Transcripts

S1.E1

Harrow and Goodbye

[Music: opening theme plays (“Jelly Castle (orchestral remix)” by MDK Music)]

 

[James burps, says] That's a good opener, right?

 

[Zac] Just cold open with the burp

 

[James] Just cold open burp to start things out. Oh man, I'm excited. Uh, driving over here, like, I- I know I was definitely like: we've done this dozens of times; this time definitely feels different. And I definitely got a little bit of nerves.

 

[Amanda] Aw

 

[James] So, to help my nerves, I am drinking a shit ton of caffeine.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] That's good for nerves, right?

 

[James] 'Cause that's how that works

 

[David] Me too!

 

[Zac] Does it though?

 

[James] No, no, that's not how that works at all

 

[David] You power right through it.

 

[James] So, I- I don't know how to like do openers or anything like that.

 

[Zac] Would it be helpful if we all- if we all like walked away from the table and then came back to the table and started like at the same time?

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Zac] Or do we not need to do that? Is that unnecessary? To get like that energy of like 'okay, sit down: Go!'

 

[James] I mean, do you want to?

 

[Zac] I mean, we can just pretend we're doing it. [laughs]

 

[James] Okay, everyone stand up [general laughter] and we run back

 

[Amanda] Alright, okay

 

[David] Oh

 

[Elizabeth] Whew

 

[Zac] Oh my goodness

 

[David] Right

 

[Elizabeth] Ready, go!

 

[James] Hi guys! It's been only a week this time.

 

[Amanda] I know

 

[James] This has been a long time coming; I'm very excited that we are going to be starting. We had our wonderful session zero last week, but this week we are actually going to play the characters we have spent so much time thinking about and talking about, and I am ready to get this project rolling. I, of course, am James Schwarz, your wonderful GM--that stands for Game Master. We are going to be playing Paizo's adventure path Reign of Winter

 

[Amanda] Oooo

 

[Zac] Woo, Paizo!

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[David] Yeah!

 

[James] Paizo, Pathfinder...it's D&D, for those of you who don't know: this is D&D 3.5

 

[Amanda] So much better

 

[James] They are currently on D&D 5. There's a bunch of other stuff and details and nerdage in there that you don't exactly have to worry about because we are all here to tell a story together and have a good time and roll some dice and have some emotions.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[David] Oh, those are great

 

[James] I know, right?

 

[David] Emotions, yeah

 

[Elizabeth] Those are my favorite part, yeah.

 

[James] So, I have, uh, been GMing for about two and a half years now. I've run three or four different games, groups of people. Um, I love it--it's amazing--and I'm very excited to bring some of my favorite players that I have had the pleasure of GMing-

 

[Amanda] Aww

 

[James] -over those years together for this wonderful, uh, project we have going. Uh, I would first like to introduce, uh, [makes a sound of disgust] I keep saying 'uh.' I don't like that.

 

[Zac] Hmm. Do you want me to cut that out? 'Cause since I'm-

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Yeah, good, just like cut all of it out

 

[Zac] Since I'm Zac and I'm the one doing the editing

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[James] Yeah, that's right. [Zac laughs, James continues] Uh, yeah, our resident audio master, our audio editor, and of course our very good friend, Zac Kreitler!

 

[Zac] Woo-hoo! And he pronounced the last name correctly, which rarely happens with other people

 

[Amanda] Right?

 

[Zac] He cares: that's how much he cares

 

[Amanda] Aww

 

[James] Yeah. Hi Zac, how are you doing?

 

[Zac] Hi! I'm doing very well.

 

[James] Yeah? Excited?

 

[Zac] I'm very excited.

 

[James] Cool.

 

[Zac] You and I started playing this together--we- you weren't running, I wasn't running; you and I were players together!

 

[James] I know; we were players together for about three months

 

[Zac] Two- over two years ago.

 

[James] Yeah, over two years ago.

 

[Zac] Since then, you've really evolved into the role of- of Lord and God of All He Surveys

 

[laughter from the players]

 

[James] Ah, thank you! I like to think that, with over two years of experience uh building up my god complex, I've become somewhat good at maintaining it.

 

[Amanda and David laugh]

 

[James] Uh, sitting exactly next to Zac is, of course, Amanda Kreitler!

 

[Amanda] Where else would I be?

 

[James] Uh, any- any relation to Zac Kreitler, audio engineer for The Dimension Door Podcast?

 

[Amanda] Ah, not at all.

 

[James] Oh

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Well then. Put a pin in that!

 

[Zac] We want- we want to maintain...Like, we want the fans- we want the fans to think they got a shot with her

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Ohhh

 

[Elizabeth] Ahh, yeah, yeah

 

[James] Gotcha, gotcha. So- so, we're not- so we're, what, are we playing her--? So, no relation, at all?

