Balance – Episode 39: The Crystal Kingdom: Chapter Eleven

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But wait, they already killed the big skeleton thing! What else could be left in this arc--two skeletons? It's The Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"The Crystal Kingdom: Chapter Eleven," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 39th episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

After a climactic victory, our heroes have a few loose ends to tie up before moving on to their next adventure. Will Lucas and Maureen get Regulated? Will Kravitz claim his undead bounty? More importantly, how are they going to get that big, magic rock out of Magnus' tummy? Merle does prank medicine. Magnus tells a fib. Taako just twerks it out.

The Tres Horny Boys have just finished having a climatic final battle with Legion, a giant skeleton made up of souls. Magnus is still trapped under the weight of the sapphire mirror, and NO-3113 and Carey Fangbattle do a high-five for the sick stunts they did during the fight. Suddenly, The Director's voice comes through the boys' and Carey's Stones of Farspeech, and she asks them if the Philosopher's Stone has been secured.

TAAKO: That's putting it mildly.
MAGNUS: It’s very...we’ve got it on lockdown.
TAAKO: We’re not in possession of the Philosopher’s Stone, we’re in digestion of the Philosopher’s Stone.

Magnus explains to the Director that the Stone is safe inside his tummy, and that, no, he has no good reason as to why he swallowed a Grand Relic. The Director tells them that she's glad that they managed to survive this ordeal and accomplish their mission, and asks if Lucas has been detained. Magnus decides to cover for Lucas by telling her that he was killed by a giant, silver skeleton, a story he'll tell her about later.

TRAVIS: I wink at the robot mom.
GRIFFIN: Umm… she can’t wink back, because she doesn’t have a traditional face, but the light, in her tummy kind of, flickers very quickly.

Magnus reveals to Lucretia that Lucas wasn't just tampering with the Philosopher's Stone and that he was also messing with the laws of nature. The Director is obviously shocked by this news, and Taako chimes in to ask if they can bring a "super cool" robot, referring to NO-3113, they found back to the base with them. She okays their decision and tells them to finish what they need to finish. Meanwhile, Maureen is attempting to tend to Lucas's wounds, and she turns and asks if any of them have any medical training.

MERLE: [normal voice] Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Me! Me! I do, I do!
JUSTIN: Don’t you dare, don’t you dare say another word until you have a character voice.
MERLE: [Christopher Lloyd voice] I, I’m quite an accomplished healer!
JUSTIN: There we go. I just gotta say, I got swept up in a world of imagination and fantasy, and I just wanna say how transformative that was, thank you. Thank you, everyone. It’s been so good.

Magnus calls Maureen over to him while Merle heals Lucas. He clarifies that the only reason he bailed out Lucas was that he promised Maureen that he would protect him and that if he sees them again, he won't be as merciful. Maureen tries to explain her actions by saying that she didn't know that Legion would leave with her when she escaped the Eternal Stockade, but Magnus interrupts her and says that he "don’t give two shits." As this sidebar is happening, Taako goes over to Merle to have another sidebar. He expresses to Merle his confusion as to why Magnus would help Lucas, seeing as he was clearly pissed at him earlier. Merle reassures Taako that he's "just that kinda guy."

MERLE: And he’s also, you know, trapped under a big mirror, so he’s probably feeling a little vulnerable.
JUSTIN: Oh wait, is this sidebar happening, I forgot about that!
GRIFFIN: This sidebar’s like, “listen, listen here, if I ever see you again, I’ll kill you. Once I get out from this mirror.”
CLINT: It kind of, you know, diminishes the threat, a little bit.
TRAVIS: Yeah. I-I forgot about that.
CLINT: Not quite as badass as you thought it would be.
JUSTIN: God, if Dad has to remember our story things for us we’re in a bad way, huh?
TRAVIS: When Dad is our RPG compass it’s a real problem!

