Balance – Episode 59: Lunar Interlude V: Reunion Tour (Part Two)/Transcript

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Griffin: Previously, on The Adventure Zone:

[Reunion Tour plays]

Maureen: I saw all of existence all at once. I saw a dark storm, a living hunger, eating it from within. I saw a brilliant light, heralded by seven birds flying tirelessly from this storm. I saw seven birds. The twins, the lover, the protector, the lonely journal-keeper, the peacemaker, and the wordless one.
Johann: Can I ask you guys a question?
Magnus: Sure.
Taako: ‘Course, Johann.
Johann: Are you guys really okay with– with this part of the deal?
Magnus: That we get forgot?
Johann: Are you cool with like, if you beef it down there, the world just… forgets about you?
Magnus: Well, I’m not planning on ever dying.

Griffin: Merle, Pan’s not answering. You know beyond a shadow of a doubt he’s just not—he’s just not there. He’s not there supporting you with holy power, he’s not—he’s just gone.

Griffin: Next to this table is a pod and inside of it you can see Magnus’ body.

Justin: Just before we leave, I leave a sapphire on the table next to the note. “Trust the voices in your head, and open your mouth and let the first words you speak be ‘Flaming Raging Poisoning Sword of Doom’.”

Travis: I pick up the ol’ battleaxe and I start walking for the Voidfish’s chambers.

Griffin: And then… we pan up. And we see a thirteenth plane descending. It is a disc of shimmering, living darkness, crossed with ribbons of bright blue, red, green, gold. It is larger than the other planes combined. And as it lowers, slowly, bright white eyes begin to open all across the underside of this plane. Millions of them burning with malice and.. Hunger. All focused inward and down, back down, all the way back down on the floating headquarters of the Bureau of Balance. And somewhere inside of that living plane, we see a smile flash across someone’s face.

Announcer: We’re nearly caught up now. Have you been paying attention? This next part is– well, it’s important. It’s The Adventure Zone!

[music plays out until 3:16]

Travis: So Griffin, I had an idea for this episode.

Griffin: Oh, good, let’s hear it.

Travis: Well, we’re almost sixty episodes in, right? And we haven’t had a Lost episode yet, so what if you just started this one at the start of the next episode. and, like, we’ll just—the second part of the Lunar Interlude will just be like, our Lost episode.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Okay, okay, okay, I gotcha, I gotcha, I gotcha, okay. You’re all—you all have ascended to dragon form.

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: Merle, you are the eternal dragon Craephus. And Taako, you have become the elder dragon Jerald.

Justin: Don’t steal my heart!

Griffin: And Magnus, you are the, actually Magnus is the Braveheart dragon, so.

Justin: Don’t steal my heart, it’s too powerful!

Griffin: I speci—I specifically made Magnus the Braveheart dragon.

Travis: [crosstalk] I’m not the Braveheart dragon!

Justin: [crosstalk] Sean Connery dragon from Dragonheart.

Clint: Yeah.

Griffin: Dragonheart, fuck, yeah Braveheart...

Travis: No, I’m the Braveheart dragon. It’s canonical.

Justin: [?]

Clint: Can I be the Iron Fist dragon?

Griffin: I already told you what dragon you are! Stop askin’ to be—we talked about this in the last episode!

Clint: [crosstalk] I don’t wanna be the eternal—that makes me sounds so old!

Justin: Also, everybody hates Iron Fist, what are you talking about?

Clint: Oh, do they really?

Justin: All everyone’s talking about is what a garbage pile that is.

Griffin: It’s bad.

Clint: Oh, man, then I’ll go back to bein’ the, uh, eternal dragon.

Justin: Now I’ve dated our show.

Griffin: It’s too late.

Griffin: Um, so, let’s actually do this episode instead, is that okay Trav?

Travis: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. That’s fine, whatever.

Griffin: So, last episode, um, Magnus, you found a new body, but elected not to get into it. And Merle and Taako, the two of you kinda left Magnus behind to deal with his drama as you make your way towards the Director’s private quarters so we’re gonna have to do some split storytelling here and kinda jump back and forth? and, uh, let’s start out with Taako and Merle.

Griffin: So, the two of you have made your way out of the abandoned Fantasy Costco and towards the main dome that contains the Director’s private quarters. And, uh, you’re out on the quad now of the Bureau headquarters and there’s just nobody out here, like, at all. You’ve never seen it this, this, uh, empty here. And with this quiet, motionless storm overhead, this destruction chamber and the Director’s office, and you saw Davenport and the two guards that were sort of with Davenport walk into this dome earlier. And you assume that the Director is in here as well preparing to destroy the Animus Bell.

And also in this room you know, in the back, sort of behind the dais is the entrance to the Director’s office which is where the map is kind of telling you to go next. So, what is—what’s your, what’s your game plan [???] is, like, weirdly still. And you’ve made your way to the entrance to the main dome now, that contains the, like, the main hall and the relic , the two of you, for movin’ in here and movin’ ahead if that is what you wanna do?

Clint: [bursts out laughing]

Justin: Yeah, I’m, uh…

Clint: We just looked at each other!

Justin: Yeah, uhh…

Clint: Um, I think we… I, God almighty.

Travis: Man, if this doesn’t sum up the Adventure Zone experience then I don’t know what does.

Griffin: Yeah, no kiddin’.

Justin: So there’s nobody around?

Griffin: No, but in the building you assume that there are people in that big, big main hall. To lay the table—I’m asking, like, are you going for a stealthy approach, trying to sneak through this hall to get past it, or are you going to… lie and use your charm, or are you going to use magic, or do you have any sort of trick up your sleeve that way, or are you going to confront it head on? Are you going to fight your way through?

Clint: I think we’re pullin’ a long con. I don’t think this is a burglary gig, I think this is...

Justin: Yeah, yeah, we’ve already got an established fiction. Um, what’s, um..

Clint: Yeah, let’s play it through!

Justin: Yeah, yeah, let’s do that.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: So we’re just gonna go right in and say hi to everybody and act like a normal mission, yay Tres Horny Boys!

Justin: Boo, dead Magnus?

Travis: Yeah, Dos—Dos Horny Boys.

Griffin: Now it’s Dos Lonely Boys. It really is this time.

Justin: We’re actually gonna go by Dos Equis now. The two horses.

Clint: Oh, that’s good! That’s good!

Griffin: Alright! You walk in and you see… you do see the Director and she is standing in front of the big window looking into the, ah, the relic destruction chamber. That sort of big Cerebro shaped room. And she is looking in and Davenport is in here as well with, with the two guards.

And sort of standing kind of to the side and a little bit behind the Director, also looking in, you see Angus McDonald, boy detective, who… he looks, he doesn’t actually look at you as you walk into the room? He’s just kind of looking into the chamber, sort of not distracted at all. But The Director does look over when she sees the two of you walk in. And she says, she starts to walk towards you and kind of stops, because she doesn’t really wanna abandon her post, she wants to make sure this thing goes through, but she says:

The Director: Taako, Merle, my God, I’m— I’m so sorry about Magnus. I—I knew there would be some risks sending you into Wonderland but I—I’m so sorry, if I had thought that you couldn’t take it, I wouldn’t have done it. I’m so sorry.

Justin: I’m going to… [clears throat] I’m gonna cast Detect Thoughts. It’s a second-level divimination…

Griffin: [giggling]

Travis: Nice, nailed it, got it in one!

Clint: Isn’t it fun? [gibberish]

Justin: You can do… you can tell I don’t diviminate a lot.

Clint: [wheezing] The diviminator!

Justin: When I cast the spell and as my action on each turn, until the spell ends, I can focus my mind on any one creature that you can see within thirty feet of me. The creature I choose has an intelligence of three or lower, or doesn’t use language, the creature is unaffected.

Griffin: Okay. She has an intelligence much much much much much much much much much higher than three.

Justin: That’s perfect, then. I can hear her thoughts.

Griffin: She speaks—she speaks eight languages.

Justin: That’s perfect. Yeah, I didn’t think she was like, rock. Or a fish. I thought she was a sapient human.

Griffin: Do I get to roll to defend against this?

Justin: I don’t believe so but you can check in the, I can check in the…

Griffin: You initially learn the surface thoughts of the creature, what’s on its mind in this moment. The Director is genuinely happy to see you and she is relieved to know that you’re there. And she is, at the same time, I would say the other emotion that she’s experiencing right now is sort of like, excitement and anxiety? And a little bit of worry, not necessarily in seeing you, I think they’re two distinct thoughts, but she sees you and this is not, like, some fakey-fake bullshit, like she is genuinely like, she’s so happy to see the two— the two of you at least are safe. And she’s sad, she’s like, heartbroken about Magnus. She’s really, really sad.

Justin: Okay.

Clint: [clearing throat]

Griffin: Um, if you probe deeper the target must make a wisdom saving throw. If it fails, you gain insight into its reasoning, if any, its emotional state, and something that looms large in its mind, something it worries over, loves, or hates. If it succeeds, the spell ends. Either way, the target knows that it’s probing into your mind, so if you try to go deeper, she will know that you’re goin’ deeper or you can just take this surface-level thing and walk.

Justin: No, I’m just gonna—she will win that contest of wills, I believe.

Griffin: Alright. So yeah, those two things you get and there’s no penalty. You know that she’s happy to see you, sad about Magnus, and worried about something.

Justin: Yeah, okay.

Merle: Lucretia, I have a favor to ask. I know you're right in the middle of this stuff but, um, you know, we were thinking of havin’... kind of a little memorial service for Maggie.
The Director: Well that would be appropriate—we will—I mean we will have to do the rites of remembrance.
Merle: [crosstalk] I know, well, sure, I'm thinkin’ of somethin’ a little bit more personal, you know? Over the last few months…? Episodes? Um…
Taako: Arcs! The last few arcs.
Merle: Last few arcs, the few of us have gotten really tight and you know, a lot of our best memories were forged together, just the three of us, in your office. And so I was thinkin’, you know, hearkening back to the last time we were… together…
Taako: [humming in agreement as Merle talks]
Merle: [fake crying] I was wonderin’ if, maybe before we do all this other stuff, if Taako and I can have just a couple of minutes in your office to kind of think about… think about the guy that touched our lives.

Justin: [laughing] I’m not laughing in-game, I just wanna clarify!

Griffin: I got it—yeah, sure.

Travis: It’s foolproof.

