Balance – Episode 23: Petals to the Metal: Chapter Six

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Klarg and our heroes are reunited, but does it feel so good? Let's find out in... The Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"Petals to the Metal: Chapter Six," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 23rd episode of The Adventure Zone, from the arc which would later be named Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

Can our heroes secure their hairy compatriot and their arcane objective while not killing everyone in sight? Also, can they go five whole minutes without making a dildo joke? Merle soothes some anger. Magnus sets his axe to stun. Taako reveals his spirit animal.

Klarg Again Klarg Again, Jiggity Jigedit | hide | edit source

We rejoin our heroes in the Hammerhead Headquarters, and immediately Magnus wants to punch something. Klarg the Bugbear is being held against his will, and Magnus’s first instinct is to punch him out of there. Magnus is trembling with the effort of not punching everyone to free Klarg, which Maarvey, the boss, notices.

Meanwhile, there’s a banging at the Hammerhead gate, and Maarvey sends Regular-Sized Jerry (Jerreeeeee) to go investigate, leaving Maarvey, Klarg, an extra guy, and two guys working under a lifted Battle Wagon. Magnus rushes in to pull the lever to drop the car on the two guys working beneath it.

Magnus has lever proficiency. He says “Ehhh, ya squished!” and pulls the lever. The guys yell out “Hey wha-“

~BULLET TIME~edit | hide | edit source

Justin interjects: “Wait, weren’t we supposed to not kill anyone?” Oh yeah. Clint comes up with a solution: Magnus hits the lever again, slowing the car and simply pinning the dudes, while Merle yells “Magnus, we told you not to touch anything!” Not only are they just pinned, but the Hammerheads won’t know they did it on purpose.

Magnus decides to only pull it half-way and push it half way back. Griffin, DM, describes that messing with the lever doesn’t actually do anything, and the battle wagon still falls and squishes the two dudes under it. Travis insists that the squished dudes have one hit point left, but Griffin says it does not look good.

Garage Battleedit | hide | edit source

First in the order is one of the ruffians who is guarding Klarg. He attacks Magnus with a hammer, but Magnus Matthew Parries to reduce the damage.

Next up is Maarvey, who stands up and pulls out a stun baton from his desk, like what they would use at a shitty zoo. He moves to poke the stun baton into Taako’s chest, but Justin points out that he’s still disguised as Little Jerry. Maarvey attacks Merle instead.

Magnus attacks the guy who just attacked him, with Railsplitter, two handed. Griffin reminds him to specify non-lethal damage.

The second ruffian, named Craigory, starts to walk toward Magnus and Merle to join in the fight, but Klarg reaches out and prevents him from joining the other ruffians. Klarg grabs the back of Craigory’s shirt and pins him down.

Merle uses his Warhammer (Smoosher) to smoosh Klarg’s chains. [TRAVIS: A little ooc talk: I hope Klarg’s not mad at us?] Craigory rears back in fear, thinking that the attack was coming his way. Smoosher smooshes the chains, freeing Klarg, who stands up, roars defiantly, and joins the battle.

Taako grabs Maarvey's arm that has the stun baton, and jams it into his face. This is the first melee attack Taako has ever done. Maarvey takes 13 thunder damage, pees his pants, and falls down. He starts convulsing and it’s honestly pretty graphic.

The ruffian Magnus hit sees that Klarg is out of his chains, says “Oh shit!” and hightails it for the door. Magnus tries to attack him as he goes, but misses.

Klarg wraps his chain around the neck of Craigory. Klarg comes through!

Magnus is up next, and Craigory pleads for his life. He’s also pissed his pants. Taako asks where the Arcane Core is, and Craigory points to it, and tells him Maarvey has the key. Taako goes to get the key, and helps himself to Maarvey's stun baton as well, a-thank you very much.

Meanwhile, Magnus goes over to Klarg, who looks like he’s about to pop Craigory’s head off. Travis tries to talk him down, pointing out that Klarg is his hugbear buddy. Klarg says that he’s been having a really rough few months since meeting our heroes the first time.[1] Klarg chokes Craigory even harder, backing up toward one of the Battle Wagons. Merle casts Calm Emotion, trying to get Klarg to chill out. Klarg succeeds his saving roll, and stays angry. Craigory, on the other hand, does not, and is suddenly just, like, super chill about the whole chain situation.

In a smooth motion, Klarg Sparta-kicks[2] Craigory toward Magnus and rips the tarp off the Battle Wagon, which reveals a two-wheel, long, sleek, rusted bronze motorcycle-type battle wagon. and he hops astride it, promising that their next meeting would be bad… for Magnus, Taako, and Merle.