Lucas runs up to Magnus and Maureen after regaining consciousness, and he admits to having absolutely no regrets for the action he took to save his mother. A rift opens up in the room, and a small white light comes out and lowers itself into one of the trashed robots. The robot stands up and introduces itself as Kravitz. After praising Merle for banishing Legion, he once again conjures up his book, and tells the boys he's willing to make a deal. Since the boys saved his bacon and, by extension, his career, and seeing as the boys never escaped the Astral Plane, because they never visited it in the first place, he will call off their bounty.

KRAVITZ: [British accent] But, I swear, if you die again, that is it. No more Mister Nice Death. That’s it. Kravitz is gonna come a-callin’.
TAAKO: So are you… when we listen for your voice echoing after us, should we listen for a Cockney voice, or kind of a distinguished gentleman voice?
KRAVITZ: [Cockney accent] All right! Yeah, I jump between the two at will, don’t I?
TAAKO: Oh no! The other head on your shoulder Zaphod Beeblebrox-style has begun addressing us!
KRAVITZ: Listen, I can jump between them at will! Check this out. [lowers voice, Cornwall accent] Oi, now I got another accent! What’s this one even called? I'onno--
MAGNUS: I think that’s still Cockney, but with a mouthful of marbles.
KRAVITZ: [Transylvanian accent] I’ve got to switch between different accents to trick my prey! [British accent] That’s not true. It’s just a fun little character trait I’ve got. I can also do a bunch of fun Michael Winslow-style sound effects! [makes machine gun noises]

Kravitz also calls off the bounty on Lucas, figuring that his necromancy days are far behind him. However, NO-3113 and Maureen are both ghosts and must be taken back to Astral Plane. Magnus interjects that both were integral in defeating Legion, but, unfortunately, Kravitz cannot allow exceptions. Slippery Slope and all that. The boys start negotiating with Kravitz, and, eventually, he suggests they settle it by playing a game of their choosing. Magnus chooses a simple high card draw.

TRAVIS: See, I’m very excited ‘cause I have a set of cheating cards.
GRIFFIN: [Kravitz voice] Oh, well, uh, well let’s not use those!
TRAVIS: No, no, that was Travis saying that! I didn’t do it in character voice, Griffin.
JUSTIN: [laughing] Heh- a line we’ve-we’ve uh, worked so hard to keep clear.

Kravitz draws a nine of clubs. Magnus draws a five of clubs but succeeds on a sleight of hand roll to allow him to redraw. He draws the jack of diamonds next and Kravitz admits defeat. Kravitz warns the boys to stop running afoul of the rules of nature and heads back to the rift he opened up. Maureen also walks towards the rift and explains that she can't stay because she saw something when she entered the Cosmoscope. Something that destroyed her mind and killed her. The only way she was able to recover was by partitioning her memory of it into the internal memory of robot body's conduit. If she stays in the living realm any longer she'll be in danger of remembering the horror she saw and losing control again. She asks the boys to promise that they'll keep Lucas safe while she's gone, and Merle calls for a quick team meeting with Magnus and Taako. He tells them that he got revenge for Lucas's previous actions by stitching the words "dickhead" onto to him when he was healing him.

MERLE: Just so you guys know. Shh. So we get our revenge - in secret.
MAGNUS: Yeah that pretty much makes up for it, good job.
MERLE: Yeah. Tryna kill us an' everything. Okay! [clears throat]
MAUREEN: Can you promise me that you'll keep my son safe and not stitch the word "dickhead" into his body?
MAGNUS: You got it!
MERLE: No! No. Can't promise.

Maureen kneels down over a sitting and visibly upset Lucas and tells him that they'll see each other again someday. She whispers something to him, and leaves her robot body, along with Kravitz. Before they leave, Magnus makes one last request.

MAGNUS: Tell Julia I said I love her.
KRAVITZ: Alright- there's a lot of Julia's over there but-- nevermind, I'm kidding, I know who you're talking about.
MAGNUS: [quietly] Thank you.

Merle also has one last question to ask.

MERLE: How's Elvis?
KRAVITZ: Mmmmmm- still alive. The mystery continues, bye!

