Balance – Episode 46: The Eleventh Hour: Chapter Six

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You're about to see these boys on their baddest behavior. Lend them some sugar! They are your neighbor. It's The Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"The Eleventh Hour: Chapter Six," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 46th episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

If our boys want to get out of this time-locked quagmire, they're going to need some divine intervention -- and the only way to get this particular god to play ball is to get up to no good. Let's hope that big wheel doesn't stop turning on this rotation, yeah?

The Boys Are Back In Townedit | hide | edit source

Refuge, that is!

Welcome to Loop 11, where we’re back in front of Refuge. The gang decides to head over to Stone Fruit Farm to meet Luca’s brother, and loops through the getting-past-Roswell bit. As they go, Magnus decides to check out the well. 

Taako rolls a GREAT perception check and sees, from behind the well, a guy’s shadow, staring at them over the well. It vanishes almost as soon as Taako sees him. It’s strange because they’ve never seen him in any previous loop. 

Magnus drops a rock down the well and listens for it to hit… it hits something and sounds like a “bwom,” but it’s too dark to see. Magnus has a theory: the well is right above the mine. 

To get to the farm faster, Magnus borrows Roswell’s horse, which is fine — they’re too big to ride it anyway, they say — and pulls Merle up behind him. Taako casts Phantom Steed, summoning Garyl.

The gang goes to Stone Fruit Farm, where there are some really nice stone fruit orchards. Except they’ve been bisected by the bubble, and the fields are being worked by some folks in purple neckerchiefs — a magical elf and a human woman. Magnus, imbued with Rustic Hospitality, goes up to talk to them. He gets immediately attacked. Thanks to the Fletcher’s Mitt, everything is fine. Magnus asks to talk to Redmond.

The ruffians ask if Roswell sent the three (+Garyl) to stop them, and Magnus assures them that, no, they even stole a horse from Roswell! Taako and Merle are content to sit and listen as Magnus takes the lead with the shifty folks. Magnus abandons his weapons and goes to talk to Redmond.

From behind, the two drunken ruffians who got kicked out of the Davy Lamp at 11:10 come up and see Taako and Merle. It’s time to roll initiative! Everyone rolls a 15. 

It’s Time for Dope Rodeo Shit! Or… Rodeo Clown Shit?edit | hide | edit source

Merle stays on Roswell’s horse (Magnus has named it Horsey) in anticipation of being able to do some dope rodeo shit. He’s very excited about it. Taako, as the person with the highest DEX, goes first, casting Otiluke's Resilient Sphere. The magic dude just starts floating around a little bit in a soap bubble, and he looks a little scared.

Next is Magnus, who is disarmed. He uses his cunning action to use Dash, so he can run for his weapons… except, before he goes, he decides to Phantom Fist the woman walking next to him. She gets shoved right into the front door. Magnus grabs his weapons and rushes toward the door.

Merle charges one of the drunks with Horsey. He does the really cool move where he hangs off the side of the saddle and uses the Spanner to clobber the dude. Unfortunately, he rolls a four, and while missing the ruffian, needs to make a dexterity saving throw. Which was a seven. He definitely falls off that horse, hanging off the bottom of the horse and banging his head on a tree trunk on the way down. Horsey goes running off into town.

One ruffian bangs on the door to call Redmond. The two drunk ruffians decide to wail on Merle. They have a big old hammer and bring it right down on Merle’s tummy for 29 damage.

The door of the house opens up and they see Redmond! He’s a dude who both commands respect and is very jolly. He tells everyone to calm down and drop their weapons, and they do (even bubble boy, whose staff floats around with him in the bubble). Everyone goes inside to the cozy house, somewhat begrudgingly on the part of the drunken ruffians.

Redmond: seems like a chill dude for a religiously motivated bank robber/gang leaderedit | hide | edit source

His house is cozy, even if it is bisected by a bubble. When the gang lays out why they’re there (Luca said he and Redmond could get Istus’s aid during the last loop), Redmond says it’s worth a shot. Like Luca and Paloma, Redmond knows time is all messed up, but warns that Istus doesn’t usually get involved directly with normal folks.

