Balance – Episode 3: Here There Be Gerblins: Chapter Three

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Once again, the yawning portal opens before you. Abandon all hope, ye who enter the Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"Here There Be Gerblins: Chapter Three," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the third episode of The Adventure Zone, from the arc which would later be named Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

With one half of their former employers effectively rescued, our party begins the hunt for Gundren Rockseeker in earnest. There are just a few things standing in their way: They don't know where he is, they're all Level Clown-Shoes, and also, a jelly monster.

Taako, Magnus, Merle, and Barry Bluejeans make their way out of the Cargmaw Hideout and back to their cart and Ruby.  Behind them they hear a, "Wait, WHAT? Aw, shit!" that sounds suspiciously like a bugbear waking up from a Charm Person spell. Taako talks briefly to Barry, asking him what happened.  "A lot of shit," he replies, insisting how terrible it was and that he wouldn't want to do it again.

Barry asks them what they know, and Magnus tells them that they found the map.  (GRIFFIN: Did you?  TRAVIS: No, I'm lying.)  Barry starts from the beginning -- Gundren and his two brothers Tharden and Nundro (cousins of Merle) have a claim to the lost mine of Phandalin, and managed to find out where it is.

Barry is confident that he can track Gundren down, but he wants to go back to Phandalin and rest. (BARRY: I've partied pretty hard before in my life, I'm gonna need to sleep this one off). Taako and Magnus agree, though Merle makes the podcast "Passive Aggressive Dungeons and Dragons" for a minute.

The four of them reach Phandalin and head into the inn.  Barry is very set on finding Gundren, so his reputation isn't ruined by Gundren's kidnapping. He reveals that the other map is a fake, and that the real map was inside Gundren all along... in his blood. (But, he specifies, it was not love the whole time). He looks for the vial of Gundren's blood that he had, but he can't find it.  Merle offers his own blood, as he's related to Gundren and it might work.

Merle pricks his finger and manages to somehow find a vein in his finger. His blood automagically draws itself into a map. Barry, ever impatient, wants more blood. Merle, ever protective of his blood, ignores him. The map points to the Sword Mountains and Wave Echo Cave.

Head out on the highway!edit | hide | edit source

They get to Wave Echo Cave, which sounds like it has waves flowing. It's really echo-y and cold. Taako didn't bring a jacket.

In the cave they find the body of Tharden Rockseeker. Merle is pretty broken up about it, and doesn't notice as Taako loots his Loafers of Striding and Springing and gives them to Magnus, all without Merle noticing.

The gang heads down a pit, where they confront the noise of... splooge? It's definitely a splooge noise.

Through Jerk-Off Tunnel lies a deep spring, surrounded by fungi.

They're not real... fun guysedit | hide | edit source

The mushrooms let off a stream of spores every time anyone makes noise. More concerning, however, is the black gelatinous mass just about to drop onto Magnus.

Magnus and Merle hold a nice conversation, which leads to more spores. Meanwhile, the blob falls from the ceiling, and Taako casts Ray of Frost at it. Magnus takes his battle axe to the jelly, which works really well, except he just cuts it into two new jellies. Jelly physics!

Are the boys ready for this Jelly?edit | hide | edit source

The jellies can't move, thanks to Ray of Frost, but one of them absorbs some of the fungus poison. Taako casts Magic Missile. It hits! Merle casts Sacred Flame, but the jelly dodges and instead he roasts some nice shrooms. Magnus tries to shoot his short bow, but it's a critical miss.

Jellies go! One of them waddles up to Merle and hits him with a jelly fist. The other jelly wants them shrooms and climbs up the wall after gobbling up a bunch of them. That jelly has a figure in its gelatin, maybe.

Taako casts Ray of Frost on the one on the ground, announcing that he's all magicked out and taking a constitution saving throw. Merle casts sacred flame at the one on the wall, which hits and causes some ooey gooeys to run down. Magnus kicks the one on the ground, which explodes, snow globe-style, kicking off a spate of constitution saving throws.

They have trouble seeing the one above, so Taako casts prestidigitation and sends some nice fireworks up there. Magnus stands directly underneath it with his shield raised. The jelly drops hard, and Magnus wins the strength contest. Taako casts Ray of Frost, which doesn't work, and Merle hits it with his war hammer. It works and they have solved Griffin's Jelly Puzzle.