Kravitz and Maureen disappear into the rift, and Lucas walks over to a console, punches in a few buttons, and the lab comes back to life. NO-3113 helps Magnus get out from under the mirror, and congratulates Carey and the boys for their bravery. Lucas tells them that, while he was able to stabilize the lab and stop the crystallization, the interior systems have been compromised, leaving them without an escape route. However, he does have another way out, and, like an angel descending from the heavens, comes Mr. Upsy.

UPSY: Looks like everyone came out of this scrape safe and sound! It's a Candlenights miracle!
TRAVIS: Oh yeah, this was still happening at Candlenights, wasn't it?
UPSY: Yup! By the way, I rescued your orc friend and that big family of dogs!
CAREY: Oh, you got Killian out! Oh, thank God, I was so worried.
MERLE: Yeah, me too.
TAAKO: Me three.
UPSY: Well, you know the drill - climb in my belly!

Upsy's face-door opens up and a bit of slime falls out, grossing everyone out. Everyone reluctantly enters Upsy, and, as they prepare to leave, Lucas pops out the central fuse that contains the memory of what Maureen saw out of the Maureen-bot. He gives the fuse to the boys and tasks them with keeping it safe. Lucas promises Magnus he won't trouble him again, and Upsy's face-door closes.

TRAVIS: And digestion begins.
GRIFFIN: The digestive process begins - hold on, I'm really gonna take my time with this part - and you can actually see through Mr. Upsy's eyes. He's not, like, on a wire? He's basically straight-up Wonka-ing on some shit as he flies backwards out of the hole that he made in the wall and out of the lab, which you see sort of getting smaller and smaller, as your party, inside of Mr Upsy, sails through a snowy sky, led by Upsy's bright red nose, and back up into the hole in the moon.

[Money Zone]

The group makes it back to the Bureau of Balance HQ at four in the morning, and are met with wide, somewhat drowsy, applause. As they walk towards the Main Hall, Killian, still in her Null Suit, runs up to Carey and swoops her up in a big ol' spinning hug. Cut to the boys - along with NO-3113, Killian, and Carey - at the Main Hall standing in front of the Director. Standing in the corner is a half-asleep Angus who gives the boys a thumbs-up. Taako responds with a thumbs-down and a raspberry, and Magnus does that thing "where you put your hands together and then you put two fingers through and twist it around and then you wiggle the two fingers." Angus is amazed by this and asks if Magnus has been learning wizardly magics. Magnus then pretends to steal his nose, and Taako casts Prestidigitation to make it look like his nose has disappeared.

ANGUS: No, please! Give it back! Give it back! I need that to smell.
TRAVIS: I eat it. Mmm! Mmm! (eating sounds)
TAAKO: Hey Angus, do you know how you’re going to smell now?
TAAKO/MERLE: Terrible.
JUSTIN: How could you.
CLINT: I was chiming! I was just chiming!
GRIFFIN: He reaches up and touches that - he feels that his nose is still there and he goes:
ANGUS: Wow, okay, that - that was kind of a dark one.

Angus tells the boys that he's proud of them, and walks back to the corner he was standing in. The boys get the Director up to speed on the events of the arc, and she asks, specifically, how Lucas "died". The boys give a half-truth and tell her that Lucas was blasted away in an attempt to stop a terror he had created and that his mother took his body. Fortunately, The Director believes their lie. She says to them that she heard a lot of robot fighting over their Stones of Farspeech, and N0-3113 responds that was her making that noise. Taako, curious, asks if NO-3113 is hearing any static when they talk about Bureau of Balance-type stuff, and a confused NO-3113 asks what he means.

THE DIRECTOR: I had the same suspicion, Taako. Noelle, I’m the Director of the Bureau of Balance. We’re an organization dedicated to the collection and destruction of the Grand Relics, like the one that destroyed the Millers’ laboratory earlier tonight, and killed you in Phandalin some months back. Now, please, this will sound weird, but please repeat the name of our organization.
NO-3113: Uh, the Bureau of Balance?
TAAKO: Whaaaat!!!!!!!