[Justin keeps laughing]

Merle: And chopped off.. my arm… and if you could just give us this, please, we’ve done so much for you, we’ve lost so much…

Justin: This is in-game:

Taako: Hell yeah! What he said for sure!
Merle: Yeah.
The Director: I know that the two of you have had a truly awful day and of course—
Merle: Thanks, I totally understand!
Taako: [fake crying] Thank you for understanding!
The Director: Go wait—go wait in my office, I have some finger sandwiches in there and we can all sort of… um, come down a little bit and we’ll figure out… we’ll figure out a good way to send off our good friend Magnus. I do have some work to take care of first, but you go in there and…
Merle: You take care of that and thank you, that’s from the bottom of my heart. [sniffling]

Griffin: Okay, so she gives you—

Justin: I think she said she’s gonna take care of it in her office with us in there?

Griffin: No!

Justin: No?

Clint: No, no! Huh, she’s got some work to take care of out there.

Griffin: Yeah, she’s taking care of some work first but she’ll meet you later. So you have clearance to go.

Justin: Nice work!

Merle: Shit! I never thought that…
Taako: Not in a million bajillion years!
Merle: [laughing] Not in a million years!

Travis: Yeah, to be fair, I thought you guys were in her office at the time, so I was just confused as to what we thought was happening there.

Justin: I, uh…

Clint: So we go in her office, right?

Justin: Yeah, I’m gonna cast Detect Magic.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: That’s me—

Clint: [doing a voice] Detect Magic!

Griffin: Okay, um, what are you, what are you, can I ask what you’re looking for? Are you in her office now?

Justin: Like, I’m in her office, I just cast detect magic, I'm kind of like, looking for vibes. Barry told us to—

Clint: Barry!

Justin: Yeah, that’s a great idea, hold on!

Clint: This is, like…

Taako: Barry?

Justin: I’m opening up the pocket spa and whispering into it like a fuckin’ I Dream of Jeannie--

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: You hear him shout from far away, you hear him shout from far away...

Clint: Hello, master!

Barry: Yeah, yeah, can I get out of here? It’s a lil cramped.
Taako: No! What’re we looking for?
Barry: Uh, I have no idea? I’m—this—I-I-I—

Justin: All of a sudden he’s muffled, [muffled noises], ‘cause I closed the fuckin’ Pocket Spa and put it back in my bag.

Clint: What a douche.

Taako: Okay, well, no help from Barry.

Griffin: As you walk into this room, you hear his coin that you have chime on. And it says, uh:

Clint: Chime on, man!

Barry: Once you’ve made it into the Director’s office, you’re gonna need to move past that big heavy door in there to move back into her private sanctum. And once you get back there, you will be trespassing, so I guess, well I guess this is kind of the point of no return.
Taako: Okay.

Griffin: So you’re in her office and her office, uh, it’s got her big desk on it, it has that big portrait hanging on the wall that she sort of did something to the last time you were in here to reveal that she was a much younger woman before she went into Wonderland. And you do have a big heavy door leading somewhere beyond.

Justin: The door is.. what, like, facing the portrait or to the side?

Griffin: It’s sorta to the side of it, yeah.

Justin: Okay.

Clint: I assume it’s locked.

Griffin: It’s not.

Justin: Well, shit.

Merle: Do your Detect Magic thing! That’s really cool!
Taako: I mean, I can do a magic thing…

Clint: Do it!

Griffin: You did cast Detect Magic in here, though, right?

Justin: Yeah.

Griffin: Yeah, there’s—I mean, it’s just the portrait. Just the portrait has some magic on it but that’s it.

Justin: And there’s no magic comin’ from the door, or?

Griffin: Nope, not at all.

Justin: It’s not like tripped or anything, like, trapped or anything?

Griffin: No, there’s no trap on it.

Taako: Okay, Merle, let’s talk super quick: what do you think? Should we do this?
Merle: [sighs]

}} Justin: I’ll open the Pocket Spa back up.

Taako: Barold?
Barry: Hey!
Taako: Hey, listen. And think hard before you answer. We’ve been, uh, fighting alongside the Bureau of Balance for a long time, none of us can exactly figure out how long but it’s been a while.

Griffin: A little over a year.

Taako: I need you to tell me, in a sentence, why we should trust you and turn against the Bureau.
Barry: Um… I don’t—I don’t think I’m evil? Like, I don’t think I’m an evil guy? I don’t—obviously there’s like, some pretty big holes in the ol’ Barry—Barry story, I got the ol’ swiss cheese brain, but, like, I don’t—
Taako: You have veered off sentence and are hurdling towards paragraph, my friend. A sentence, please. Time is of the essence and I think you need this worse than we do.

Griffin: He says, he says:

Barry: I don’t know, but I feel like I trust you.

[Reunion Tour 16:10 plays until 16:19]

Griffin: Um, Magnus, you are walking out of the abandoned Fantasy Costco. Can you confirm, in the last episode you said you grabbed your old shield and old axe and you left, like, sort of all of your other belongings for flesh Magnus? Right?

Travis: Correct.

Griffin: Okay. You walk out of this abandoned Fantasy Costco—

Travis: Let me make sure, let me make sure there’s nothing awesome that I wanna take with me.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: The two things I—there are two things I wanna take with me.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: The Tarantula’s Bracelet and my Bureau of Balance bracer.

Griffin: Okay, sure. You get those couple cool bracelets. Um, you walk out of the abandoned Fantasy Costco—

Travis: [crosstalk] Just my bangles.

Griffin: —with your bangles and your old battleaxe, your old-school axe, your old school shield. And again, there’s just nobody out. It seems like everybody’s just kinda posted up somewhere, waiting out this big, motionless storm. So your approach to the Voidfish’s dome is uninterrupted by anyone, which is good because you are a mannequin. And you board the—you board the long elevator ride down without any problems, really, at all. And in fact, when the elevator opens, the last time you saw this hallway or every time you’ve come to this hallway to come to the Voidfish there’s like, a, a detail of guards down here? There’s nobody. There’s nobody. And that’s when you realize today is Midsummer.

Griffin: It’s been exactly one year since the Midsummer’s harvest festival you went to last year and the Bureau’s not doing anything this year, there’s no big party, no big festival this year, but it seems that pretty much everyone’s been kind of relieved of duty for the day in sort of recognition for the holiday.

Griffin: And from down the hall, from inside the Voidfish’s chambers,

[a gentle song starts playing]

Griffin: You hear a harp being plucked. What do you do?

Travis: So, describe—I’ve gotten off the long elevator, right?

Griffin: Yeah.

Travis: And, is it like, if I leave the elevator, I'm in a wide-open hall where Johann can see me?

Griffin: No. No, the hall leads into a big door at the end of the hallway and that opens up into the Voidfish’s chamber. Um,

Travis: Okay.

Griffin: … and you hear a harp music coming from inside of there.

Travis: Okay. Well, I’m gonna sneak up to that door, I guess.

Griffin: Okay. yeah, You don’t need to sneak, there’s nobody here and you make it to the door just fine.

Travis: Okay, I walk to the door.

Griffin: You’re at the door again, you’re super at the door now. You’re double at the door.

Travis: Uh,

Clint: Go to the door!

Travis: So I'm at the door, I guess I…

Griffin: Oh my gosh.

Travis: Can I sneak open the door?

Griffin: Yeah, you can make a stealth roll.

Justin: Is there something between the door being closed and open…

Griffin & Clint: [laughing]

Justin: … that he can get to? Is there some other state?

Griffin: It’s like a Resident Evil game where you can either, like, creak it open but if you double-tap it you kick it open.

Travis: Uh, let me see..

Clint: And if you open it, go to page 32…

Justin: [laughing]

Griffin: You’re killed by a yeti.

Travis: So.. it’s a plus 3… oh, my dexterity is actually pretty good as a mannequin.

Justin: [snorting]

Travis: Um... so plus three... so it’s a, it’s a 16? Total?

Griffin: Um, yeah, you open the door and uh, it is silent. It is a silent door opening and you make your way into the room and it is, like you’ve seen it before, a big dark room with the Voidfish’s tank in the middle. And Johann is sort of sitting in front of the tank, playin’ a little harp song. And as you walk into the room, Johann doesn’t see you, but the Voidfish does, and starts to, uh, sing. Starts to like, let out that low…

Travis: I kind—I put one wooden finger to my wooden face in a universal “shushing” gesture.

Griffin: Uh, it doesn’t seem to get the hint and it is still singing. And Johann says, like,

Johann: Oh, oh wow, bud... you’re really, uh, likin’ this song, huh? I’ll make sure to…

Travis: I activate my Tarantula Bracelet and climb up the wall.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: You start climbing up the wall, and, uh,

Travis: Yeah, let me double-check what the tarantula bracelet does.

Griffin: [crosstalk] It gives you spider climb.

Travis: [crosstalk] Bestows spider climb on the wearer.

Griffin: Yeah, so, um,

Travis: And renders my movements completely silent, granting him advantage on stealth rolls.

Griffin: Yeah, for sure.

Clint: Spider-mannequin, Spider-mannequin…

Justin: [laughing] Doesn’t quite drip off the tongue the same way, huh?

Clint: [laughing] No, it doesn’t.

Griffin: Uh, the Voidfish is.. the Voidfish is, like, makin’ a lot of noise and Johann’s like,

Johann: Oh I’ll—I’ll feed you soon, buddy, I just need to transcribe this here—

Griffin: What was his voice? He was just [doing a voice] hey there, I’m Droopy!

Johann: I’ll feed you soon, buddy.

Justin: A little bit of a surfer thing, right? Like..

Griffin: [Crosstalk] Uh, there wasn’t.

Travis: [Crosstalk] No, no that was Avi.

Griffin: That’s just—that’s every other NPC.

Justin: No, Owen Wilson, right? Kind of an Owen Wilson thing?

Griffin: [Owen Wilson impression] Stop!

Griffin: [back to normal] Uh, you are, you’re—let’s just move on. He does not see you, Johann does not see you. So what are you doin’?

Travis: Um, I’m gonna try to get like, above him, as close as I can? So I can drop down on him.

Griffin: Okay. This would take, I think, a stealth roll if you’re gonna drop in—drop in—sorry, holy shit, are you dropping in on Johann or dropping in on the Voidfish?

Travis: Dropping in on Johann.

Griffin: Oh fuck, what are you doin’?

Travis: Gonna knock him out.

Griffin: Alright. This would be, I think—

Travis: Thank goodness for advantage on stealth checks.

Griffin: Yeah, I think this would be a stealth check.

Travis: [crosstalk] Oh, that’s way better.

Travis: Seventeen?

Griffin: Um

Travis: The first one was a two.

Griffin: Yeah, I think the seventeen is gonna get you there and then roll a.. like, strength roll for the actual, like, attack of it.

Travis: Cool. By the way, you can’t hear my dice ‘cause I’m using a special dice box.

Griffin: Oh yeah!

Travis: It was created for us. It was made by Amanda for us and it’s, uh, it’s really cool, so it’s like a padded dice box.

Griffin: You can’t hear mine either.

