The Endless Atheneum | Critical Role RPG Episode 106

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome to Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons. Before we get into tonight’s episode, we’ve got to get through a few announcements. First off, we have our wonderful Darin De Paul joining us again. (cheering) MATT: Thank you, Darin. DARIN: Thank you! MATT: Excited to have you back. We’ve all recovered from a crazy Comic-Con, mostly. LAURA: Have we recovered? MATT: I’m being optimistic here. We’re recovering from a Comic-Con. Got a chance to meet a bunch of you guys out there. It was a lot of fun, but we’re here to get our announcements started, so let me do that. First off, Laura, I believe there’s a merch update. LAURA: Yes, there is, and I just realized I had it on and I hadn’t announced it yet. So we got these back in the store! But they’re red now. We’ve got them on this chain and on this chain rope-thing. Cord. And we’ve got them a keychain. And now, I don’t know if you saw them before, but they took a long time to get, and now we just have them in the store.

SAM: Are they going to run out again? LAURA: I don’t know. It depends on how many people buy them, I guess, but we’re going to try to keep them in stock. That’s the statement that like, okay, that happened, but this is what I’m really excited about. MARISHA: Tell them! LAURA: (sings victory song) Is the camera on? I can’t tell. It’s a pencil pack. I asked them to make this, because this is so great. So we all have our own pencils. Everybody has a pencil. We’ve got the “How do you want to do this?” pencil. We’ve got the “I would like to rage” pencil. We’ve got a Scanlan pencil– oh no, this is a Tary pencil. This is a “Doty, take this down” pencil. I don’t want to say all the things because they’re so great, but check them out. It’s in the store now.

Does everybody want their pencil? SAM: Are these #2 pencils? Could someone take the SAT with my “Doty, take this down” pencil? LAURA: It’s a #2 pencil! SAM: Whoa, that’s so amazing! TRAVIS: Percy, what’s yours? TALIESIN: I don’t want to say. LAURA: Do you want the Trinket pencil, Darin? DARIN: Yeah! LAURA: Such a good one. Oh, this is the Pike one. And here’s yours, Matt. It’s pretty dope, so check them out. I’m in love. MATT: What’s great is if you use it a lot, eventually “How do you want to do this?” becomes “do you want to do this?” to “you want to do this?” to “want to do this?” to “do this?” to “this?” (laughs) It’s existential the entire time you’re using the pencil. I’m really excited about that. LAURA: I hadn’t even thought about that. TALIESIN: I’m so excited now to see what it spells out.

MATT: It just keeps on giving. Thank you, Laura. LAURA: You’re welcome. I’m excited. MATT: All right. Next up, for Gen Con, we have our live show. We only have about 400 tickets left. SAM: Is that true? TALIESIN and MATT: Yeah. SAM: For us? We’re just a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors. TRAVIS: We already surpassed the number of seats we had last year, because we have an extra thousand seats in this larger theater. It’s going to be a madhouse. We only have 400 left. LAURA: And there may or may not be– I don’t know if I should announce this. LIAM: One of us is going to die that night, and I don’t mean a character. LAURA: We may or may not have special merchandise that you can only get at the live show. SAM: Whoa. But surely it will be in the store afterwards? LAURA: Nope, it’s just a live show thing. SAM: Just exclusive to the live show? TRAVIS: Well, see, you’d have to be there to find out, so if there is a car, a plane, or a train, or a telephone booth around you, get to Indianapolis on August 18th! LAURA: August 18th! How was that? TRAVIS: Shit.

It was terrible. It was really bad. LAURA: Damn it. MATT: I’ll be excited if anyone got my Wonder Showzen reference. LIAM: Not even anyone at the table. MATT: No. That means you means need to be enlightened by the wonder that is Wonder Showzen. No, you should not. It’s disturbing as shit. Just stacking you up today, boy! DARIN: (child-like voice) This is the best place ever! Thank you so much for this! It makes me very happy. MATT: Give him anything he wants if he keeps making that sound.

All right! Campaign guide info. Update on the campaign guide stuff I would like to give you. However, I think it’s probably easier to get it from the mama bird’s mouth, so we actually have in the studio today joining us, Chris Pramas from Green Ronin. (cheering) MATT: Come in and join me down here for a second and talk into the camera.

Hey, buddy! CHRIS: Too low? Is this all right? MATT: I think we’re all right. LAURA: They might just see your forehead. MATT: Just the forehead. LAURA: There it is! I know, this is great. MATT: So what’s the update? CHRIS: So last week we put the campaign guide up for sale and it exceeded all of our expectations, yes. So thank you to everyone who pre-ordered. This is by far the most successful pre-order that we’ve ever had for a book, so you’re rocking it. It has led to an unexpected complication, though, in that our initial print run is of a size that cannot be changed right now. We had to stop taking pre-orders so we would have some to send to stores, because obviously, we value game stores and we want them to have some, so I just wanted to reassure everybody that this book is not a limited edition book.

We’re printing more, so if you were not able to pre-order it, you will be able to get it later. We’re basically going to immediate reprint. In the interim, the PDF is still available, so you can get that if you like electronic books, or if you have a local store, they can take part in what’s called our Pre-Order Plus program. It allows people to pre-order through the store and then get the $5 PDF deal that we were offering as part of the pre-order. So ask your local stores, do you take part in Pre-Order Plus? If you need a link for that, you can check our Twitter.

Otherwise, second print run will be along as soon as we can get it. MATT: Fantastic. Thank you so much, Chris! Appreciate it, buddy. Enjoy the show! CHRIS: Oh, and we’ll have copies at Gen Con. MATT: Yes, we’ll have copies at Gen Con! TRAVIS: Even more reason! LIAM: Boy, is that book fucking beautiful! MARISHA: It is! LAURA: Good job, you guys. MATT: I’m so nervous about its release. SAM: I have some notes on the cover. TRAVIS: I have some notes on the book. Could it have less words? MATT: No, it just has less gnome bard. SAM: Oh shit. LIAM: The whole race died off in a Calamity. They don’t know what happened. Pike was the only one who was spared. MATT: It’s so weird. (laughs) Don’t worry, we have a fix on the way. It’ll be fine. Next up: Critical Role podcast on iTunes and such. MARISHA: More is coming very soon. Very, very soon. Next batch is coming. MATT: Cool. So we’ll have that announcement as soon as we have the specific dates for the next batch.

Should be coming up very soon. Once again, we have Talks Machina on Tuesdays. We’ll be next Tuesday at 7:00pm Pacific to discuss this episode tonight with our fantastic host, Brian Foster. Looking forward to that. The Sagas of Sundry: Dread show that me and Taliesin are part of. Fifth episode is up is today on Alpha. TALIESIN: It’s almost over. MATT: I know. We have one more episode of this, right? MARISHA: And check out these awesome Dread shirts, you guys! They’re in the store.

Aren’t they awesome? MATT: If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a fantastic pseudo-theater improv RPG horror show with me and Taliesin as part of the cast. Marisha’s one of the executive producers, and Darin De Paul is our fantastic Rod Serling intro personality. So check it out if you haven’t yet. MARISHA: Mr. Wren! MATT: Mr. Wren. It’s a fun one.

I think that’s it. LIAM: Wait, there’s a couple more things. MATT: They’re not on the list! LIAM: Well, you got a little boxy back there that you should pull out. MATT: Oh, right! Yes! LAURA: What is it? TRAVIS: Does it have a small creature in it? LAURA: Does it have air holes? MATT: This question has come up a lot. The combat tiers, the plastic platforms that I use for height in the game, have been out of stock, out of production for a while now. They’re finally available again. Our friends at Emerald Knights got us these boxes. These are available off You can go ahead and pick up the combat tiers. They are now available again if you’ve been wondering where the heck to get some. TRAVIS: And they’re out of stock. MATT: Shit. LIAM: I think Jay at Emerald Knights told me that they’re going to be in stores soonish as well, but you can go to Paizo right now– tweet! And go find them.

MATT: These have saved my ass many times in games, as you’ve seen. Highly recommended for anyone who’s DMing or running a game. It’s awesome. LIAM: Been in our game since day one. MARISHA: I remember when I got those for you when they were still prototypes in a little white box. MATT: Yeah, they were in a little standard cardboard box. You were like, this looks like it should work. Saved my ass. LIAM: And Laura and I are in this really cool game called Lone Echo by Ready at Dawn. LAURA: That’s the guys that did The Order. LIAM: We both play AI. LAURA: We’re computers. LIAM: Yes. Very calm the whole time. LAURA: That’s right. We’ll help you out. TRAVIS: (snoring) LAURA: Which is cool. It’s VR. It’s really badass, so check it out. MATT: That’s great. Well cool, thank you guys for the update. What you got, Sam? SAM: No, I got nothing. MATT: Well then, without further ado– LAURA: Aw, my little Trinket dice bag isn’t here.

TRAVIS: Nobody cares but you. LAURA: I think it’s still in the thing. MATT: So to announce that her bag isn’t here, we’re going to take a moment– LAURA: Sorry. I’ll go and get it during the credits. MATT: There you go. And that being said, guys, let’s go ahead and bring this down into tonight’s episode of Critical Role. [dramatic music] MATT: And welcome back, everybody. Last we left off, Vox Machina had been finding their way through the realms to talk with various deities in hopes of getting information, and perhaps a blessing or two, to aid them in their coming battle against Vecna, the intent-to-ascend entity, the long-missing and recently returned archlich that plagued the end of the Age of Arcanum. You have since discovered the location of his rebirth, followed into the Shadowfell, through the city of Thar Amphala, took down his tower of Entropis, did battle, and nearly fell. You escaped in time, and in this recovery period have been seeking out information on how to stop him before this ascension occurs, and by what tools necessary. You’ve traveled to the Blessed Fields of Elysium, where you met Pike’s deity, the Everlight, Sarenrae, where she received her blessing.

You made your way to the Fortress of the Sun, where you met with the Dawnfather Pelor, took his challenge, and received his blessing. You were then given information about the whereabouts of Ioun, the Knowing Goddess, and the domain of knowledge, who had been hidden away since her wounding during the Calamity. The key to her realm was apparently hidden within not an object, but an individual. Given loose information about the whereabouts of this individual, you tracked down a small home in the forested regions outside the Pools of Wittebak in the Cliffkeep Mountains. There, you spoke with this individual, this Sprigg the Obnoxious, and then were immediately assailed by a number of assassins sent by the Whispered One, Vecna, apparently keeping watch on your current location and able to send such groups of assassins with vast haste. You did battle, managed to save the life of Sprigg the Obnoxious, and through conversation, unveiled that he was indeed a key to this realm. Keyleth, by entwining your hands with the rest of the party and focusing on this strange magical essence hidden within Sprigg’s form, you completed your Plane Shift spell.

You found yourself suddenly within a dimension of an endless library, shelves of winding books and tomes that spiral beyond sight. In the midst of this amazing atmosphere, a voice called you to a central portion of the chamber. There, it seems, you’ve come across the Knowing Mistress, Ioun herself, there awaiting your arrival. LAURA: Did we see her? MATT: You did. LAURA: Okay. Is she old or young? I can’t remember. MATT: I’m going to go over this.

Going to get you in a space. Something to bring us back into the moment. So you glance around, your vision darting from shelf to stack, the dark-lit areas empty of anything but empty vessels carrying books, until you see it. The shelves have stopped ahead to reveal a circular common area within the library where the ground domes downward, an 80-foot concave pit of cushions and tables all standing at odd angles without sliding, holding tea cups and writing implements against gravity as you know it. Long spiralling streams of silver, blue and grey silk descend from the supposed ceiling that is beyond your sight, the material resting in gentle piles amongst the cushions– sorry, microphone– against the cushions. Sitting within the center of the dome, no larger than a normal person, is an older woman of long, wavy silver hair. Her olive skin is somewhat weathered with wrinkles but the warmth of her smile and her vibrant purple eyes put you at ease.

Her blue and white robes tumble out from her form in tendrils of parchment that snake through the pillows like roots of a giant tree. This is the Mistress, and she beckons you forward. SAM: We step forward. Are we on the edge of the bowl? Is she in the bowl and we’re on the edge of the bowl? MATT: Yeah. You guys are on the edge of it. She’s in the very center of it. SAM: Are we going to go into the bowl? LAURA: Are we allowed? MATT: Nothing seems to be holding you back. DARIN: O Ioun, O goddess of knowledge, O lord who knows all. You know. But I don’t. Let me ask you a question. And you’ll see I didn’t phrase that as a question because I know how gods work, and that probably would have been my question and then I might as well have just talked to a turnip. Which I’ve done.

Found it pleasant. That being said, this is my question. The next thing out of my mouth is going to be my question. Why did you choose me to be your key? I’m nothing. I’m a coward. Why would you ever choose me? MATT: She opens her arms as you stand at the edge of this domed precipice, and you watch as the tendrils unfurl, pulling back a bit, revealing small pathways to walk down toward her. Her arms open in a welcoming motion. LAURA: I’ll walk forward. TALIESIN: I’m walking in there. SAM: Take a tumble. MATT: “The purpose in choosing you, Sprigg, was, as with all the other keys I’ve chosen before you, “an unlikely choice. You were at odds with many of my outlooks, but I saw within you, still, the seed “of the seeker of knowledge.

So in that balance, I found a proper vessel. Someone who at once would “not be the choice that I would make to hide my key, but a person not beyond the realm of “redemption within the domain that I look over.” DARIN: Thank you. MATT: “Now, come. Please, sit. You’ve come a long way. I’m curious as to what your reasons are for “coming to me at this hour and I wish to see if my assumptions are correct. Sit.” LAURA: You don’t know already? DARIN: Well, the goddess of knowledge is implied in the title. Not insulting anyone.

Knock knock. MATT: “Who’s there?” DARIN: You would know. MATT: You watch as her stoic expression curls into a smile and her head falls back a bit to a small chuckle. (chuckles) “Humor is perhaps a bit thin in these walls as of late. It’s nice to have a “laugh. Thank you.” LIAM: Who was it, though? DARIN: It was me the whole time. MATT: “It was Larkin, my friend.” LAURA: Oh shit. LIAM: She knows everything. TRAVIS: Larkin! DARIN: I don’t know who that is. TRAVIS: Many don’t. DARIN: Well said. SAM: O mighty Ioun, we are here to ask you for help, for a great danger. You might already know this, but a great danger has befallen the world. There is one who has come from another plane to become a god himself, Vecna.

For all we know, he may already have achieved godhood, but he’s well on his path. MATT: “I know much about this individual you speak and I had assumed this was the reason for your arrival.” LAURA: Do you know if he’s been successful? MATT: “I do not. I’ve not sensed any change in the cosmetology of the world. Cosmology, even.” Cosmetology. TRAVIS: I thought that was hair and makeup– MATT: That’s a different word. Her domains expand beyond just knowledge, guys. Hence the unfurling. TRAVIS: I’ve been thinking about getting some highlights for this beard. LIAM: It’s Frenchie. (laughter) TRAVIS: (singing) Beauty school dropout. MATT: “But no. You see, this Vecna is in direct opposition to what I represent, and I believe has “taken some precautions to keep from my distant sight, so while I have assumptions and what “information makes its way to me, there is a bit of relying on you to fill in the gaps.” TALIESIN: What do you wish to know? MATT: “Well.

Do you intend to return to face this entity, or have you chosen or found champions in “Exandria who would rise up against this individual?” LAURA: We didn’t even realize that was an option. TALIESIN: Hadn’t occurred to us. MARISHA: Wow. Maybe that’s very self-centered of us, now that I think about it. LAURA: We intend to face him down ourselves. TRAVIS: We want to fight. MARISHA: We’re heading his direction no matter what. MATT: “Do you think you have the strength required to do this?” SAM: We’re gathering the strength right now. Some among us have already– the one who’s making weird faces has already sworn allegiance to another god. TRAVIS: Hashtag blessed. MATT: Her eyes close for a minute and she nods. “The coming fight does indeed warrant the aid that “these journeys would muster and I can see the touch of my brethren on you already.” And she motions towards Vax and Vex and Pike. TALIESIN: Even with these gods, there is still much doubt as to our success. We are not certain. We are not sure. TRAVIS: We fought once, and if this is a broom motion, we were just getting swooped. Swept. What is it? Swiffered.

LAURA: Pelor mentioned something about the Prime Trammels? MATT: “I was wondering if that would surface. Well, if you are indeed here seeking my gift, know “that I do not grant it lightly. For those who are not already claimed–” She glances around the rest of the group. “Grog Strongjaw. Just being within my realm is of near-painful discomfort to you. For “that I apologize and can see you are not to be my vessel.” LAURA: It’s okay, Grog. TRAVIS: Oh. What a roller coaster.

I was going up and then going back down. Thank you for your gaze, my lady. LIAM: Grog just invented amusement park rides. MATT: “Keyleth of Zephrah, you have been carved from empathy and acceptance. While you do indeed “pursue understanding, my gifts find little purchase on your path of responsibility. “Percival Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III–” SAM: (whispering) She knows everything. MATT: “You have always been a student of knowledge and a seeker of truths. I am fond of your hunger “for understanding, but you do keep your secrets and are selfish with your discoveries, still. You “have much growing to do. “Scanlan Shorthalt, you are a buffoon. At least, that is the facade you craft and display to the “world while you weave tales of the experiences around you and share your stories with any who’d “listen. You wrestle the mysteries of Exandria from their hidden places and shout them to any who “would listen and inspire the lost to find purpose.

You hold the blade of the White Duke and walk a “parallel path. You are a storyteller, and I am the keeper of all stories. I shall task you with my “challenge.” SAM: Not to question your infinite knowledge and judgment, but my stories are more of little bar room tales and silly poems to pass the time. I would hardly call them epic histories of civilization. MATT: “For now, perhaps.” DARIN: We’re all stories in the end. Just make sure yours is a good one. MATT: “Do you think that your compatriots would have the strength now to rise against such a “scourge had you not been there to lift their spirits with these tales?” LAURA: It’s true, Scanlan.

