It doesn't know how."

Magnus exits the tank (after putting his clothes back on) and, before he can leave the room, is stopped by the Voidfish slamming into the glass and singing another refrain of its song, and it motions with its tentacles to Johann's desk. Magnus digs through the contents of the desk and finds a composition labeled "The Voidfish's Lament". After reading through the composition a couple of time, he is able to decipher, using his limited musical knowledge, that the notes read together spell: E-G-G B-A-B-E.

MAGNUS : Baby. You had a baby? You have an egg…?
GRIFFIN : As soon as you have that realization, as soon as you say that out loud... in a room you're not in, and in a room you've never been, something reacts to you saying what you just said in the Voidfish's chamber. And a quick, bright light flashes, and a small quiet alarm bell rings.

[Money Zone]

Fantasy Gashaponedit | hide | edit source

The boys head to Fantasy Gachapon to possibly wreck Leon's life even more than they already have. Magnus sprints into Leon's office and, without hesitation, slam-dunks his token into the coin slot and turns the handle. Leon can only cry tears of joy. Travis rolls a 14, and a small capsule containing a copper ring pops out. Leon looks through the ring section of his tome, and discovers that this is:

  • Ring of the Giant Slayer: A dingle-dongler finger ring that grants the wearer +1 Attack against and +1 AC versus attacks done by enemies who are of the size category Large.

Merle steps forward and attempts to bounce the token off the ground and into the coin slot. Leon starts freaking out, and Magnus reminds him that he was a "good gashapon boy".

LEON: You're a good boy.
GRIFFIN : He hands you a toffee.
TRAVIS : Yayyy! [nom nom nom noises]

Merle rolls an 18 on Wisdom, and... misses the coin slot completely.

CLINT : Oh, come on!
GRIFFIN : This would require maybe basically the greatest roll of all time, and in fact it plinks off the glass of the machine and it hits Leon in the face. And he like recoils, he's like,
LEON : AH, GOD, JUST PICK IT UP, PLEASE, and put it in the machine! Please! I'm dying. I'm in hell. I'm in hell and you're Satan.

Merle begrudgingly inserts the coin, and Clint rolls a 6. A 3-ft long capsule pops out, and inside it is a broom. Leon looks through his tome and finds that this is:

  • Broom of Flying: A wooden broom, which weighs 3 lbs, that functions like a mundane broom until the user stands astride it and speak its command word. It then hovers beneath them and can be ridden in the air.

Leon looks at Taako with a stone-faced stare, not saying a word. Taako walks dutifully across the room, puts his coin into the slot, and Leon hears the sound of the handle turning. Leon, weeping, falls to his knees and thanks a god the boys have never heard the name of before. A coin then flies across the room and smacks Leon in the face, 'cause that Taako was actually an illusory double created from the spell Mislead.

JUSTIN : And Taako's just screaming with laughter. It's the funniest thing that's ever happened in Taako's entire life. It's literally the best.
TAAKO : I don't even want anything! You can keep the-- literally! Keep the coin! Nothing you can give me would be better than your expression right now!

Leon doesn't even react to Taako's trickery, as his actions have completely broken the poor man. Taako claims victory and plops his token into the slot. Justin rolls a 16, and a capsule containing a small arm bracelet pops out. Leon is completely frozen in place, so Taako takes the tome and discovers that this is:

  • Band of Projected Thought: Allows the user to communicate telepathically with any creature they can see within 30 feet of them.

Having finally broken Leon, the boys head out to everyone's favorite retail shopping franchise.

Fantasy Costcoedit | hide | edit source

Fantasy Costco, where all your dreams come true!

Got a deal for you!

New in stock are:

Item Description Price
Ring of the Grammarian Can be used to, once per day, alter one letter in a spell title, as the user is casting it, for a different effect. For instance, the user can start casting Cause Fear and activate the ring to instead cast Cause Bear. 700 gold
The Slicer of T'pire Weir Isles An item that is useless, but with a good enough sales pitch, the owner can convince anyone of its value, and get them to trade the owner their most valuable possession. 900 gold
Billow-Branch A cool vape that can be used to gain advantage on the appropriate Persuasion and Intimidation checks. 800 gold
Pocket Workshop " From the makers of Pocket Spa comes the Pocket Workshop. Our top of the line master craftsman's woodworking shop is concealed within a battered red toolbox. When opened, the toolbox reveals a descending staircase that leads to a pocket dimension containing your deluxe craftsman's workshop. Your workshop is well-lit, properly ventilated, and equipped with saws, planes, lathes, and dozens of hand tools, everything you need to make your project a success. The workshop is always stocked with the highest quality wood from across the realms, as well as nutritious snacks and refreshments. " 1200 gold
Grappling hook A grappling hook. 600 gold
Rickle Axager's Guide to Adventuring 3rd Ed. Once per day, the user can read a section on an associated skill check, and for the next 24 hours, they can have Advantage on it, and can also read that aloud to give the Advantage to another party member. 1500 gold
Jar of Bees The user can throw it at enemies or through a window and create a distraction, but they could also be dum-dums and drop it and get stung a whole bunch. 200 gold

Merle buys the Ring of the Grammarian and decides to stash away the remaining 1100 for later so he can buy the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword Of Doom. Someday, if he makes enough money.

