Balance – Episode 21: Petals to the Metal: Chapter Four

From The Adventure Zone Wiki
Jump to navigation

Hey everyone, this is Mark. I'm filling in for the usual guy; he took his family on vacation, I think they went to Dollywood. It's the Adventure Zone!


"Petals to the Metal: Chapter Four," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 21st episode of The Adventure Zone, from the arc which would later be named Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

Having straight-up embarrassed themselves in their first encounter with The Raven, our heroes look for alternative methods of defeating her. Merle channels a Train God, Magnus makes a fishy deal. Taako receives some bathroom aid.

Birthday Boy in the Med Tentedit | hide | edit source

As we greet our heroes, it’s Clint’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Clint! As a gift, Griffin has given Merle the gift of life, the gift that keeps on giving. Taako has been healed up a bit as well, but none of the party can really remember what happened in the room with Hurley, except that she pulled them out of the building. The trio finds themselves outside with members of the Goldcliff Militia.

Without the influence of The Raven or the Gaia Sash, the vines have begun to turn gray and whither. The trio is in the recovery tent, eating some tangelos and are being seen to by the Goldcliff Militia’s medics. Justin clarifies that they have definitely taken a short rest, and Griffin invites him to roll his hit dice. Justin doesn’t actually know how that works, and Griffin reassures him that they are getting into long rest territory. Justin really wants to know how it works, though, despite not having all of the relevant information on his character sheet. 

[5:37] GRIFFIN: Just let me cradle you. Just let me cradle you in my narrative… 
[5:39] JUSTIN: Just let me cradle you in my narrative baby bjorn.
[5:45] CLINT: Hold him to your narrative bosom.

Captain Bane walks into the tent and asks what happened up in the tower. Magnus describes it using only references to The Mighty Ducks and Space Jam (it might come down to quality of coaching). Clint, meanwhile, is celebrating his birthday by pulling books off Justin’s shelf, looking at the covers, and then putting them back.

Moving right along, Travis describes the fight as “silly” because The Raven was so much more powerful than they were. Taako tells Bane how really scary she was. Capt. Bane seems surprised, though, that The Raven didn’t attack them on sight. He asks the medics, who are apparently German gangsters, to leave the tent so they might talk candidly about the Gaia Sash. 

Captain Bane never considered what might happen if a Grand Relic were taken up by a good person. The fact that she didn’t just outright kill the trio might speak to some resistance of the Relic’s thrall. They need more information on The Raven, and Capt. Bane thinks they have an inroad through Hurley.

The Raven and The Ramedit | hide | edit source

The trio goes to find Hurley. They see Friar Donatello a few yards away, tending to some scraped up militiamen, healing them with radiant light from her bare hands. She’s glad to see the trio is feeling better after their scrape with Sloane

Hurley asks if The Raven had said anything to them before the fight, and Taako tells her that The Raven seemed concerned for their safety, as strange as that sounds, especially for someone wearing a magic belt. Hurley, having not been inducted into the BoB, can’t hear anything but static when they talk about the Grand Relic. Taako amends the statement to say that it seems strange for The Raven to be concerned for their safety, especially for someone as angry as she is.

Hurley doesn’t think it’s that weird at all, and describes how she… only knows her as a perp who Hurley has to bust. Travis rolls insight, and learns that she is definitely lying. Hurley hedges for a bit and tries to leave, but Justin smells a return of The Adventure Zone narrative favorite, Zone of Truth!

Hurley couldn’t resist the Zone of Truth and neither can Taako and Magnus. Merle can lie, but everyone else is on Truth Duty.

Magnus asks where The Raven is, but Hurley doesn’t know. Merle, embodying a hardboiled cop who is too old for this shit, asks her what her relationship is to the woman who was up in the tower. Hurley replies that they were partners. They worked together. Initially, Hurley was trying to apprehend her, but then they became very close. She wants to help The Raven as well, and has an idea of how to beat her.

The Wrong Side of the Goldcliff Tracksedit | hide | edit source

After a slight pause while Magnus tries to shoplift, Hurley leads the trio into a seedier part of town and introduces them to the wonderful world of Battle Wagon Racing. Hurley leads them to a small garage that is surprisingly modern and well-kept (although it is a little bit messy). There are three battle wagons that have been stripped for parts, and in the middle of the room is a vehicle covered by a tarp.

Hurley tells the trio more of her history with Sloane and tells them the basics of Battle Wagon Racing. Merle and Taako ask her about a new belt or cool accessories, and when Hurley points out that it’s a bit of a non sequitur, Magnus assures her that they just want to stay abreast of the trends.