SAM: I’m really powerful. LAURA: You are. LIAM: And humble. SAM: It’s my best asset. LIAM: And deeper than you let on. TRAVIS: And the cube. LAURA: (laughing) And a cube. MATT: She glances over at you with a knowing look. SAM: If you have faith in me, I will have faith in you and trust you and your knowledge. And I will try to complete any task you ask of me. MATT: “Then let the challenge be placed before you. Scanlan Shorthalt! Somewhere within this “library lies the book that contains the Incantation of Isolation, the arcane rite that “banished the Chained Oblivion. You have one hour to retrieve it. Your friends can help you, but you “can only present one tome to me. And should it be incorrect, then I shall await another warrior of “keen mind to find me and accept my gift, for I can only guide one strong enough to face the foe “before you.

Return to me when you are certain you’ve found it. Your challenge begins now.” And with that, her entire body vanishes in a gust of wind. All the little tendrils of paper flutter out and come to rest within the dome, and you look up and see the immensity of this library. TRAVIS: Incantation of Isolation? LAURA: Incantation of Isolation. MARISHA: I speak Primordial. TRAVIS: We don’t know the name of the book, right? So we can’t Locate Object. SAM: There’s a tome that contains the incantation of what? TRAVIS, LAURA, MARISHA, and SAM: Isolation. MARISHA: Which was what they used– LAURA: What is with this pencil? It was dipped in ketchup or something. MATT: Don’t use that pencil. Use one of your own. LAURA: But it needs to be sharpened. MATT: Just push really hard. TRAVIS: How do we do that? Sprigg! DARIN: Yes? TRAVIS: Do you have a tome at your place that has the Incantation of Isolation? DARIN: Not anymore. Burny-burny, ashy-ashy. Bye-bye. LAURA: Do you remember the name of it? DARIN: No.

LAURA: I’m going to try casting Locate Object and cast it on the tome that contains the Incantation of Isolation. Try it. Why not. TRAVIS: Can it work like that? LAURA: I don’t know. LIAM: An object known to you as long as you have seen it up close within 30 feet at least once. LAURA: Oh. Really? LIAM: Yeah. It’s a spell I have now. MATT: Describe or name an object that is familiar to you. You sense the direction of the object’s location, so as long as the object is within a thousand feet of you. LAURA: Okay. MATT: So you cast the spell. And you think about it and you concentrate. Nothing. LAURA: I’m going to kneel down and pray to the Dawnfather, since he was one of the ones that helped fight the Chained Oblivion, to see if he could guide us at all. MATT: Okay. You close your eyes and focus and you begin to beseech the knowledge and wisdom of the Dawnfather. Two minutes pass with no answer. LIAM: During that two minutes, I’m going to scan the room. Is there any design or purpose to the layout of the room? Anything that stands out besides books.

MATT: As you glance around the room quickly, you see there are probably two dozen bookshelf aisle openings all around this central dome area. You begin to look around. You don’t see any specific signs. Go ahead and roll a perception check. LIAM: Going to use my last Luck for this sleep cycle. Natural 20. MATT: Glancing about, you don’t see any signs on the books. You do notice, however, there are hundreds of those somewhat spectral keepers of the library that are moving tomes through and organizing and relocating things, just like you saw when you first entered. SAM: They’re spectral? MATT: They’re spectral, yeah. SAM: I’m going to go try to talk to one of them. MATT: Okay. One of them’s currently pulling books out.

You can see the basic shimmering outline of a humanoid form, and they’re taking a book off and stacking it and finding another. SAM: Hello, sir. Do you have language? Can you speak? MATT: He turns and looks to you for a second. SAM: Can you help us find a book? It contains an Incantation of Isolation. TRAVIS: Or about the Chained Oblivion. SAM: Or about the Chained Oblivion.

LAURA: Or about the Calamity or something. TALIESIN: Where are the lives of those who witnessed it? MATT: It doesn’t seem to be at this moment– SAM: No chance. LAURA: I’m going to hop on my broom to see if I get a ping on my Locate Object. SAM: Wait. Before we start flying around, what do we know? When was this last used, this book? 886 years ago or whatever, right? 812 years ago. LAURA: Wow, you know that? SAM: Well, it’s 812 P-whatever. PD, right? So 812 years ago. So we’re looking for a very old book that was used by Ioun? Who was it used by? TRAVIS: Potentially. Or the Dawnfather helped seal with Ioun. MARISHA: Correct. SAM: So it’s some sort of a wizard’s or sorcerer’s tome? MARISHA: I have a question. Didn’t one of us have a potion or scroll of language-speaking? Didn’t we have that? LAURA: Do any of the tomes have titles on them, though? MATT: Glancing about, and some of them do. They’re all in Celestial. TALIESIN: I’m going to read off some titles.

MARISHA: Yeah. Primordial. MATT: None visibly currently in Primordial. SAM: Is that the language they used before the– LAURA: I feel like Celestial would be what the Dawnfather would speak, though. MARISHA: Celestial would be close. I would think more close than Primordial. MATT: So make an investigation check. Who else is looking through books? LAURA: I don’t speak Celestial, so it doesn’t really matter. MATT: Well, make separate investigation checks.

TALIESIN: 12. MARISHA: We’re making investigation checks? MATT: Anybody who’s searching currently, or doing something that involves searching through books. LIAM: 26. LAURA: 21. MARISHA: 20. TALIESIN: 12. MATT: Okay. DARIN: 22. MATT: All right. You guys begin fanning out. And it’s so overwhelming. It’s so immense. There’s thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of books within your immediate visual vicinity. And like I said, about 150 feet beyond you, it seems to fade into shadow and the more you walk towards that shadow, it reveals more books. They curve and spiral and almost seem to intertwine into that Escher painting-like advance towards the ceiling you don’t see. LAURA: Does it seem like some are older than others? MATT: Yeah. They seem scattered. As you’re going around you find some are Celestial. The further away from the center you get you do find some sections that are other languages. You see some that are in Abyssal.

You don’t find any that are Primordial yet. TRAVIS: Scattered amongst or categorized by language? MATT: The ones that are nearest to the center here are all names. They are all names of people. LAURA: Okay. SAM: So we need to find one that’s not a name of a person. DARIN: Who used the Incantation of Isolation? Perhaps if we find the book of the user, we will find their spells. LAURA: Was it Pelor? Does Pelor have a book? SAM: Are they dead? TRAVIS: No, it continues writing, right? Potentially, there’s a book. SAM: So there’s a book that says Pelor on it? Or Ioun. Or Dawnfather. LIAM: Or if Vecna is a dead man. Maybe a book with Vecna’s name on it? LAURA: I don’t know why the Incantation of Isolation would be– SAM: Hey, Percy, are these books arranged in any order? Chronological, name, anything? Oh, you didn’t see anything when you looked? MATT: You’re having a hard time really finding any pattern to the books.

TALIESIN: Fuck. There’s no pattern. LAURA: Can I look at the bookbinding, though? Do some books seem like they fall apart more? MATT: Yeah, there’s a wide variety of ages and types. The sense of the pattern of the sections of books: some of them seem to be clustered together and some of them seem to have similar colorations the further into the side. The further out you get from this the more scattered they get. It’s almost like the organization begins from the center and either they’re reorganized for reasons that are beyond your comprehension.

You get the sense as you begin to hear this slight grinding– you got the natural 20? LIAM: Earlier, yeah. MATT: Yep. So you’ve been glancing about and looking about. You pick up the slight sound (grinding). And you look up and you can see some of these shelves coming down from the ceiling that are stopping about 30 feet above you are sliding and moving. The actual library seems to have some sort of slow rearranging movement to it. LIAM: Pop out the wings. Go up. MARISHA: I start looking at the ceiling. Is there any type of– what are those? The observatory. What are those called, Percy? The celestial, tell you the stars thing? TALIESIN: Oh, like some sort of astrolabe or something like that? MARISHA: Yeah. Astrolabe? You know those big rotating things you can put in the year and the month in the calendar. MATT: Oh, right. Nothing you’ve seen so far.

Make a perception check. MARISHA: What am I looking for? Perception check? That’s good. 17. 30 total. MATT: Looking around your current vicinity, you see nothing like that. TALIESIN: Are there any books in the bowl? MATT: There are a handful on one of the tables that are around. TALIESIN: I’m going to take a look at what’s in the bowl. TRAVIS: I jump in and start throwing pillows around. Did she leave anything cool behind? MATT: As you’re throwing the pillows, some of them fling off to the side, and you uncover a couple of empty cups of tea.

TRAVIS: I drink them. MATT: All right. You get some stale library-temperature tea. You do find a couple of large books on one of the nearby tables. TRAVIS: Ooh! I found a large book on one of the nearby tables. TALIESIN: I’m going to read the names of these books. MATT: Okay. One of them, the name is Jaina Kumor. Doesn’t ring a bell. And another one appears to be a book that pertains to the attempts of creating alchemical transitions from one base element to another. Essentially, what was the attempt at a philosopher’s stone-like object long ago and the various trials and tribulations and unfortunate deaths that occurred because of it. SAM: Interesting. LIAM: Do I see anything different 100, 150 feet up? Does the change in perspective on the room below reveal anything? MATT: The change in perspective shows you one, you do finally see a ceiling and it’s like two mirrored libraries in the ceiling and the floor.

There are bookshelves that come up and stop and there are bookshelves that come down and stop, and you look up and you can see there are other spirits hanging upside down walking along the pathways above, as well. SAM: Wait, so it’s like a mirror image, the top and bottom? MATT: Yeah, but they’re not exact mirror images. There’s just a bottom and a top part of the library. SAM: What if that line is the demarcation between pre-Divergence and post-Divergence or something like that? LAURA: That’s cool. Go up and in. SAM: I can’t. LAURA: Here, get on the broom, Scanlan. We’ll fly up. MATT: All right. So Scanlan, you jump on her broom. (whooshing) You fly up. Who’s taking a look? Make an investigation check if you do.

SAM: I’m going to take a look, but I’m going to pull out my Ioun stone and clutch it in my hand and close my eyes and pray on it for a second. Hope that guides me in some way. MATT: Roll a religion check. SAM: Religion check. Okay, well, that’s terrible. TRAVIS: Luck! SAM: I don’t have Luck. I can inspire myself. I will inspire myself with a little song. (singing) Scanlancito, he’s got tiny feet-oh, but he likes to cast spells, he does it with his beat-oh. When you go to sleep-oh, better check your sheet-ohs, because after he eats-ohs, he likes to take a shit-oh! (laughter) TRAVIS: Oh my god.

Are you fucking kidding me? What the hell, man? LIAM: Get that book. MATT: Yeah, You earned that d12. SAM: That’s a 12. So that brings it up to 21. MATT: Okay. This is your investigation check to search about. Oh no, that’s your religion check. All right. Clutching the Ioun stone, as you sing this song, the stone glows ever so faintly in your hand and you glance up and you can see about ten of the various spectral librarians that are wandering have stopped and they’re all looking at you. Seemingly temporarily distracted or entranced by the song. LAURA: Let’s go try to talk to one. SAM: Okay. Whoa! MATT: You land next to all the librarians and as soon as you land, there’s like a moment of quiet and they all go about their business again.

SAM: On behalf of the Mistress Ioun, I speak in her name. And I’ll hold up the stone. LAURA: It’s always good to lie. SAM: Well she tasked me; it’s not a lie! She tasked me with this. We seek a book. We would love some help, and it contains the Incantation of Isolation. Maybe about 812 years old-ish. Maybe 813? MATT: No one seems to be paying attention to your words. LAURA and TALIESIN: Maybe sing it. SAM: I have to sing it? LIAM: Pull out Mythcarver. LAURA: Pull out Mythcarver and sing.

SAM: Oh, okay. I pull out a sword. (sword unsheathing) LAURA: Just sing like it’s a microphone. SAM: Okay. (singing) Just take a look, it’s in a book, the Scanlan rainbow. I can read anything. MATT: You watch as the same librarians all of a sudden stop what they’re doing and turn back towards you. The sword is vibrating and ringing; it’s expanding the notes of your song, as is the nature of Mythcarver. You seem to have their attention. LAURA: Now ask.

Now sing and question. MATT: It’s been about 20 minutes, by the way. LAURA: Oh Jesus. I mean, Ioun. SAM: (singing) I sing to you in desperation. I’m looking for a Tome of Isolation. We need to find a tome, so we can go home and kill a guy named Vecna. It would really make us… Nothing rhymes with Vecna. MATT: Roll a performance check. SAM: 29. MATT: You watch as the librarians gather. They’re up above you and they gather closely to you as you’re singing this song and as you finish your final verse they all look a little confused, and they all begin to shift as one unit around the edge of one of the bookcases.

MARISHA: Scanlan! (yells) Scanlan! SAM: (yells) What? LAURA: We have an earring. MARISHA: Oh, right. Sorry. SAM: It’s a library; keep quiet. MARISHA: Your stories. It’s your storytelling. Keep telling the story about the Calamity. Maybe if you talk about Vecna some more and what happened. SAM: I don’t know my history. MATT: Roll a history check. DARIN: Tell him “heck, nah” rhymes with Vecna, if it helps at all.

SAM: 23. MATT: Vecna didn’t have too much involvement in the Calamity directly. The Calamity mainly involved the gods battling. It involved the Chained Oblivion. It involved the sealing of that deity during one of the major battles of the Calamity. Those are elements of the history that pertain to the Calamity that you recall. LAURA: We’re following the little surge of spectrals. SAM: Okay. I’m just going to keep talking, I guess. (rapping) The book we’re looking for is fraught with insanity, It dates back to the time of Calamity. It’s about a guy with oblivion chains.

You know his name. (laughter) SAM: (rapping) What’s his name, yo? (speaking) I got nothing. LAURA: (singing) He’s the Chained Oblivion. His name is the Chained Oblivion. TRAVIS: (singing) And there’s a million things he hasn’t done. MATT: (singing) Because he’s sealed. MATT, LAURA, TALIESIN and MARISHA: (singing) Because he’s sealed. TRAVIS: Oh fuck. Lin-Manuel just turned it off. MATT: Okay. Sorry. All right, so as you continue to sing, with each beat, each name that’s mentioned that deals with the Calamity and the Chained Oblivion, you watch as their pace seems to quicken a bit, and then as the singing slows they begin to slow down again.

There’s a specific correlation and drive between your storytelling and your singing, and apparently the drive in which they’re pushing towards their– LAURA: Keep telling the story. DARIN: Tell them the song about Vecna just might wreck ya. It’s close; it doesn’t work. SAM: Okay, Sprigg, I got it. MATT: You hear Sprigg yelling from down below, as he doesn’t have an earring. SAM: (singing) If we don’t act soon Vecna might just wreck ya. (speaking) I got it in there for you. DARIN: Thanks. Tell them about your neck, ma. SAM: Oh yeah. Wait, what? DARIN: If you’re discussing your neck to your mother, you would– what? Oh, right. People get paid for that. SAM: (whispers) Oh my god. DARIN: Call back to earlier discussion. And nobody knows. LIAM: (singing) God I hope I get it. SAM: (singing) The book is eight centuries old, or so I’m told. It’s fraught with mystery. It’s teeming with history. So please listen to me and don’t kiss me because I really need this book right now.

MATT: Roll another performance check. MARISHA: Yes. Come on. SAM: No. 22. MATT: 22. Okay. They continue to push at a brisk pace and you watch as other of the spectral librarians begin to gather into this group and is now a cluster of about 25 of them that are snaking around these bookcases and traveling at a pretty fair pace. Which once was walking pace, and then went to a jogging pace, they’re now darting through. And they’re leading you quickly away from the center of the library where everyone else seems to be clustered. So the two of you are following and swooshing behind them, you’re going over and around bookcases. Some of the bookcases you see have giant holes in the center and you can dart through and dive past. The speed is increasing to the point where the wind is starting to kick up in your hair and you’re amazed at the speed of these librarians and the fact that they’re being driven by your very song, and also the fact that you have no idea how far away the rest of your friends are in this library, and this library seems to just go on and on and on.

You continue forward for another ten minutes or so, so you’ve hit just over the 30-minute mark at this point, and you feel this little pulse from the stone. Do you continue to inspire? SAM: I will do one more. I hope it works. I’ll recite a poem. This little gnomey went to the heavens. This little gnomey wants to go home. This little gnomey is looking for a book. This little gnomey is trusting Ioun. This little gnomey wants to go wee-wee-wee-wee all the way to this tome. (cheering) MATT: Roll a performance check with advantage. SAM: Natural 20. (cheering) MATT: Didn’t even need it. MARISHA: Hashtag blessed.

MATT: So the speed is dangerous to the point where as trying to follow them you almost lose sight of them a couple of times. You being the driver of this, I need you to go ahead and make a perception check to make sure you can keep them in your vision. TRAVIS: Damn, Scanlan got bars, y’all. LAURA: 22. MATT: 22. Okay. That’s enough. You nearly lose them a few times and you’re like (grunts). You have to take a second and listen out there and you see a faint glow of their spectral form in the distance. There! And so you continue to give chase.

Then eventually, at about the 40-minute mark or so, you come to the outside. What’s interesting, too, is a lot of these bookcases are made of different materials. Some of them are dark wood, light wood, some of them are metal and various substances. You come to, on the ceiling, jammed in, a bookcase, but it’s made of a very dark slate gray metal. And it has chains across it and a series of locks on it. LAURA: (whispers) I had a feeling it would be a locked bookcase. MATT: And you see them, all the librarians are clustered and circled around it right now. LAURA: (singing) Can they open it up? SAM: Oh. (singing) Can you open it up? TRAVIS: Find somebody that can pick them locks.