Travis: Oh, that’s a nineteen!

Griffin: Okay, yeah!

Travis: Plus three, twenty-two!

Griffin: I think, uh, I think yeah, Johann was pluckin’ this little harp and you kind of dropped down from the ceiling and uh, what do you do? You just clock him?

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: Or do you, like, Sam Fisher choke him out, or? Okay.

Clint: [laughing]

Travis: Yeah, whatever’s gonna hurt him the least and still knock him out, that’s what I wanna do. I’m not trying to hurt him.

Griffin: Okay, probably-probably like a sleeper hold then.

Travis: Right.

Griffin: Um, you give him—

Clint: Try the Vulcan nerve pinch!

Griffin: You get him in a sleeper hold and he puts up a little bit of a fight, he drops his harp and a couple of the strings snap as it falls to the ground,

[music starts playing]

Travis: [crosstalk, hisses] Oh, I feel bad about that.

Griffin: Making a pretty horrible noise. And, uh, he goes down and now it’s just you and the Voidfish.

{~22:48}

Griffin: Um, let’s get back to the other boys.

Merle: And I said, that’s not my wife! [laughing]
Taako: [fake laughing] It’s another terrible one. So, here’s my thought.
Merle: Okay.
Taako: We just got the last thingamajig, right? The last artifact or what have you?
Merle: Right.
Taako: After this, we’re unemployed, right?
Merle: Ooh.
Taako: So, what my thinking is this: whoever these other people are, maybe they got work? ‘Cause I know that these thugs are definitely not going to accommodate us with any sort of gig after this, because we’re done! We did what they wanted and now we’re out, right? We’re outski.
Merle: Wow. I am glad that you can see the forest for the trees.
Taako: Yeah. I’d like—I—maybe in here, there’s some more money because they’re not going to give us more money than we have right now.
Merle: Right, yeah!
Taako: Correct? Correct.
Merle: And you know, in a way, we kinda deserve it ‘cause we’ve been doing all the heavy liftin’ for these people.
Taako: We have earned this.
Merle: So we’re gonna rob the shit out of ‘em!
Taako: We’re not—well, we might, this is, I think of this more of a scouting mish’ right now.
Merle: Okay.
Taako: But if the need arises, then for sure.  But here—I think let’s go for it, ‘cause like, honestly? We— I didn’t sign anything. [laughing]
Merle: [crosstalk] No, that’s right, we never did get it on paper!
Taako: [crosstalk] That’s kind of where I’m at.
Taako: [crosstalk] Never did get it on paper, I think it has -
Merle: It’s been like, a handshake thing.
Taako: Has been a handshake thing. Got some W9’s filed and then that’s it! So, here’s what I’m saying: we didn’t sign nothin’.
Merle: Nuh-uh.

Justin: And, uh Taako—

Merle: We are free agents!

Justin: Taako kicks the door open.

Griffin: Okay. It’s fine, there’s no...

Justin: And he hurts his leg.

Taako: Oh God, it’s so heavy.

Griffin: It’s a big heavy door, yeah, you kick it and it doesn’t do anything but then you open it like a normal person and it opens just fine. And you—this door opens up into a long, empty hallway. It’s about—it’s huge, it’s about, um, it’s about ten feet wide and a hundred feet long. And there’s nothin’ in here except for, on the other end of this hallway, you just see another sort of big old heavy vault door. And as you—as you open up this door, the coin kicks on. And it says, you hear Barry, lich Barry say:

Lich Barry: Now, you see the twelve orbs on their pedestals in front of you? Here’s how this puzzle works: once an orb illuminates, you wanna touch every fifth orb moving counter-clockwise, unless that orb is the—is on the opposite end of the one you just touched. Oh, and after the third round, the emerald orb, you—don’t touch that one, you skip that one. Um, and if it—if it illuminates in sort of a warmer hue than it was on the last round, then you have to start this process order in a clockwise order but you make sure that you…

Griffin: He’s outlining this, like, incredibly, like…

Travis: Griffin, is Barry listening to our Adventure Zone: Nights bonus episodes?

Griffin & Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: He’s sort of giving you a fuckin’ Prima strategy guide walkthrough of a puzzle that’s just not there. It’s—it’s—it just ain’t there, there’s nothing in this hallway.

Justin: Um, I guess keep on truckin’ then.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Yeah? I mean. Don’t you think? Oh, let me tell you what: let me do a… I haven’t rolled any fuckin’ dice yet, in fact, they're still in my bag. So let me go ahead and roll a perception check in this area.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: See if I can detect anything. Um, that’s a critical failure.

Griffin: No, then—

Clint: Then I'm gonna roll a perception check. Jeez, four.

Justin: Four.

Travis: God!

Griffin: It’s just an empty hallway.

Justin: Got it.

Clint: Okay!

Justin: Here’s the thing that’s always convinc—confused me about perception checks; I can’t do another one, right?

Griffin: I mean, it’s—it’s DM to DM…

Justin: [crosstalk] That’s why I was like, let me roll again.

Griffin: … the rules change, but, like, for my money, this was—this represents the effort, like from a narrative perspective this was Taako looking around the room and he didn’t see anything so he wouldn’t look around it again. Like, this—

Justin: Is it lit back here?

Griffin: Hmm?

Justin: Is it lit back here?

Griffin: Oh, dude, it’s lit as fuck, dude.

Justin: Come on.

Griffin: No, it’s, yeah I mean it’s, it’s as lit as the rest of the Bureau of Balance.

Justin: Torches or what?

Griffin: Um, yeah, sure. or, I think that they have some sort of fancier—like Lucas designed this place so I think it’s actually, like, honest to goodness lights. Like light fixtures.

Justin: Cool. They captured storm light in there and they just use that for illumination.

Clint: I, I think we oughta think outside the box. I have an idea.

Justin: Great.

Clint: Let’s walk down the fuckin’ hallway.

Justin: Nice!

Griffin: [laughing] Alright, the two of you step into this hallway and as soon as you do, you sink into the floor like it’s quicksand.

Justin: Great!

Griffin: Um, and you, like, your first step down from the door was like,

[music playing]

Griffin: … heavy enough of a footfall that, like, you are both kind of waist-deep, and you are getting pulled under pretty quickly. Both of you make a strength save for me. Actually, this would be athletics, right? Like, trying to—it’s kind of like—that’s what you use for swimming, and this is kind of like swimming.

Clint: Sixteen.

Justin: Sixteen. Weird.

Clint: Really?

Justin: Yeah.

Griffin: That is weird. Um, okay, the two of you are—the two of you aren’t pulled under immediately but you are sinking really quickly. And as you do, like you’re also getting sucked in towards, like, the middle of the room, like away from the door? What looks like little scorpions are, like, they seem like they’re starting to come out of the walls, like, crawling down the sand towards the two of you. What do you do?

Clint: [crosstalk] Are we within reach of each other?

Griffin: Yeah, I think so.

Clint: I whip out the Vroom Broom.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: I grab a hold of Taako and we fly out of the goo.

Griffin: Uh, okay, you grab onto the Vroom Broom and as you pull it out of your bag, it bursts into flames and is destroyed and it’s gone. And instead, you’re holding a bouquet of these dead flowers. And uh, a bunch of spiders climb out of the blooms, these dead blooms on top of these flowers and start to crawl all over your soulwood arm.

Justin: I, uh, I need to cast, eh. I'm gonna make an Arcana check.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: Um, that’s an.. nineteen. I'm trying to sense if there—if this is. I suspect this is not happening, so I'm trying to detect if we’re under the influence of some sort of illusory magic or not.

Griffin: Um, I mean, if you detect that, that’s fine, I think this roll is not Arcana, this is not you saying “hey, some magic stuff is happening!”. I think this roll is just a Wisdom save, just to say like, this would be Taako trying to realize…

Justin: To see past it, yeah, okay, that’s fine. Then that would actually be a… uh… sixteen.

[music starts]

Griffin: Here’s how this resolves. Taako, you get pulled under and, uh, Merle's just gone and you're just in this black space and you are completely alone. And I feel like Taako doesn't necessarily love being alone, sort of given his… his upbringing? Like, I feel like this isolation is, really, like fuckin’ scary? But then Taako is, you know, cleverer than we give him credit for and kinda says, like, “wait a minute, this isn’t real.”

[music stops]

Griffin: And as soon as you have that thought, you’re just lying on the floor of this hallway and you’re just kind of, uh, you see Merle actually still just writhing around on the floor. And both of you are safe and in this hallway but Merle is still sort of under the thrall of this thing.

Justin: Uh…

Merle: [crying] My broom!

Griffin: The, uh, the nature of illusion magic is once you realize it’s an illusion, it’s just gone. It’s done.

Merle: [crying] I never got a chance to use it! Everybody loved it!

Justin: Umm…

Merle: [sobbing]

Justin: [sighs] Okay, uh, I am going to put on my Band of Telepathic Thought.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: And I'm gonna shout into Merle’s mind:

Taako: It’s a trick, dummy!
Merle: Damn! Ow! Turn it down a little.

Griffin: As soon as—as soon as you hear that in your mind, Merle, you kind of, embarrassed I imagine a little bit, like realize you’re just writhing around on the floor, and you were under the thrall of some sort of illusory magic. Um, so the two of you kind of come to your senses in this hallway and you have sort of gotten over this illusion magic. And now you hear this very faint kind of, like—it almost sounds like a ticking noise or a faint knock. That’s like, [whispered] clang-clang-clang-clang.

Griffin: And when you look around, you see something you didn’t see with your perception check earlier and, uh, sort of hidden behind a… hidden behind a column in this room is a large round bell, an alarm bell that’s hanging on the wall. And there’s this big hammer just slamming into this alarm bell, so you seem to have tripped an alarm during your fuckin’ bad trip here. But there’s no sound coming out of it because you see a dome of magic around this alarm and somebody has cast Silence on this alarm, keeping it from alerting everybody outside.

[music starts]

Griffin: And standing in the doorway behind you, you see Angus McDonald holding a wand outstretched. And he says—

Taako: Hell yeah! Nice magic, little man!

Griffin: And he says:

Angus: Start talking. I—I need to know what you know.

[music plays from 32:11 to 32:24]

Griffin: Magnus, you’ve made it to the Voidfish. You have incapacitated Johann who is on the floor and are you, are you kind of—

Travis: [crosstalk] In case anybody’s wondering, while—while that last scene with Merle and Taako was going on, I imagine Magnus was doing his best to fix, uh, Johann’s harp? Just ‘cause, like,

Griffin: Okay, that’s sweet.

Travis: It’s just such beautiful woodcraft.

Griffin: Yeah, these—these events are happening, I think, concurrently? they’re happening sort of side-by-side.