Taako mentions that they’ve got a party member who is very strong of faith and literally has a hand of god. Merle offers to convert to Istusism, but his wood hand pinkie falls off, withered and dead. “Or…” Merle says, “I could stay with Pan!” and the finger grows back (but it’s a little bit smaller than it just was).

Redmond needs help in return. He and the Liberation Brigade (the purple neckerchief’d ruffians) are looking to get out of town. His gut (informed by his experience with the whims of fate) is telling him that the way out of town is in the bank vault. In return, he asks the THB for help.

  • REDMOND: You help me get in that vault and me and Luca, we’ll try to raise the temple up for you.
  • MAGNUS: Let’s reverse that, and I think we’ve got a plan.
  • REDMOND: Listen, unfortunately, things are, hm, the plan’s already underway. We actually need to get going basically right now. 
  • MAGNUS: I’m gonna shoot straight with you here, Redmond: we’re in a bit of a loop, about an hour, and, midway through — we’ve done this a couple of times — you robbing that bank, everything’s gonna go to shit. 

Magnus makes a persuasion roll, and it is unsuccessful. They’re gonna go rob a bank!

So, what's the plan?edit | hide | edit source

As they walk toward the bank, Redmond explains that the plan is to get everyone out of the bank and use a very dangerous-looking pitch-black cluster bomb. Magnus explains that it might not work, due to personal experiences they have with the vault door being a little difficult to get into, but is unable to persuade Redmond. Taako suggests a no explosive option: walk in, walk out.

Redmond is skeptical. To prove he's a very powerful wizard, Taako pours him a drink of water and uses Ring of Frost to make it a frosty beverage. Redmond acquiesces, giving THB 2 minutes to figure it out.

Oh, right, Roswelledit | hide | edit source

As they have done for many loops, Roswell is standing in front of the bank to guard it. Magnus tries to get them to move and help them empty out the bank. They're not having any of it. Finally, Magnus tells them to go find Sheriff Isaak, and Roswell goes.

Magnus rushes in to rob a bank! He kicks open the door, causing one of the two guards inside to say, "Hey!" The two guards are outfitted like Roswell.

Magnus tries to confuse the guards as a diversion, trying to convince Greg to arrest Jerry. Taako lays down on the ground to hide/surrender. Merle casts Command and makes Greg flee.

Taako pops a piece of Mockingbird Gum and imitates Roswell, telling Jerry to arrest Greg. They leave, brushing past two people: a dark-haired man with a cash drawer full of diamonds and Ren Mol'diira.

Ren, astonished to see her famous cooking show hero, tries to get Taako's autograph. Taako tells her to leave, but she isn't interested. He casts Banishment. She successfully resists, but she can tell he doesn't want her there. She stands up and bolts with tears in her eyes.

The Refuge Olympicsedit | hide | edit source

The glass dome above them shatters, and Brogden's desk starts to change. A metal gate begins to drop from the ceiling, separating her and the vault from the rest of the room. The THB try to scoot under the bars, but they're too slow.

Magnus throws Taako and Merle casts Enhance Ability -- Catlike Grace, which gives them double advantage. Taako planks through the air like a champ, going perfectly through the teller window. He knocks Brogden out and raises both hands, yelling "Taako gets the gold!"

Meanwhile, the bank is shooting darts at the others.

Roswell returnsedit | hide | edit source

And it's initiative time. Also, having waited long enough, the other robbers come into the bank.

Magnus charges Roswell, who takes two swings at Magnus, doing a bunch of damage. Merle heals both himself and Magnus.

Temptation of the Taakoedit | hide | edit source

Taako throws his hole at the vault door and makes it through. There are diamonds everywhere. There is a pedestal with a single overhead light illuminating a book -- Sherrif Isaak's diary. Taako grabs a handful of the best gems he can find.