MATT: There’s no response from them. SAM: Wait, they can pick books. MATT: They can pick up books. LAURA: Vax, can you hear me? LIAM: I don’t know. 500 feet. MATT: You’ve been traveling for a while. He doesn’t hear you. LAURA: I can try to pick it. I can try. MARISHA: Come on, multiclassing into that rogue now. MATT: All right, so you fumble around and quickly pull out your thieves’ tools. All right, go ahead and roll a d20, add your dexterity modifier and your proficiency bonus. LAURA: My proficiency bonus. SAM: I’m going to inspire her. MATT: Okay. SAM: (singing) I’m so vain.

I probably think this song is about me. I’m so vain. LAURA: Yeah, I got a one on your inspiration. Thanks for that. But I rolled well so it doesn’t matter. Hopefully. 19 plus my dexterity modifier plus my proficiency bonus? 30. SAM: Wow! LIAM: She rolled a 19. MATT: The DC was 30. SAM: It was the inspiration! LAURA: No, plus inspiration was 31! MATT: Yeah, the DC on that was 30. LAURA: Oh, jeebies. SAM: There are DCs up to 30?! MATT: Yeah. 30’s considered nearly impossible. MARISHA: We’re badasses now. TRAVIS: What happens when you say that shit?! MARISHA: No, I’m just saying the difficulties are going to get harder. LAURA: Oh, in god realm it will be harder. MATT: So as you work your way down the chain, you get through a few of them, and there’s one big lock in the center that’s bolted into a big double doorway, or hinged opening to this bookcase.

This one takes you a few moments to get into. (clicking) It snaps your lockpick. As soon as you hear the (tink), your heart sinks, but you still have a little bit of leverage and you push forward on the broken pick, and it’s just enough to get the tumbler to click in. Your lockpick is busted; you’re going to have to get a new one. However, it does open on one side. LAURA: That’s the hardest lock I’ve ever picked, I swear! MATT: You open, and you can see about 25 different books of different shapes, sizes, colors, all ancient that are all in this small locked section.

LAURA: Are any of the spectrals looking at one, specifically? MATT: No, they are all just at the side. LAURA: Can you do your Ioun Stone? SAM: Sure, I’ll blacklight it. LAURA: Does it glow for anything in particular? MATT: You take your Ioun Stone, and as you go across, it doesn’t seem to have an effect. SAM: I’m going to quickly scan the books to see if any of them look particularly old. LAURA: Can I read any of them? MATT: What languages do you know? LAURA: Elvish, Common, Undercommon, Abyssal, and Draconic. MATT: And you? SAM: Not much! Gnome, Marquesian, and Common. MATT: There are about ten of them you cannot read. There is one book that has nothing on the spine; it’s blank. About five of them appear to be in Abyssal. You, reading through them, a lot of them talk about– they are history books that talk about the Lord of the Hells. There’s one that speaks on rites and rituals of sacrifice.

There is one that talks about the annihilation of a race that no longers exists in the world during the Age of Arcanum. There’s one that talks about the birth of the Rune Children. There’s all these books that all talk about different things, but nothing seems to stand out to you as the tome you might be looking for. LAURA: Well, I could potentially grab all of them and shove them in the Bag of Colding.

SAM: And then what? How many minutes are left, and how far are we from our friends? MATT: You have about 15 minutes left and it’s about ten minutes of travel. SAM: We could take them all back and see if anyone can read. LAURA: It seems pretty shitty, dumping them out in a pile, but I don’t know what else to do. TRAVIS: Yeah. The spirits’ll put them back. SAM: The one that has nothing on the binding. Can I open that and flip through real quick? LAURA: I start grabbing other ones and putting them in the bag. MATT: You pull out the one with nothing on it. It’s a very thin book; it’s only about that wide or so, it’s a dark gray leather. It looks damaged. Part of it’s burnt and scarred on the outside. There’s no words on the cover. You open it up and it’s about four pages that are blank. SAM: This is the thing. LAURA: What can you do? Do you have a spell that lets you see things? Reveals things? SAM: I do not. TRAVIS: Talk to it.

SAM: Okay, sure. LAURA: Yeah! Sing to it or something! SAM: Sure. I’ll sing to a book, Matt. (singing) Read to me of times gone by. Can it be you’re here when a bunch of gods died? (speaking) Okay. That’s all I got. MATT: Doesn’t seem to have any effect. Doesn’t seem to respond to the singing. SAM: Don’t tell anyone I sang to a book. LAURA: You just keep singing, I’ll keep taking books. We’ve got not enough time. MATT: It takes you about a minute to throw them all in there haphazardly. TRAVIS and LAURA: 25 books. SAM: Let’s get back. MATT: You guys dart back. You get low enough to the point where you’re in between the two bookcaess. The heights vary and in some case you’re having to suddenly shift up and over to avoid slamming into the side of the large bookcase.

You’re shooting through this– almost like an up and down version of the Star Wars entry to the… Death Star. Thank you, my brain’s not working. LAURA: My Locate Object never pinged? My Incantation of Isolation Locate Object? MATT: Interestingly enough, thank you for reminding me of that. As soon as he pulled the book out, the one that he’s holding, the one with no text on it, it pinged. LAURA: Oh shit, I just grabbed a bunch of books, but that’s the one! SAM: Are you sure? LAURA: It’s got to be! Keep looking at it while we’re flying, see if you can figure it out! SAM: Hold it upside down. LAURA: Hold onto me, though, because we’re going fast. SAM: I’m going to listen to it. MATT: Okay.

Make an arcana check. SAM: 13 plus five, 18. MATT: 18. As you’re darting by, you’re clutching your side with your hand around her waist, reading it. You almost lose it a couple times. SAM: Plus Jack of All Trades. MATT: So what’s the total? SAM: 21. MATT: 21. You get the sense that there is something magical about it. I would say, you can’t put your finger on it, but what faint arcane essence that you can sense from your usage of spells, and the feeling of releasing spells, the charging and release of arcane energy. You get the sense of that release from the book. It’s almost wanting something. It’s pulling something very faintly. SAM: What spell? I don’t want to hurt it! LAURA: Place Mythcarver on it! Place Mythcarver in it! SAM: Okay. I’ll place Mythcarver on it. I don’t know what to cast on a book! MATT: Make a dexterity saving throw. SAM: I’ll cast Friends on it. LAURA: That was almost so bad. MATT: You cast Friends on it? SAM: Sure. MATT: Okay, as you release the cantrip, the book seems to absorb the magic, but no reaction. LAURA: 28. MATT: 28.

As you dart around the corner, one of the shifting bookcases comes right in front of you, and you just dart out of the way in time. Scanlan, you barely hold on. I need you to roll a strength check. LAURA: Oh god, can I hold onto his wrist to help out? SAM: Not good. Strength? MATT: This would be a strength saving throw, yeah. SAM: Ten. MATT: Ten? The book’s like (bouncing) and you catch it right as it falls and you hold it in your hand. TRAVIS: What if you write in it? LAURA: Yeah, what if you write in it and say, “Hey, I need the Incantation of Isolation!” SAM: Write in the book? TRAVIS: Didn’t you ever watch Harry Potter? He wrote in the book and it wrote back! SAM: No! I’ve never watched Harry Potter! TALIESIN: Who are you?! TRAVIS: Do you have a quill? Can you write it in? Can you write something in the book? SAM: I must have a quill, right? I’m a storyteller.

MATT: You’d have to pull it out of your pouch, yeah. SAM: Okay, I’ll pull out my quill. MATT: And your inkwell? SAM: Jesus. While we’re flying? This seems like a bad idea. This is a bad idea. MATT: Do you want to try it? SAM: No! How about when we land? LAURA: Did you cast Friends on it? Did it work? SAM: No. It absorbed the spell and seemed to like it, but nothing happened. TRAVIS: What else can you do to imbue it with magic? SAM: I have the Ioun Stone, but it doesn’t do anything. MATT: As you’re rushing, make another dexterity saving throw. LAURA: Jesus. Oh god. Okay. 27. MATT: (whoosh) You yank out of the way of another one that shifts. It’s one that goes from ceiling to floor, it’s one solid bookcase that comes right in the way.

You manage to dart around the side. Make another strength saving throw to hold onto the book. SAM: Oh, that’s 17. MATT: 17, okay. The book you hold onto with one hand, and you pull it back– SAM: I’ll try to cast a more powerful spell into it without hurting it, though, that’s the thing. If I do Lightning, what if it burns the fucking book? I’ll do Thunderwave on it, right? MATT: Thunderwave, the 1st-level spell? LAURA: Don’t you have Suggestion? SAM: Yeah. I’ll Dominate Monster, that’s a super high-level spell. MATT: What level spell is that? SAM: Eight. MATT: 8th-level spell, Dominate Monster on the book? Okay! As you’re flying through, you cast the spell into the book and the book takes the entirety of the spell into it, and you watch as suddenly text emboldens across all the pages on the inside.

The book is now filled with scribblings and writing. LAURA: What language is it?! SAM: I don’t know, what language is it?! MATT: It appears to be Common to you. (yelling) SAM: It’s a notebook! It’s somebody who was figuring this out as they were writing it! MATT: You glance over your shoulder, and it’s empty. LAURA: Are you sure something’s there? SAM: Yes, I have a beautiful mind! (laughter) MATT: With that, you arc down into the center of the library where you see the large dome where you first met Ioun.

You’re not sure how much time you have left, but it’s down to the wire. SAM: Do I see any words that say isolation or incantation or anything? LAURA: It’s a small book. SAM: I like to read things and really understand. MATT: The script on the cover seems, in a weird way, the best I could say is a Google Translate version, but it loosely translates to the Tome of Isolation, yes. LAURA: It’s the whole thing! SAM: It’s a cookbook. TRAVIS: She just asked for the tome, right? You got it. LAURA and SAM: Yeah! MARISHA: Alone: I am Tome. TRAVIS: She disappeared. Where is she? LAURA: She’s going to reappear, obviously. She knows we’re here. SAM: Let’s go down to her bowl. LAURA: Yeah, we’re at the bowl. SAM: All right, so let’s go down into the bowl and wait for her to arrive. MATT: You guys land in the center there. What’s everybody else doing right now? LIAM: I barrel rolled out of the way as they rushed by.

TALIESIN: I was sitting on the couch. TRAVIS: I’ve been digging through the pillows. LAURA: Looking for change in the couch? DARIN: Did you know that “Heck, nah” could rhyme with Vecna? Did you hear what I said? SAM: I heard when you yelled it. It was the “Neck, Ma,” that I couldn’t come up with a way– DARIN: If you’re speaking to your mother, let’s say, and pointing at your neck. LAURA: You’re such a pain in the neck, Ma! DARIN: Exactly! Pain in the neck, Ma! Looking for Vecna, he’s a pain in the neck, Ma! Find him? I say heck nah! SAM: I wish you would have been chosen by Ioun.

MATT: As soon as that happens, the wind picks up, and for a moment you close your eyes from the sudden burst of air into your face. As you reopen and adjust, there in the center of the dome where she was before, you see the Knowing Mistress. There, resting her arms crossed in front of her robes. She looks out. “Are you to present your findings?” SAM: I casually blow the hair out of my face and walk over to her and say, O mighty goddess, it was a challenging challenge, but I think you’ll be pretty happy with the results.

As I hold up the book, I’ll cast Wrist Pocket and make it disappear. Oh god, oh it’s gone! Just kidding. And it’s back. MATT: She doesn’t flinch. SAM: This is what we’ve found for you. I hope it pleases you. MATT: “And this is your final choice?” SAM: You know, we didn’t actually look at the other ten books. TRAVIS: Regis Philbin. LIAM: Is that your final answer? SAM: Yes. With conviction, I firmly believe that this is the correct book. MATT: “Very well.” She takes it and looks at it. “It has been a while since I thumbed through these “pages myself.

This will do you well in the coming fray.” And she hands it out to you. SAM: Can I still see the writing? MATT: Yeah. SAM: I’ll cherish it always. MATT: “You, who have wandered the vast library that surrounds you through your knowledge, through “your magnetic telling and spinning of yarns, through your knowledge of history, perseverance, “and apparently decent grip, have managed to return to me and complete the challenge I set before you. “And for that, I grant my grace unto you for the coming fray, Scanlan Shorthalt.” And it’s a little off-putting at first, but in her forehead, where you saw her two purple eyes, a third eye opens up in the center of the forehead. It seems to glow for a second. You watch as on Scanlan, this warmth fills your body; you stand up straight instinctually. You guys watch as this strange purple glow appears in the center of his forehead in the same place where her eye was.

LAURA: Ugh, you have a third eye! SAM: Is it cool or is it gross? TRAVIS and LIAM: It’s cool. SAM: Chicks will dig? TRAVIS: Yep! Third nip, third eye. You’re good. MATT: It gently fades away. The warmth vanishes and you’re restored to yourself. That given the case, you have the Tome of Isolation and the Blessing of the Knowing Mistress. LIAM: You chose wisely. SAM: Okay, I gain plus two to my intelligence! Whoa! MARISHA: All the timesies?! SAM: As a bonus action, I can channel the omniscience of Ioun. For one hour, whenever you successfully hit a creature with a spell or attack, you can learn one of the creature’s stats of your choice from the following list: AC, senses, saving throw bonuses, damage resistances, damage immunities, damage vulnerabilities. During this hour, you also have advantage on initiative rolls and on saving throws. Once this ability is used, it cannot be used again for a week.

Okay! MARISHA: How many things can you learn about? SAM: Just one. LAURA: We can learn what its vulnerabilities are. LIAM: That’s like a game mod for a character. TRAVIS: It’s the gold thing that came with the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The Game Genie. LIAM: I certainly remembered my Charlemagne! Let my armies be the– LIAM and TALIESIN: — rocks and the trees and birds in the sky. SAM: The tome: As an action, I can expend a spell slot of any level higher than three, thank you Travis. The cover and the pages glow of secret text of the Rites of Prime Banishment. While legible, you can spend an action to invoke the Rites of Banishment against the target. The target must make a wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the target is banished and sealed and this book is immediately teleported to the Endless Atheneeum. On a success, the text becomes blurred until the end of your next turn.

LAURA: On a success? SAM: On a success. On a failure of their saving throw. Right, yeah? MATT: If they succeed on their saving throw, they resist the ability and you cannot read the book for another turn. SAM: Got it. Then, after that turn, I can read it again? LAURA: What does it say the DC is? SAM: DC ten. A wisdom saving throw– oh! That’s key info. Plus five to DC for each Divine Trammel fused to the target. We’ve got to be matadors and attach a bunch of pegs to the thing before we deliver the killing blow. LAURA: We literally stick the trammels onto Vecna? SAM: We’ll be picadors, right? They put the darts on the back of the bull to soften it up and (whoosh) killing blow! MARISHA: And do we have any of these yet? LAURA: I have one! No, I have a stone. MATT: You have a stone that supposedly has something to do with their construction. MARISHA: But we were supposed to ask Ioun. LAURA: Yeah, I’m going to. SAM: No, I think we’re done here, guys.

LIAM: We’ll just go to Home Depot and get some trammels. LAURA: Can I pull out the little pearl of power? MATT: All right. You pull it out and there it glows before you. It’s bright like a tiny star for a second and you have to avert your gaze. But there it is, still warm to the touch. The small pearl of bright, divine light. “With this blessing, I hope to be of some aid in the coming “battle. Also, any questions you may have, I’m here to answer.” SAM: Yes, so many! LAURA: How do we make a trammel? We have a stone, and we want more, I assume. MATT: “The Prime Trammel you speak of, the companion to this rite of which you’ve sought out “and recovered, the construct is small, but complex. The design is unknowable for most mortal “eyes. Each trammel requires a fragment of divinity. You have one there. That fragment is “lost until the seal is broken, so it is a very exhausting process for a deity to give this “fragment.

“Now, the original trammels that we had utilized were forged by the hand of the Allhammer atop the “fiery Core Anvil deep beneath the Ozmit Sea.” MARISHA: Wait, the core? MATT: “The Core Anvil.” LAURA: In the Ozmit Sea. MATT: “To seal a god, the number of trammels you will require depends on how marred the god may be. “You have an easier chance of applying the trammels the more wounded the entity is.

It is imperfect, “and it’s only been given use the once against the Chained Oblivion. With the Luck Bringer’s “blessing, we succeeded against the entity. It took us four trammels and the full might of Pelor upon “the beast to banish it beyond the veil. However, the Chained Oblivion’s power was fully realized at “this time. “Now, the Core Anvil, this was part of the domain of the Allhammer’s greatest creations. It was “where the first dwarves were given form and breath, it’s where the trammels were carved and “made in the last great war. It lies beneath the undersea volcano now known as Scaldseat.” LAURA: Scaldseat? MATT: “Scaldseat. It sits at the bottom of the ocean off the eastern coast of Issylra, not far “from the fishing village known as Shorecomb.” At which point, the third eye flashes in the direction of Keyleth. Keyleth, a vision fills your mind suddenly of the shoreline over Issylra. The cold, cloud-covered sky, but you see below grass and recent rainfall-covered fields that lead to a somewhat marshy and mud-covered shoreline. There, you see a small fishing village leading out to a rocky beachfront and waves that crest and break against a drop-off into the ocean.

You can see some low-built docks that lead all the fishermen in and out into the ocean. The vision pulls you back miles away from that. You get a sense, as you see this small column of black smoke that emerges from the ocean across endless open sea, that is the signal of where this volcano lies. The vision fades from you. She leans to you and says, “Find a way below, through the tunnels of “toxic fume, unbreathable without proper preparation, to the Core Anvil and forge these “trammels.

Be warned: There may be protections that still remain within the forgotten halls of the “Allhammer, or new denizens that occupy the subterranean depths. Now, to forge such a trammel, “however, is an undertaking no mortal has attempted. To shape the materials would require “the strength of a titan.” She looks towards you and the eye flashes and suddenly your mind fills with hundreds of years of the knowledge of folding heated metals, of the clinks of lives past, shaping and building weapons and armor and for a second you pull back and you can see the large dwarf-like stone form of the Allhammer, slamming down onto the heated metals of the Core Anvil.