Travis: I’m a very good carpenter. [crosstalk] It would only take ten minutes.

Griffin: No, no, you’re very, very good at it, it’s not a big deal.

Griffin: Um, so you—you—you fix him up. You’ve made it to the Voidfish’s chambers and it feels like the Voidfish is beckoning you, um, for another swim back into its tank to have another sort of parley with you.

Travis: Hell yeah! That’s what I was gonna do anyways, except it’ll—gonna be a lot harder to swim ‘cause I’m so buoyant.

Griffin: Yeah, that’s a good point. So are you—are you—are you strippin’, strippin’ down like you did last time? I guess you only have a few things.

Travis: Yeah, I’m just gonna—I’m just probably gonna clank it to my—I need the weight so I keep the shield and the axe strapped to my back.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Um, is there anything around me I could use to like, weigh myself down? Any chairs or anything?

Griffin: Well, how about as you, as you get up top of the tank, I think the Voidfish wraps a couple of its tendrils around you.

Travis: [giggling]

Griffin: To help, like, to help you, like, stay, stay under.

Clint: [crosstalk, laughing]

Travis: It tickles! No, I’ve already established the mannequin can’t feel anything so it does not tickle.

Griffin: Okay, that’s—thank you for clearing that up. You are, so you’re being—you’re being sort of held in the tank now by the Voidfish.

Travis: Oh this is great, I don’t have to breathe or anything!

Magnus: Hey, buddy. Uh, it’s—I—I hope you can— it’s me, it’s Magnus.

Griffin: It, it like—you can’t speak Voidfish, necessarily, but it sort of bellows in a way that, like, you know it gets it.

Magnus: Alright, it’s good to see you too. Um, I… I feel like you’ve been trying really hard to tell me something. What do you know about me that I don’t?

Griffin: You, uh, it sort of sends another vision into your mind as it did the last time you went swimmin’ with it. And I think it’s—it’s almost like an electrical charge sent up the tendrils and into your, your body and all of a sudden you are far away. And you are in that—you’re in that crystal cave that you saw the last time you were here where there’s just a bunch of Voidfish just kind of flying around, kind of gleefully in this—in this big, twinkling cave. And this time, you’re actually seeing it from the Voidfish’s perspective? I think last time it was from your perspective. Or maybe it was from the Voidfish’s perspective.

Griffin: But regardless, you can see everything now. There’s no obfuscation, there’s no static. You see yourself wearing this red uniform, and it’s you, and you’re younger, but it’s you, absolutely it’s you. And you are walking towards the Voidfish and you are—you’re speaking to it and you have your arm sort of outstretched to the Voidfish, like you’re trying to almost, like, shake its hand or make contact? Or something?

And you can also see, from the Voidfish’s POV, there are a few other figures in red uniforms of various sort of shapes. There’s—most of them are actually wearing these long, red robes. But they all have these—these patches on the—the—the—the left breast of them. And you see you coming to talk to the Voidfish, and then I think this vision blinks and all of a sudden you see you running towards that big silver ship and there’s a few other of these red-dressed figures in front of you running back to the ship and the Voidfish is coming with you. And then your vision blinks back to where you are in the tank.

Magnus: Cool. Thank you for that. Um, so I’m a Red Robe? Yeah, you can just—you don’t have to show me a vision, just like, bellow twice for yes, once for no.

Griffin: Um, I think it does show you a vision because it doesn’t—it, like, it doesn’t understand what a Red Robe is in the fiction of what we’ve created here, but you do see the—you see—it sends another flash towards you and you see inside of—it’s inside of a room, it’s inside of a tank, kind of like this one but it, a bit smaller, and it knows it’s moving so you assume this is taking place, like, somewhere in this big, silver ship? And you—we see a few scenes of, like, different days of you comin’ in to, like, check in on the Voidfish? And in every scene, you are wearing this red outfit. Every time, every time, every time.

Griffin: And you’re being sweet, like you’re being really nice every time you come in to check on it, you like, try to figure out what it eats, you try to feed it and it doesn’t really necessarily want food, really. It wants compositions and it wants poetry and it wants information. But, yeah, it—it—it—that’s kind of how it answers you is it just shows you, like, yeah, you’re always in this… you’re always in this red uniform and you’re with other people wearing red robes like, all the time, in all these visions.

Magnus: Is anything I remember, hmm… Hey, Taako, can you hear me?

Griffin: I think actually this would be when they are having sort of their fuckin’ psychic freak-out? So if anything you can hear Taako, like, screaming, and like, shouting.

Justin: Jarring.

Griffin: And writhing and yeah.

Magnus: So that—I'll take that as a no.

Clint: [laughing]

Magnus: Is anything I remember real?

Griffin: Uh, what are you asking, like– what are you talking about, like your time at Raven’s Roost and all that?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: Oh, yeah, that’s all real. I don’t know how the Voidfish would, like, lie about that, but that’s—that’s all real, I wouldn’t.

Travis: [crosstalk] It’s a real fear I was having.

Griffin: That’s who—that’s—that’s—

Griffin: I’m doin’ some stuff here but I’m not gonna take the backstories that y’all came up with and, like, fuckin’ throw ‘em in the dumpster for my own thing. ‘Cause that’s shitty DMing and shitty storytelling. So I’ll just—this is Griffin telling you outright, like, yeah, that’s—that stuff’s real.

Travis: Coolio.

Travis [Magnus?]: Oh, oh, I know.

Magnus: Do you know what’s really happening with the artifacts?

Griffin: No. it doesn’t. It—it—it moans in a way that, it sort of lets you know it’s a no. Um, it’s—but it’s starting to get a little antsy now, like it wants something? and…

Travis [Magnus?]: Ooh, I know.

Griffin: Mm.

Magnus: Is there anything I can do to help you get your kid back?

Griffin: Yeah, it fuckin’ like, grabs you with all its tendrils now and it sends like, this huge shock that, like, you can’t feel anything as mannequin Magnus but you kind of feel it.

Travis: Like, my body in Fantasy Costco feels it?

Griffin: Yeah, your—we see a shot of, like, your hand inside the pod in the Fantasy Costco and it like, twitches. And, uh, it makes this—it roars fucking loud as it does this. And you actually, um, from behind you, Johann starts to stir a little bit. That’s how loud it was.

Griffin: And you see this vision and it is the Voidfish kind of, like, nursing this egg at the bottom of its tank? And it’s this tank, it’s this tank that it’s in right now, in this room. And the egg hatches and a small, baby Voidfish comes out. And it’s very adorable, doesn’t have nearly as many tendrils as its—as its parent, here, but it does have, like, the same sort of floating galaxy of stars inside of its, like, core body and it’s just kind of floating and dancing around. And, uh, both of these Voidfishes are really happy for a moment and eventually, we see a shot of the door to this chamber opening and you see the Director walk in. And then the scene changes and we see the Director carrying the baby Voidfish out in its own sort of small container and we see the other Voidfish, the adult, parent Voidfish, just– singing and screaming, just really, super sad.

Griffin: And the vision ends. And you, uh, are released by the Voidfish and you see Johann and he’s just—he’s just up now. He’s just, like, standing up, he’s not unconscious anymore and he’s kind of rubbing his head. And he looks up at you and he’s confused, right? He sees, like—he is the caretaker of the Voidfish and this is obviously not in the playbook. And he starts to point up at you and starts to shout something and then, suddenly, he is cut down.

[ominous music playing]

Griffin: He is sort of thrown backwards and he is just collapsed and he is lying motionless on the floor, his newly repaired harp several feet away from him. And then you— you blink, right? I guess you don’t have eyes but your vision kind of clears and you see that he is surrounded by humanoid figures and you can see them clear as day now.

Griffin: These figures are of varying shapes and sizes; a few stand, like, almost, like, six and a half feet tall with these broad shoulders and long arms, just these big brutes. Some look vaguely robotic with boxy appendages and clamps for hands. Some look like these, just, living shadows with long, horrible claws for hands. You remember, actually, when you had that memory of you and Barry getting killed, these look like those.

Some of them are just—they just look like people wielding these weapons that you can’t quite discern but all of these figures have one thing in common: they’re all composed of just this dark material with flashes of color swirling around inside. And you recognize them, Magnus. You recognize them with horror because you know, now, that the Hunger is here. The seven of you managed to hide for a really long time, but it was—it was all for nothing because the Hunger has found you all now and it’s gonna be the end of everything.

[ominous music plays out]

{43:16}

Griffin: [quickly] Hey everybody, this is Griffin McElroy, your dungeon master, your best friend, and your– not-alone-guy for this break, because everybody else is here with me.

Travis: I’m Travis McElroy, I play Merle Taako–

[Griffin laughs.]

Travis: –I’m the elven– uh, I think I’m a rogue?

Griffin: This is my favorite bit, this is my very favorite bit– [crosstalk]

Travis: I don’t know; Griffin usually cleans that up in post–

Griffin: I basically have a– I’ve got so much speech from all of you, so many words, you guys saying words, I’ve got basically like a futuristic Text to speech thing, so I could just make you guys say whatever you want, like [Imitating a robot] ‘I rolled– a twenty– and hit him– with a– sword.’

[Clint giggles.]

Travis: Yeah, we haven’t recorded a new episode in like, I dunno, six months–

Griffin: Yeah. It’s been wild.

Travis: –Griffin’s just been editing it all together.

Griffin: Yeah, there was like this fuckin’ fantasy space station, and then there was this like evil game place, and we all got kinda lost in the weeds there, ‘n.. [inhales] So, this is the break, of the thing, and we all wanted to talk to you about the MaxFun Drive.

Justin: MaxFun Drive is a great time of year, because it’s when you can show your support, demonstrate your support, financially, in a fiduciary sense, to these podcasts that you love so much, and we know that this show means a lot to a lot of people, and you have shown us that so many times with beautiful fanart, and very kind cosplay of us, and beautiful– everything, and now we’re just saying ‘that’s very good; how ‘bout a check.’

[Griffin laughs.]

Travis: I also wanna say, like.. There’s– not from Justin, Dad or I, but there’s a ton of work that goes into this show from Griffin’s end, and so I’ll take a second to brag a little bit on him, ‘cause he spends hours writing it, hours editing it, and also goes above and beyond to create music, and, you know, additional sound work, and like he just does so much work on this show. [crosstalk]

Griffin: [stagewhisper] Yeah, don’t– don’t tell– don’t tell anybody at my– job, my capital J ‘Job’, but I work harder on this show than I’ve worked on anything in my whole life. So–

[Someone/Clint(?) giggles.]