GARFIELD: I love it! Chase that paper, son! Don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow!

Magnus buys the Pocket Workshop, and, because it doesn't come with the advertised distortion field, gets Garfield to include the Grappling Hook as well...if he's willing to make a deal.

MAGNUS : I've got a frosty mug?
GARFIELD : That's some bullshit!
MAGNUS : No no no, I don't have a frosty mug, I've got a mug that doubles the potency of the drink.
GARFIELD : Oooooh! Still bullshit!

Garfield tells Magnus that he wants a few hairs off his sideburns, but Magnus explains that he drank a magic potion that keeps his facial exactly the same. Luckily, Garfield just happens to have another potion that cancels that potion out. Magnus willingly allows Garfield to pluck off five, and only five, of his sideburns hairs, and he buys the Grappling hook and the Pocket Workshop for 1800 gold.

Taako buys The Slicer of T'pire Weir Isles and the Rickle Axager's Pocket Guide to Adventuring, Third Edition (giving up his Ring of Pointing for store credit). Taako takes a look through the Persuasion section of the Pocket Guide, and tells Garfield that he would like to conduct another transaction.

TAAKO : Garfield.
TAAKO : I have something that I think is really gonna interest you.
GRIFFIN : [sudden realization] OH MY GOD.
TAAKO : This is the Slicer of T’pire-Weir Isles. And I notice that you have a really cool sword, it's a Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom? I believe it's called.
GRIFFIN : [muffled, mouth covered] Oh my Goddddd.
TAAKO : I'm looking at your entire stock and it does seem to me that's your most valuable possession, would you say that's accurate?
GARFIELD : Yes, it's absolutely the most valuable thing in the store!
TAAKO : Well, get ready to talk about that in the past tense, my man, because I have got something really special for you. This is, number one, an exotic item. I know people are always looking for those, you can't buy this at any store around the block...
GARFIELD : From a faraway land! It smells of exotic spices!
TAAKO : I'm very impressed, you know, not a lot of people have the sort of olfactory acuteness able to sense that, you must be a very discerning smeller. So this is a very valuable item, and trust me when I say, it is going to pay big big dividends for you... if we could just make this transaction. This is, as much as this pains me to say, I've come here and I only have this to offer. I have no gold. And I say it pains me because you're getting SUCH a good deal off of me, but I do need the sword.
GARFIELD : But, but my thing costs 60,000 GPs! So how many GPs is yours?
TAAKO : Get ready for this, 61,000! Can you believe it? What a steal, eh?

Taako rolls an 18 on his Persuasion check and is able to convince Garfield that he did not just make a bad deal. He hands the sword to Taako and is given The Slicer of T'pire Weir Isles in return. Taako straps it to his back, where it will remain for the rest of their adventures.

TAAKO : It's like my neon undercarriage. It's just trying to get a great look.
MERLE : Well, I guess saving my money was a stupid-ass mistake.

Character Managementedit | hide | edit source


  • Magnus is now a Level 10 Fighter!
    • New Abilities:
      • Indomitable - The player can reroll a saving throw that they fail. If they do so, they must use the new roll, and they can't use this feature again until they finish a long rest.
      • Precision Strike - When the player makes a weapon attack roll against a creature, they can expend one superiority die to add it to the roll.
    • HP: 118
  • Taako is now Level 12!
    • HP: 64
  • Merle is now Level 12!
    • HP: 71
    • Spells
      • Can now cast Level 6 spells


Epilogueedit | hide | edit source

Begin transcript:

Okay. So, you all aren't seeing this; Taako, Merle and Magnus aren't seeing this, this is just sort of like a shot in the movie that the audience is seeing. And what we're seeing is a disheveled study of somebody who's preparing for something big. It's somewhere underground; there's a chill in the air, permeating these wet stone walls, and the room is lit by several dozen candles, which are all arranged around the desk, which is piled high with magical tomes and piles of maps.

Behind that desk is a large wooden board that is displaying a map of the whole of Faerun, the continent that this story takes place on, and there are strings connecting images and diagrams at certain points on the map, like Phandalin and Armos and Greenhold and Rockport and Goldcliff and Neverwinter. And all these different cities are sort of connected by this web of strings and pictures and diagrams. And it's the board of somebody who's been tracking the Relics and the Bureau intently.

Other than the candles there's another source of light in this room, which is a six-foot-tall glowing pod that stands on the opposite end of the room from the desk, and it's full of a swirling green liquid, and inside we can see something growing, or rather, someone growing. There's a body being created inside of this pod, but the liquid inside is too opaque for us to see who it is.

And the last thing we see is the desk again, and there's a scroll that is unfurled and held in place by four candles, one at each corner, and this scroll is an incredibly detailed map with a route drawn through it in red, and it is a map depicting, with perfect accuracy, the headquarters of the Bureau of Balance.

[Theme Tune Plays]

The Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

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