As the vision fades, you know how to forge, so you are now proficient with blacksmithing tools. TRAVIS: Proficient with blacksmithing tools? LAURA: Awesome! Oh my god, you were a boot maker, and now you’re a weapon maker! MATT: Suddenly, you understand most of the tools in Percy’s workshop. TRAVIS: That water’s not so evil, after all! (laughter) TRAVIS: Wait a minute! MATT: “But not just the strength of a titan. For to understand the intricacies of this design will “also require the ingenuity of a madman.” She turns towards you, Percy. TRAVIS: Don’t look at somebody else, motherfucker. That’s you! MARISHA: Trying to look away, kid at the back of the classroom. LIAM: Percy takes one step behind Keyleth. TRAVIS: It’s like the kid that farts in class and then looks at the guy behind him. MATT: The third eye opens once more and flashes. You see the purple glow in the center of Percival’s forehead for a moment. In an instant, the intricate designs of the Prime Trammel flood into your mind, the celestial instructions racing through like a shock of electricity, the blueprints spinning like a clear dream, straight out of Flight of the Navigator, all of the star charts being crammed at once.

With that, it drops from your mind and you fall to your knees with a pounding headache. TALIESIN: I’m not supposed to know that. (groans) MATT: “And you will only know it for as long as it’s required.” She thinks for a second. “We, the “creators, did breathe the beauty into this world, we planted the seeds that would blossom into this “incredible weave of Exandria. However, what is the purpose of the parent but to teach what they can, “then set the children free? Some gods rule through fear, others through love, and others still “through perceived fate. Destiny has its place, but the real deception is that you have no choice. A “path can be groomed before you, but it is you who must take those steps. Not every rosy walkway “leads to a better day. “For me, our greatest purpose has passed the moment we granted your forbearers the spark to “seek their own purpose. We now stay to inspire, to guide, to guard the Gate, to keep the hate of “ignorance we spawned in our hubris from burning away everything.

The rest is up to you. We need “you, perhaps, but you do not need us. That is our gift. You, Fate-Touched, you are the embodiment of “this truth. All mortal life has potential with or without the gods. We offer some paths, but it’s up “to you to decide if they are the right ones for you. Anyway.” And she clutches her stomach a moment. “What more do you ask of me? What more do you wish to know?” LIAM: I have questions. MATT: “Yes, ask.” LIAM: Vecna. You’re familiar. You know not where he is. You know of him. MATT: “I know as much of his history as I was allowed to see, yes. Vecna was a force of “insurmountable intellect among mortals, and his creative bending of known arcane theory enabled “many of the powerful artifacts of war that stoked the flames of the Calamity a century later.

His “contributions were appreciated, but overlooked by those around him. In his hubris, he sought to “carve history in his image. He sought forgotten magics and slew those who shared this same “knowledge to leave only him standing with it. He bypassed his own mortality through terrible “necromantic rites to lichdom, amassing a force of like-minded followers and hordes of undead “terrors, then vanished into the Shadowfell to overtake the dark city of Thar Amphala, where he “erected the terrible tower Entropis.

From this very seat of power, Vecna harnessed an event “called the Celestial Solstice. He used this merging of ley energies and power to reforge “manses of energy all across Exandria to suit his needs, opening the portals at his whim within his “city to anywhere across the world, allowing his armies to lay siege to anything before him and “extend his influence and rule. His horde assaulted a couple of prominent townships, slaughtering “denizens and forcing old enemies to kneel, before slaying and raising them as his own.

“One such rival was named Kas, who, upon their defeat, was offered eternal life through vampirism “in exchange for swearing fealty to Vecna as his chief lieutenant. This made Kas into Kas the “Bloody-Handed. Vecna forged a relic blade for him with a fraction of his consciousness and gifted it “to his new lieutenant, and with this, the lich lord had become a new terror among the rising “tensions of the bickering nations. Months of turmoil followed as the shadow of Vecna’s “unstoppable forces struck with precision and those fled before retaliation. However, the use of the “Solstice was discovered and reverse-engineered, allowing the holy army the Beacon of Arms to storm “his city under the banner of the Dawnfather, led by the champion Yos Varder. “Climbing Entropis to face the lich lord in combat, Yos Varder was struck down by the Undying “King with a mortal blow. In the final moments of the hero’s life, he witnessed the lieutenant Kas “turn on his winded master and strike him with the very blade he was gifted, driven to usurp him, to “become his own, new lord.

The ensuing conflict left Kas nothing but ash, and utterly destroyed “Vecna’s body, leaving nothing but his left eye and hand. Yos passed on to the realm of Pelor, due to “his wounds, and the survivors left the Shadowfell with tales of victory. “The terrible artifacts: the eye, the hand, the sword, were never recovered. The sword is bent on “vengeance, on hatred for the Whispered One. A powerful evil drives that sword, but for a just “end. Should one be able to find and tame such a thing, it may be of great use. “That is all I have to offer on the history of Vecna and I hope it can be of aid to you in your “coming battle.” TALIESIN: What was the name of the sword? MATT: “The Sword of Kas.” MARISHA: The Sword of Kas.

Okay. LAURA: Did it have a name? TALIESIN: Where was it last seen? MATT: In Thar Amphala, at the scene of the battle. MARISHA: Oh! Okay. The Sword of Kas. LAURA: You don’t think? SAM: I don’t think. What are the odds, right? TRAVIS: It was 800 years ago. MARISHA and SAM: Different sword. TRAVIS: Not Craven Edge? LIAM: I have another question for you. MATT: “Yes?” LIAM: You know who I serve. MATT: “I do. I see the shadows that cling to you.” LIAM: Vecna seeks godhood, and we understand that my lady achieved the same. Did you learn anything from her path that would help us here? MATT: (sighs) You watch as suddenly her expression changes.

Her mouth falls open ever so gently and her hair, wavy and calm, seems to curl in but a moment and lift. Her expression falls to one of trepidation and horror. “And then there was one more. “The ritual is complete. I can sense his ascension. The cosmos expand to make room. “Our timetable accelerates.” You can see now, her eyes begin to race back and forth. “It will take “him some time to understand and utilize his nature fully. If he expands beyond his avatar, it will be “more difficult to seal him. The more trammels it may require and the loss maybe far greater.” LAURA: Do you have a seed of power? MATT: “Understand,” and she leans forward to you. “I am not Ioun given full form, but a partial “avatar of my essence given shape by the worship of my children, as was the Dawnfather that guided you “here.

Our realms are our bodies, and our true presence held in the hearts of those that grant us “their faith. To hold purely as an avatar like this is dangerous, for while it focuses and grants us “much present power, as we were forced to do in the Calamity, in the last great war, it may also leave “us open to grievous injury.” She opens her robe, and there you can see amongst the olive-gold skin, you see a large darkened gash that still festers, unhealed to this day, of black, curling void. As you look at this open wound, you feel yourself drawn toward it; your vision begins to be pulled towards this infinite nothing. She closes it. You can see a bit of sweat dripping from the brow. “The cost was great, but necessary.

Vecna’s ascended being is fresh. He will need to expand “his worship vastly to learn how to disseminate his power and claim his domains. What he will need for “this to happen is a display of unstoppable power, a miracle of terror, a wave of despair that would “occupy the hearts of many in but a moment. I know not his method, but I know enough of his ways to “assume there’s already a plan in motion and has been for some time.

If you can strike before he “claims his full ascension, before he can seize his dominion on this plane, than you may still have a “chance.” She turns to you, Scanlan. “You are the teller of tales, one who enlivens the world through song and word. “Take this fragment of my own story and help craft the passages of the world’s future.” She reaches into the center of her robe, and almost seems to be into her chest and plucks forth a small, gray gem about the size of a peanut.

It glows faintly, and as she removes it, you hear a terrible creaking sound throughout the library. You watch as books plummet from the darkness above and slam into the ground around you. Distant cases crack and bow. The roar of the damaged space echoes to a halt, the danger seemingly in control. “There. I can spare no more. I must rest and concentrate.” DARIN: I have something of you inside of me.

Would it help you? MATT: She smiles. “I could use a steward for a moment. Someone eager to learn and relearn some “important lessons. Ethred Brokenbranch.” DARIN: That’s me! MATT: “Would you be so kind as to help an old woman tend to her books a bit?” DARIN: It would be my pleasure. I didn’t believe in you. I didn’t think you were real, but I found out that things aren’t what we seem.

And things can change. It would be my honor. (stammers) Could I say goodbye? MATT: “Of course.” DARIN: Also, do you know where there’s an imp by the name of Demistrik and if he’s all right? MATT: “He’s fine for now.” DARIN: I’m not asking for me. The nice lady with the antlers wanted to know. MATT: “He’s fine, but woe to those who live in the home in Kraghammer where he’s currently rooted.” DARIN: He’s a very bad performer. I’ll be right with you. MATT: “Of course.” DARIN: Well, then. This is different! I don’t think I’m going to be alone anymore. I asked you for power, but it seems like you gave me strength. TRAVIS: Oh. I’m glad to hear that. DARIN: Thank you. And you. You called me darling.

No one ever did that before. (growl) LAURA: (tongue click) I kiss him on the forehead. DARIN: Well! Oh dear me. Oh goodness gracious. Be happy. Life is loud and noisy, and it’s a celebration. I didn’t know that. So once in a while, with what little time we have, be happy. I was wrong about you, you know. SAM: Me? DARIN: Oh, you’re far greater than I will ever be. If only I could be a mirror of you. SAM: Thank you, Sprigg, for everything. We’ve only known you a short time– DARIN: I’m only a short person. (laughs) You can have that one for free. Okay, good. Go on. SAM: No, you’ve taught us much in a short time, and I’m sorry that we broke your house, but it seems like you’ve found a suitable replacement.

DARIN: Well, a lot of books in here. That’s going to keep me busy. And you (groans) secrets. Celebrate it with your friends. Remember that. And when I look at these books, I’m going to think of you. TALIESIN: That pleases me. DARIN: Oh, good. TALIESIN: Be happy here. DARIN: (laughs) I think you’re going to be the hardest to say goodbye to, because you cared. No one ever cared before. That’s why they called me Sprigg. I wasn’t good enough to be a Brokenbranch. I was just a sprig. That’s how I got my name. MARISHA: If only people knew that sprigs give foundation to the entire tree. DARIN: Thank you. MATT: She extends her hand to you. DARIN: Well, this is new. MATT: “And should your friends succeed, there is far much more to look forward to learning.” DARIN: Excellent. But some of those little wispy things, I don’t trust them, you know.

If they get out of order, we should wispy thing grab. How will we remember that? MATT: “This is going to be a very good conversation to have.” DARIN: We need a mnemonic device. Come! We’ll think of one. MATT: “Very well. We shall. As for the rest of you, I feel my power is waned, and I don’t have “the means of sending you away myself. But if you are able to return under your own power?” MARISHA: (whispers) Of course. MATT: “Then I wish you all the greatest of luck. And please, don’t be a stranger.” LAURA: Oh! I have your books. SAM: Oh, yes. 24 of them. LAURA: I think they were really secret ones, so I would hate to take those out of here. MATT: You watch as three spectral servants apparate behind you and pick up the books and begin to take them back to be organized.

“Not to worry. Travel safe, my friends. And Scanlan, don’t “ever forget how important you are to them, to Kaylie, and to yourself. You owe yourself far more “that you lend.” SAM: I will remember. DARIN: Goodbye. TRAVIS: Bye, Sprigg. LAURA: Take care, darling. MARISHA: Bye, Sprigg. SAM: Until next time. DARIN: That’s good. Off we go, then. MATT: “Come, my friend.” She takes his hand and stands up, and they both begin to walk away and as it does there’s a slight increase of light in the room. There’s a flash, and then as it slowly comes back to a normal sight, you find yourself back at the entrance almost bathhouse-like area of the domain where you arrived, the marble slightly more cracked that you left it before, but still standing.

LIAM: Enjoy the other side, Sprigg. LAURA: I go up to Percy. Are you all right, dear? TALIESIN: Strangely, yes. Yes, quite. Didn’t think I would be. MARISHA: Vax. Is that what’s going to happen when you leave? LIAM: (whispers) I don’t know. MARISHA: Okay. Shall we? LAURA: Where are we going? TALIESIN: Back to where we came from. TRAVIS: In the beginning? Or more recently? TALIESIN: Back to the cabin. SAM: The cabin? TALIESIN: The little house. SAM: You mean Sprigg’s cabin? Why would we go there? TALIESIN: Because we still have a man tied up. He’s been sitting there for probably about an hour or two. SAM: Who? TRAVIS: Oh yeah, the guy that you put in the shackles. SAM: I’m sure he’s fine. Let’s just go to Whitestone. TRAVIS: But we want to get the shackles back. SAM: Oh, it’s the shackles. TALIESIN: Well, I want to talk to him, too, but yes. SAM: We’re going for the shackles. LAURA: They’re pretty cool. TALIESIN: They are pretty impressive. SAM: But she said the timetable is shortened. TALIESIN: Why are we going to Whitestone, then? SAM: We have to find this place in the middle of the ocean.

TALIESIN: Well, now that we know where it is, you can probably bamf us there, can’t you? LIAM: I need to go Whitestone or to Vasselheim. MARISHA: Before we go to Issylra? Wait. Is Vasselheim on Issylra? How close did I recognize the shore– MATT: Shorecomb? Shorecomb is about 200, 250 miles away from Vasselheim, to the southwest. MARISHA: Southwest, going towards Pyrah. Okay. MATT: Beyond Pyrah, along the coast. MARISHA: Start there. I should be able to Tree Stride us right there. Right? LAURA: From the cabin to Vasselheim? MARISHA: I think so. MATT: None of the particular trees you got a close look at. You may have to scry to get a specific tree in mind for the spell, but you can do that. LAURA: Pike, you seem very quiet. MATT: Pike goes, “I’m sorry, I’m just overwhelmed. There’s a lot going on.” TRAVIS: I know when I feel overwhelmed I like to punch things. You want to hit me? MATT: “Okay.” (punching noise) And she socks you in the gut. TRAVIS: (groans) Too strong.

Oh, such a monster. MATT: “Sorry.” And she Cures Wounds on you. TRAVIS: Thank you. MARISHA: I burn my 8th-level spell to Plane Shift us back to Sprigg’s house. MATT: All right. As you all gather hands together, with the familiar flash and a pull through the Divine Gate, you all find yourselves thrust once more back to the Prime Material Plane. As your feet land squarely in the partially charred, wooded remains of Sprigg’s house, deep in a ravine in the Cliffkeep Mountains of Tal’Dorei in Exandria. And that’s where we’re going to take a break. SAM: Wow. TRAVIS: Fudge knuckles. MATT: Darin. Thank you so much for joining us. TRAVIS: Darin De Paul! (applause) MATT: Dude. Thank you for coming. DARIN: It had to happen. It’s history. It’s a journey. MARISHA: 35 years? DARIN: 37. MATT: It’s crazy. I love it.

DARIN: And who knows? Maybe something will happen. Yeah, in another 37 years! We’ll do this again! MATT: There you go. Hopefully sooner, but yeah. DARIN: Thank you guys. SAM: It was a pleasure. We know you just came on this show so you could get onto Talks. But we’ll take it anyway. MARISHA: Yeah, you could have just asked if you wanted to meet Brian Foster. DARIN: His hair is so cool. LAURA: He’s got a good beard. MATT: All right, guys, so before we go, we’ll have a giveaway during the break in which we’re giving out this awesome– oh god, this awesome pieces of pieces. This is the purpleheart dice tower from Wyrmwood. The same color that you use to assemble your awesome magnetic dice tower from Wyrmwood. What was the word we chose? OFFSCREEN: Knowledge.

MATT: Thank you. Knowledge. The word in the chat room is knowledge. MARISHA: I thought you said college. SAM: I did, too. MATT: Yeah. Go to college, kids. But yeah, so go over to the Twitch chat, and when prompted, go ahead and enter the word knowledge to enter the giveaway. And we’ll have the announcement of who won that when we come back from the break. See you guys in a few minutes. [break] MATT: And welcome back, everybody. Couple of things. First off, couple of mid-show announcements we forgot to mention. One, Laura did Signal Boost, which you just saw! (cheering) MATT: It’s a good one. Second, if you haven’t seen it already, we announced at Comic-Con that we are doing a Critical Role comic book.

(excited noises) MATT: We’re super excited. It’s written by good friend of the show Matt Colville. If you’re not familiar with his stuff, you should. He’s written a couple of books, he’s written a lot of video game stuff and he’s very talented. LIAM: The dialogue is to <i>die</i> for. MARISHA: He is on this week’s episode of GM Tips. TALIESIN: You can check him out, right there. MATT: He has a great YouTube channel. He’s a good friend of the show and his writing is amazing. And our artist, Olivia Samson, who is a Critter artist in the community for quite some time.

We wanted to pull somebody from the community to bring the story to life of how Vox Machina came together, how they met. And then, if it goes well, continue to do the story of all the pre-stream adventures that you guys didn’t get a chance to see. That’s the goal, we’ll see, long-term. We’re happy to announce it. We’ll have more information in the future about it as it comes out. LIAM: I’ve seen most of the art for issue one and it is fucking legit! LAURA: I haven’t seen it! LIAM: Oh, well. SAM: If I may, Matt? Music level, split the difference. TRAVIS: And to EmeraldStar in the chat, who named their puppy Grog, that’s awesome.