Griffin: Um, yeah, and I think like, I feel comfortable doing that because we are supported financially, and so like it– it feels like a real job, right? Like, we get paid to do it because people support this– this thing that we make. This podcast would not, like– wouldn’t exist period, I think, without the MaxFun Drive and the support we get, because like the other podcasts are a lot of work too, but we kind of thought that there would be a market for this, and so when we started making it, like, that MaxFun Drive, this show’s first year on the MaxFun network and we did that drive was like– completely buckwild, and so many folks came out, and let us know like ‘yeah, this is a cool thing and we wanna support you making it,’ so I feel like we tripled down on the effort that went into it.

So like, this show is, I feel, like a MaxFun Drive story, almost. Um. So, you get some benefits for supporting the show, like you feel a certain ownership over The Adventure Zone, um– you can help us reach our goal, we’re trying to get ten thousand new and upgrading members this year, we have great pledge gifts if you are a new or an upgrading member–

Justin: Can dad talk about those? He always has such a great– [crosstalk]

Griffin: Yeah– daddy, tell me about these pledge gifts!

Clint: Well– I’ll be glad to, Griffin! Uh– for a five dollar pledge gift, you get the exclusive bonus content. For ten dollars– [crosstalk]

Travis: Wait, hold on– let’s talk for one second about that bonus content. Hours and hours and hours and hours of like– days and days of bonus content, including two Adventure Zone: Nights episodes, which are kind of a different world where I DM; Griffin, dad and Justin play– there’s two of those, one from last year, one from this year, and then a second, in the chamber, if we hit that ten thousand new and upgrading– [crosstalk]

Griffin: Oh, a– a third, in the chamber.

Travis: Yeah– second for this year; third overall.

Clint: Ten dollars– this is sellin’ a lot of people, the exclusive enamel pin, designed by Megan Lynn Cott (?), and they got a design for every MaxFun show, so pick your favorite – Adventure Zone – ow! Uh–

Griffin: What just happened?

Justin: Daddy hurt himself.

Travis: Oh, I pinched him.

Griffin: Did you hit your old mouth on the microphone?

Clint: I hit my old mouth on the microphone, funny man–

[Justin laughs.]

Clint: –twenty dollars, the Keep In Touch kit, it’s nine custom note cards plus envelopes; three encouraging designs, designed by Brian ‘Sunny D’ Fernandez, a four-colored rocket pin, [crescendos] a ‘getting there’ rocket stamp, and a rocket shaped candle, smells like a freshly sharpened pencil– [crosstalk]

Griffin: Oh god, he’s– Justin, help him, reboot him– Justin–

Justin: I’m tazing– I’m tazing him, hold on–

[Clint yells like he’s being tazed, someone/Justin (?) makes a bzz sound]

Clint: [normal voice] for 35 dollars, there’s a pair of rocketin’ great beer mugs, at a hundred– [crosstalk]

Griffin: At every– every– well, let’s– we’ll get to it, ‘cause we have to do another break, so we’ll get to the other stuff. Um–

Clint: Okay.

Griffin: Every time you move up a donation level, you also get all the stuff before it. So, at ten dollars, you get the pins, and you get all the bonus content, if five bucks is all you can do, it’s totally cool, like we super super appreciate just like you– showing your support, um, not only that, you get like– a fucking enormous catalogue, there’s like– what? How many shows are on the network right now?

Travis: 33.

Clint: –a hundred and thirteen– oh, 33.

{48:16-51:05}

Griffin: Taako and Merle, make a Wisdom saving throw.

Justin: Sixteen.

Clint: Seventeen.

Griffin: Okay, you two are fine.

Clint: Thanks!

Justin: Can I ask a quick question? It’s kind of an off-topic…

Griffin: Yeah, sure.

Justin: Um, are we to assume that, like, that was Barry’s nightmare? Like, that—the puzzle that he described was, like, an illusion for him, or?

Griffin: I can tell you now since you’re sort of past it, um, the… Pringles came back here, right? This is where Pringles did his, like, recon and where lich Barry sort of formulated the plan. Pringles-Barry got caught so if, like, you’re trying to protect something and you know that an intruder got in and did some recon, you’d change the shit up. And so the game plan is—is different, right?

Justin: Okay, got it.

Griffin: Okay. You both resist as Angus McDonald, the world’s greatest detective, casts around you a field of Zone of Truth.

Merle: [laughing]
Taako: That was adorable.
Merle: Nice try, kid!
Taako: He invented Zone of Truth, this guy.
Merle: I am Mr. Zone of Truth!

Travis: To be fair, you should make a third roll.

Griffin: Taako—Taako, you hear from inside your bag somebody say:

Barry: Ay, I'm hidin’ in this guy’s bag and I'm gettin’ kinda claustrophobic and also I'm not supposed to be up here!
Taako: Oh, shit.

Griffin: And actually, like, Barry’s head is popping out of your bag now as he starts to like, like,

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: … get out of—get out of the bag.

Taako: Okay– Ango, you got me. I have to tell the truth. This is Barry, he lives in a bag. What else can I tell you?
Angus: Um, you can start with everything? What—what do you know, what’s going on here? Tell me—tell me now and Taako, I swear, don’t—don’t lie to me. I'm the world’s greatest detective, you don’t think I know that somethin’s up?
Taako: I can’t lie, you cast Zone of Truth on me.
Merle: We resisted, though.
Taako: Well, okay, now he knows that.
Merle: Oh.

Griffin: [laughing]

Taako: So yeah, so we resisted, I was trying to lie, I'm sorry. My partner over here apparently has an internal Zone of Truth that’s always sort of just going for the gusto, yeah.
Merle: I am a holy man.
Taako: Yeah, sure. Um, so…
Merle: So let’s kill him!
Taako: No, okay. So here’s the deal, um… oh gosh, where to start. The Bureau of Balance is bad, we think, this guy in my bag says they’re bad. Um.
Angus: What happened to Mag—what happened to Magnus, really?
Taako: Really?
Merle: Tell him!

Justin: Okay, uh,

Clint: [crosstalk] Wait a minute, wait a minute!

Justin: Because the listener at home has already heard this, I tell him what happened to Magnus.

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: You tell him the truth?

Travis: A propeller spin and you kinda fade in.

Justin: Yeah, right, I tell him what happened to Magnus. Thirty minutes later, we cut back.

Clint: [crosstalk] Before you do that—

Justin: [crosstalk] I already did it.

Griffin: [crosstalk] Are you telling the absolute—are you telling the absolute truth or are you doing your bullshit “he died and now this magic mannequin is comin’ to blah blah blah.”

Justin: Okay, hold on.

Clint: How about this:

Merle: Mago? Oh, no, what’s your name? Ango.

Clint: I’m gonna cast Zone of Truth.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: I’m gonna cast it on Taako.

Justin: What?

Clint: And you’ll know he’s telling you the truth and that I'm telling you the truth.

Taako: Okay.

Clint: Zone of Truth! [Zone of Truth casting noise] Now!

Justin: Let’s see.

Clint: [crosstalk] I just cast Zone of Truth!

Griffin: [crosstalk] I mean, roll—roll—ta—

Griffin: Roll, Taako.

Travis: No, he’s lying. Griffin, he’s lying.

Justin: Wait, is he lying? Does he need to cast a Bluff check or did you really cast Zone of Truth?

Griffin: Yeah, you’re gonna—

Clint: I really cast Zone of Truth!

Someone: [snickers]

Justin: Okay, well, I rolled an 18. Do not try to control my fuckin’ shit.

Clint: Okay.

Griffin: I’ll say this about a—I’ll say this about Angus McDonald: his Insight is as such that he’s fuckin’ hard to lie to regardless.

Justin: [crosstalk] I don’t really—okay, how—

Griffin: [crosstalk] magic [?]

Justin: How about this? I won’t resist. I don’t resist the Zone of Truth. I willingly submit to Zone of Truth.

Clint: So now you know he’s tellin’ the truth.

Griffin: So you—you’re tellin’ the absolute truth about like, Magnus is in this mannequin body and everything?

Justin: Uh, my position is I trust Angus McDonald entirely.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: That’s where I’m at. And I’m saying that out loud:

Taako: Angus, I trust you implicitly and here’s the exact 100% truth as we understand it because if anybody can fuckin’ figure out what’s going on, it’s you. So hook me up.

Griffin: He lowers his wand and I think he’s got like, kind of a cool little holster for it, maybe? Or maybe it’s like a little fanny pack situation that he puts it into? And he says, um.

Justin: It’s on—come on, we all know it’s on a lanyard, guys.

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: Okay, it’s definitely on a lanyard.

Justin: It’s definitely, definitely on the lanyard.

Griffin: He says, um:

Angus: Taako, thank you. You… I feel like you all have been keeping me at arm’s length for a while, but I promise you, I am—I’m good at this. Let me help.

Griffin: He says,

Angus: I love the Bureau. I love the Director. She’s given me an—an enormous opportunity here, she gave me a— she gave me a home! And so I don’t think she’s doing anything wrong, but those spheres that Davenport takes into the relic disposal chamber? Well, they’re not the same spheres that come out.

Griffin: And he, um. He throws, like, a piece of chalk down and it kind of, like, rolls and sort of stops at your feet. He says,

Angus: She just did it. She just destroyed the Animus Bell. I made a little mark, discretely, on—on the sphere before they took it in and it wasn’t on it when it came out. So I don’t know what’s going on, but, like, obviously you don’t have to be the world’s greatest detective to know that there’s a bait-and-switch going on. But I’m—I—I feel like we’re—we don’t have the complete truth of what’s going on here. So if you say that you can find it, let me help you get there.

Griffin: He says.

Merle: Well, it’s right down this hall, on the other side of that door.

Griffin: Okay.

Taako: But listen, Angus? You should know something.
Angus: Yeah?
Taako: If you stick with us, you are… you’re kind of… you’re kind of a bad guy, too. This is not specifically, technically, something we’re supposed to be doing.

Griffin: He kinda smiles and starts to walk towards the door and he says,

Angus: The ones lookin’ for the truth, well, they’re never the bad guys. I know that from my Caleb Cleveland novels.

Clint: [snorts]

Griffin: And walks towards the door.

Clint: [giggling]

Travis: God, I love Angus.

Taako: Precious.

Griffin: You’re at the door. It’s the same sort of style of vault door as the one that you all came into earlier. But it has a, like, a keypad on it with seven—seven empty spaces above the keypad. And you don’t get anything from the coin and as you, like, motion to it, Barry, who is now also sort of outside of your bag just kind of, like, shrugs, like “I don’t know.” And Angus takes a look at it and he says,

Angus: This doesn’t appear to be trapped or anything. Maybe just, I don’t know, Taako, Merle, maybe just try somethin’ out, just to calibrate our efforts?
Merle: How ‘bout Nitpicker?

Griffin: Uh, Nitpicker’s like a lockpick thing. this is—this would not—there’s no tumblers here, this is a, like, a keypad with a seven digit password.