 

[Amanda, laughing] Right

 

[James] Not...

 

[Zac] Coincidental last- coincidental rare last name

 

[James] Coincidental rare last- do you want me to pronounce your last name slightly different

 

[Amanda] There you go

 

[James]  So instead of 'Kreitler' be like 'Kree-ite-ler'?

 

[Amanda] I hear 'Kreetler' a lot

 

[James] 'Kreetler'? Yeah, so Amanda 'Kreetler' and Zac Kreitler. [Amanda laughs, James continues] Totally not related by marriage.

 

[Amanda] Right. Totally- totally that, no. No. Yes, we are.

 

[Zac] awww

 

[David and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[James] Aw, so much for that.

 

[Amanda] I don't want anybody else, baby.

 

[Zac] Aw

 

[James] Hey, you know, if you've been listening this far, you know, we've already dropped a storyline, you've bit into it, you're excited, and it's already paid off! So, we're on a good good start, I think. Amanda was also part of the first group uh we Pathfinded together, played together.

 

[Amanda] Yup

 

[James] Uh, before I took over that game as GM.

 

[Amanda] I was poor little uh Lemerick.

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Amanda] Little bard who uh almost killed the whole party [laughs]

 

[James] Yep! Well, uh, welcome Zac and Amanda. And sitting directly across from me: Elizabeth Wilcox!

 

[Elizabeth] Hello hello hello!

 

[James] How are you doing today?

 

[Elizabeth] I'm doing wonderful

 

[James] Wonderful

 

[Elizabeth] I'm very excited to be here and be playing more. I feel like I actually weirdly started out playing out here as the most experienced in the group, but also kind of the least confident because I just moved out here and didn't know anybody, and was just jumping in, and I've grown to love playing out here and I love everyone I'm playing with and I'm super excited to start this campaign.

 

[James] Yeah, should be pretty good.

 

[Zac] Any feelings about the state itself?

 

[Elizabeth] It's- it's okay. I mean, I like sunshine, so I can't complain.

 

[Amanda, laughing] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] I do complain every time there isn't sunshine, despite being in the land of sunshine; it's never enough. I'm excited it's getting hot...

 

[James] For- for those of you listening at home: we live on the sun

 

[Amanda] Yes

 

[David and Zac laugh]

 

[Elizabeth] Yes, we do.

 

[Amanda] Exactly.

 

[James] Uh, Phoenix, Arizona is too hot sometimes.

 

[Amanda] Today, man.

 

[Elizabeth] Ahh... There's just pool weather and then...

 

[Zac] We're in- we're in April and we all have like sweat stains on our backs

 

[Amanda] Yes.

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] True, true

 

[James] That's where we're at right now

 

[chuckles around the table]

 

[James] Well, welcome, Elizabeth. And our final player, who actually was not in the original group we all started playing in. He actually started a little over a year later in the second Rise of the Runelords game I started because I knew a bunch of people who wanted to play and nobody ever wants to GM, uh, David Miller!

 

[David] Hello hello!

 

[James] How are you doing?

 

[David] Good evening! I'm doing good, how about you?

 

[James] I'm- I'm good. I'm excited. I'm ready-

 

[David] I'm excited, too

 

[James] -to get the ball rolling. So, you've been in the other game and we are just coming up on our one year anniversary in that game as well

 

[David] We are

 

[James] It'll be one year in May.

 

[David] That's right. One- That's next month.

 

[James] Has it been a good year?

 

[David] It's been a great year! We've had a lot of fun

 

[James] Good!

 

[David] Um, gotten to know a little bit more about the game

 

[James] Yep!

 

[David] and, uh-

 

[James] You died once already

 

[David] That- that's true, that's true; the first- the first character died.

 

[James] Yeah, that's always a tough loss.

 

[David] That was hard

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] Yeah. More surprisingly hard than I thought it would be.

 

[James] Yeah, well-

 

[David] It's challenging

 

[James] -I am hoping that these characters that we are about to introduce don't die within the first three sessions

 

[David] That'd be nice

 

[James] It would be very nice [laughs]

 

[Amanda] That's kind of up to you, James [laughs]

 

[James] It is- You know?

 

[David] No, it- it really-

 

[James] It is not up to me-

 

[Amanda] No, I know

 

[James] -it is us to the dice.

 

[David] Yeah, so James said it's not a game of us versus the DM or the GM in this case

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] It's- it's a game of us versus the dice.

 

[James] Yes

 

[Amanda] Yes, yes

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah, yeah

 

[David] That's really what it is.