The Director and the boys come to the conclusion that the living dead have an immunity to the Voidfish's powers, and Magnus asks if this means the Red Robes are also undead, to which Lucretia responds by telling him they'll have a debrief about that subject later. Killian and Carey decide to make NO-3113 a member of their Regulator team, seeing as Boyland is dead and all, and NO-3113 agrees as long as it means she can stop situations like these from happening again. The Director decides to skip the Rites of Initiation for NO-3113, and welcomes her to the Bureau of Balance. Now comes the trouble of getting the Philosopher's Stone out of Magnus. Merle comes up with the suggestion of using Stone Shape to alter the shape of the stone so it can "pass through" easier, but Taako suggests that they instead use Stone Skin on Magnus and alter his shape instead of the Stone's.

MERLE: Ahhh! So we’re looking alimentary canal.
TAAKO: Exactly!
MERLE: Alimentary, my dear Watson!

Taako casts Stone Skin on Magnus, who begs that they knock him "the fuck out" before they start operating. Taako complies and casts Sleep on him, and Magnus starts dreaming of large women. Merle uses Stone Shape to turn the lower half of Magnus' body into a spirally coil-like thing, and, like a child going down a water slide, the Philosopher's Stone comes out. Carey begins to fall under the Stone's thrall and attempts to grab for it, but Taako is able to knock it away in time with his Umbra Staff, and it lands towards Davenport, who catches it perfectly. Carey falls towards the floor and shakes her head and looks back up at the boys.

CAREY: What just– oh man.
TAAKO: It’s the thrall, I know, right?
MAGNUS: Try having it out in your tummy.
CAREY: Thanks, that would’ve been super duper bad.
GRIFFIN: And everyone agrees that would’ve been super bad.
TRAVIS: Does everyone agree? Let’s go around the room.
JUSTIN: A competent person with one of the artifacts? That would’ve been bad.

Davenport looks down at the Philosopher's Stone, his eyes in a daze, but is snapped out of it by Magnus, who tells him to put it on the tray. Davenport tosses the Stone into one of those lead balls and shuts the hatch on it. A couple of guards start to wheel it out of the room, back into the back room. A few seconds later the Director draws a curtain and they see the guards lift the ball up into the central pillar of the chamber. The Director taps her white oak staff on the ground and, like they've seen three times now, huge columns of light stab through the ball. As they do, the boys can faintly hear the Stone say:

PHILOSOPHERS STONE: [Muffled] Aw nuts!

The pillars pierce the ball, and the room goes dark. The guards come and fetch the lead ball, and they wheel it out of the chamber. A few seconds later they appear back into the main hall and they open up the now empty ball. The Director calls for Davenport, who comes back into the room holding six burlap bags, containing 2000 gold pieces each, and tokens for Fantasy Gachapon. The Director dismisses everyone except the boys, and she asks for them to meet her in her office. The boys make it back into her office, where there are three seats pulled up to her desk. She sits down in the seat behind her desk and invites the boys to sit with her. Once they sit down, the Director tells them that she heard them on their Stones of Farspeech parlaying with a Red Robe, even though she explicitly told them not to, and she asks them what she's done to lose their trust.

MAGNUS: Director, everything up to this point has taught us not to trust anybody. We haven’t been getting all the information, and I think you would agree that that’s true. If you want us to trust you, we need to know everything you know about the hooded figures.
THE DIRECTOR: I don’t know about the hooded figures, but if you want to know whether or not you can trust me, I [sighs]- I have no reason to -
GRIFFIN: She uh, she reaches down under her desk and, uh, opens up a drawer -
CLINT: Gun! Gun!
GRIFFIN: [intense voice] And she pulls out a gun and just opens you fools up!