MATT: That is awesome. Congrats on your puppy! There is a winner. Well, the puppy named Grog. And the winner of the giveaway is FluffyArsonist. FluffyArsonist, congratulations, Danoba will contact you to get your information and get that shipped out to you. TRAVIS: Hard to be mad at an arsonist when they’re fluffy. MATT: It’s hard. All righty, so. Diving back in. You guys were returning to Whitestone? Where were you going? MARISHA: Sprigg’s. MATT: Oh, Sprigg’s cabin, correct. As the surge of momentum comes to a halt and your feet once again touch the ground here within the somewhat-charred remains of Sprigg’s cabin, you look about.

The crickets have taken the surrounding forest. Night has fallen since your exit. What would you like to do? TRAVIS: Are there any threatening creatures in the vicinity? MATT: Make a perception check. LAURA: Can I look, too, because we’d been fighting when we left, so I’m going to make sure– TRAVIS: Don’t worry, it’s a 14. MATT: You glance about very quickly at the surrounding woods and trees, and aside from a squirrel that scatters upon the sound of your footfalls– LAURA: Careful of traps. They’re still in place. TRAVIS: Yeah, the squirrel goes (running noise, explosion). LAURA: Bear trap. LIAM: Slams two feet above it, though. TALIESIN: I’m going to go into the room and find the nice creature that we left there.

MATT: As you walk amongst the rubble, you see there, trapped within the iron cage-like manacles and bindings of the small iron ball, you see the slathering tongue of the undead entity that you had entrapped. (slobbering noises) TALIESIN: Oh, I don’t suppose we need you any more, do we? I’m going to take out my sword and very slowly end that. MATT: (pained noises) You see it squeal out as you slowly saw your way into its body until it lies still once more, robbing it of its second death. TALIESIN: Manners! MATT: The ball retracts. LAURA: While he was doing that, I want to stealth away with my brother for a moment and say, I’m sorry.

About everything. LIAM: How far away did you just pull me? LAURA: Far enough that nobody can hear us. MATT: Make an investigation check. LAURA: Jesus Christ. Ten. God damn it. MATT: As you pull him off, you get three steps from the building before (crash) a heavy, iron bear trap snaps onto your leg. TRAVIS: Outstanding! LAURA: Thank you. Thank you, Matt. SAM: We’re basically gods. (laughter) TRAVIS: The words were uttered. MATT: 11 points of piercing damage and you are currently grappled. LAURA: I deserved that. That’s karma. LIAM: Let’s get it off your foot. I’ll help her pull it off.

MATT: Okay. Between the two of you, it takes you a moment, but you manage to peel it off. The wounds aren’t too bad. LIAM: I cast Lay on Hands. You’re back to normal. You’re fine. Your boot’s ripped up. All right, watch your step. Come on. Past it all. LAURA: Oh, okay. LIAM: Yeah. LAURA: I’m going to not move, though, because I don’t want to step on another one of those fucking things. MARISHA: While Keyleth chuckles about that a little bit, I’m going to look around and find a little piece to remember Sprigg by from his house to take with me. TALIESIN: I’m going to check through the books to see if there’s anything. MARISHA: And then I’ll help him check the books once I’ve grabbed something. MATT: Make an investigation check, each of you.

TALIESIN: 22. MARISHA: Yours is much better than mine. Five. MATT: Five. You find some elements of partially charred pipes, some small statues that were destroyed in the recent battle. You find some unkept plants that were plotted and then left to dry out. There are many things here that you could take if you wanted to have memory of him. MARISHA: Does this rusty bolt represent Sprigg? TALIESIN: No. I think that may have actually come with us, that might have been us.

MARISHA: I’ll regrow this plant later. MATT: There you go. MARISHA: Sprigg. MATT: While you search through books, you pull Vax off to the side. LIAM: Can I ask you a question? LAURA: Yes. LIAM: First, I’m very happy for you. Congratulations! LAURA: Thank you. LIAM: I’ve seen it coming for a long time. LAURA: I didn’t. LIAM: Well, you’re smart in a lot of other ways.

I’m so happy; he makes you so happy, and when I go, you’re in good hands. And he’s in good hands. He’s getting the better end of the bargain. LAURA: Yeah, I think so, too. I didn’t plan it. If I had, I would have told you. And then when I saw you, it seemed like bad timing to say anything, and then things kept happening. (sighs) LIAM: Well, Stubby, I spent so many years standing at your side. I guess I thought on <i>that</i> day, I’d be standing at your side. LAURA: I know. It was very spur-of-the-moment. Nobody was standing at our side, except for each other. LIAM: Well, under ordinary circumstances, I would be giving you quite an earful, but there’s nothing ordinary about any of this. I don’t have time to be upset at my oldest friend. I just don’t have time. So I love you. And I’m happy for you. LAURA: I don’t want you to go. I love you. LIAM: You know I love you. Would you do me one favor? When I’m gone– I don’t know, we could be dead tomorrow. LAURA: We could. I could die before you.

LIAM: She’s probably going to outlast you, but while you’re around, keep her company for me? LAURA: If she ever talks to me again, I swear I will. LIAM: Well, what you’ve got going for you is you look a lot like me. You can remind her of me once in a while. LAURA: Good call. LIAM: Hey. It’s okay. Happy for you. LAURA: Thank you. LIAM: Watch out for bear traps.

LAURA: Thank you. LIAM: And I make a perception check as I walk back by myself. (laughter) MATT: Yeah, you’ve traced your path back, you manage to avoid the traps easily this time being far more aware of the surroundings. In the meantime, while you two are rummaging through the household. MARISHA: We’re looking through the books, yeah. TALIESIN: Looking through books. MARISHA: Do you think we’ll ever have gods in our lives? TALIESIN: You know… MARISHA: I don’t think they fancy us much.

I don’t really fancy them, though, so I guess that’s fair. They’re allowed that. TALIESIN: I’m not angry. MARISHA: (sighs) Me neither. TALIESIN: My books are still lovely, the library is still lovely. It made a lot of things better. MARISHA: You know, I felt really guilty about it for a while, like something was wrong with me? I don’t understand why I didn’t feel it, why I didn’t understand. I don’t think it was until Sarenrae and even Ioun just now mentioned that we serve that balance and that non-believers are necessary. It made me feel like a little bit less of a fuck-up, I guess, in this whole situation. TALIESIN: I think you’re just fine. (laughs) Mostly. MARISHA: Apparently, you’re a madman. TALIESIN: Apparently. MARISHA: A god called you a madman. TALIESIN: I know. Honestly, I’m a little touched. MARISHA: It’s kind of a compliment. TALIESIN: Yeah, if it weren’t for the migraine. I’m sorry, by the way. You may be the only one who understands this, but I needed something that was mine for a little while.

So little of who we are is ours, and I knew it would end, but it was nice. MARISHA: Wow. TALIESIN: Ioun is quite a goddess, and she does not respect secrets, though. I, on the other hand, feel that secrets can be precious. MARISHA: Apparently. I just don’t understand why you were still enigmatic after you already told us in front of Pelor. It’s kind of a slap in the face. TALIESIN: Well, I thought she may kill me at that point. I was honestly fearing for my life there a little bit, and at that point everything was so awkward. MARISHA: I hope you know my frustration is only out of– well, what you just said, I guess. Wanting something to be mine that I won’t have. TALIESIN: Well, we’ll see. I don’t know. MARISHA: Some things you don’t get to keep.

TALIESIN: Yes, one of the bonuses of not being one of the chosen of the gods is we don’t have to believe in destiny. We just, I think, heard a big speech from a god about not believing in destiny. MARISHA: I followed destiny my whole life. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I realized the whole thing was ironic. TALIESIN: Why do we have to listen to anything they say? MARISHA and TALIESIN: Cheers. MARISHA: Cheers to the faithless. I kind of inhaled a little bit. TALIESIN: That was a plant. You’ve been holding a plant and I’ve been holding a book. That got weird. MARISHA: I don’t even know where we got these glasses in the story.

TALIESIN: I think that was legitimately you were still holding a potted plant. MARISHA: Oh god. (spluttering) This coffee’s been there for a while. SAM: Crudite? Crudite? (laughter) TALIESIN: How does it feel to be chosen by a goddess at this point? SAM: Who, me? TALIESIN: Yes, you! I know you’ve been listening. TRAVIS: No, I pull Scanlan aside. TALIESIN: We all watch. SAM: A moment alone, please. TRAVIS: I want to see it. SAM: My cube? TRAVIS: No, the seed. The little bean. SAM: You want to see it? TRAVIS: Yeah, I want to see it.

SAM: All right. TRAVIS: Is it squishy? SAM: Didn’t you do this before with the other one? TRAVIS: Did I? SAM: Didn’t you try to squish it or something? MARISHA: That was the grain of sand. TRAVIS: I don’t know what any of you are talking about. Are you giving it to me? Yep. I’ve got it. Over here. (sniffs) What does it smell like? (deep inhale) What does it smell like? MATT: Make a perception check.

LAURA: It’s a seed of power, Grog. TRAVIS: Don’t fucking rob me of my discovery. 11. MATT: Best you can make out, it smells like dusty tomes. It smells like old, forgotten papers and parchment. TRAVIS: Smells like old money. It’s been tucked in that old boob crevice. I want you to swallow the bean. SAM: Swallow the bean? TRAVIS: Think about Sprigg, right? His tummy was glowing like fucking Teddy Ruxpin. I want to see you swallow that shit. SAM: Sure. All right, I will mime swallowing the bean while I Wrist Pocket it. TRAVIS: (gasps) Oh my god! What, are you crazy? I was only kidding! MATT: Make a sleight of hand check. SAM: Five. MATT: Grog, make a perception check. TRAVIS: I lose these every time, no matter how low it is. Eight. Nope. That’s a six minus one, which is five.

(laughter) MATT: You all watch as he takes the small essence stone and whispers under his breath a small incantation and flicks his fingers, then it vanishes, and he goes– it’s so overt, yet you are entranced. He swallowed that thing! TRAVIS: I hope you know what you’re doing. Do we get time with you before you leave? SAM: I trust you 100 percent, Grog. LIAM: Scanlan just did the trick I do with my kids all the time, which is watch! One, two, three. It’s gone! (laughter) TRAVIS: Where did that pencil go?! I pick Scanlan up by the scruff of his neck, and I hold my ear to his tummy.

MATT: Make a perception check. TRAVIS: Nine! SAM: My stomach exists. MATT: Yeah. You hear the occasional (grumbling). TRAVIS: Oh my god. It’s growing. Tell me your last rites before you burst, if it happens. SAM: I leave all of my worldly possessions to you, Grog. TRAVIS: Oh shit. Write that down, somebody? LAURA: I’ve got it, Grog. I’ve got it. TRAVIS: I’m holding him up like a seashell. TALIESIN: Shake him a bit.

It will stop the reaction. LAURA: Stop manhandling Scanlan! TRAVIS: Why? LAURA: Because he doesn’t like it. TRAVIS: Do you not like it? SAM: Ordinarily, yes, but not today. (laughter) SAM: When I pass it, I’ll retrieve the item. TRAVIS: Oh shit. SAM: Exactly. TALIESIN: He’s keeping it secret. Keeping it safe. TRAVIS: You lost me. TALIESIN: I know. LAURA: We probably need to hurry. TALIESIN: This is going to be an odd request. Let’s not go to Whitestone. TRAVIS: Why not? TALIESIN: I feel like we’re being watched. LAURA: Maybe Vasselheim? SAM: How did they know we were here? LAURA: Why didn’t we ask Ioun about that? SAM: Why did you just kill the assassin guy that we were going to ask? TALIESIN: It was an undead thing. It was just going to make a tongue at us. MATT: “He wasn’t really going to offer information, anyway.” SAM: Who are you? MARISHA: Who the fuck are you? TRAVIS: That’s Vecna.

LAURA: Is that the imp? MATT: No. Standing by the doorway, you see there, arms crossed, casually standing before you: Vecna. (shouting and screaming) MATT: (laughs) “Welcome back. You must have traveled quite a distance to be far from my sight.” LAURA: Is he see-through? I try to shoot an arrow at him. MATT: Okay, roll for an attack. LIAM: Cocked. LAURA: No, that’s not cocked. Cocked! 29. MATT: 29. (whoosh) It passes through his body. LAURA: I fucking knew it. MATT: He laughs for a second, and you see him smiling his terrible grin across curled, yellowed teeth. You see that flicker of green energy sparking in his left eye. It seems to pulse as his brow arches above it. “I admire your resolve. You did it. You solved the riddle. You found my home, “ruined my tower, slew one of my greatest acolytes, and even then, you failed. Still, impressive. That “is most definitely worthy of a fine round of applause.” LAURA: Thank you. MATT: The smug clapping comes to a halt. He nods. “You’re the only ones to get away.

Others found me “before you did, and another group of supposed heroes came and assaulted me shortly after you “vanished. No matter. They all failed. And rose again.” TALIESIN: Perception check. LAURA: Insight, maybe? MARISHA: Insight. Is he fucking lying? MATT: Insight check? Go for it, if you want to make one. LAURA: Who was it? Natural 20. MARISHA: Oh yes! LAURA: Thanks for double-checking. It is. Like I would lie about a natural fucking 20. LIAM: That’s a six. She’s lying. MARISHA: 22. SAM: Whispers? LAURA: He’s the god of secrets! What do you expect? LIAM: The pencils are adorable. MARISHA: They are so cute. SAM: You know what, guys? I didn’t know that this was ever a thing. LIAM: You didn’t know we were making pencils? Don’t you remember the holy Vox Machina text thread? MARISHA: We definitely sent them in the text thread. SAM: We’ve thrown out so many cool ideas on that text thread.

LAURA: When I say, hey, name your quote on the text thread, then you send in a quote, that means it’s probably pretty solid. SAM: I get asked for personal quotes all the time. MATT: “Consider your path one of earned existence. I would recommend you not waste such a rare lease “on your arrogant lives.” LIAM: I’m going to walk right up to him while he’s talking and inspect his ugly fucking face. MATT: You see through his beautifully adorned crushed velvet robes with gold trim. You see the tattered edges where gems and baubles hang around his neck.

You can see the tendons and muscle that are pulled taut against his skin, that is drawn against his nearly-skeletal frame. He smiles back at you, looking down from that one sickly, almost pale blue iris and that green glowing burst of energy where his other eye would be. LIAM: How’s that eye socket doing, friend? MATT: “Well, these are the concerns of a mortal. My vision sees far more than it once did.” MARISHA: While he’s rambling, can Keyleth be looking for the nearest big-ass tree? MATT: Sure. There’s plenty of big-ass trees in your area. TRAVIS: Booby traps. MARISHA: Any clear path of least resistance? MATT: Look at all these big-ass trees.

TALIESIN: Also, is there anybody in the forest? MARISHA: Natural 19. MATT: There’s plenty to see, and you don’t see anybody else nearby in the forest. MARISHA: Path of least resistance without traps? MATT: Yeah, you see a path you can take. LIAM: I’m not entirely certain I am mortal anymore. MATT: “I know what you are, and I know you know where I am. Come to me whenever you like.” LIAM: Oh, fuckstick, we are coming. MATT: “Are you all too bloody daft to see? It’s over. I’m no longer the Undying King. I am the “King of all Kings. I am not the Scourge in Secret. I am the Tyrant Unmatched.” LIAM: Yes, you’re very grand. And I begin to fingerfuck his eyehole in the illusion. So majestic. MATT: As soon as your finger goes forward, his image flickers out and appears in the same room, behind you, now right up against Percy and Scanlan. MARISHA: We need to go. MATT: “I am Vecna the Unholy. I am god upon Exandria. I come to play with the toys left by “insolent, forgotten ancients and make this world into a new epoch. What this means, however, is an “end to all.

An end to borders and nations. There will only be the will of Vecna. So. Ask “yourselves. You want peace? There is no peace, the way things are. You all bicker and stab and murder “in the names of your mothers, your fathers. But this one? Everyone will live, and when they die, “that need not be the end, either, under my banner. I can see your every move. I know your plot. I “know your destination. I know your plan, your capabilities, your allies, and your imminent “demise, should you continue.

I offer you the chance to stand down, discard your imprisoned “gods, and pledge to me. Many you love will. Many you love already have.” TRAVIS: (laughs) I love it when they come begging for a truce. That means he’s scared. MATT: “Is it more important to throw away your lives against an unstoppable god or to return to “your families–” LIAM: Grog, I think you’re right. MATT: “If you persist, I will not only destroy you, I will erase the memory of you ever existing “from the mind of anyone you’ve ever known or cared for.” LAURA: I don’t think you have that power.

MATT: “Then try me.” TALIESIN: I think, as generous as this offer is, we just don’t enjoy associating with new money. Let’s get out of here now. MATT: “Very well.” LAURA: I only serve gods with big dicks. MATT: “Enjoy the forge.” MARISHA: I point out the path. That way! Go! MATT: As the portal opens and you guys go darting off in that direction, you hear in the distance the (cackles). One after another, you all jump through the portal, emerging? MARISHA: In Vasselheim. MATT: In Vasselheim. (poof noise) All of you dart out just as the dusk sun begins to hit on the distant mountains this far across the ocean. MARISHA: I look around. Is there Vecna anywhere to be seen? MATT: Nowhere. TALIESIN: We need sanctuary. Can you make your mansion? SAM: Right now? TALIESIN: We need to rest, eventually, and you need to commune.

We’d better assume we’re being seen and heard at all times. LAURA: I wonder if he can see us in your dimension? TALIESIN: Maybe not. SAM: I don’t think so. TRAVIS: He said, of Exandria. MARISHA: He said he couldn’t see us when we were in the library. LIAM: Where do I feel him now? Same distance? MATT: Same distance. Same place. TALIESIN: Let’s do this quick. We need to rest. You need to talk. There’s much to do, and this does not feel good. LAURA: Go to Raven Queen’s temple right now? SAM: Raven Queen or the mansion? LAURA: Maybe we can do the mansion outside of her temple? SAM: Sure. TALIESIN: Or even inside. TRAVIS: Vasselheim doesn’t take very kindly to magic stuff. LAURA: We’ll be in her temple. MARISHA: Aren’t you also wanted here, right now? TALIESIN: I will literally shoot anybody who attempts to deal with it. Give him your hat.

