Balance – Episode 43: The Eleventh Hour: Chapter Three

From The Adventure Zone Wiki
Jump to navigation

Okay campers, rise and shine! And don’t forget your booties, ‘cuz it’s cold out there today. It’s the Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"The Eleventh Hour: Chapter Three," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 43rd episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

Our heroes start to get a hang of the difficult business of repetition as they learn more about Refuge and the events that led the town to such a sorry state. How much catastrophe can they undo in 60 minutes? Certainly they can't make things worse -- can they? Taako burns some spell slots. Magnus goes Over the Top. Merle's evangelism is met with the usual reception.

Tres Horny Boys wake upedit | hide | edit source

The team wakes up next to an un-destroyed Refuge, just like they did… yesterday? Standing under the town gate is Roswell. Clint clarifies that they remember everything that happened last time. Roswell asks the visitors to identify themselves, and Taako bluffs that the team is here for an appointment with Sheriff Isaak. Magnus helps to bluff by saying Sheriff Isaak thought they might be able to help with the bandana’d renegades. Taako rolls a natural 20, meaning Roswell welcomes them into town despite their reservations.

Logistics! in the perfect hour

Griffin clarifies how the arc is going to work. Once something is done in service of the “perfect hour,” they can assume that they were able to do it again. Now that they have bluffed their way past Roswell, for instance, they can just assume that they can do that every time they want to. If they get into some good loops, they can power through those without having to roll and role play each time. Griffin also points out that if he screws up, it’s a screw up and not a hint at some deeper spoiler.

Griffin clarifies the objectives of the arc:

  • Recover the temporal chalice and take it back to the BoB
  • Discover the mystery of the bubble (what caused it?)
  • Figure out what is destroying Refuge and try to stop it

The hour will pass in game, not an hour of recording time.

Moseying into town at 11:05edit | hide | edit source

Magnus asks Roswell about security for the bank, which Roswell finds very suspicious, especially because they never introduced themselves to him. Roswell takes them to the jail. There’s some discussion of next steps: get more info from Roswell? Ask Cassidy what’s going on? Have Taako cast some shit and just leave?

Roswell breaks in to ask why Sheriff Isaak sent them to help. They explain that the five bandits with bandanas are dicks, but there are only five of them, and Roswell thought they had the situation under control. Magnus clarifies, “Five that you know of, Roswell,” but Roswell points out that there are basically a hundred people in town and, given time, they could name every one of them. Magnus asks how many of them they’ve arrested so far.

The guys start questioning Roswell’s competence and the Sheriff’s confidence in their talents, which makes Roswell feel like they’re getting dunked on a bit. Taako points out that they’re just a year old, and should think of the boys as consultants.

To the Davy Lamp! 11:10edit | hide | edit source

Everyone hears a scuffle down the street at 11:10 and the boys convince Roswell to let them come with. It’s the bandana ruffians making trouble at The Davy Lamp, and they turn tail and run immediately. Magnus shoots one of the ruffians in the calf, causing eight points of damage, but doesn’t give chase.

The gang decides to enter the Davy Lamp. There’s a piano player playing piano, an elf wearing a very slick poncho and playing a one-on-one game with the Goliath. The bartender is a dark elf woman who is holding a magic rod that’s still smoking after kicking out the bandana fellows. There’s a shuffleboard game, but one of the legs is shorter than the others, so it’s not fun to play at all.

As the three walk in, the bar goes silent. A bar fight didn’t really interrupt the party flow of the spot, but the appearance of three strangers in a bubble-sealed town of approximately 100 definitely does.

Taako approaches the bartender and congratulates her on her magic rod. She immediately recognizes him as *the* Taako from his days as a traveling entertaining chef. She saw him make a Quiche Lorraine in the Underdark and it inspired her to take up food service as a career. It’s always nice to meet a fan, Taako says, and she’s just astounded to see him. He explains that he’s working undercover for Sheriff Isaak.

Magnus asks her name: she is Ren Mol'diira. She also mentions recognizing Magnus, though she doesn’t know where she knows him from. He asks if she’s ever had carpentry work done, and when she says no, he stammers that he doesn’t know where she could possibly know him from.

Magnus pulls Taako aside to ask how long it has been since the show in the Underdark: six years. The poisoning incident was five years ago. Taako agrees to talk more with Ren to see what else he can learn about Refuge.

Meanwhile, Merle shouts to the room that Magnus can arm wrestle anyone in the bar— and win! He’ll pay big money to anyone who can beat Magnus.

AND, SPLITSCREENedit | hide | edit source

We have two simultaneous scenes: Taako and Ren and Magnus and Merle, the arm wrestling dummies.

Taako asks Ren how long ago the show in the Underdark was. Ren remembers it as happening only a couple years ago.