Justin: Well, dad gets out Nitpicker and makes him try to open it, just ‘cause I wanna see how Nitpicker reacts to him being forced to open this door.

Clint: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.

Griffin: Okay. Alright, you put down—

Clint: I summon my Nitpicker! I pull him out of my bag and I put him in front of the door and I say:

Merle: Go get ‘em, tiger!

Griffin: He—you set him down and he looks at it and he looks back at you and he’s like:

Nitpicker/Ernest: What the fuck is wrong with you? How are you this bad at adventuring?! You know what I do, I pick locks and stuff! Does this look like a lock? No, it looks like a fuckin’ Tandy 5000! What am I supposed to do about this?
Merle: Well, I—
Nitpicker/Ernest: Hold on, let me, let me put on my cool fuckin’ backwards visor and just swordfish this shit. No, I can’t do anything with this, what’re you talkin’ about? I’m a little gnome!

Justin: [laughing] While he’s berating him, I use the Hole Thrower. [laughing]

Clint: [laughing]

Justin: And just use it on the door so I can go through the door.

Griffin: Mmkay. Roll a... roll a dice.

Justin: Um, let’s see, I need a D… 10, don’t use that one a lot. [rolling dice] 10, wow.

Griffin: Okay, um, sure. You just cast it—I was gonna bullshit you here, but a ten, like—it’s hard to say “this door is more than ten feet deep!” ‘cause that’s wild.

Justin: That would be quite a door.

Griffin: That would be quite a fuckin’ door. Yeah, okay, you throw a hole and you throw it, like, right over where the keypad was and I think the keypad just kind of falls harmlessly off and there is a huge hole in the door now, ten feet wide, ten feet—well, not ten feet deep, but through the depth of the door and you can…

[the Hunger music playing]

Griffin: … walk through pretty much effortlessly. Let’s get back to Magnus really quick.

Justin: I’m sorry if we messed up your puzz—I mean, was that a puzzle? Did you have a puzzle?

Griffin: Well, I gave you a fuckin’ skeleton key for basically any wall- or door-based puzzles, like, fuckin’ a year ago, so that’s—that’s my cross to bear.

Justin: [wheezing]

Clint: [laughing]

[music plays from 59:41]

{59:56}

Griffin: Magnus?

Travis: Yes?

Griffin: You are in trouble, I guess, safe to say.

Travis: Uh-huh.

Griffin: What’re you doin’?

Travis: Man, such a—that’s a good question. First question:

Griffin: These figures are starting to walk towards the—the Voidfish’s door, by the way.

Travis: First question.

Griffin: Yeah?

Travis: Is—can I see, is Johann breathing?

Griffin: Faintly, I think, a little bit, but I mean he’s—he’s—he’s bad, dude. He was in the middle of this moshpit when it sort of popped up and it’s—he looks really, very, very bad.

Travis: Okay. And the Hunger advancing on me, right?

Griffin: Yeah, on the tank.

Travis: Is spider climb still active? Am I still within my ten minutes?

Griffin: Yeah, sure! I don’t see why not. So you swim up out of the tank?

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: Okay.

Travis: Oh, wait, one last thing,

Magnus: Voidfish!

Griffin: It sort of sings. A little bit.

Magnus: I’m gonna get you your kid back.

Griffin: It sings really loud now and it kind of rattles the glass tank. And it actually rattles all of the—the—the Hunger down below and, uh, yeah. What are you doing? That was cool.

Magnus: Anything you can do to help with that, by the way, would be greatly appreciated.

Clint: [laughing]

Travis: The last thing I wanna ask the Voidfish is,

Magnus: Do you need this water to live?

Griffin: It says no. It doesn’t.

Travis: Cool, I wanna smash the tank.

[music playing]

Griffin: Okay. From in—from within?

Travis: Kind of standing on top of it, ‘cause I wouldn’t be able to swing the axe through the water. That’s not how physics works.

Griffin: Okay. You, okay. You’re standing on top of the tank and the Voidfish—the Voidfish fucking lifts up out of the top of the tank with you. And it shakes its head no. And you bring your axe down on top of the—onto the glass tank.

Travis: Nat 20!

Griffin: Nat 20.

Travis: No shit!

Justin: Nat 20!

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: You’re not using Railsplitter, but this axe does the job fine as it sends a long chasm down the, down the side of the glass tank. And the tank shatters and it sends this—this huge wave of water outwards, and it doesn’t just—it shatters everywhere. And in fact, I think you fall with it because the tank loses its shape, sort of, as the glass goes.

And this huge blast of water comes and knocks away a bunch of the—knocks away a bunch of the Hunger, right? I think a few of them, the sort of the more robotic looking ones, they kind of fall over, done. I think some of the lighter looking ones, like the lighter shadow ones get just, like, knocked and pushed away. And a few of ‘em get pushed back through the door and down the hallway. You, Magnus, you land with a thud, sort of right next to Johann. And though you knocked away a lot of these things and you cleared out some of this room, some of the bigger ones just walk up to you and they just start attacking you. And I don’t necessarily wanna—I could do bullshit and just roll against you, like, 20 times, but I think—

Travis: Yeah, I’m gonna die.

Griffin: They just—they just tear you apart. They just fucking destroy you.

Travis: I do—hold on. I do wanna just—okay, that’s a 14, how many do I take out before they take me down? This is important to me.

Griffin: Yeah, sure, okay, with the wave of water you took out, um—what did I say, there were like 40 in here?

Travis: Yeah.

Griffin: I think? You took out, like, all the robots, so that was like 12 of them. And you took out, like—I think you took out about 20 with the wave of water. And as you land next to Johann, you’re just, like, fuckin’ last standing. You rolled a 14 you said?

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: I think you take out, like, 3 or 4—you take out 4 of the big ones but they get the better of you. And they cut you down and you fall, your mannequin body falls right next to Johann.

Griffin: And then all of a sudden, in a scene that is sort of immediately familiar to you, you are back in the ethereal plane, the plane sort of behind our plane. and you recognize sort of that haunting grayscale. The scene is still sort of unfolding around you, you see your body continuing to be, like, attacked by these—by these—by the Hunger. But there’s no portal open to the astral plane, sucking you in this time, there’s no reaper coming to collect, there’s just, above you, through the ceiling, you can see a swirling light above you. And you feel it kind of pulling you towards it, a little bit? And it’s kind of in the shape of your body? But before you get pulled away, you see immediately in front of you, standing on top of his body, you see Johann.

[harp music playing]

Griffin: You see his spirit. And he looks up at you, solemnly, Magnus, and he says,

Johann: Magnus. Don’t let them erase me, Magnus. Don’t let them make the world forget.

Griffin: And then you are pulled away.

{1:05:18}

Griffin: Taako and Merle? You’re now in the Director’s private quarters with Angus McDonald and with Barry. And the similarities between this room and Barry’s, like, cavern hideout are kind of striking. There’s a—there’s a desk in this room, although this one’s obviously much more orderly than Barry’s because Lucretia’s a very neat person. Towards the back of this desk are two tall even stacks of journals. And in front of these two stacks are two fresh—completely empty open journals with two sets of quills and two inkwells sitting, like, right next to each other.

Griffin: Merle, you see on this desk a holy symbol hovering and spinning above a disc, just kind of weightlessly floating above this disc. And you feel this powerful force and I meant to remind you at some point this episode, but it never quite came up, that lich Barry mentioned that there was some sort of force keeping him away from the Bureau headquarters? You know it’s this thing, as it is a holy symbol that is projecting out this field. And it’s just this big circle of metal, kind of like a chakram almost, and inside is the design—this design of this big tree with a hundred branches reaching out to the ends of the circle. And that symbol, make a Religion check, Merle.

Clint: A Religion check?

Griffin: Yeah, you have a Religion skill, which is probably pretty dope.

Clint: Religion, plus 4, so that’s 20.

Griffin: Okay, yeah, you recognize this symbol as sort of—it’s sort of a non-denominational symbol of the gods? It kind of represents like, the whole pantheon. It’s almost like in our world, it’s like one of those Coexist bumper stickers, right?

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: And it’s—it’s very—it’s very powerful and it is projecting this field. But you can feel, like, a lot of holy power coming from it. Also, in this room, is a map of the world and like Barry’s this map is the one Lucretia has been using to track the relics across the globe. Her map, like the desk, is much neater than Barry’s.

And in the corner of this room, there is some sort of small tank, almost? With this light shining from within it that you can’t quite see. And actually, when you look at this tank, your mind kind of feels weird. And that is familiar, but even making that connection I think is sort of beyond you at this point where like, it’s just weird to look at this tank, like there’s something in there that you know is there that you can’t quite see. And also suspended above this tank is a bell. And as you walk into this room, the coin clicks on and you hear lich Barry say,

Lich Barry: Okay. Now you should’ve had enough time by now to get in there and drink. So you should be remembering now, but it may take you a while. But the short version: we’re all [static] and [static] was one of us, but [static] now if we can reach [static] we should be able to [static] before [static].

Griffin: And as he’s talking, you hear just static. And every time you do, lights from inside this tank flash and shine and as they do, that alarm bell above it lets out a deafening chime. And the coin keeps going,

LichBarry: Now, just grab some extra [static] for [static] and—

Justin: I'm in the room too, right?

Griffin: Yeah, you’re all in the room.

Justin: Yeah, we’re all in the room. Can I get to the water in the tank?

Griffin: Yeah, sure.

Justin: Okay, I'll drink some of it?

Griffin: Okay, you have a flask and there’s no, like, spigot for this one, but the tank is just, like, open on top and you can just dip your flask and you—you drink it.

Justin: Okay, I pass it to Merle.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: [gulping]

Griffin: You both drink?

Justin: Yeah, I guess I'll give some to Barry too?

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: No, I actually won’t give any to Barry right now.

Clint: Better give some to Ango.

Justin: Yeah, I'll give some to Ango, so.

Clint: Wait a minute. [brings a cup up to the mic, drinks from it]

Griffin: Oh Jesus, are you drinkin’ out of a fuckin’ Big Gulp?

Clint: Ah, that’s good!

Justin: Yeah, he is, actually.

Griffin: Um, okay. You—

Justin: It’s from Taco Bell, which he and I are gonna have a discussion about later.

Clint: [laughing]

Justin: 60 years old, drinking…

Griffin: [laughing]

Clint: I happen to be 61 and a half.

Justin: Yeah, live mas my ass. Live menos. Live menos.

Griffin: [laughing]

Clint: [laughing]

Justin: Muy menos!

Travis: Live no mas.

Justin: Live no mas, muy triste.

Clint: Hey, can—would it do any good to cast silence on the bell? I have silence.

Travis: Little late now!

Justin: Do it!