MATT: The first thing you guys notice as you take in your surroundings: even though dusk is happening, there seems to be a larger bustle than you’re used to in Vasselheim. You begin to see there’s a skyship at port, and a lot of the various Bastions– the general Bastions, the volunteer army that run across much of the city– you see them darting back and forth, carrying supplies. There’s a buzzing energy to the air of the city that you haven’t seen in a while. TALIESIN: I’m going to grab someone, at some point. MARISHA: I did tell the Ashari to start alerting the nearby towns. MATT: You grab a gentleman who runs past you, he has a greying beard with patches of black still, his top of his head is shaved bald and you can see a bit of a tattoo across one half of his face that curls into his ear.

He’s rushing with a cluster of spears under one arm, and he’s wearing hide armor on his chest. TALIESIN: You there! What is the commotion? MATT: “Apparently, we’re gearing up for some sort of assault.” TALIESIN: How soon? MATT: “We don’t know. We’ve just been told to prepare.” TALIESIN: Who told? SAM: Probably us. TALIESIN: I just want to find out where it came from. MATT: “The chain of command from the top of the Bastions, as well. Apparently, from some of the “other temples here are speaking of some entity, some Vecna.” TALIESIN: Good man. Carry on. Prepare. MATT: “Very well.” MARISHA: I bet whenever he ascended, all the clerics felt it. LAURA: We’ll be fighting undead, more than likely. MATT: “Very well.” He goes to run off, two of his compatriots stop and turn and give a slow glance of recognition towards Grog. LAURA: Keep running. They’ve got bigger things happening right now, just keep running. MATT: You guys continue. They stare for a second, then keep running, they look to be preoccupied. But you get the sense that at least word of someone matching your image has been disseminated throughout the town.

TRAVIS: I am quite famous. SAM: Do you want me to disguise you? TRAVIS: Sure, why not. What am I looking like? SAM: Take this hat– TRAVIS: I have to attune to it; it takes forever. SAM: Fuck! All right, I’ll cast Seeming on you. On all of us. Because I can. TRAVIS: Will you make me look like Tary? LAURA: No, what? (laughter) LAURA: That’s not smart! TRAVIS: Well, it’s not like he was in the room where it happened.

TALIESIN: The room where it happened? MATT: The room where it happened. LAURA: Keep running toward the Raven Queen temple as that’s happening. MARISHA: We should probably try and use our words as much as possible. SAM: Blue and a foot smaller, like Blue Man Group. Black clothes, blue face, bald. MATT: So you have a little more of an aasimar appearance, though a larger one than you’ve seen. (laughter) MATT: All right, where are you guys charging off to? LIAM: Yeah, Raven Queen temple. MATT: Okay, you’re heading to the Raven’s Crest. All right. You make your way to the– MARISHA: I’m going to keep looking around, make sure no one’s tailing us. MATT: Okay, make a perception check. MARISHA: 21. MATT: 21? All right. Keeping an eye out, you don’t see anybody following you at the moment. That does not appear to be an issue. So you head to the area of the Duskmeadow, to the southeast of the city. You come through the dry, cold, and dusty sector. A little bit of snow appears to have melted into slush at the corners, but most of it has been pushed off the main roads to the side.

You see dirty snow matted at the edges. You follow Vax very quickly through the streets, and you see a few of the veiled maidens of the Raven’s Crest aerie taking note of you. And as you approach, they just point over to the Raven’s Crest silently as you walk past. LAURA: Quickly. Quickly walk past. LIAM: I’m going to walk up the steps and push open the door. MATT: You’re coming from the other side as opposed to the main entrance so you rush past the hall that goes, which is the Grand Library that’s attached to the Raven’s Crest.

LIAM: Everybody’s with me, right? MATT: Yeah, And you come to the front doors, they are closed currently, but you have two of the maidens there at the front, and as you begin to turn from the side, they glance over and give notice, and then turn and push the doors open in preparation. With that, you all enter Raven’s Crest itself, and looking within, you can see the beautiful interior of carved obsidians and gold trims and sigils that are marked and pushed throughout the interior of this structure. Are you leading them to the central chamber? LIAM: Yeah, I’m bringing everybody with me. MATT: Okay. No one stops you, and as you head up these stairs into the second chamber and then finally to the large set of doorways that lead you into the central communion chamber of Raven’s Crest, you guys enter to this beautiful room that is surrounded in stained glass imagery of varying colors, largely in dark purples and reds, blues, and in the center you see a large, circular pool where a deep crimson liquid sits perfectly still, familiar to both Percival and Vax’ildan.

LIAM: I walk over to Keyleth. We need to talk. And I plant a big fucking kiss on her mouth, and then I turn to the rest of the group and say, nobody fucking touches me, do you understand? TRAVIS: Where are you going? LAURA: Understood. LIAM: I walk in, and I inhale as deeply as I can as I shove my face into the blood. LAURA: I hold Trinket back so that he doesn’t go after him. MATT: Okay.

MARISHA: I watch on the side and don’t take my eyes off of him. MATT: Okay. Pike instinctually walks up to the very edge but avoids touching any of the liquid. As you watch Vax just (bloop noise) disappear into this thick liquid, no bubbles rise, you see a bit of movement from thrashing beneath the surface and then stillness. MARISHA: Is this what he goes through every time? TALIESIN: This is normal. TRAVIS: Is he a vampire? TALIESIN: He is not a vampire. SAM: I think he’s dead. I think he died in there. TALIESIN: I don’t think that’s how it works. LAURA: But I do think he’s dead. SAM: He’s undead, isn’t he? He’s a zombie. TALIESIN: He’s not a zombie. MARISHA: His flesh is cold, but his heart still beats. MATT: Vax’ildan. As the panic and pain subsides, much easier now than it was your previous ventures, into this communion, the darkness surrounds you, familiar, but you are intent, and you are driven.

The very force of your conversation is pushed out from your personality into this ether, this surrounding, infinite void, and a familiar voice comes. “You burn with intent, my feathered boy.” LIAM: We need to talk. MATT: “Then talk we shall. Speak your mind.” You still see nothing around you, it’s just the voice from the darkness. LIAM: We were too late to stop him. Vecna. MATT: “I sensed it, yes.” LIAM: This dead man who wanted to be a god is now a fucking god. We have been speaking to your brothers and sisters, your <i>found</i> family, and they are arming us with what we need to fight your foe. You know who he is. He is upon us and I have come to you for aid.

And as I have learned, he is somewhat akin to you. He was one of us and has ascended, like you. MATT: “He is no kin to me. He is a trier. He is a copycat. He ascends for selfish reasons, whereas I “was merely following my destiny. He will be destroyed. You have the tools. You have the means. “The weave is tangled before us. The threads grow knotted, hard to follow. But yours still glows so “bright into that terrible knot.” LIAM: This thing.

This man is your enemy, yes? MATT: “As he is the enemy of all things.” LIAM: Agreed. I have come here seeking power. MATT: “You have my blessing already.” LIAM: What of these trammels? These fragments of divinity. Have you that in you? MATT: “I do not know much of these trammels but that they were used. But I fear that is beyond my “knowledge. The Knowing Mistress would be the one to speak to.” LIAM: We have. MATT: “Then what do you need of me?” LIAM: We need to power trammels. The Dawnfather, the Knowing Mistress have contributed to our cause, to your cause, these seeds of power. I had hoped you could offer the same. MATT: At this point, you feel a finger trace across your chin from behind. You feel an arm, the weight resting on your shoulder, and it pulls and turns you around, and as you spin, you come face to face with the porcelain mask you are so familiar with.

As the hand still holds the edge of your cheek and your shoulder, “Am I to believe that this is not some ploy to diminish my power “and leave me vulnerable to cast me from my seat?” LIAM: I thought you knew me inside and out. MATT: “I know you, but do you know them? Do you think I’ve been welcome since I entered this “pantheon? My existence is perpetually a threat to the creators. If anything, part of this burden “that we all face lies on my shoulders, as well. Why would they not think to strike at two birds “with one stone?” At which point, you watch the feathers of her dress furl out a bit, like a bird that’s hit a chill. LIAM: Well, it depends on you, then, and how much you want this wretch taken down. MATT: Make a persuasion check.

LIAM: 18. MATT: There’s a long, silent stare. “I put my faith in you, my fate-touched. Do not forget that. “And all I ask is you put all your faith in me.” LIAM: You have it. MATT: “Then I shall watch your thread. Now wake up.” In that instant, everything goes black once more, and you feel the pain, the heat in your lungs, but then it subsides quickly, and you stay there beneath the familiar, thick surface of the blood. No need for air. TRAVIS: You’re just chilling like a villain under the blood?! SAM: (whispering) He can breathe blood! MATT: The instinct to breathe is still there, but you realize after a moment of panic that it’s not necessary.

LIAM: Do I have what I came for? MATT: You can’t see. Your body is clenched tight. Your muscles are still tense. LIAM: Okay, I’ll move up. MATT: You guys, after waiting for about 30 minutes, it feels like, of tense silence, you watch as the surface of the pool (splashing) splashes upwards as a crimson Vax comes to the surface. Not gasping for breath. Just stoic, as he comes to the edge of the pool, step after step, dripping the blood with each footprint on the ground. Your fist hurts a bit from the tightness, but as you unfurl your fingers you look down and see a small, onyx opal. It’s a stone about the size of a gem that big on your hand. TRAVIS: That is a big bean.

LIAM: I need a bath. TALIESIN: Do we want to try and make one more jump? TRAVIS: Just a minute. I have a question. How many times have you done that? LIAM: Six. TRAVIS: My gods. TALIESIN: Once. SAM: This has been the craziest 48 hours of my life. (laughter) SAM: I mean… wow, guys. LIAM: Campaign in 48 hours. SAM: Wow. I could’ve just been chilling… TALIESIN: You’ve made some bad decisions, haven’t you? LIAM: I just stand clutching a gem dripping blood, looking at the love of my life.

MARISHA: I kiss him back through the blood. (groaning) MARISHA: Fuck you, you kiss your bear on the mouth! MATT: It looks like Keyleth had some barbecue and wasn’t paying attention. TRAVIS: We don’t know where that blood’s from! MARISHA: That’s love, y’all. LIAM: I was not expecting that. MARISHA: You did it. LIAM: (whispering) I’m sorry. MARISHA: Okay, all right, let’s clean you up. TALIESIN: Do we want to try and run one more time before we– SAM and LAURA: Run where? TALIESIN: Well, into the forge, I suppose. Find the sword, head to the forge. SAM: How do we get to the forge? There’s no trees there. TRAVIS: I have a thought, right? Do we give a shit about Kord at all, or no? SAM: It would be great to have a fourth bean, but we’re on a ticking time clock. LIAM: Yeah, I like the idea of the Kord bean, but I really want to go to bed. TALIESIN: Let’s set up camp, and if you feel like you want to make one last– TRAVIS: I’ll ask.

He might just say no. MARISHA: We don’t even know where to find him, though. We’re running out of time. TRAVIS: Yep. It’s right here. It’s like popping into Blockbuster when you go to the grocery store. Might as well see what’s up. SAM: Blockbuster? LAURA: Redbox, maybe. TRAVIS: No, Blockbuster. Where are you from? SAM: Errol’s Video. TALIESIN: 20/20. Do we want to set up shop here or do we want to set up shop in the temple of Kord? LAURA: I think here. I feel like we’re safe here. TRAVIS: I mean, we got free reign. We got backstage passes. Everybody’s like, “right through here!” TALIESIN: I think honestly here they’ll have difficulty identifying which of our blood is going to be splattered on the ground. LIAM: And I’m good with management, I think we can… yeah. TALIESIN: Let’s sleep here. TRAVIS: Yeah, you seem to be super tight with– LAURA: Do you want to head over to Kord’s temple as well? I have a feeling if we find him, we’ll have to go to another plane.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that was my (stammers) assess, as well. LAURA: Yeah. MARISHA: If you want to go do a little bit of footwork and see what it might take to get there, I can rest and try and get us there. Remember, you have to find a tuning fork, though, that is attuned to the specific plane. TALIESIN: You’re speaking words that he doesn’t– MARISHA: You need a magical vibrating fork that is connected to the vibrating plane of Kord. TALIESIN: He doesn’t know what that word means. TRAVIS: I was just going to go speak to Earthbreaker Groon.

I don’t know what’s so hard about that. He gave me these gloves last time. MARISHA: Right. I’m just letting you know the prerequisites so you can ask the right questions. Just go. LAURA: I’ll go. I’ll go with him. TRAVIS: Am I still blue? SAM: You’re still blue, and you still look like Blue Man Group, so do you want me to go with you so that I can undo that when we get there? TRAVIS: Yeah, you tweedles want to come? LAURA: Yeah. SAM: Or do you want to talk to him blue? TRAVIS: No, I want to be blue. Yeah. I want to stay blue.

SAM: But when you talk to Groon do you want to be blue? TRAVIS: Yeah you can dissipate, right? SAM: So I’ll come with you. TRAVIS: Yeah. That cool? LAURA: Yeah. TRAVIS: You guys rest. I’m going to go find us a bean of strength and might and sex appeal. Can I go to the temple of Kord? MATT: Yeah. You guys make your way. SAM: Am I making a mansion for the rest of you? LAURA: That would be smart.

I feel like the mansion is the smartest thing because it’s not– TRAVIS: They don’t have Raven Queen cots or something? LAURA: We don’t know; Vecna could still see in here. MARISHA: Oh, that’s true. You’re right. SAM: All right. Mansion. Enjoy yourselves. MATT: You create the shimmering doorway, and you guys come into the mansion without issue. MARISHA and LIAM: To the spa! SAM: I’ll don the hat so I turn into the Meat Man so that no one can recognize me. MATT: Okay. The three of you make your way to the Braving Grounds. LAURA: As we’re walking, I want to whisper to Scanlan.

I’m going to whisper to the Meat Man’s crotch because that’s about even, right? SAM: I think he’s a little bigger. LAURA: Then I’ll whisper to his waistline. The sword that Ioun was talking about, right, the Sword of Kas? SAM: (Meat Man voice) The Sword of Kas, yes. LAURA: Do you think it could possibly the sword that Grog had? SAM: The thought did occur to me, yes, but there are big differences. LAURA: Do you know for sure? SAM: Well, Ioun did not talk about a talking sword, for one. LAURA: Well, no, but she didn’t say it wasn’t a talking sword. She said it was a vengeful sword. SAM: Do you think we should go get it to make sure? We should have asked for some sort of identifying feature. LAURA: We really should have. Maybe we could ask the sword. SAM: She said, “Do you have any more questions?” LAURA: And we didn’t. But maybe if we see that sword, we can be like, “Hey, do you know who Kas is?” and if he does, then we’re like, “Oh fuck!” SAM: You want to go visit Craven Edge? LAURA: I’m saying this quietly.

I don’t want Grog to realize we’re doing this. He has a thing for Craven Edge. SAM: I held the sword once. LAURA: You did? SAM: I have a thing for Craven Edge, as well. LAURA: Oh fuck. Oh shit. MATT: Make an intelligence roll, actually. Roll a d20, add your intelligence modifier plus one because you have a permanent plus two to your intelligence. SAM: Intelligence check? 11. LIAM: Your intelligence is higher now, after Ioun. Don’t forget your Ioun papers! SAM: Eight plus two, plus one is 11. LIAM: Oh god! MATT: Okay, continue. LAURA: Continue. You didn’t pass the test. SAM: I mean, do I get to add my Jack of All Trades? MATT: Yeah. Plus three. SAM: 14! LAURA: Anything? MATT: Nothing. Continue. SAM: It was a very powerful sword, but perhaps it’s worth a check. How do we get there? We’ll have to talk to Keyleth about it. MARISHA: I don’t think the timelines match. But I could be wrong. I’m not there. LAURA: Delilah Briarwood, Lord Briarwood had the sword, they were seeking Vecna. LIAM: That’s where they got that shit. LAURA: It could work out.

MARISHA: But they were making out like Vecna had this sword while we had Craven Edge, right? LAURA: Vecna doesn’t have the sword right now– MATT: No one’s seen the Sword of Kas since Vecna was destroyed along with Kas. LAURA: Exactly! Craven Edge could be the Sword of Kas. LIAM: It got lost and was refound. LAURA: By the Briarwoods. They were going to awaken him, but then he died. SAM: Or it’s just a sword. LAURA: Or it’s just a sword that just likes blood. LIAM: We’ve got to do something. TRAVIS: Can we go?! LAURA: Sorry, Grog. Yes, of course. We’re walking. We’re doing this while we walk. We’re not wasting time with this conversation. We’re traveling with this conversation. TRAVIS: I didn’t realize. SAM: We’ll ask Keyleth when we get back. LAURA: Okay. We sent it to the plane of the Dread Emperor. SAM: She knows how to get there. MATT: You guys make your way through the Proving Grounds. Where are you heading to specifically? TRAVIS: To the temple of Kord. Big man outside. The Trial Forge with the big doors. MATT: You make your way to the Trial Forge.

The doors are currently closed, it is mid-evening at this point. It’s probably, at this point, with the communion and you guys making your way across the city? Yeah, it’s close to midnight. TRAVIS: Nice. (loud knocking) MATT: Your knocks are very loud and easily heard. About 20 seconds later (door opening) begin to open. You hear the cinching of chains as the doors are pulled open ever so slightly. One of the monks of Kord arrives at the front, sees you, recognizes you with a bit of glance. SAM: He’s blue. MATT: Oh, that’s right. Does not recognize you.