Ren is geeking out a little bit, and offers Taako a room in the inn. Check-in is at 12:00pm, so Taako says she can keep the key and he’ll… be back later to check in. He asks her what might be seen as a sort of an outsider question: What is with the bubble?

Ren says that it popped up a little over a year ago. Ren is ambivalent: it keeps the town safe from the outside dangers, but she feels a little cooped up. To her knowledge, nobody has ever left the bubble. Before the bubble, things weren’t so great in Refuge. It was a quiet mining town (well, loud, with the mining). The town mined diamonds, but when the diamonds dried up the town dried up as well. But now, since the bubble manifested, everyone seems to treat each other nicely.

Taako asks her about Sheriff Isaak. She says he seems like a good dude, but that some people preferred the last elder, Jack (the man in the statue) and June (the girl). “But, you know, by their sacrifice our town was made safe!” she says. She calls Sheriff Isaak a “sourpuss,” implying that he brings down the “fun, flirty atmosphere” of The Davey Lamp.

Meanwhile, Merle and Magnus are motioned over by the smooth-talking elf in the poncho. They’re playing cards with a Goliath, whom the elf says they would “love” to see Magnus arm wrestle against. Merle is all gung-ho about Magnus arm wrestling a literal Goliath (MERLE: He looks like kind of a wimp compared to my boy Magnus. PONCHO ELF: That’s just factually inaccurate.), and encourages Magnus to show ‘em the pecs. After some initial hesitation, Magnus rushes into an impossible arm-wrestling battle.

Magnus tries to make the bet about information, but the Poncho Elf is not especially interested in that sort of a wager. Magnus appeals to their pride, and the Elf puts up 10 diamonds on their boy the Goliath. Magnus and Merle decide to match, despite not… having any diamonds. They have a tiny aside to agree that this is a dumb idea, but also that everything ends in 45 minutes, so, fuck it.

Magnus puts up his hand with Phantom Fist. The Goliath says “Hey now, come on,” and he has to take off the glove (even though he insists his hand is pretty stinky under there.

Merle decides to cast a spell, saying he is in Refuge to spread the word of Pan. He puts his hand on Magnus’s shoulder to cast Bull’s Strength. The elf puts their hand on the Goliath as well. Magnus rolls a 27 and the Goliath slams his fist down with a 29. The elf says, “Diamonds pleeeease,” but the boys try to double-or-nothing-ing them. Again the boys appeal to their pride, but the Goliath picks up the table and puts it down to the side, demanding diamonds.

Ren and Taako notice the scene. Ren asks Taako, “Are these guys with you?” and Taako says, “No! Give them their diamonds!” Magnus takes that as a cue to flee the building, leaving Merle to deal with the Goliath. Magnus yells that he needs to go get the diamonds in his other pants, which are in the bank.

Earthquake O’clock: 11:30edit | hide | edit source

Taako asks Ren if the short sharp 11:30 earthquake is normal. She says it never happens. He asks for further information about the bubble: If it’s a spell, if it emanates from anywhere, if there’s anywhere the townsfolk aren’t supposed to go. She says she doesn’t know, beyond that Jack and June’s sacrifice was what caused it. Taako asks what the sacrifice was, and she says she doesn’t like to talk about it.

The Sacrifice: June liked to play in the mines, and she got lost. Jack went to find her, and then they fell and died. Right as that happened was when the bubble popped up. They were in the quarry.

Merle asked about the robed figure that’s also in the statue. Ren said that was the visitor who brought Jack and June to Refuge. The elder before Jack was the one who ran the mines, but after that dried up there “wasn’t a lot for them to do.”

Ren suggests that Taako talk to Paloma, the witch.

Merle is still being threatened over diamonds in the back of The Davey Lamp (GOLIATH: Diamonds! Diamonds! Diamonds! PONCHO ELF: I have to agree with my friend over here; Diamonds.). He tries to convince them that spiritual wealth is what they actually need, but the Goliath picks him up by the ankle and starts shaking. Merle says, “Okay, put me down, let me handle this,” and handles it by distracting the Goliath with his tree hand, waving goodbye, turning and running away. Taako runs after, telling Ren he’s going to try and catch him.

Out and Aboutedit | hide | edit source

On the streets of Refuge, the dudes see Roswell moving in to help in Helpingtons (the earthquake knocked things off the shelves). Taako catches them up on what Ren told him. The boys see Cassidy, who has kicked her way out of her cell, who looks around and turns and walks away.

Magnus wants to hang around the bank to try and prevent people from dying. Griffin points out that fifteen minutes later, everybody dies. Magnus decides that they should go to the witch, but Cassidy is right there. Time for another…

SPLITSCREENedit | hide | edit source

Magnus and Taako go hang with the witch, Merle goes to talk to Cassidy.

Hansel:Gretel :: Magnus:Taako

To the witch’s cottage! Magnus uses the Lens of Straight Creepin' to make sure they’re not following the ruffians (they’re not). Taako casts Detect Magic, and learns… there’s a lot of it. He detects divination magic out the ass, and it smells amazing, like magical baked goods.