 

[James] We are- we are all fighting against the dice to tell a wonderful story. I- I am unfortunately the facilitator of those dice

 

[Zac] Unfortunately?

 

[James] -and deciding what the decisions the dice make are, based on probability and numbers, bonuses and characters. So, with all of that out of the way, we have our players and I think it is time we introduce everybody to the adventure we are all going to be playing.

 

[David] Let's do it!

 

[Amanda] Alright

 

[James] So, on the world of Golarion, where gods and magic are a fact of life, where dragons are fought and elves and dwarves coexist with humans, we begin our story in the country of Taldor, a once great nation that has fallen to internal quarrels with nobles using small private armies and knights to fight each other over land and power over small settlements. Now, the standing truce with Taldor's oldest rival, the kingdom of Qadira, has kept things peaceful in terms of war, but no one is certain how long it will actually last. This adventure has less to do with nobles and their squabbles, nations and their wars, and instead with a solemn group of adventurers whose livelihoods are about to be changed and their destinies written down to become legends for future generations to look up to. Between the border town of Zimar to the south and the capital of Taldor, Oppara, to the north, a small village sits along the well-traveled road. A humble population of 170 occupy the town. The establishment is of mostly humans and has been found to be welcoming and non-judgmental of those who've come through and chosen to join their small community. Living side by side with the elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes, the people are primarily farmers and lumberjacks. The village has a local butcher, blacksmith, apothecary, small church--and, uh, it's to the various deities of the residents throughout the town. It also has a town hall, complete with a clock tower, which looks over the town square. Now, in the town square there is a single statue of a beautiful woman sitting in the center. No one in the village is sure who the woman is or why she is commemorated, but many believe her to be the founder of this lovely community: the village of Heldren. It is the middle of summer. The hot sun bakes down on the sleepy countryside. While in the village everyone is hard at work with their day-to-day lives, several miles to the south an adorable ratfolk couple riding a giant weasel zip about the countryside, looking for the warren where they were born some 30 years ago. [record scratch] It is 30 years, right?

[Amanda] Yes

 

[Zac] Just over, yeah.

 

[James]. Cool. Ahead, they see a man--burly and tall--slowly limping along the road, headed north towards Heldren. As they watch him in the distance, he suddenly collapses to the ground with a lifeless thud. [thud sound]

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh gosh!

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, that's not good.

 

[James] Inside the house still known to the locals as Old Mother Theodora's, even though Theodora herself passed years ago, her apprentice sits with a deck of cards [sound of cards shuffling] concentrating as she lays a 3x3 grid in front of her. One by one, she turns the cards over, studying them carefully, a single question occupying her mind. A slight frown grows upon her lips as she surveys the cards in front of her: this is a bad omen. The woman's ears perk up as she hears several people excitedly talking outside. [as villager] A man was found on the side of the road, collapsed, with deep wounds and signs of frostbite. [as GM, narrating again] A traveler sits in the town's tavern, The Silver Stoat, after a long ride through the hot summer day. He orders a pint of their signature Three Devils Ale and looks around. The place is a buzz of conversation, all of which seems to be centered around mysterious travelers that brought a man, half dead, into their town for medical treatment. [as tavern patron] Sounds like he's lucky to be alive. [as another patron] The fortune teller says it's an omen of what's to come. [as a third patron] I heard the council is posting a bounty to hire an investigator. [as GM, narrating] At that, the man at the bar downs his almost-full beer. Placing a coin on the bar, he stands up and starts walking to the door. We open inside of a growing-exceedingly-crowded apothecary store. We see a tall, burly man with blonde hair, covered in bandages. Uh, areas of his face have grown purple or black, and he is sitting in a chair. A apothecary stands behind a counter and is mixing something, and looking around the room, we see five other uh individuals. One of them is a woman with a square jaw, hair slightly graying, pulled back into a tight bun. She is wearing a button-up shirt and slacks, and she is leaning against the wall, surveying everybody else in the room. So, tell us, our lovely players: who is in this room? Zac, why don't you start?

 

[Zac] You see what- you see- You're aware that there is such a thing as a race called ratfolk

 

[James] Yes

 

[Zac] but what you see is slightly cuter than that. So, there's no such thing as mousefolk, but that's what this would look like, and that's what most people would call this if they saw it. So, he's basically a very very cute ratfolk. Um, I'm thinking Tom Bosley, um, big cheeks-

 

[James] Once again, as we keep playing, every single time, I have no idea who your actor is

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Really big cheeks

 

[Zac] Big cheeks, big smile, like big, very friendly, very welcoming eyes; doesn't look like he's stopped smiling for the last you know 25, 30 years. Um, but if you look him up and down, his clothes that he's wearing, um, look like they are intended to be like fancy and ornate, but if you look just a little bit closer, like they're actually just kind of slapped together. Like, he's got a a ruffled collar, but it's not really ruffled--it's just like a strip of cotton that's wrinkled up and bunched up. Like he's trying to- he's he's at a point in his life where he's trying to project like, this is, 'I'm just living fancy and having as much fun as possible.' He's wearing a hat that is so fancy it doesn't really look like it fits on his quite like friendly, normal face.