Clint: Good point.

Justin: Do it, coward.

Clint: Okay, I cast Silence!

Griffin: Okay, yeah, the bell is quiet but it—kind of the damage is done. I would like to resolve the thing that you guys just drank, this Voidfish ichor.

Justin: Mmm.

Clint: Mini Voidfish.

Griffin: And you don’t give any to Barry, ‘cause? Is there any particular reason why?

Justin: Oh god, it’s fine, we’ve come this far with Barry. What do you think?

Clint: [crosstalk] Give him a sip, like a little sip.

Justin: [crosstalk] Yeah, yeah, he can have a little bit.

Clint: So he’ll only get the vowels.

Justin: [laughing]

Griffin: No, he drinks some from the flask and he actually has his own flask, he takes like a canteen full of this ichor.

Justin: He’s out of the bag now, right?

Griffin: Yeah, he’s out of the bag.

Justin: Get the Barry out of the bag.

Griffin: Yeah.

Clint: And I gotta—let me ask—let me say somethin’ here real quick.

Merle: Angus, do you see this? Your big hero? Lucretia? Has got this tank with you know what in it, right?
Angus: No, yeah, obvious—obviously something’s wrong.

Griffin: He takes a drink and he, like, steps back—

Travis: He grows three sizes.

Griffin: He grows—it’s Michael’s secret stuff [this wiki entry is fucking weird there’s probably something better out there]. No, he takes a drink as you all take a drink and yeah, all of a sudden, sure, all of you can see, there’s a smaller baby Voidfish floating in this canister. And Merle and Taako… Angus seems to react to that and he’s like,

Angus: Woah, a little baby Voidfish! How cute!

Griffin: And he starts, like, tapping on the glass.

Travis: Woah, don’t do that. come on, kid.

Griffin: And the baby Voidfish, like, holds up a little tendril up to the glass, too. Barry, it seems like, is like somebody just hit him in the head with a fucking hammer. Like, he is just holding his head now and sort of shaking it back and forth. And he’s, like, down on the ground. And Taako and Merle, you both feel like—you know how you feel like when you’ve got a cold just starting? Like, you can feel this cold coming on, you know it’s gonna fuck you up? Or, like, you know that you ate too much and like, “oh, boy, I'm gonna be sick tonight.” Like, you feel this… you feel something big coming at your brains that is, like, it’s—it’s—it makes your gut run kinda cold. And Barry is, like, Barry says, like,

Barry: Boys, don’t—don’t try to remember too fast, it’s—it’s—it’ll take you out. M-Merle, can you do somethin’ about that holy symbol, please, before, before—

Griffin: And you hear feet marching towards you down the—down the hallway as people respond to the sound of the alarm that went off.

Clint: Yep! I cast Divination.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: My magic puts me in contact with a god or a god’s servant.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: I gotta try again, I gotta try again.

Griffin: Alright.

Clint: I get to ask a single question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity to occur within seven days.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: And the DM has to offer a truthful reply.

Griffin: Okay.

Clint: It may be a short phrase, a cryptic rhyme, or an omen.

Griffin: Okay.

Justin: I will request cryptic rhyme.

Clint: Cryptic rhyme would be really fun.

Travis: I will take it in the form of a haiku.

Clint: [wheezing] The wind, the water…

Clint: Okay, you ready for my question, DM?

Griffin: Sure!

Clint: How do I deactivate the holy symbol?

Griffin: Here’s—here’s what’s up.

[music playing]

Griffin: And I—I apologize in advance for this, but there’s a—kind of a narrative thread I need to get back to in a big way; I think this is how I do it. Not only does Pan not answer you, you can’t cast the spell and you actually feel it, now, and it—this is more finite than the other times that you’ve cast spells and they’ve been kind of wonky.

You don’t have—you can’t cast magic anym—like, you don’t—your magic comes from Pan and Pan’s gone, Pan’s not with you, Pan’s not connected to you anymore, so your tap—like, the source for your magic that you tap is now gone and whatever you’ve been, like, tapping into, whatever residual energy, it’s gone. And so until further—until further notice, Merle is completely disconnected from his divine source.

Justin: [exaggerated] But who will heal us?

Clint: [laughing] Wait a minute, now, so, the spell didn’t work? Or didn’t reach anybody.

Griffin: Didn’t—[crosstalk] you didn’t cast it.

Travis: [crosstalk] Nothing happened.

Justin: [crosstalk] You have no magic power.

Griffin: You have no magic powers, they are gone.

Justin: It might as well have been Clint trying to talk to Pan.

Clint: I didn’t say I was trying to talk to Pan.

Griffin: But, with the—well, there’s no—well, okay. In that case, there’s—it’s still the same. In that case it’s still the same, just no—nobody answered.

Justin: You have no powers.

Griffin: But you just don’t have any powers at all. Now, I will tell you what that Religion check because it was a 20 and like, really really good, you detect that there’s no, like, traps here. There’s no like—you’re not gonna be fuckin’ destroyed if you go grab this thing. And actually, you recognize that—the disc that it’s floating over is kind of like the thing that is powering this—this spell? Well, the divine symbol’s the thing powering the spell, but the disc is like what is sort of keeping it active.

Clint: I go grab the disc.

Griffin: Okay. As you grab it, as you grab the divine symbol, it sort of, like, stops. You just sort of grab it from where it’s floating over this disc and you feel that spell just get sucked into the disc, that anti-lich ward, that undead ward, and it just shatters, the disc does. And the holy symbol you’re holding, you now just have. And it is a—it is a plus two holy symbol, which is cool... if you could use it to cast spells right now. But you have deactivated sort of this—this field that was keeping lich Barry out and you have a new thing for maybe someday. By this time, the guards have arrived into the room. And Barry shouts,

Barry: Boys, don’t put up a fight. It’s—things are in motion now and we just kinda gotta go with the flow, but. You’re gonna start remembering soon, but just take it slow, please, I'm begging you. You gotta take it slow.

[music playing]

Griffin: And Angus is like,

Angus: I don’t know what you’re talking about! I just see this Voidfish, this cute Voidfish.

Clint: Is there a replay button on the coin?

Justin: Yeah, really. [crosstalk] So we can repeat… yeah.

Clint: So we can repeat that message now that we understand it?

Griffin: Uh, no. There’s not.

Clint: Of course not. Let me put away my spell cards.

Justin: Yeah, really.

[music plays out]

{1:16:23}

Griffin: Magnus, hey.

Travis: Yes?

Griffin: You choke out a lungful of that green, brackish fluid from the pod as the membrane encasing you splits, dropping you back into the back room of the Fantasy Costco. And you land on your hands and knees, your fleshy hands and your fleshy knees. And we—

Travis: [sound of paper crumpling] That’s the sounds of my mannequin character sheet!

Clint: [laughing]

Travis: Garbage can!

Griffin: And you see all of your belongings around you. You notice, uh, you notice something about your hands—you’ve got all ten fingers.

Travis: Yay!

Griffin: This body is fresh and—because it was sort of taken from material from before Wonderland, so you’re also not ten years, I think it was ten years older? Um,

Travis: Yes.

Griffin: And this body–

Travis: My maturity.

Griffin: This body remembers nearly everything. You remember Merle and Taako and your quest for the relics, you remember the— your life with Julia in Raven’s Roost, I wouldn’t, again, take that from you. You remember the revival of Barry Bluejeans, you remember that you’re on the Bureau of Balance moonbase here to break into the Director’s belongings to retrieve something that will help fill in the gaps of your timeline.

You remember all of it, except for… the visions that you experienced in your mannequin form. The memories you were recalling. You don’t remember being from another world, you don’t remember giving the chalice to— to Jack and June in Refuge, you don’t remember dying alongside Barry Bluejeans, you don’t remember the big silver ship. Something is blocking all of these things that, while you were dead, you were able to remember. Most problematically, Magnus, you also do not remember the Hunger. Take 14 points of damage.

Travis: Okay?

Griffin: As you are stabbed with something in the shoulder. You’re stabbed in the shoulder, like, you have a moment to be like “oh, I’m back in my body again!” and then you’re just stabbed. And you see the wound kind of open up in your shoulder, you do not see anything in this room that did it, you are being assailed by some invisible force. And you feel, like, hands starting to grab at you. And you can kind of feel that there’s, like, stuff in this room? But you absolutely cannot see it. What do you do?

Travis: I grab the sapphire, I smash it, and I say, “The Flaming Raging Poisoning Sword of Doom.”

[music playing]

Griffin: Okay. You, I think, yeah, you—when you’re stabbed, you’re kind of knocked backwards against a table and you have a second to just like, flash your eyes across the note. And it’s long enough for Magnus to know what to do next. Did you just fuckin’ crush it in your hand?

Travis: Yeah.

Justin: Cool.

Griffin: That’s badass, alright. You smash it and you call forward the poisoning raging flaming sword of doom. You are otherwise [high-pitched] nude?

Travis: Correct.

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: And you have this—but, uh, you feel a certain sense of security from this giant fucking flaming sword that appears in your hand.

Clint: Oh my god.

Justin: It only looks as though an eight year old designed it because an eight year old designed it. That’s how rad it is.

Griffin: But it still looks fucking, over-the-top radical, much more than my 29 year old mind could possibly devise.

Clint: Twitter is going to explode.

Griffin: So is everything in this room, I think.

Travis: I’m going to swipe it in the biggest fucking arc that I can.

Justin: [chuckling]

Griffin: Make an—make an attack roll.

Travis: Well, so, I rolled a 15 and if I assume my Railsplitter—

Griffin: Same—yeah, sure, same stats as Railsplitter.

Travis: So 24?

Griffin: That’s? That’s good. um, uh, here’s what we’ll do. I think with a 24, I think these things get one more sort of attack against you. And you’re, like, nude right now, so your AC is kind of bullshit?

Travis: Correct.

Griffin: So they got a 16 which is probably enough to hit.

Travis: Uh, yes.

Griffin: But they only slash you for 9 points of damage and you feel like as you do what you do here, in the middle of it, you are interrupted just slightly by a small cut across your stomach as you take 9 points of damage. Otherwise, you, oh, this is—this is how I envision the raging flaming poisoning sword of doom: it has like a flint wheel on it? Kinda like a Bic lighter?

Clint: [laughing]

Griffin: And so you just, like, drag your hand across it and all of a sudden this thing is ablaze. And you just fuckin’ tornado spin all around this room, sending, like, streaks of flame and poison, like, through the wall, against the wall, and like, sizzling up against the wall.

And you can’t, like, see anything still? But you can feel the sword connecting with shit and carving through shit. And in the trail of fire that the sword leaves, you see these figures just falling and collapsing to the ground. And after this—this very tight-quarters melee takes place, it is silent and you are just in this room by yourself with a bunch of invisible corpses.