Nundro the dwarf was the figure in the Jelly. Merle mourns, loudly, leading to more constitution checks, while Taako loots Nundro's pockets. He's got some money! Also a key to the elevator.

A rich tapestry of fantasy elevatorsedit | hide | edit source

They take the elevator up, drink some of the nice spring water at the top, and Merle talks about how his family never quite understood his love for Kenny Chesney.

End of Episode!

The Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

None, but there is a break! Ends with, "Enjoy the rest of this jizz-tunnel adventure."

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Quotesedit | hide | edit source

It was a hot night in Grenada...[1]edit | hide | edit source

  • TAAKO: Barry, what the hell happened?
  • BARRY BLUEJEANS: A lot of shit. And it was all really terrible, and if you gave me the option, I would not do it again.
  • CLINT: Why do I imagine that Bill Hader character where they all made their own puppets and they were all talking to the puppets -
  • GRIFFIN: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • CLINT: I didn’t think so, sorry, it’s on Saturday Night Live.  I would like to - can we -
  • GRIFFIN: That show hasn’t been invented yet.
  • CLINT: Oh. Or, has it already happened?
  • GRIFFIN: Oh shit, future - future fantasy.

Barry has decent work-life balanceedit | hide | edit source

  • TAAKO: Do you want to come with us, Barry?
  • BARRY: I...really need to rest. I uh -
  • TAAKO: Barry, it would look bad, if you, let your charge... if you didn’t rescue them. I mean what would -
  • BARRY: It would look SUPER bad if I just, like, died. It would be equally bad.

Really poor marketing, Phandalin Department of Tourismedit | hide | edit source

  • CLINT: So we move a little bit, and what do we hear?
  • GRIFFIN: You hear that sound that I’m not gonna do a third goddamn time!
  • Clint: Aw, come on. One more, pleeease?
  • GRIFFIN: [speaking the words, not doing the sound] Splooge splooge splooge splooge splooge splooge splooge!
  • CLINT: [saying it with him, laughing] Splooch splooch splooch! [laughs]
  • TRAVIS: We gotta get out of this jack-off cave.
  • JUSTIN: Why did we even come to a place called Jack-Off Cave? What were we thinking? I told you guys!

Their true weakness was the goofs all alongedit | hide | edit source

  • GRIFFIN: It’s gone, it’s just, it’s turned into, uh, snow. It turned into beautiful snow, and the snow is swirling all around you -
  • MERLE: [to the tune of the song from Frozen:] Let it go, let it  goooo--
  • GRIFFIN: Dad, I need you to make a constitution saving throw for me.
  • CLINT: Ah… aw, great. Uhh.. Five.
  • TRAVIS: [talking over Clint] That’s what you get.
  • GRIFFIN: That’s not gonna do it. Ah, you are going to take one d4 poison damage!
  • CLINT: Great.
  • GRIFIN: A two.
  • CLINT: Alright.
  • JUSTIN: When I look at the snow, I say:
  • TAAKO: That’s how we do!
  • GRIFFIN: And then you make a -
  • JUSTIN: I’ll take my constitution saving throw now. That’s a twenty-two. Twenty-one, sorry, twenty-one.
  • TRAVIS: And I yell:
  • MAGNUS: Guys, stop talking!
  • GRIFFIN: Travis, make a constitution saving throw.
  • TRAVIS: Uh, I got a six.
  • GRIFFIN: A six. Yeah, you’re gonna take one d4 poison damage.
  • TRAVIS: Okay.
  • GRIFFIN: That’s a one.
  • JUSTIN: I shriek in terror, seeing the poison!
  • GRIFFIN: [laughing] You take a constitution saving throw!
  • JUSTIN: Uhh, fifteen!
  • GRIFFIN: Yeah, you’re fine. Uh, the jelly is gonna take its -
  • MAGNUS: We have to keep it down, the fungus is reacting to the sound of our voice!
  • TRAVIS: Uh, that is a seven!
  • GRIFFIN: Okay! That’s a three, that’s three poison damage, on top of the - the one that you took. Okay. So if everybody’s done with these… monkeyshines…
  • CLINT: Ow!
  • GRIFFIN: You weren’t supposed to die in this room!

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

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