 

[laughter]

 

[James] I love it. Uh, what- what color is his cute little mousy fur?

 

[Zac] There's a little bit of white and it's mostly a blend of of brown and gray, brown and like a silverish gray.

 

[James] Okay. Yeah, I like it. I like it a lot. Uh, and probably standing directly next to him, uh, we have another uh rat-mousefolk

 

[Amanda, laughs] Yes. She's probably not as cute as he is, though. [laughs]

 

[Zac] What's your charisma score?

 

[Amanda, laughing] Not as not as good as yours is. She is a- you can tell she's probably a bit more down to earth because she's a bit more plain looking; she doesn't- she's not trying to put on airs and look like she's better than she is. Um, you know

 

[James] What a dig

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[Zac] Called out

 

[Elizabeth] Ooh

 

[Amanda] She loves you anyway, though.

 

[Zac chuckles]

 

[Amanda] Um, you bring the adventure. [laughs] Um, she's got like brown not like long pants just kind of like shorts; she's trying to be a bit more modest walking around in a town, she's not going to just walk around and just her fur like normal when you know they're out adventuring in the wilderness because you know they're covered in fur that's like clothes.

 

[Elizabeth] That's true, that's true

 

[Amanda] So she does have, but they're brown and they blend right in with her fur, so if you look at her in just for a second you wouldn't actually be able to tell that she's wearing pants

 

[Zac] Like when a human wears a flesh-colored jumpsuit

 

[Amanda] Right. You kind of get a double-take, 'wait a second...' Um, but she does, she has dark brown fur. Um, she's got a little bit of white in the face, um, and she is wearing um- she's got a backpack on, very like a smaller backpack, nothing too too big. Not sure what's--oh, well, you guys wouldn't be sure what's in it; she knows what's in it. [general laughter, Amanda continues] I'm not- I'm not gonna tell you what I'm carrying around.

 

[Zac, imitating Donald Trump] Got some great things in there, really big- big, beautiful things happening in my backpack. [Amanda laughs, Zac continues with impression] You guys are going to be so impressed.

 

[Amanda] It's amazing. [Zac and Amanda laugh, Amanda continues] Her- her- She's got black eyes. You can't really tell any distinct color. Did you say what color your eyes are?

 

[Zac] I'm sorry: mine are pink. I didn't say.

 

[Amanda] Oh, okay. Anyway, so they do look a bit different from each other. Like, you could tell they were not born- they're not siblings or anything.

 

[Zac] Well because- because he's a Kreiter and you're a Kreet-ler, so you're completely different-

 

[Amanda] Exactly

 

[Zac] -eye colors altogether

 

[laughter]

 

[Amanda] Uh, on her right now um is, she's just wearing her- her pants and then she does have a light shirt on that's a lighter tan color, um, and you know, and her backpack. She's pulling things out, and--bandages, things like that--trying to- trying to help the guy who's, uh, who's hurt, and...So, nothing too fancy; she's not out going for battle or anything, yet, so

 

[James] Very cool. And- and sitting next to the two cute couple ratfolk is a giant weasel.

 

[Amanda] It is a young giant weasel.

 

[James] A young giant weasel

 

[Amanda] So it is small, like- like us little ratfolk, rat-mouse-folk. It is um alert, but still kind of curled up. It has red eyes and um brown fur with tufts of white, like you can see the- the fur is changing as it's getting older.

 

[James] Okay

 

[Amanda] So, it's kind of a mixture of like different shades of brown and some white, and um red eyes, and super cute nose that, you know, twitches.

 

[James] That's adorable

 

[Amanda laughs, says] and her name is Ghost.

 

[James, in the light tone of someone speaking to a cute animal] Oh, hi Ghost

 

[deep animal snort sound]

 

[Amanda] No, it's a squeak, not a snort [laughs]

 

[Zac] No, she's- she snorts and squeaks

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[Zac] She communicates through a series of squeaks and snorts, and occasionally clicks

 

[Amanda] Alright

 

[Zac snorts with laughter]

 

[James] Uh, Elizabeth, where is your character in this room and what does she look like?