Hurley thinks that she has a way to stop The Raven, but she refuses to harm her, pointing out that her recent turn toward insane violence is likely not her fault. [MERLE: Don’t you worry. We’ll take care of that side of things.] Hurley insists that Sloane is scared, and wants to be bested.

Magnus points out that, if they’re looking for someone more powerful, the last time they tried to fight her she beat them. Bad. Hurley points out that fighting isn’t the only way to beat someone. She thinks she can beat her at Battle Wagon Racing!

Hurley reveals her Battle Wagon, which is the most physically imposing thing anyone has ever seen. It looks sleek and incredibly dangerous. Magnus immediately calls shotgun, while Merle calls it a “bitchin’ ride.”

Before they can challenge The Raven, the Battle Wagon needs an essential part, which is going to require a bit of law-breaking to get. They need an arcane core, which they can steal from the Hammerheads, a gang of Battle Wagon Racers nearby. Hurley does clarify that she is a cop, and it would be great if they could do it without killing anyone. That would be ideal.

So it's a planedit | hide | edit source

The gang comes up with a few plans that might work to infiltrate the organization. Some of them are a lot dumber than others. For example, Hurley, a cop, doesn’t exactly keep around a bunch of poison. 


  • Poison! Poison poison! Or a spell that pulls off a Honey I Shrunk the Kids sort of ploy
  • Disguising themselves as peddlers that are selling something that the Hammerheads want, but Hurley doesn’t really have a ton of things that they would want to buy. Plus it’s a few blocks away, and the harpoon guns are heavy. Also, they are a gang, there’s no guarantee the Hammerheads won’t just jump them and kill them for parts.
  • Challenge them to a race! Except… Hurley’s Battle Wagon definitely won’t run without an arcane core, remember guys?

Despite Hurley’s objections, the best plan they can come up with is for Merle to try to convert the Hammerheads to see the shining light of Pan. In fact, they decide that each of them should try their own and different approach on the Hammerheads. Magnus’s involves getting beat up.

Do you think they need religion?edit | hide | edit source


Guarding the Hammerhead Hideout are three people: Little Jerry, Jerreeeeee (a.k.a. Regular Sized Jerry), and the Booth Guard. Both Jerries are human ruffians, and the Booth Guard is described simply as a “ruffian.”

First in the “get into the Hammerhead Clubhouse” order is Merle. Merle decides to try: religion, giving Jerreeeeee and Little Jerry a taste of the love, or, well, terrifying train threats of Pan. After attempting to save souls using simple old-time religion, Merle casts Thaumaturgy to create the sound of a train coming toward them.[1] As it turns out, Little Jerry is afraid of trains, and he goes scampering off into the night. Jerreeeee is not enamored with the smell of Merle’s jib, though, and Merle runs off. One down!

Next up is Magnus, who attempts to join the gang. Unfortunately, it costs 10,000 gold pieces. Magnus decides to barter with Steven, but regrets it immediately. Steven is not for sale, but Magnus could maybe hook Jerreeeeee up with his “fish guy” on ChainLinkedIn. Jerreeeeee goes to check with the boss: Two down! 

It comes down to Taako to take care of the gate guard. He casts Disguise Self to make himself look like Little Jerry. Merle brings him back as well, lending legitimacy to his claim. Little Jerry (Taako) saunters his way past the gate guard and tells him he desperately has to take a poop. The gate guard reminds him that the garage definitely does not have a bathroom inside, but offers to take Little Jerry (still Taako) to go take a poop in the outhouse. Magnus is pretty worried about him, until Taako reassures him using the Stone of Farspeech that everything will be fine. 

Everything is not fineedit | hide | edit source

Just as they are about to get to the outhouse, a commotion. Running down the street is none other than Little Jerry (not Taako). 

  • GATE GUARD: Wait a minute, that looks like you, Little Jerry! What the hell is going on?!
  • MAGNUS: Well, shit. 

Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Sponsored by NatureBox.

Message from Joel to Caroline: Happy Birthday, Caroline! Congratulations on being a year older. Looking forward to the next one with you. Yours truly, Joel. :)

Message from Sith Bilbo to Ranger Columbo: Happy 6th anniversary. How did a common woodland Dracula like me ever end up with a Jedi like you? A mystery. To mark the occasion, I sent the brothers your three psychopomp prints, as they, and the Papa McElroy, are our psychopomps through the Valley of Dull Times, lighting the way with their goofs. I hope they like the prints as much as I like you.

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

  1. This realm might be beset by runaway trains from various other DnD games, making Merle’s threat pretty viable. See Ep. 16.
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.