TRAVIS: I apologize for the late flower. Don’t be confused. It’s me, Grog Strongjaw, wielder of the Titanstone Knuckles. (whispers) I’m in-cog-Cheeto. SAM: I will drop the form of Grog. MATT: Yeah. “Very well. Can I help you?” TRAVIS: Yeah, I seek an audience with Earthbreaker Groon. Very important. It pertains to the emergence of Vecna. MATT: “All right. This may coordinate with his current effort. Very well. Please enter.” SAM: Can we come in? MATT: You guys make your way in. SAM: I am a legitimate businessman. MATT: “I am very curious as to why you are here, then.” SAM: For business dealings.

MATT: “You walk with Vox Machina.” SAM: I shouldn’t have said anything. (laughter) MATT: You walk through the halls, your footfalls echoing across the stone floor. The large archways and the pillars. It is very quiet. As you approach the edge of the central sandpit, in the center you see Groon, currently sitting in meditation with something drawn in the sand with a finger. Some sort of a sketch. TRAVIS: May I approach? MATT: The head, facing away from you, picks up a bit. “You may.” TRAVIS: (jumping and landing) Three-point stance. MATT: Slowly stands up and brushes sand from the hands. Not turning, but just looking over the shoulder ever so slightly at you. “What brings you to the temple at this hour?” TRAVIS: We have urgent business– what are you drawing there? MATT: “Finish your statement.” TRAVIS: Right, sorry. We come with grim tidings. Vecna is at large, and we mean to take him down. MATT: “I know only what I’ve been told. We are gathering the monks for defense of the city. “Awaiting orders. I’m trying to meditate on where this danger is.” TRAVIS: We have a theory.

We think he might be originating in Wildemount? No. LAURA: We don’t know where he is exactly– (stammering) We’ve been speaking to the gods. TRAVIS: You might want to talk through me. I’m his most prized pupil. LAURA: I’m going to stand next to Grog while I say this. TRAVIS: In the sandpit? LAURA: Yeah! I’m going to fly down to the sandpit and land next to Grog. TRAVIS: Lady Vex’ahlia. Great fighter, very brave. LAURA: Hi. MATT: Still hasn’t turned around, but seems to be listening. LAURA: Champion of Pelor, the Dawnfather. We’ve been speaking to the gods. We’re taking on Vecna. Hopefully not alone, but we need to speak with Kord. I know that sounds odd, but Grog was hoping– LAURA and TRAVIS: I was hoping that you would know how to contact him directly, perhaps maybe have something that was tuned to his plane of existence, potentially.

MATT: “You have drawn Kord’s attention once, directly. He is aware of you. Should you wish to “speak, that I can teach. It is a long process. Piety, meditation, and learning of the history of “the Storm Lord himself. But it can be done.” LAURA: How long of a process is this, that we’re talking? MATT: “You cannot rush faith.” LAURA: I’m not trying to rush faith. I’m just saying that Vecna has ascended to godhood. We have a limited amount of time to take him down. We need to speak with Kord. MATT: “I cannot help you.” LAURA: You can’t speak to him directly? MATT: “I can meditate and reach out, perhaps.” LAURA: Maybe draw his attention to us? The need is dire.

MATT: “It doesn’t work the way you ask. Kord isn’t a giving god.” LAURA: He’s not? MATT: Make a religion check. LAURA: Okay, yeah, this is going to go so well. Hold up. 20? MATT: Okay. You know about Kord. Kord, from what you understand, is the god of competition and storms and chaotic nature and good-neutral territory, but emphasizes contest and– TRAVIS: Self-reliance. MATT: Yeah, he’s not the kind of god you can beseech with a word. LAURA: Maybe you can tell him there’s a big fight coming. Call out to him! Get his attention. TRAVIS: See if he wants box seats or something? LAURA: Yeah! Say he can help take down the big bad guy. TRAVIS: Free food and drinks? LAURA: Definitely! Prime tickets to a UFC fight.

TRAVIS: Do you happen to know, from all your years of meditation, what plane or where Kord might reside? MATT: “Ysgard.” TRAVIS: Ysgard? LAURA: East guard? MATT: “Ysgard.” TRAVIS: East guard. (laughter) LAURA: He is god. East guard. MATT: Y-S-G-A-R-D. (laughter) TRAVIS: (clears throat) Ysgard. Hmm. Is that on another plane? LAURA: Is that near the Fields of Elysium, or a totally different place? MATT: “I do not know.” TRAVIS: Listen, he is very busy right now with his meditation garden.

LAURA: Right, yeah. So you have nothing else that you can do? I know that you’re going to fight his troops, but the fact of the matter is Vecna is a god. If we can’t find some way to speak to Kord, we may not be able to save the world again. TRAVIS: Action now would prevent the spread of his power. MATT: “If what you say is true, I’m certain Kord already knows.

We will do what we can, but what “you ask is not within our ability to grant.” TRAVIS: Fair enough. You don’t happen to have a bean on you, do you? Hard no? LAURA: Powerful beans. Super. MATT: For the first time, you see Kord glance over his shoulder at you– LAURA: (laughs) He hasn’t looked at us this whole fucking time? MATT: No, he’s been back to you and looking over the shoulder. He finally turns and gives a nudge to one of the monks up top, who darts off. (running noises) A few awkward quiet minutes pass. (running noises) Jumps down into the sand pit, runs up, and hands you a small satchel.

TRAVIS: I look inside. MATT: It is filled with beans. (laughter) LAURA: You have everything you’ve ever wanted, Grog. Congratulations. TRAVIS: Everybody else got <i>one.</i> I’ve got a satchel. Just fucking name the group after me. We are out. Thank you! LAURA: Can I see what he was drawing in the sand while we were over there? MATT: Make a perception check. LAURA: 18. TRAVIS: I’ll do it, too, because I was curious. MATT: Go for it. TRAVIS: Don’t worry about it.

(laughter) MATT: You glance over and you see one sketch that appears to be a general overview of the city, of all the different quarters that make up the mountain. And he’s essentially trying to work out defense positions within the city and preparing for some sort of siege. TRAVIS: I thank you for seeing us at this late hour, and I wish you luck in the defense of this temple and this city. MATT: “I wish I could be of more help.” TRAVIS: You have been. LAURA: Groon, if Vecna attacks here, he’ll bring undead. MATT: “That’s all right. We’ll bring the storm.” TRAVIS: Oh fuck! That was a noble answer! I’m sorry. I’m cool. We’re out. SAM: If you ever need any antique furniture or decor, ask for the Meat Man. He get you good deal. (clicks tongue) MATT: (grunts) He turns back to facing away. LAURA: He’s really creepy, isn’t he? TRAVIS: Make sure as we leave, we back away. Back away. LAURA: Back away. TALIESIN: What was Kord painting? MATT: He was drawing in the sand. TALIESIN: Please tell me it was a horse playing saxophone.

That’s all I want. (laughter) MATT: He sits back down in the sand pit and goes back to his concentration, leaves you to your business. TRAVIS: That was a total win. I got a bag full of beans. LAURA: Good job, Grog. TRAVIS: Yep. And we know that Kord is on “he’s-a-god.” LAURA: Yeah. He’s in Ysgard. TRAVIS: You’re saying it weird. LAURA: “He’s-god.” TRAVIS: “He’s-god.” So should I change back? SAM: I can’t do it again. TRAVIS: What do you mean? You can’t? SAM: I guess I could do it one more time, sure. TRAVIS: We’re going back to sleep, right? It’s either that or I put a fancy robe over my whole face. SAM: This time, I make us all blue. LAURA: Lovely. Can I have light blue hair? SAM: Dark blue skin, light blue hair? Sure.

I’ll be opposite. LIAM: Not painted bald caps? Not blue-painted bald caps? LAURA: No, I want beautiful hair. I’ve always wanted blue hair. LIAM: That’s not the Blue Man Group I know. TRAVIS: We make our way back to the temples. Is the bustle the same outside of the temple? MATT: Well, as you step out of the temple and Scanlan blues you all, you make your way across– SAM: Episode title: The Blue Job. (laughter) TRAVIS: The multiple blue jobs. MATT: Yeah. Okay. As you exit the temple, it’s late night, and the bustle has calmed down a little bit, as it is the evening, but you do see there are– normally what are small patrol lights at the edges of the walls, you can see large fires are burning at the edges to extend eyesight. It’s interesting. You see wyverns in the sky.

You hear the familiar cries of wyverns, and at first, it catches you off-guard. But Vex’ahlia, glancing up, you can see they all have some sort of barding on them. Silver and blue barding. LAURA: Oh shit! It’s the temple of Bahamut? Yes! MATT: Platinum dragons. They have wyvern riders here that act as air patrol during times of intense possible warfare. TRAVIS: Air force got scrambled.

(aircraft noises) Amazing! TALIESIN: Formation. Smoke. LAURA: I really hope Vasselheim stands. MATT: You guys make your way back to Raven’s Crest, to the entranceway to Scanlan’s Magnificent Mansion and to the rest of your party, freshly washed. TRAVIS: So a question: what’s on the menu? TALIESIN: Beans, apparently. TRAVIS: Now, look. How do you even know that? TALIESIN: I just assumed because I know you. TRAVIS: Why would you only serve beans? There’s no meat or fish? SAM: It’s vegan here. We serve a lot of beans. TRAVIS: Because of your daughter? SAM: Yes. TRAVIS: Well, she’s not here. Can we make an exception? SAM: She’s always here in my heart.

TALIESIN: Hopefully not in the kitchen, though, so we’re going to cook anything we like. TRAVIS: I got what we needed. I got myself a bean. MARISHA: You got a shard? TRAVIS: I got several shards. I got a bag full of shards. Hold on, the power might bowl you all over. TALIESIN: That actually might, especially if not eaten with rice. TRAVIS: What are you doing? (gasping) LIAM: It’s all right; I can eat anything. TRAVIS: How do you feel? MATT: Tastes like ash.

LIAM: Yeah, so does everything. MARISHA: (gasps) We used to eat these in the Fire Ashari all the time. These are a rare delicacy! Good find, Grog. (gasps) I could grow some more. Oh my god. We can have coal bean soup all the time at home, you guys. These are coal beans. They’re great. TRAVIS: These are not the same thing? LAURA: There could be an actual seed of power within there. TRAVIS: Is there a table nearby? MATT: Yeah, you’re not too far from the– TRAVIS: I dump all the beans out on the table.

Are there any beans that look different from the rest? MATT: Make an investigation check. LAURA: I’ll look over his shoulder and help look. I’m going to help look. TRAVIS: (laughing) 16. Does that count? LAURA: That’s not bad. MATT: You actually find four beans that look a bit darker, but squishier. They look to maybe be a little on the the rotten side. TRAVIS: These are the beans.

I mean, I should’ve thought– Kord is a fist, and you put one of each four on the knuckles. I squish each one of the beans. MATT: And they squish easy. (squishing noise) TRAVIS: I’m not a praying man. Bless my gauntlet. Anything happen? MARISHA: There’s a little juice running down your gauntlet. TRAVIS: Are they glowing? LAURA: Well… MARISHA: Fermented? Fermented. MATT: A little funky. TRAVIS: You know what? I bet if I pray hard enough, they will disappear. Look above you! LAURA and SAM: (noises of surprise) MATT: Make a sleight-of-hand check. TRAVIS: Hey! That’s not terrible. (laughing) I got plus two! 18! (laughter) MATT: Strangely, Scanlan and Pike are impressed. SAM: I just rolled a two. Whoa. That was impressive. TRAVIS: Yeah. Well, the line between me and Kord. Super tight. MARISHA: Keyleth goes behind Grog and starts cleaning up the beans that he just threw. TRAVIS: Pike! Pretty good, right? MATT: “Honestly? Kind of blown away.” TRAVIS: I know. Maybe I should get a tattoo for Kord, like the symbols you have for Sarenrae.

MATT: “What’re you thinking for the tattoo?” TRAVIS: I don’t know. A fist? TALIESIN: Or a bean. TRAVIS: Hey, don’t put ideas in my head. A bean? MATT: “Actually, the symbol of the Storm Lord’s cool. I’ll get it up for you.” And she pulls out a piece of paper and sketches it up for you. It’s this cool disc, this dark metal disc with blue bolts of lightning that stick out of the center. TRAVIS: The Storm Lord symbol is the jam. That is a cartoon bean. LAURA: It’s a bean with a dick. TRAVIS: The dick is smaller than the balls. It’s like a parrot’s beak. Listen. We’re going to stick with the Storm Lord sigil. LIAM: We are going to save the world. TRAVIS: Well, listen, I found out where Kord is.

He’s in a place called– LAURA and SAM: Ysgard. MARISHA: Sure. TRAVIS: Are you familiar? MARISHA: No. TRAVIS: Oh. Why’d you say sure? MARISHA: I was just seeming intelligent. TRAVIS: I do that all the time. Anybody have any idea where that is? SAM: No. We can ask. TRAVIS: Okay. Who can we ask? TALIESIN: Asking the dungeon master. MATT: (chuckles) Make a religion check, only if you’re trained in it. LIAM: I’m making a religion check. Jeepers. MATT: I just rolled for Pike. TRAVIS: 17, but I’m not trained in it. LIAM: Just a 12. TALIESIN: I’m not trained in religion. MATT: (sighs) Not a whole lot of information gleaned on this. TRAVIS: (sighs) Okay. How did Pike roll? MATT: Pike didn’t roll that great. TRAVIS: Fuck! LAURA: Percy? With your migraine, do you know what else we need to make these trammels? TALIESIN: I’ve been thinking a lot.

I’ve been trying to skirt around this information for a bunch of reasons, so I’ve been making a mental shopping list. MATT: Yeah. And from what you recall, it seems that one, the tools that were used to build them are generally with the anvil forge. It’s more the essence of the god that drives the trammel. The material required is pure platinum. LAURA: (gasps) Platinum mines! TRAVIS: Yeah, that we buried under a mountain. LAURA: So? We know where they are. MARISHA: Do we for sure need platinum? MATT: The trammels are about that long. They’re giant stakes of platinum. LAURA: We need more platinum. TALIESIN: I’m attempting to do the math of how much platinum… MATT: I mean, if you were to melt down platinum pieces? Each trammel would probably be close to I’d say– with the density and the thickness of it– 500 platinum. MARISHA: Each trammel is 500 platinum? MATT: Yeah. For the thickness of it, for the pure platinum structure. MARISHA: How much do we have? LAURA: Well, I didn’t write exactly how much platinum we have. I transposed the platinum into gold in my notes.

MATT: Okay. TALIESIN: We can buy platinum. Go to a bank and exchange it. MATT: You can exchange gold for platinum. MARISHA: Wait, Grog. You had it in your original Bag of Holding? How much was written down on our original Bag of Holding list? TRAVIS: I don’t know. There were a bunch of digits. MARISHA: Do you not still have it written down? TALIESIN: If he actually has the phrase “a bunch of digits,” that would make me so happy right now. TRAVIS: You know, we could always take Kima’s greatsword. It’s made out of solid platinum. MATT: She has that sword right now.

TRAVIS: Yeah, she does. I’m just saying. SAM: Who was the other band of travelers who fought and lost? TRAVIS: 1,600 platinum. MARISHA: We had 1,600 platinum, originally. TRAVIS: 1,619. TALIESIN: There’s part of me that doesn’t want to know. MARISHA: We’re going to find out. LAURA: We could go to the bank here in Vasselheim and switch out money for platinum. We have enough gold to do. It’s 500 platinum each, you said? MARISHA: Is there a place where we could buy bars? LAURA: 5,000 gold would be 500 platinum? Okay. MATT: You have to melt it down to get rid of the impurities to get the metal down to its purest form.

There’s a process to it that you are actually familiar with. TRAVIS: I’m familiar with it, all of a sudden. So because we have these shards, right, these magical beans, if we lose, do we effectively kill all the gods whose shards we have? TALIESIN: We depower them, so they’ll be weak when they go against Vecna. TRAVIS: Yeah, that’s a lot of responsibility I was not aware of. LAURA: Well, we need to not lose.

They’re still diminished if we do defeat Vecna. That part of them is forever chaining him. MARISHA: If we fail, he could be coming after them. They have no line of defense. TRAVIS: Worst scenario possible. Cool. Good to know. MATT: Good news is, you do know that the Divine Gate works both ways. He could not travel into their realms. They could not travel into that. However, it prevents them from intervening directly on his dominion over the Prime Material Plane. LIAM: And as far as we know, this other group did not have the help of gods. LAURA: Right. As far as we know. LIAM: As far as we know, unless they went to all of the other gods we have not met. TALIESIN: It’s not like we can’t look in on anyone that we need to really quickly. I’m feeling the urge.

LAURA: Do you know who it could be? LIAM: We might want to check and see if Allura, Gilmore, Kima, all our buddies are okay. Kash, Zahra. TALIESIN: My question is, does it matter, at the moment? LAURA: Of course it matters, dear. TALIESIN: Does it? Does it just make us panic? LAURA: At least we’d know if he raised them up like he said he did, if we’ll be fighting undead Gilmore and undead Allura. TALIESIN: All right, point made. Point very well made. Let’s start with– MARISHA: I have a few scrys that I want to do, anyway. LAURA: Can we scry through this dimension? MARISHA: Nope. I’ve got to pop out.

TRAVIS: Shouldn’t you rest first? TALIESIN: No, finish this first. LIAM: What do you need? MARISHA: I’m just wondering if I do any type of large magic, if it’ll alert him. Hey, what happened to that skull that we got in Brimscythe’s basement? TALIESIN: With the gem. MARISHA: The gem in the eye. LAURA: Funny you should ask. MARISHA: Remember, we thought it might be connected? TALIESIN: It had a gem in one eye, if I recall. TRAVIS: Yeah, a green emerald gem in one socket, you dicks. SAM: Where is it? LAURA: Allura has it. MARISHA: We gave it to Allura. TRAVIS: What? LAURA: Allura has it. TRAVIS: No, it’s in Percy’s workshop. LAURA: Sure, and Allura came down and saw it– no, I gave it to Allura.