 

[Elizabeth] My character is hovering over the injured gentleman. She looks incredibly irritated that he is trying to be in a more upright position; if it was up to her, this man would still be under bed rest, but situation prevails. Her name is Vasilisa Morozova, and she's a human woman of average height, who looks to be about 30 years old. Her long black hair is typically in a loose braid, and it is right now; it's covered with a brightly-colored head scarf patterned in red and gold. She's got pale blue eyes and extremely fair skin that's covered in a fine dusting of freckles; you can tell that she tends to get a lot of sun. She wears long skirts and they're in all sorts of hues of red and orange and yellow, and over her outfit is a simple leather over-skirt. She has two pouches at her waist, one that's full of the odds and ends that she uses for spell casting, and the other that is usually full of whatever herbs and berries tend to be in season. At her neck you can see two pendants: an ivory carving of a walrus and a simple clear crystal sphere set in some copper wire. She's also got a Harrow deck with her--she is never found without her harrow deck tucked somewhere upon her person. Sometimes she just slips it in at her blouse, sometimes it's at her belt, but it's always there. And she has this lingering scent of incense about her, as she tends to burn that whenever she does a reading.

 

[James] Very cool. And does everybody here know what a Harrow deck is?

 

[Zac] I just assumed she was mispronouncing Tarot until I saw the actual packaging and it said Harrow on it, so- [Amanda laughs, Zac continues] -is- is it Tarot?

 

[Elizabeth] Harrow is basically Tarot in Pathfinder

 

[Zac] That's kind of what I- okay. I met y- I met you halfway.

 

[Elizabeth] So, it's the Pathfinder, Golarian version of what we think of as Tarot. She's a cartomancer, so she, you know, has her deck, and will be doing a lot of things with the cards.

 

[Zac] And this is- Golarion's a world where like this stuff actually works, right?

 

[James] Yes.

 

[David] Mhm

 

[James] Yeah, Golarion is-

 

[Zac] Magic

 

[James] -a world where magic exists, gods like exist, like, there's many, many gods who have like celestial, otherworldly, interdimensional power; that is a fact of the world we live in.

 

[Zac] Here's something I wonder about Golarion: is it also like our world, in that even though these things are real, are there still fakers and shysters and people pretending?

 

[David] Oh, I'm sure

 

[James] Oh yeah, absolutely

 

[Zac] B- but why, if you could actually just do the real thing?

 

[David] High charisma score [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] I mean, it's a lot-

 

[Amanda] If you don't have the powers, but you have the charisma

 

[David] Right?

 

[Elizabeth] Right, right.

 

[laughter]

 

[Zac] Just be a con man.

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] It's a lot cheaper to trick someone into thinking you've got a working potion than to actually make a working potion.

 

[David] Yeah

 

[Zac] So, it's a money- it's a profit deal.

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Amanda, laughing] It usually is

 

[David] It all goes back to capitalism, every time.

 

[Amanda] Right. Right?!

 

[Elizabeth] Every time.

 

[James] Uh, and the final person standing around in this shop, uh, what's he up to? What's he look like?

 

[David] So, if you were to look around the room, you'd notice other people that are kind of busy about doing things, and you might you might notice a man kind of standing off to the side. Um, he- he's leaning against a wall, and as he's kind of leaning back you notice his height: he is uh he's about 6'10", so he's a little tall- he's a little taller side.

 

[James] Fuck

 

[David] He's um, he's- he's a thin, a bit on the um, almost narrow, you would kind of say; you kind of think of like a tall, thin person is a very good just way of thinking of his uh his physical stature. He's almost a bit rigid, too, and he he seems as if he's ready to burst into action any moment. He's kind of prepared. He's kind of got a a sense about him like he's ready to move, if needed. um. If you tried to look over his appearance, you'd notice a, um, a messy head of black, unkempt hair kind of just kind of falls naturally about; it looks like it probably has not been washed in a while, so it's a little on the more rugged, dirty side. He's got a dirty shirt that matches and uh a vest, a dark gray vest that goes over that. Um, you- you wouldn't- um, you wouldn't miss the holster draped around his waist that off to the right hand side sits a pistol and, um, his- um, his boots are similar to his dark vest; they're dark gray boots that he wears. And some brown like riding pants; it looks like- looks like he's been riding--looks like he probably wears the same pants that he rides horses in and continues to travel in it, looks like he pretty much just got off the road. He's- he looks like he's got a lot of road, you know, dirt and dust and things like that.

 

[Zac] So h- his hair is like messy and dirty, but is it messy and dirty like in a sexy way?

 

[David] Exactly, so-

 

[Zac] Is it like Jon Snow, kind of?