Magnus attacks Roswell's arm with a torch, causing it to harden, then chops their arm off. Roswell points their shoulder at Magnus and spews their red clay in his direction. Taako casts Planar Binding on Roswell, but their armor goes flying off. Their clay geysers out of where their arms once were, pushing Merle against a wall. It knocks the book out of Taako's hands, and almost as if Istus is involved, the book opens to the following page:

Sheriff Isaak's diaryedit | hide | edit source

The following is a transcript provided by Daisy (@lieutenanthurley) and TAZ Transcribed.

My daddy was a safety inspector for mines operating all throughout the northern counties of the Sword Coast, and, as you might imagine, that made for a very cautious upbringing for myself and my kin.

Every bit of wisdom my old man passed on to me dealt with how to avoid the dangers of the world outside our cottage’s doors, how to evade bandits and ward off hungry beasts in the wilds and how to prevent accidental hazards in the home, stuff like that, but nothing prepared me for today.

Nothing prepared me for that fucking cup.

From the moment I saw it, I knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do to get that cup, I just didn’t know why. I trusted myself to resist that temptation, to put it back toward the back of my mind, to focus on the hard work of bringing this diamond mine back to life, and today I faltered- just for a moment- and I ruined three lives in the process.

I killed Jack.

That’s my first time thinking that thought, not protecting myself from the awful truth of what I’ve done. We were looking for June in the mines together- she’s wont to get lost in the mines- and I could just tell he had it on him. That cup had a tight grip on my guts, I could feel it through a six foot thick lead wall, and I did it as quickly as I could, as cowardly as I could, I pushed him, over the edge of Shaft B.

And he fell. As he fell he turned to face me, and he shouted his last word. It was a spell, that he flung in my direction, and in that moment, just after dooming him- I prayed it was some kind of killing curse.

But he missed. It flew over my head as he sank into the black below. And when I looked behind me, I saw my prize, the cup I had killed my very best friend for, in June’s hands.

She grabbed it right where he dropped it. Only by perfect irony, she was frozen in place, right there, by a barrier that I just cannot penetrate, shielded by a power that I craved enough to kill for.

There’s nothing I can do to get her out of that state, I tried it all. And there’s nothing I can do for Refuge, now that she’s trapped us all in here too.

I deserve damnation for what I’ve done. Refuge doesn’t.


I figured out what that spell was. Jack’s last spell. He conjured an earth elemental, a guardian to protect June, protect all of Refuge in his absence. I met it, just on the outskirts of town.

Refuge deserves a better guardian than myself, that’s for sure. So, I equipped them with some gear, gave them a name- Roswell, for my dad- and set them on patrol, using the summoning spell’s command word.

And that word might be the hardest thing to stomach. It was Jack’s dying wish, his hopes for a safer life for his daughter and his home, manifest into a single word, his final word, his final thought.


GRIFFIN: And just as quickly as this monstrosity had exploded and enveloped everything in this room, the clay contracts and is pulled back in to Roswell’s base form. And you see them standing there, and Roswell says,
ROSWELL: What would you like me to do?


The Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Brought to you by Blue Apron.

Brought to you by Nature Box.

For Shannon Dapper from Killian: I wanted to be the first at the Bureau of Balance to wish you a happy birthday. I think you're incredible. You're strong, smart, funny, and have great taste in characters. I hope you have a great year, and when it's hard, remember, I got your back. BTW, Taako made you some fried chicken macarons. I hope you get them, but fantasy post can be screwy, so he might owe you one.

The first Adventure Zone wedding proposal! (Timestamp: 37:50)edit | hide | edit source

Message to Anthony Amato from Nicole Kline. Anthony: Ever since the first day we met playing D&D, I knew I wanted you in my life. These five years have flown by. You do more than make me happy: you make me realize I deserve happiness. I adore our life together and want to be with you forever. So, hopefully Griffin will give me a sec to get down on one knee to ask... [pause] Anthony, will you marry me?

The results ... He said 'yes'!!!

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Featured Locationsedit | hide | edit source

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

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