Balance – Episode 67: Story and Song: Finale (Part One)

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You're ready. Ready for the final piece of our story. Ready for the end to begin... It's The Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"Story and Song: Finale (Part One)," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 67th episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

Our heroes' memories have returned. At the end of everything, will they stand together against the encroaching darkness? Or will their past sins leave them irrevocably driven apart?

The episode begins mere seconds after Magnus, Merle, Taako, and the rest of The Starblaster's crew rediscover their lost memories from The Stolen Century. Barry inoculates Carey and Killian with ichor from Junior while Taako, furious at Lucretia for taking away his memories of his beloved twin sister Lup, points his Umbra Staff at Lucretia and demands an explanation; Magnus draws his sword and does the same. Lucretia insists that she had no choice, that she was morally obligated to undo the damage they caused to this world by creating the Grand Relics. She begs them not to stop her from returning the last of the Grand Relics into her staff, saying she plans to "cast [her] barrier around this world and stop The Hunger once and for all". She also reminds them of the promise they all made to Lup during the Stolen Century, that they "would never again put a world in danger just to thwart The Hunger's plans". Brokenly, Taako tells her to do whatever she wants; without his sister, he no longer cares what happens to him, or to the world.

Davenport suggests they leave this world and try again in the next one, just like they did throughout the Stolen Century, but the others insist that they've grown to care too much for this world to abandon it. Carey voices her strong objection to the plan, but the debate is put on hold by the arrival of one of The Hunger's tendrils, which smashes through the ceiling and disgorges five figures: a four-armed skeleton, a centaur, a giant disembodied floating hand, a slender vaguely-humanoid swordsman, and a rhinoceros. Taako drops his Umbra Staff during the battle, but Angus picks it up and uses it on the charging rhino, but the staff releases a much more powerful version of the fireball spell than Angus knows how to cast. Taako, finally putting the clues together, breaks the Umbra Staff in two and releases its inhabitant: Lup!

The narration cuts away to several years earlier, explaining how Lup decided to reclaim and hide her Phoenix Fire Gauntlet away, but was killed in the process and swallowed by her own Umbra Staff (which consumes the essence of defeated magic-users, such as herself). We learn how she spent almost a decade trapped within the staff, before it was finally picked up by Merle (and then Taako) in Wave Echo Cave. We learn that all of the Umbra Staff's odd behavior (shooting off fireworks after consuming the battle wagon's arcane core, destroying Angus's macarons and writing "LUP" in flames on the wall, etc.) was an attempt by Lup to tell Taako where she was.

Finally freed of her prison, Lup releases the full power of her lich form and obliterates The Hunger's entire tendril, buying the heroes a brief respite from the attack. Lup has an emotional reunion with the rest of the Starblaster crew, but Lucretia still refuses to give up on her plan to sever all of the world's connections to save it from the hunger, and teleport herself away so she can't be interrupted. Davenport steps in and tells Team Sweet Flips (Carey, Killian, and NO-3113) to secure the moon-base against The Hunger while he and Angus find out where Lucretia went. He asks Lup and Barry to find the Starblaster, and asks Magnus, Taako and Merle to find a way to disable the Voidfish's memory-altering fields as quickly as possible - even if that means terminating both of them. Magnus flatly refuses to harm either voidfish, but Davenport reminds him that every sentient being in the world will remain unable to see or defend themselves from The Hunger until the voidfish(es) stop blocking that information. Whatever they do, he urges them to do it quickly, because literally every life in this universe is at stake. Davenport hurries off, and Barry gives Los Horny Boys the weapons and armor they made at the Arcaneum: Taako's KrEbStAr, Merle's magic stick Gilly, and Magnus' tooth necklace and Bear Face helmet.

Once outside, our heroes look down on the devastation which is tearing across the surface of Faerûn: ever major city on the planet is being attacked and destroyed by an enemy that no one but them (i.e., our heroes) can even see. They also notice that the Four Judges, now controlled by The Hunger, are marching across the world's surface, from each of the cardinal directions, directly towards their location. Lup looks down and notices the circle of black glass that used to be Phandalin, and announces that she has "a cunning plan". She invites Taako and Barry to follow her to the planet's surface, while Magnus and Merle see what can be done about the voidfish(es) memory-altering fields.

Merle and Magnus get into the elevator to the voidfish's chamber, but during their descent Merle is summoned by John (!) using Parley and vanishes, leaving Magnus and Junior alone in the elevator. John asks Merle if he's "got a minute", and the viewpoint cuts back to Magnus and Junior, who hold a deeply emotional reunion with Fisher, who appears to have been mortally wounded by The Hunger's servants. Junior gestures frantically towards the dead body of Johann, seemingly to ask Magnus to do what Johann did for so many years: to feed the voidfish. Magnus discovers a recently-completed scroll of music on Johann's desk, entitled "The March of the Forgotten". Fisher consumes the scroll, and after a few moments a bright green light flows out of Fisher's body and washes over all of creation (just like it did at the Legato Conservatory when an artwork was accepted), filling every living mind in the universe with knowledge of the events of The Stolen Century and the nature of their collective enemy, The Hunger.

Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

Quotesedit | hide | edit source

Taako is doneedit | hide | edit source

TAAKO: I have nothing, and I don’t give a shit. The world is ending, and I. Don't. Care.

Animal Handling Xtremeedit | hide | edit source

TRAVIS: I am going to jump onto the back of the rhinoceros.
GRIFFIN: [exasperatedly] Of course you are.

Lup's backedit | hide | edit source

LUP: You're dating the grim reaper?!

Referencesedit | hide | edit source

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