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[David] So, actually- so, here's- here's the- the cast that plays, um, that plays Valdeen--his name is Valdeen--

 

[Zac] James has never heard of him

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[David] Um, actually, he- he has heard of Jim Caviezel, so...

 

[Zac] Ohh

 

[David] Is- that's who you would see.

 

[James] I don't know who that is [laughs]

 

[David] You don't know? Oh [laughs]

 

[Zac] He's Jesus! How funny because it's Easter, too, you pick Jesus-

 

[Amanda] I mean, it's Superman or Jesus

 

[James] Yeah.

 

[David] Yeah

 

[James] I've never heard of that man before.

 

[David] Yeah. Okay.

 

[Elizabeth] Actor names are not James's forte

 

[James] Nope. They are not at all.

 

[David] I thought he would know this one. Ah, okay.

 

[Elizabeth] Meanwhile, you are literally more than a foot taller than the average-heightened Vasilisa. How much taller- is he twice as tall?

 

[Zac] The- the two ratfolks could stand- The two ratfolks could stand on top of each other-

 

[Elizabeth] and still be shorter?

 

[Zac] and still be like maybe eye to eye

 

[James] Are you sure that you're a medium creature?

 

[Elizabeth] This is beautiful. No- Look-

 

[David] Well, m- Maybe I'm not quite 6'10"- Might have been a little-

 

[Zac] We're small, we're small

 

[Elizabeth] I- I- A large creature would be seven to- would be like eight to twelve feet

 

[Amanda] Yeah, yeah

 

[Elizabeth] So, definitely the tall side of medium, and I can't wait to cast enlarge person on with you one day

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[David] That's awesome

 

[Elizabeth] For kicks and giggles. I could also-

 

[Amanda] You know, it'd be easy to pick him out of a crowd, too

 

[Elizabeth] -en-smallify you, reduce you, make you more Norm-sized, so...

 

[Zac] Ooo, you should reduce the ratfolks

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Amanda, chuckles, says] We could crawl through walls!

 

[Elizabeth] Ooh, tiny ratfolk! Do I just call you giant rats at that point? [Amanda laughs, Elizabeth continues] Are you the size- are tiny ratfolk the size of a giant rat?

 

[James] I don't know

 

[Zac] I'd go into the air duct vents and we could sneak into the mainframe and chew through the wires and, oh, this is gonna be great.

 

[Elizabeth] Do all sorts of things

 

[Amanda, laughing] There's mainframes...

 

[Zac] There's mainframes and wires in this campaign, right, James?

 

[Elizabeth] Right? We're going to Numeria?

 

[James] Uh, not in- Probably not in this one-

 

[Amanda] This is- This is not Iron Gods

 

[James] This is- this isn't Numeria. Uh, electricity, batteries, that kind of stuff does not exist in this world as far- I know.

 

[Elizabeth] As are as some of us know

 

[James] In this land. Anyway, uh, so that is our- our player cast, all standing around in this room. Now, the woman I said that was leaning against the wall

 

[Zac] Yeah

 

[James takes a breath]

 

[Zac] She's got time to lean, she's got time to clean. Is she just standing doing nothing?

 

[laughter]

 

[Amanda] Dude...

 

[David] She- she's leaning right next to Valdeen? What's going on here?

 

[James] I- you-

 

[Zac] Got the Valdeen lean going on?

 

[James] -you know, she has been in there and people just like keep showing up, um... Who was first to arr- The first to arrive would have been-

 

[Amanda] Were the ra- yeah

 

[Zac] Well, we brought- we brought-

 

[James] Yeah, you guys brought the man in here

 

[Zac] Yeah

 

[Amanda] That is correct

 

[James] Uh, so- so, she was- just been, like, you guys brought him in and have just been like going over him and checking--This is the apothecary shop, so you guys are telling her like 'oh, you should definitely do this and get this ready for him' and everything and like, you're telling her to do her job, but also she's a bit like taken up back by two adorable little mouse people bringing in a giant burly man [Amanda laughs, James continues] so she's just like she's a bit in shock, but she's going with it.

 

[Elizabeth] And is this female the apothecary? Because there were two, right?

 

[James] Yes, there are two in here. Uh, the apothecary is female, um, but the woman standing against the wall is not the apothecary; she looks more like some sort of official. So, you guys bring in this man and you're going over him, you're talking to the apothecary, and shortly after that, um, without knocking on the door, I think, uh, Elizabeth, your character walks in-

 

[Elizabeth] mhm

 

[James] -and also starts doting over the man and talking about a bunch of different stuff, I'm sure? Does that sound right?

 

[Elizabeth] Well, Vasilisa comes in because she's called for whenever there's need to do any sort of healing or-

 

[James] Yes.

