Balance – Episode 11: Murder on the Rockport Limited: Chapter Two

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Are you a MaxFunDrive donor, or a MaxFunDrive boner? Time to make up your mind, as you enter the Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"Murder on the Rockport Limited: Chapter Two," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 11th episode of The Adventure Zone, from the arc which would later be named Balance.

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Full transcript available here.

Our heroes attempt to make the best out of a swampy situation, and race to Rockport before they miss a fateful train. They also meet a beloved radio personality and spokesperson, and hold him ransom for MaxFunDrive donations. Magnus exhibits his upper body strength. Taako gets charming. Merle takes a stink-bath.

The Tres Horny Boys find themselves stuck in a swamp, assailed by leeches—one of which they have already crushed. One of the remaining two leeches attempts to spray Magnus with a stinky, yellow fluid, but he manages to avoid it. Next, the leech which Merle previously thorn-whipped retaliates and bites Merle, draining around a pint and a half of his blood (to Travis and Griffin's incredulity). Taako casts Thunder Wave on both of the leeches. The leech that drained Merle is bloodied, but the spell only does half damage to the other. Merle, unable to do the cool melee attack he wanted to do due to being waist-deep in swamp mud, casts Sacred Flame on the leech that bit him.

Unfortunately, it only does 2 damage, essentially giving it a mild sunburn. Merle sinks into the mud entirely and starts suffering poison damage. Magnus, standing on the stump of the tree he felled, jumps back into the swamp to save Merle. Then, the leeches attack Magnus and Taako. One of them spews yellow fluid at Magnus again, but unlike last time, he is unable to dodge. The fluid wraps around him and restrains him in a web-like substance.

The other leech tries to chow down on Taako, who in turn casts Levitate on himself and ascends out of the swamp. Merle, freed from the swamp by Magnus, kills the bloodied leech with his warhammer. Magnus bloodies the last leech with Railsplitter, but is unable to free himself from the fluid webbing. The leech tries to bite Magnus, but cannot beat his AC. Magnus uses Riposte, which allows him to perform a melee attack if his attacker misses their own. He swings Railsplitter at the leech, chopping it in half and sending it far off into the swamp.

[Money Zone]

Having bested the leeches, the boys finally make their way into Rockport. After admiring the scenic attractions, they look for someone to help them clean up. That someone turns out to be none other than our beloved radio darling, Tom Bodett. He sprays the boys down with his hose; As thanks, Taako casts Mending on it. They proceed to have a 10-minute sprinkler party in Tom Bodett's backyard.

After some fun in the sun, the boys arrive at the Rockport train station. They meet the ticket-taker, who is also Tom Bodett. He asks for their names, and the boys hastily recall their alibis: Merle is Leeman Kessler, Magnus is Diddly Kessler, and Taako is Justin. Tom Bodett is unconvinced by their ruse, so Taako casts Charm Person on him. Now placated, Tom Bodett takes them on a tour of a non-operational Rockport Limited kept in the station. He leads them through the cargo cars to a crypt safe like the one where (unbeknownst to Tom) the Grand Relic is being kept. He explains that the crypt safe can only be opened by an hour of sustained physical contact from a Rockport Limited engineer. In order to keep Tom Bodett from reacting poorly once the charm spell wears off, Merle tells him to step in front of the next oncoming train. Magnus and Taako immediately object to this. Ultimately, Merle settles for having Tom step in front of the non-moving train and waving goodbye.

[End of episode]

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