Travis: I get dressed, socks first.

Griffin: Yeah, alright. Let’s just say you get—you get all of your shit back together.

Travis: Socks first.

Griffin: Socks first. And just using that same attack roll, just ‘cause I kinda wanna move it along and I don’t think this would work as, like, a normal fight, you sort of carve your way out of the abandoned Fantasy Costco. Just every once in a while, just like using intuition, just like, fuckin’ swinging and yup, there was a thing there. And you cut right through it and you still can’t see it, and you don’t know what these things are, but you know they cut you and so shit’s bad. And as you sort of kick your way out of the—the—the main door of the Fantasy Costco, you are back out on the quad of the Bureau of Balance headquarters.

Griffin: And the scene here is fucking horrible. There are a dozen Bureau employees out here and they’re all just swinging wildly with their weapons, now. Some of them are casting spells just blind, trying to combat this invisible threat. And as many, like, guards are, like, trying to fight these things that they can’t see off, there are guards just laying motionless on the ground. And it is a chaotic—

Travis: Do I see anybody I recognize?

Griffin: You do see some familiar faces over by the entrance to the main dome. You see Carey and Killian, they are over there fending off these invisible enemies and they’re losing a little bit of ground. Noelle is kicking ass. She’s using her flame cannon, sort of a few—like a dozen feet away from Carey and Killian, and she’s just firing in all directions, like very confidently? Like, she’s the only one that can see what’s going on here. And she’s just, like, she’s wrecking shit.

[music starts]

Griffin: Carey and Killian are losing a little bit of ground as they’re defending this door and as you dash towards them, as you approach, you see something get the better of Killian. She blocks an attack with her big crossbow, but it gets knocked away and that leaves her an opening and you see this long, red slash appear across her left arm. And she kind of falls to the ground and when Carey sees this happen to Killian, she yells.

Griffin: And as she does, she changes a bit. You see this circle of frill that you’ve never quite seen before kind of unfold around her dragonborn neck and her eyes go kind of feral and wild and this blue cloud of flame and lightning comes pouring out of her mouth. And she spits this electrical fire in a wide circle around her and you see it swirl around, like, a bunch of these invisible shapes that are just flailing and collapsing in the fire. And when this ring of blue flame clears, things are quieter for a little while. The fire subsides and as it does, you see Carey helping Killian wrap her arm quickly.

[music stops]

Griffin: And through the flames, she sees you, Magnus, alive. And she’s just dumbstruck.

Magnus: Hello! Hail and well met!

Griffin: She…

Magnus: Um…

Justin: [laughing]

Griffin: She runs over towards you and. Uh, that’s a 21, she punches you in the fuckin’ face.

Travis: Fair enough.

Griffin: Like, really hard. Not too hard, it’s kind of like a “you jerk”. That’s only 3 points of damage, she wasn’t puttin’ her full weight behind it. And she’s like,

Carey: How—how did you—why didn’t—what—
Magnus: Yeah, listen, I—I realize a lot – a lot – but right now, we need to get in there, we need to get to the Director, and we need to figure out what the fuck is happening. Then later, I can tell you about my weird wooden body and the whole thing that was going on, and why this is, and what this is, but for now, I just need you to trust me.

Griffin: She launches herself at you. And she throws her arms around your neck in this big embrace.

[music plays]

Griffin: And she says,

Carey: Let me guess, you ignored my lessons. When there was trouble, you… well… you took the big hit. Didn’t you, bud?

[music plays out to 1:25:49]

Griffin: The four of you, Angus and Merle and Taako and Barry, are in front of the Director and each of you kind of has a couple of guards standing nearby. Davenport is here, standing up on the dais with the Director and as you all sort of were brought into this room, Barry broke off and just sprinted towards the Director pretty aggressively. But Davenport actually kinda stepped in the way, and they tussled just for, like, a second, but Barry was pulled away and placed with the rest of you. And so the four of you are standing, now, sort of in front of the dais and up on the dais is the Director and she’s—she is surrounded by this, um, somewhat opaque, but you can see through it, magical barrier. And she’s kneeling down and right next to her is one of those lead orbs. And you actually see a little, I think, just to drive this home, there’s a little—a little white star drawn on this orb with chalk. And she’s kneeling over her white oak staff. And she’s channeling some sort of energy from the orb into the staff, which of course, was the grand relic that she made when the seven of you first came to this world.

Griffin: And as you realize that you just had that thought, you feel like—you feel like your brain just got fucking struck by lightning. And she looks at you as you both kind of grab your heads and she says,

The Director: Oh my god. Did you— did you inoculate yourselves?
Taako: Yes.
Merle: We did.

Travis: [laughing]

Griffin: She says,

The Director: It’s gonna be too much, you’re gonna remember too much, it’s too—it’s too specific, you’ll be killed, why—why did you do that?
Merle: We’re stupid?

Justin: [snorts]

Griffin: Barry doesn’t seem to be having as difficult a time because, well, because every time that Barry dies and turns into a lich, he kind of remembers it again anyways? So this process isn’t quite as painful as him. And so he’s just standing next to you as you are sort of grabbing onto your heads and he’s looking up at the dais and… we’ll say Taako, you’re standing next to Barry in this line, and you hear him whispering an invocation. And you can tell that he is casting the spell Command. And you hear him mutter a single word and he says,

Barry: Drink.

Griffin: And Lucretia says,

Lucretia: What did you say?

Griffin: And Barry says,

Barry: Lucretia, you gotta help them remember. It’s over. You owe them that. You already have the relics, just help them remember. Their—their—their minds are gonna shatter if you don’t.

Griffin: And Lucretia begins to explain.

[music starts]

Griffin: And she says,

Lucretia: Okay, listen, boys and—just try to follow along as I explain it. Don’t try to think ahead because what happens next is very important. Taako, Merle, Barry, there were seven of us. We came from—we came from another world, another reality. We were—we were members of the Institute of Planar Research and Exploration. We were an elite team of scientists and explorers sent to—sent to explore the realities beyond our own on this impossible ship, but… something went wrong.
We were—we were pursued by a destructive force beyond measure or comprehension. So, when we came to this world, the seven of us, we… we made the relics to try to hide the light that they contained from the Hunger that would consume us. But it was a mistake. We damned this world from the moment we put the relics out into it. I—and I didn’t want to create the relics, but I was…


Griffin: And she looks grim for a second, and she says,

Lucretia: But I was overruled, and so I took fixing our mistake into my own hands. I fed a record of our mission to the Voidfish. And I made you all forget. I made the world forget what we did, and I hoped to give myself an opportunity to collect the relics myself and put right what we made wrong. And I failed my first attempt at collecting a relic was in Wonderland and I nearly died taking the truth of this world and the light and the Hunger with me.
And so I set out to form an organization that could aid me in my task, one with checks and balances and a distrust of magical artifacts built into its core tenants. But this, too, was unsuccessful. The reclaimers I sent out, the thrall was too powerful for them to overcome. So I needed help, but the only ones I could trust with helping me collect the relics were the only people immune to their thrall. The people who made them. You. And the Voidfish, as it so often has, provided a solution. A child.
I was able to feed the child selections from our mission log, providing an essential redundancy. You could drink from the mother and learn of the existence of the relics and help me find them and destroy them. While the child could continue to hide the truth of their creation and the mission that brought us to this world after our long voyage. So, I found you. The three of you. I ensured your employment with Gundren to bring you in contact with the first relic, and I created a grand story of rogue wizards, exploiting schools of magic and evil liches to set you along the path to provide you inspiration. And you did so well. But, with these,

Griffin: And she gestures to the orb and her staff, she says,

Lucretia: With the light of creation reformed, I can build a barrier to keep the Hunger at bay. I can build a home that all of us can be safe in, together. Save for Lup. I'm so sorry, Taako, Barry, there was nothing I could do.

Griffin: And Taako, you remember Lup now, of course! How could you forget Lup? Those memories that you had in the Chalice of your lonely childhood, of you just like, out on the road, just fighting for survival, there was something there that you couldn’t quite perceive. Some… some static. It was Lup. It was—it was your sister, out there with you on the road, outcast but never alone. She says,

Lucretia: So those are six of us. Me, Barry, Lup, Taako, Merle, Magnus, and, of course, the seventh. Our captain. When I redacted the logs to feed to the second Voidfish, I let you—I let you keep your names while eradicating any information pertaining to the mission. But, [sighs] for our captain, his life was the mission. He was impossible to edit around and so, unfortunately, his name was all he kept.

Griffin: And she motions to her side and then reacts with a start as a silver dish falls to the ground, sending a bag of coins and three gachapon tokens bouncing down the steps of the dais. And there’s Davenport. And he’s holding the flask that Barry surreptitiously tucked into his hand. And he’s wiping some ichor away from the edges of his mouth. And he shakes his head and he says,

Davenport: Lucretia? What’ve you done?

[music fades out]

Griffin: And then the door opens.

[the Hunger song plays]

Griffin: The last thing you see are team sweet flips, kicking in the door to the main dome, revealing to everyone inside the catastrophic scene outside. And Merle and Taako, you see Magnus back in the flesh and the Director gasps when she sees him alive. Not out of shock, again, but out of happiness. But her relief quickly subsides and is replaced with the same horror that is now creeping over all of you. Merle and Taako, as you see outside the door, you see those shadowy beings that assaulted Magnus earlier and you recognize them, too, as the Hunger.

[music gets more intense]

Griffin: But more importantly, you see massive, half-mile wide tendrils of living darkness worming out of the sky above and colliding with the ground below to form thick, swirling pillars. And from those pillars, the Hunger’s armies have begun to manifest, marching outward to raze the world below. It’s the end of the world. Again.

[music plays out] {1:35:01}

[commercial break] {1:43:21}

Griffin: We see inside of Lucretia’s office, specifically, the portrait. And wearing these uniforms of red are seven people. There’s an elven woman who looks so much like you, Taako, and she has her arm around Barry and they’re both smiling. And Taako, you’re just like, front and center frame and you’re cheesing it for this picture. And Merle, you and Davenport are standing side-by-side and you’ve got your shirt sleeves rolled up and you’re laughing and just like flexing and striking a pose. And Magnus, you’re just kinda standing behind them and smiling and waving kind of goofy. And in the middle of this– this crew, with the same cautious smile you’ve seen hanging over her office for a year now is Lucretia and she’s holding her journals. And she’s surrounded by friends. And if you were in that office, still, you could see it all now. You could see the seven of you celebrating a rare moment of peace and happiness during your harrowing journey. And it’s time to remember this moment now, and all of the others that brought you to where you are today. It’s time to reclaim your stolen century.

[music fades out]

[maxfun endcard]

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