 

[Elizabeth] -and this is a strange situation, where it looks like maybe there's something magical going on because frostbite in the middle of summer isn't super normal. So, she's checking for magic effects, she's fussing, she's prodding, she's rechecking the work already done by everyone else because habit--very good bandaging, by the way; your first aid skills are great, I'm sure. [sound of a die rolling] I assume?

 

[Amanda] I mean, we are a doctor and a nurse, so...

 

[Zac] Natural one

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Uhh...

 

[Zac] You're very kind to lie

 

[Amanda keeps laughing]

 

[Elizabeth] So, really, that should be more sarcastic, so, uh here we go--

 

[Zac, sarcastic] Great job

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Very good bandaging. It is, I am sure, the best you could do.

 

[Zac] Okay, see, this is-

 

[Elizabeth] Meanwhile, she is redoing all of the bandages

 

[Zac] All of your sarcasm was in your eyebrows, and it was a lot

 

[Elizabeth] It was

 

[Zac] It was a lot, but I don't think it's gonna-

 

[Elizabeth] That's true; it might not carry over

 

[Zac and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[James] I think we'll be fine [Zac laughs, James continues] And then, finally, after that, uh, in walks this six-foot-ten

 

[Amanda] giant

 

[James] tall drink of water

 

[laughter]

 

[David] Yeah, actually, I think he's six- I think he's six feet tall. I think- I think that was a typ- a typo

 

[Zac] Wait, what?

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[Zac] That's a-

 

[James] That's a-

 

[Zac] That a big jump

 

[David] Yeah. I- I think-

 

[James] That's okay. That's okay.

 

[Elizabeth] He lost a lot of height, there, but, I mean-

 

[David] It was really tall; that was not quite-

 

[Amanda] He was standing on a chair

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] Yeah

 

[James] Uh, he- he takes- he walks in and everyone sees him like 'whoa, he's six- six foot ten!' and then he uh takes two steps down into the actual room, which is below floor level

 

[everyone laughs]

 

[James] Everyone's like 'oh, six foot, yeah...that makes sense'

 

[Zac, Amanda, and Elizabeth all make sounds of realization/assent] ohhh, mmm

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Um, and meanwhile, so all of this happens in very quick succession, um, but when the- the tall uh man walks into the room, the woman leaning against the wall kind of like perks up and looks around, is like [as the woman, Ionnia Teppen] This- Is- is this just- So- Is this a party? Did I miss something? Uh, okay, uh, so, you all- Sorry, uh, go over this again. Um, Vasilisa, thank you for coming. Um...

 

[Zac, as Norm] We were- we were just out riding and we just, we found him. He- We actually- He was- he was upright when we saw him, but then we saw him fall.

[James, as Ionnia] I see. And- and where did you find him, exactly?

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh gosh, we were- we've been we've been out in the woods for like four or five days, now, I don't even-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh yeah, we're checking for our warren

 

[Zac, as Norm] Um, where were we supposed to be today? Was the-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I think we were, uh just-

 

[Zac, as Norm] -the north

 

[Amanda, as Marge] uh, yeah. Sou- uh-

 

[Zac, as Norm] The north south?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] North- uh, like, northeast of the town, I think

 

[Zac, as Norm] Does that sound right?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I'm not sure.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yeah, it sounds right

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I think so.

 

[pause]

 

[James, as Ionnia] Well, thank you, for- [laughter around the table, James continues] -for bringing him, uh, here.

 

[Zac, as Norm] I apo- we don't have more specific notes; I am sorry.

 

[James, as Ionnia] That's- that's fine

 

[Zac, as Norm] We kind of just-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I mean it took all that we had just to get him here

 

[Zac, as Norm] No, we just jumped into action

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I have a sense that you do not own a compass. Is this correct?

 

[Zac, as Norm] Ooh, ah...There might be one- Ghost might have one

 

[Amanda, as Marge] -in his pack

 

[Zac, as Norm] in her- in her pack somewhere

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] How about we wait until our new guest regains consciousness and ask him where he was found?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's very smart

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes, uh, that is a good idea...and- and you are...?

 

[David, as Valdeen] My name's Valdeen. I- I heard there was a city council looking for someone to investigate something going on.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Well, that certainly is a good idea

 

[David, as Valdeen] I was just in the bar and overheard; came here right away.

 

[James, as Ionnia] That- that makes more sense. Yes, uh, the- the people of this town do like their- their gossip in the bar, but they do also have a pretty good bead on things. There definitely should be a council meeting to determine, uh, what is to be done with this mysterious man, but if you are volunteering your services...