MARISHA: I wonder if it’s spying on everything? LAURA: I’m sorry, Grog. I gave you your deck of cards back! The skull was very dangerous, and at the time it seemed like the right thing to do. I’m sorry. I’m sorry! Look, we just went and got a bunch of beans for you. TRAVIS: That’s true. LIAM: And also, buddy, we might be dead in a week, you don’t want to hold on to that kind of shit. TALIESIN: We may be going to get the skull back. MARISHA: Well, yeah, we could get the skull back because I was just going through my notes, my old diary, of everything that we’ve been through– TALIESIN: It literally has a leaf on it, oh my god. MARISHA: I have four diaries of everything we’ve been through. TALIESIN: I’ve read them. SAM: Ugh. What kind of dumb character keeps a diary? MARISHA: It said evil skull in Brimscythe’s– 1/21.

We found an evil skull in Brimscythe’s house. It may be connected to Craven Edge. And I put stars next to it. TALIESIN: Did you put stars next to it because it was important or did you just put stars next to it? MARISHA: I don’t know, that’s just what I wrote down a year and a half ago. TRAVIS: I mean, do you need me to drop my scholastic knowledge on this shit? Because I will. It talked to me and it was like, “If you free me, I’ll give you a wish.” MARISHA: The skull? TRAVIS: Yeah. Why do you think I was trying to break that shit? LAURA: I don’t believe if you’d freed it you would’ve gotten a wish, I think you would’ve fought something.

TRAVIS: Do you know for sure? LAURA: No. TRAVIS: Then what are we talking about? TALIESIN: Let’s find out what’s going on with the skull. LIAM: Yeah, we are in final days, here. TALIESIN: Yeah, let’s give ourselves– SAM: What are we doing? TALIESIN: We’re going to try and take 48 hours to get as much done as humanly possible. LAURA: We need to scry on the fucking friends, we need to check in on that skull, maybe. And you need to maybe open up the plane to the Dread Emperor and see about the Craven Edge. MARISHA: What now? LIAM: The gods must be crazy. TALIESIN: Part two? SAM: That’s low priority.

LAURA: Is it? SAM: I don’t think that’s the thing. LAURA: What if that weapon is super good against Vecna? SAM: Just because it’s a sword? MARISHA: Okay, wait, did she say we needed the sword? Also, I think the knight guy that you fought that was super awful was the bloody– LIAM: Kas. LAURA: No, Kas is destroyed. He turned to ash. He fought Vecna and was turned to ash. SAM: Did the knight have a sword? TRAVIS: He did. A giant blade that emitted shadow. SAM: Maybe that was the sword. MARISHA: But wasn’t he brought back? Kas the Bloody-Handed, right? Oh wait, he fought– LAURA: He fought against Vecna! They destroyed each other. It’s the reason Vecna was destroyed to begin with. MARISHA: But maybe he brought Kas back and that was the Death Knight we fought. SAM: The world is full of mysteries. TALIESIN: One of which is whether or not our friends are alive. MARISHA: All right, I’m going to step outside and scry on Allura first! LIAM: And I’m going to– nothing, I’m just going to stand and walk out front.

MATT: So. You’re scrying first. MARISHA: Allura. MATT: Okay. So you step out into the center of the structure– LAURA: (whispering) Please please please please please… MARISHA: Wait! Is anybody around? Nothing’s weird and out of the ordinary? MATT: You’re in the Raven’s Crest. MARISHA: Okay. Just want to make sure. People just punk’d us at Sprigg’s cabin! SAM: We’re inside a church. MARISHA: Doesn’t mean assassins can’t get inside a church. LAURA: Just go, just scry! MARISHA: Okay, I’m going! MATT: Okay. So. (laughs) As you sit and focus, concentrate, you draw out the various arcane glyphs on the ground and focus on Allura. Your vision expands into the sky, (whoosh) rushing through the night air and the spattering of clouds that have amassed over Vasselheim. It fires through the stratosphere, dives down into the center of Emon, into a bedroom.

She is currently at a desk and is feverishly writing on parchment. Her hair is tousled a bit and she has a thick robe over her shoulders, and you can see she finishes writing something, rolls it up, seals it, sets it into a pile, thinks a second, casts a spell absentmindedly, it flickers off and vanishes. She goes back to writing. The door opens and you watch as Kima comes in, brings a little tray with some hot tea and sets it down beside her, rubs her shoulder a bit, and Allura looks back at her and nods. You guys are the worst.

(laughter) MATT: Allura puts her face in her hands for a second rubs her temples, She looks tired. Kima leaves the room, and Allura is left there to think for a second, looks out the window of her tower, then goes back to her writing. MARISHA: Okay. SAM: Was she covered with blood? MARISHA: No, she’s fine. She’s safe in Emon. So is Kima. They’re both safe. SAM: Skull was next on the list? LAURA: Well, Allura has the skull. Do we have any way to talk to her? SAM: No. MARISHA: Okay. Should I do Gilmore next? Is that necessary? LAURA: Can you scry on the object? No…

MARISHA: I can scry on an object, right? MATT: An object or a person. MARISHA: Should I do the skull? LIAM: Is it a safe assumption that skull is with her? She’s pretty fucking badass. MARISHA: I mean it might just be a lich phylactery or something. SAM: Who else would have gone into battle against Vecna? LIAM: Well, if it is a lich phylactery, that would be something we would smash to bits. SAM: Could’ve been Kash. TALIESIN: Could’ve been Tary. SAM: Who? Oh that fancy fellow. LAURA: Oh my god, can you scry on Tary? What if he came searching for us? MARISHA: But Tary was still in– TALIESIN: Just pick a city. Let’s just keep looking at people in various cities. MARISHA: Tary… we would feel it. LIAM: Keyleth just spit out an idea. If that skull, which looked like his fucking head. We’ve dealt with a lich before. If it has even a chance of being a vessel for his life force, even a chance, wouldn’t we want to not use it, but destroy it? MATT: I will impart the information that you did discover that the skull was the skull of a githyanki. LIAM: Oh, that was from 300 hours ago! I misspoke.

MATT: They’re a type of people, a race of people that traverse the Astral Sea. LIAM: But it has one eye. MATT: Oh, it has two eyes. LIAM: Emerald in one eye. MATT: Yeah, well, the skull shape was alien and was elongated, almost elven. LIAM: That was hundreds of hours ago. MATT: I wanted to save you circularly arguing about something without some information. SAM: Oh, we’ll still circularly argue about something. MATT: Oh, I’m sure you will! LIAM: Yeah, this clusterfuck’s not over. SAM: It’s been a half-hour of fuckery right here. TALIESIN: A little bit of hemming, a little bit of hawing. TRAVIS: Wait a minute. Aren’t we forgetting about one undead thing? Didn’t we want to go back and talk to Delilah’s body? TALIESIN: Oh yeah, we’re going to have that conversation. LIAM: Is she in your bag? TALIESIN: That’s right. MARISHA: She’s in the Bag of Colding. LAURA: She might be in the Colding. Let’s get into the mansion and talk to her.

MATT: She’s in the Bag of Holding. LAURA: Let’s go in the mansion first. TRAVIS: Are we not in the mansion right now? SAM: We stepped out for a second. TRAVIS: I never left. LAURA: The door’s open. We’re talking through the door. MARISHA: Yeah, real quick, I still also want to scry on the Shorecomb. TALIESIN: We’re going to set her up so that she’s nice and– MARISHA: You guys get her set up. TALIESIN: In a chair and we’re going to bind her. MATT: (laughing) You guys pull the corpse of Delilah Briarwood out of the bag. It hasn’t been that long. The body’s stiff.

A lot of the head is missing. Rigor mortis has definitely caused the body to tighten up a bit. TRAVIS: Undead gas. MATT: I mean, limp. The muscles went lax. Okay, so as you guys were propping this up, you complete your scrying on Shorecomb, and what you do is you get a vision of the central area of the city, right near the cliffside.

There’s these sheer cliffs that drop off for maybe a couple hundred feet and lead down to the gravelly, rocky beach; dark rocks, pebbles, they go out about 30 feet until they hit the water, and that’s where they have these wooden steps that wind down the side of the cliff that lead to the docks, and they have winches and cranes that lift heavy objects to and from the docks to get actually into the city.

You do see a lot of the trees are very thin, but within the actual city proper, you see a handful of larger trees that at this time, because it’s pushing into the end of winter, beginning of spring, a lot of them are leafless, but possible to use your Transport via Plants with. All right, you’ve propped up your corpse, you’ve bound it. Pike is, (uncomfortable noise) “Okay…” TRAVIS: We’re right behind you; it’s fine. LIAM: It’s a good cause, Pickle. MATT: “Do we have our questions? Do we know what we’re going to ask?” TRAVIS: How many do we get, five? LIAM: Five questions. SAM: Three? Five? LIAM and TALIESIN: Five. MATT: I’m going to double check. LIAM: 17. TALIESIN: Was Craven Edge the sword? LAURA: Oh, that’s a good one.

MARISHA: The sword of Kas. LAURA: Solid question. LIAM: We could ask about Vecna and her buddy that banished Grog. LAURA: The Shadow Knight. TRAVIS: I’m writing them down in my mind. TALIESIN: What he has done to prepare for the inevitable attempts to re-bind him. MARISHA: Does he have any weaknesses? Is that too broad? LAURA: Does she have to answer? Do they have to answer? MATT: No. MARISHA: But she might not care, right? TALIESIN: I don’t know, we’ve got a few things we can threaten her with. We can attempt to have her consecrated and buried in the Raven Queen’s temple so that nothing will ever bring her back again. TRAVIS: One more question. TALIESIN: Also, in theory, I think it’s possible that I could just send her to hell. TRAVIS: Do we want to ask where he is? Where he was going? What his plan is after ascending? LIAM: Percy, buddy. You are a married man. TRAVIS: Where he is or where he’s planning to attack first or what his display of power is going to be? MARISHA: Oh sure, because he has to do a display to get followers.

TRAVIS: So we have sword of Kas, bloody knight, what he’s trying to do to prevent his binding, weakness/fears, and display of power. MARISHA: Unless the knight was Sylas. I don’t know, I guess we’ll find out. TRAVIS: You good with those five? TALIESIN: Yeah. I feel pretty good. I like this plan. MATT: “Okay.” And she gets her holy symbol, takes out her component pouch and begins setting up the ritual for the Speak with Dead spell. It takes her but a moment to invoke it, and her eyes glow, the symbol suddenly shines this column of light onto the corpse of Delilah Briarwood, there motionless against the chair that you’ve bound the body. The spell, now released, the glyphs on the ground faintly glowing with this energy. Pike reaches out and concentrates. “There’s no spirit.” LAURA: Oh shit. She’s already been brought back. MATT: “There’s no soul to grasp.

Either the soul is beyond reach or she’s not dead.” MARISHA: How many times are we going to have to fight this bitch? SAM: How? We have her body. LAURA: She’s a necromancer. SAM: I don’t know what that means. I’m a holy man. I’m a priest of Ioun. I don’t know about the undead. TRAVIS: Does he got holes? SAM: My brother, please. TRAVIS: My son. TALIESIN: Even as a source of information, a source of vengeance, she is a constant disappointment.

MARISHA: Can I scry on her? MATT: Do you have another spell slot to do that? MARISHA: I have three 5th-level spells plus my Scrying Eye that I haven’t used yet. MATT: So if you’d like to, yeah. MARISHA: Yep. MATT: All right. LAURA: And be sneaky about it, okay? TALIESIN: Wait, do we have to do it outside? MARISHA: Yeah, this is another plane of existence. We have to be on the same plane. MATT: What’s your spell DC? MARISHA: 21. MATT: You concentrate your vision and focus on the whereabouts, perhaps, of where Delilah Briarwood might be if she was on this plane. Your vision pulls out of your body, rockets once again through the stratosphere, the darkness. It’s hard to place direction, but your essence is drawn back down through the clouds, over the center of a rocky mountain range covered in snow and ice. Another flash, and there you are amongst the city of Thar Amphala. There’s another flash, and you see a hole in the ground, a large carved tunnel, you see hooded figures, blurry at the edges of this vision, emerging. And there you see, stepping out of the tunnel, Delilah Briarwood, with both eyes.

Steps out. Her hood up, pulls it back. She glances off to a direction you can’t see and goes, “It’s “almost ready.” A voice comes in through your ear. “Like what you see?” LAURA: I hate him so much. MATT: Immediately, you pull out of the scrying experience and you look around, your friends are staring at you. You guys didn’t hear anything, but once again you hear in your ear once more, “Don’t “worry, all shall be revealed soon enough.” MARISHA: Oh god! MATT: “Sleep well, young Keyleth.” LAURA: What’s going on? LIAM: Where did you look? What did you see? MARISHA: There’s no safe place to hide. He can see us everywhere. We should go. TRAVIS: Where? LAURA: You’re outside of the mansion. Come in the mansion. MARISHA: What if he comes here? What if he comes here to try and find us and he kills all of these people? What if we led him here? LAURA: He knows. We’ll lead him anywhere, darling. LIAM: And Delilah. MARISHA: She’s alive. She’s at Thar Amphala, both eyes this time. TALIESIN: I was going to ask. LAURA: She’ll remove it soon enough.

MARISHA: She said, “It’s almost time; it’s happening soon.” Whatever he’s doing it’s happening soon and then he spoke to me in my vision. He said my name. He knows… She’s alive. TALIESIN: I know. MARISHA: How many times? TALIESIN: As many as it takes. LIAM: One more. LAURA: Can you Plane Shift us from here, from the mansion? TALIESIN and MARISHA: No. MATT: No, you can Plane Shift from the mansion. TRAVIS: Plus, we need to rest. TALIESIN: We have to rest. LIAM: We’ll have to do it in the morning. MARISHA: I can burn my 9th-level spell and get us there right now, but we’ll lose the mansion.

TALIESIN: We need the mansion to sleep. We can’t sleep anywhere without the mansion. MARISHA: I can sleep and I can Plane Shift us when we wake up from this mansion. LAURA: Is that a 9th-level spell? MARISHA: Seventh. We could Transport via Plants. And I found a tree to get us to– MATT: Shorecomb. SAM and MARISHA: Shorebottom. LAURA: As awful as it is, we need to sleep, if we can’t fight him in the morning or anytime. TRAVIS: We have to prepare.

The tunnels have toxic fumes and all sorts of stuff. TALIESIN: We’re going to have to breathe. MARISHA: Go underwater. TALIESIN: We’re going to have to figure out a way to survive. MATT: Deal with poisoned air and breathing underwater. SAM: No problem. TRAVIS: You know, like you do. LIAM: Visit the Water Ashari for those– LAURA: Things. Yeah, that’s smart. MARISHA: I could also cast Water Breathing on eight of us. TALIESIN: Will that save us from the poison? MATT: Water Breathing gets you under the water, but you still have poison in the air once you get to the tubes. MARISHA: Yeah, but do the things from the Water Ashari, would those help with poison as well? MATT: Those help you filter water into air. Poison is a different thing. LAURA and SAM: Heroes’ Feast. LAURA: Immune to poison. We have two chalices. TALIESIN: From the palace. SAM: Chalice from the palace? TALIESIN: It’s the brew that’s true. SAM: Okay. That could work. LIAM: We have to go so many places. TALIESIN: It’s going to be all right. We have one advantage that they do not. SAM: Opposable thumbs. TALIESIN: That too. Only one of us is underestimating the other.

We can do this. LIAM: That’s a good point. SAM: Them. TALIESIN: You’re fine. We know we have to be careful. MARISHA: The plan then is sleep and then we go to Shorecomb. And then we go under this volcano to the anvil? LIAM: Are we borrowing some water breathing equipment before we go? MARISHA: I can do that to us. I can cast Water Breathing on all of us. TALIESIN: Heroes’ Feast, Water Breathing, platinum, and then you’re going to hit something with a hammer. MARISHA: Okay. SAM: Bank in the morning? LAURA: Bank in the morning. Then off. MARISHA: And then through a tree, and then there. TALIESIN and MARISHA: At dawn we bank. (laughter) LAURA: Fabulous. Shall we rest up? TRAVIS: Yes. SAM: One more thing before we go to sleep. Not to draw this out any longer. I’m going to, right before bed, attempt to turn into, using my True Polymorph, one of those fun, winged, tall creatures we met at Pelor’s place. LAURA: An angel? MATT: Turn who into that? Yourself? Yeah, the planetar. You can definitely do that. MARISHA: With True Polymorph? LAURA: You’ve seen it. SAM: I’ve seen it, but I don’t know it.

MATT: Are you doing this privately or in front of everybody? SAM: In my room. MATT: In your room, you suddenly grow to the size of an 11- to 12-foot, muscular humanoid. Bald head, deep blue skin, with beautiful white angel wings that unfurl for 24 foot, tip to tip length, you feel holy power surge through your body. SAM: Okay, just wanted to make sure that would work. Cool. TRAVIS: Do you do anything? SAM: No, I just stand there naked looking at myself. Anything else that happens in that room, you don’t want to know. MATT: As the winged Dr. Manhattan stands there in his room, staring at his own Manhattan junk– LIAM: So this is what it sounds like when doves cry! MATT: There’s a slow rendition of Hallelujah as you touch yourself for the night. (singing) Hallelujah, hallelujah. (speaking) The wings curl in. All right. LIAM: That was the most home-game moment we’ve ever had.

MATT: And on that note, we’re going to close tonight’s episode. (laughs) All right, guys, thanks again for playing, thank you guys for watching. Thank you once again Darin De Paul for coming and guesting, closing Sprigg’s story in an interesting way. I wasn’t sure how he was going to do that. We’ll see you guys next week. Be safe, love each other, and is it Thursday yet? Good night. ALL: (singing) Hallelujah! [music].

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