The Director does not pull out a gun, but, instead, she produces a small glass orb and a small wand, which she touches to the orb. Suddenly, three-dimensional images sprout out of the orb, and she shows the boys:

  • The settlement of Armos where a seven-year-old girl found the Philosopher’s Stone and turned the city into peppermint candy. Death Total = Seven hundred and fourteen people
  • The village of Greenhold, where a warlord used the Oculus to manifest a small black hole, which annihilated the entire town. Death Total = Eleven hundred and fifty-two people
  • The Archipelago of Moonshae, which drowned in three minutes under the weight of a storm summoned by the Gaia Sash. Death Total = Two thousand, five hundred and twelve people
  • Phandalin, and the other seven cities that have been destroyed by the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet. Death Total = Eight cities and twelve thousand people

The Director assures the boys that she is to be trusted, and asks them if they're with her or against her. Taako explains to Director that them talking to the Red Robe had nothing to do with them distrusting her, but was instead just a simple case of them forgetting what they were told, something they've done a lot. The Director chuckles to herself, having realized this was all a big misunderstanding. Merle asks how she was able to spy on them, and she points out that their Stones of Farspeech have a mute button that they forget to switch on. This revelation shocks them.

THE DIRECTOR: Listen, this is a work in progress, this thing we’re working on here. I’m sorry to raise a stink on Candlenights of all nights. You’re free to go.
TAAKO: This is, as you say, a work in progress. And this….is a twerk in progress.
JUSTIN: And I start twerking.
TAAKO: Ooh, you like that? Do you like it?
TRAVIS: Freeze frame!
JUSTIN: But I’m still twerking.
TRAVIS: Yeah. Everything’s frozen.
JUSTIN: Like, yeah, like the end of Police Squad, I’m just twerkin, except for everyone else freezes.

Epilogueedit | hide | edit source

Cut to a post-credits epilogue. The boys have retired to their now upgraded bedroom suite, where they begin cleaning up some leftover Candlenights decorations. As they clean, the boys hear a voice coming from the fuse Lucas gave them.

GRIFFIN: And this lantern is unlit, there’s no spirit inside of it, it’s vacant, but you can feel some machinery inside of it faintly whirring. And you hear a voice inside of it, and the voice sounds kind of like Maureen’s voice? But like totally lifeless, and for lack of a better term, inanimate. And you hear this voice deliver what sounds like kind of a grim prophecy. And this lantern says:
LANTERN: I saw all of existence, all at once. I saw a dark storm, a living hunger, eating it from within. But I saw a brilliant light heralded by seven birds flying tirelessly from the storm. I saw seven birds:

The Twins The Lover The Protector The Lonely Journal Keeper The Peacemaker And The Wordless One

GRIFFIN: And then it repeats that list again:
LANTERN: The Twins The Lover The Protector The Lonely Journal Keeper The Peacemaker And The Wordless One
GRIFFIN: And it actually repeats it several more times before the machinery inside of it dies down, and it is silenced.
TRAVIS: That’s the worst Candlenights carol I’ve ever heard.

[Theme Tune Plays]

Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Personal message for Kira, from Kira's mom: Happy thirteenth birthday to the most brilliant, gorgeous, talented, snarky geekling and junior delicate flower a mother geek could ever hope to spawn. I love that we can enjoy so many fandoms and shows together, including The Adventure Zone. Remember, when all else fails, “Accio giant piece of plywood.” Love you bunches.

Personal message for Steven the Crazybot, from Garrett the Night-shift Knight: Hey homie, happy birthday! Man, we've been on so many crazy-ass adventures, huh? Let's hope sometime this year we can actually try playing D&D ourselves, and if not, more Adventure Zone adventures to adventure the adventure.

Personal message for Caverin White, a Templar, from Northern, a Dungeonmaster: Tristan, Synthetic, as you move into this next season of your life with the wonderful partner you found, I want to congratulate you and wish you the best. May you two grow deeper and greater together. If you change your mind, we can still live the dream we once held, so meet me with Vixie at the OPH off Bass Lake on Sunday.

Personal message for The Dread Pirate Ian, from Katie: To my dashing rogue: I can't believe it's been four years since we had that epic sword-fight and then got married. What a crazy day! Since then, it's been nothing but adventure and quoting Magic Brian, and I wouldn't have it any other way. You're the Elan to my Hailey, the Merle to my vines, and I'm settling this once and for all: I love you more.

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

  • Lucas's Lab
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