They knock on the door and hear a Bjork-like voice say, “Come in.”

Hanging from the ceiling is a galaxy of crystal teardrops. The room is cozy and cramped, filled as it is with cakes, pies, and cupcakes in glass-covered serving dishes. There’s a table (behind which Paloma is sitting when we first meet her), and a large, round oven.

Game-wise, Griffin explains, Paloma is present to keep them on-task. Small prophesies are good for immediate direction and cost one diamond, big prophesies are good for big-picture stuff and cost 10 diamonds apiece. Magnus says that they don’t have any diamonds, which Paloma finds unfortunate. He then tries to promise diamonds “next time,” in the future-present, which Paloma nearly understands.

Just this once, Paloma is willing to accept something magical that she can cook with. Magnus offers up his magic tankard, which she accepts for payment for small prophecy.

Prophecy time

The room goes dark. From the ceiling, a small teardrop floats down and shatters in mid-air, the dust taking shape to form what looks like the entrance to a cave, but not a cave because it looks man-made. It looks like there’s been a cave-in because the entrance is surrounded by rocks. She says: “Imminent destruction comes from below. Before you can stop it, you must figure out what it is you must stop. Turn your eyes to the quarry. You’re not ready to face what awaits you there, but you must know its face.”

Merle freaks out Cassidy (again)

As Merle catches up, Cassidy is scurrying up and over the wall into the quarry. Merle walks over to the gate and pulls out the Nitpicker, who immediately begins antagonizing Merle.

Once the lock is open, Merle barrels through to chase down Cassidy. He sees Cassidy, who looks a little suspicious. There’s a ramp that has switchbacks, back and forth, and Merle calls out to her, “Miss?” and Cassidy begins running down the ramp. Merle yells out an offer of help, but Cassidy thinks he’s a gerblin.

Magnus uses the Stone of Farspeech to warn Merle against entering the quarry. Merle says, “Okay!” but continues on. Merle hears Cassidy sneaking up on him from behind. Merle turns around to find her with a shovel reared back and ready to hit him. Cassidy says she doesn’t know who he is and doesn’t know why he’s following her. “Who are you, Mister?” He lifts the Extreme Teen Bible, smiles at her gently, and sings “Hello, my name is Elder Merle…” and Cassidy brings the shovel down directly on top of his head for 19 points of damage.

Merle is incapacitated, hears an explosion from above [11:40 is banksplosion o’clock], and yells after her, “Pan loves you anyway!” and we switch the action back to Magnus and Taako. Magnus starts running into town, yelling his plan to Taako: find diamonds at the bank.

A Triumphant Returnedit | hide | edit source

Taako realizes that they want to a) travel fast, and that b) it doesn’t matter if he uses all his spell slots up. He says, “Let’s get a ride!” and from a distance we hear a mellifluous whinny. It’s Garyl! They mount up (Taako in front) and they get there quick.

There’s a man in front of the bank who’s been terribly burned, and the sounds of fighting are coming from inside. Taako’s good out here, but Magnus rushes in. Taako and Garyl keep watch. Roswell is handily beating the shit out of the ruffians again. You see the guards dead, the ruffians dead, the dwarf woman who’s bad off, and diamonds scattered across the floor (from the banker’s till: the vault is still not blown open).

Roswell sees him doing that and says, sarcastically, “Wow, sure am glad Sheriff Isaak brought you in to help! You’re really doing the Lord’s work there.” Magnus responds, “Don’t worry, I’ll do better on the next time!” Roswell is confused, but Magnus cheers him on, carrying out the 50 diamonds.

Taako, having figured out that time’s about to reset, is blasting spells into the air for no reason, blowing spells out of his wand.

Merle comes to and he sees Cassidy over to the right, walking towards the entrance that looks like it’s been caved in. She’s holding what looks like a giant cluster of green grapes, but is actually explosives. She walks over to the rocks and starts fiddling, but Merle remains stunned.

Magnus drags the dwarf woman outside, who this time asks, “Who… the hell… are you?” Magnus asks her name: it’s Brogden. As soon as Magnus set her down, the bank collapses. Magnus swears he’ll save Roswell next time.

Clock Chimes Noonedit | hide | edit source

It happens again: the countdown, the clock tower fire, the snapping in half, destroying the Elder’s Manor. The earth rises and heats up everything. It kills Magnus and Taako pretty quickly, but Merle sees the rocks in front of the mine blasted out by a wave of force. Then all three of them are burned, and they are crushed, and they are dead.

The three wake up in the white space again. The old woman says, “Somehow you did… worse that time.” Magnus tries to ask her name as she fades out.

They wake up again in front of Refuge. Magnus checks his bag: he does have his cup of alcohol potency but has lost the diamonds.

[Episode ends!]

The Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.