Oh, dip. Sirens.edit | hide | edit source

It’s time to skeedaddle, as the cops are coming. Taako remembers why they’re actually here, and grabs the keys off Maarvey, who grunts out, “This is a legitimate business, what are you doing? I swear I’m gonna get revenge on this… act, this heinous act.” Taako takes the ring of keys and finds the right one for the chest. They get the Arcane Core out of a very nice chest (which has space for two cores). The Arcane Core is a shining blue cube, which sort of looks like there’s a swirling white cloud inside of it.

They lift the lever and check on the squished dudes, who are still breathing. With that, it’s time to go!

Despite Magnus’s Battle Wagon Proficiency, the trio decide not to steal a Battle Wagon, as that would be incriminating as hell.

Back in Hurley’s garageedit | hide | edit source

They’re back in Hurley’s garage! Hurley is very excited about the Core and the upcoming race. “We can do it, guys!” she says. “We’ll have the best racing team ever!” She asks if they killed anybody, and Taako tells her that it was definitely their least lethal conflict ever. Hurley pops the Arcane Core into her Battle Wagon and the engine kicks on and it’s really loud. We’re in business! And it’s the business of racing.

Hurley unfurls a big map of the race course, which is 6 miles long and ends just this side of the sheer cliff drop off. Hurley describes that they will be racing against 15 other teams, and that a team can have up to 4 members.

Hurley will be driving the wagon, and the rest of the team will take on the offensive and defensive positions. Magnus is in charge of security, meaning if the wagon gets any boarders, it’s up to him to keep them off. Taako is going to be playing offense (non-lethally), stationed up at the gunner compartment/harpoon canon. They need to save the harpoon for as long as possible (Hurley thinks they’ll need it to catch up to Sloane), and Taako has the best range attacks with his Magic Missiles.

Taako asks if they’re trying to win or just get ahold of The Raven. Hurley wants to win, saying that beating her is the only way they’ll convince her to back off her powers. Taako asks if they can ask Sloane not to use any of her powers, but Hurley doesn’t think she would listen. But, she says, The Raven is a very honorable racer.

Hurley gives Merle a long flat box. Inside is [a pizza] the Adamant Spanner, which is a big, black, metal [dildo] wrench. Merle is charged with being the “body man,” riding shotgun and repairing the wagon as it incurs damage and using the Adamant Spanner to clobber, as needed.

Hurley remembers that the guys are going to need safety harnesses as well. Magnus objects to wearing one on principle. She pulls out some black [dildos] vests made out of straps. Taako’s and Magnus’s fit fine, but Merle’s is a little tight because Merle’s using one of Hurley’s safety vests, and she is not nearly as wide as he is. If the members of the party fall off the battle wagon, the safety harnesses will deploy a bubble and keep them from getting hurt when they hit the ground. Magnus is not impressed. (It is still really, really super dangerous, Hurley says, but the harnesses will keep them from “definitely dying.”) Because it’s still technically illegal, Hurley relates, drivers wear masks to hide their identities. She has made the trio masks: a roaring, brown Grizzly bear for Magnus, a wise old owl (white feathers and a cracked yellow beak) for Merle, and for Taako, a mongoose. [See video.]

The masks fit really well. And…

Starwipe!edit | hide | edit source

Everyone is montaging. Merle will be riding shotgun, Taako will be poking out of the roof (kinda like whack-a-mole), and Magnus will be strapped into the rails on top of the car.

Justin tries for a training montage, but Griffin says it’s just a Camp Nowhere montage, and also a long rest. Clint sings Seasons in the Sun. Griffin ends the montage and declares it morning, which means it’s time for a MORNING MONTAGE.

No, never mind. They got up early to drive the battle wagon into a crate. They spend a half hour moving hither and yon, sweating their balls off in the sweltering crate. Their masks are nice and cool, though: Thanks Hurley!

Eventually beams of sunlight illuminate the swirling dust, which means the sun is up, and there’s a sudden flurry of activity. They hear sounds of engines, singing, war cries, laughter, and finally the sound of a horn. The race is about to begin. Hurley asks for their last words, but it's too late! The race is begun!

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Goldcliffedit | hide | edit source

  • Hammerhead Headquarters
  • Hurley's Garage
  • The Battle Wagon Racetrack

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

  1. See Here There Be Gerblins, Episodes 2 and 3 .
  2. This! Is! Goldcliff!
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