 

[David, as Valdeen] It sounds like paying work to me

 

[James, as Ionnia] It is paying work, indeed

 

[David, as Valdeen] Well, that's why I'm here.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Well, that works out well, then. Uh, Vasilisa, I- I'm- I'm sorry, and you two are?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I'm Marge

 

[Zac, as Norm] And- and Norm

 

[Amanda, as Marge] We're the Gundersons.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Mister and Missus Gunderson?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Correct

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, yes

 

[James, as Ionnia] Oh, ah, very good

 

[Zac, as Norm] I'm the luckiest ratfolk ever

 

[James, as Ionnia] Mr. and Mrs. Gunderson, uh, Vasilisa: what exactly have we found out about this man so far?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, it's almost like this uh this poor dear here uh got stuck in some snow or somethin'. He's got some coldness goin' on in his nose and his ears-

 

[James] You- you guys wanna roll some heal checks?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh

 

[Zac] I was gonna like retroactively say that I rolled a heal check um but that didn't- wouldn't feel right, you know? I got a 21.

 

[James] Fuck

 

[Sounds of dice rolling, Amanda makes a pained exclamation]

 

[Elizabeth] Significantly better than my 10.

 

[Amanda] and my three [laughs] I rolled a... Terrible

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[James] Okay, uh, Norm: this- this guy has been through the ringer. He has slash marks all across him, he's lost a lot of blood, and he has some kind of deep spike wounds, almost, uh-

 

[Zac] Okay, but- but I detect the frostbite, too? That's quite curious

 

[James] Oh yeah, yeah. You- you see that like certain areas of his body have like definite signs of frostbite.

 

[Zac, as Norm] So, that's the weird thing: I was looking him over and he's got- he's got like cut marks and- and he's got wounds on him, but you could get those anywhere. He's also got like cold wounds on him, too, which I don't know if it was like something magical, but you know it's not that cold right now.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] No. No, it's summer

 

[Zac, as Norm] It looks like he's been- looks like he's been out in the winter like without enough warm clothes or something.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It would have to be magical; that's- there is no way anywhere would be cold enough for frostbite this time of year.

 

[Zac, as Norm] You said your name was Lisa?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You may call me Lisa, yes. My name is Vasilisa Morozova.

 

[Zac, as Norm] And you know like when there's magic and stuff? When there's not magic?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes [describes] I am actually detecting magic on him, that is one of the things I would have done

 

[James] Oh-ho

 

[Elizabeth] Is there- do I find any magic upon him?

 

[James] um, you do not find any magic directly upon him; that doesn't mean that he wasn't affected by magic, but if it was-

 

[Zac] It's over

 

[James] -magic, it's been too long, there's no residual traces of it.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] There is no current trace of any magic upon him, but it must have been magic which caused the frostbite. I see no other way.

 

[Zac, as Norm] It seems real unlikely.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I mean the cold is unlikely. Have you seen what time of year it is?

 

[Zac, as Norm] No, that's what I mean: it like- it seems really unlikely to get frostbite right now

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is!

 

[Zac, as Norm] It seems like it's months and months away

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It makes no sense whatsoever.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, this poor guy. You know, all these uh wounds on him; he's got these puncture wounds, like, real deep

 

[David, as Valdeen] Has he said anything since he's been back?

 

[Zac, as Norm] No. I wish he would start talking

 

[James] He is unconscious, still

 

[David, in Valdeen's voice] That would explain why he hasn't said anything

 

[Amanda] mhm

 

[Elizabeth] Is there any sign of who he is or what- what he is? Is there like a- a knowledge check I could do to identify something about him?

 

[Amanda] Knowledge local?

 

[James] Yeah. That's a good idea. Let's do, um, yeah--Knowledge: Local, Knowledge: Geography...I will also take Knowledge: Nobility.

 

[Zac] Geez

 

[Elizabeth] I got a 21 on Knowledge: Local

 

[Zac] I've got Geography and Nobility

 

[Elizabeth] Do you know everything? Geez

 

[Amanda] No, he doesn't- he doesn't know nature very well; that's me.

 

[Zac] I don't. [sound of die rolling] I got a 20 on Geography, though

 

[Amanda] Ohh! Oh, nice

 

[Zac] Do I know anything about, geography-wise?

 

[David] While they're- while they're trying to figure out who he is, I kind of walk over and try to shake him to wake him up. [as Valdeen] Hey, wake up!

 

[James] Yeah, he's out.

 

[David] He- Okay.

 

[James] Yeah, he's super out

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Do- Do not touch my patient, sir!

 

[David, as Valdeen] Oh, I was just-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] What did you say your name was?

 

[David, as Valdeen] Val- Valdeen. I was just trying to wake him up.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Valdeen: you typically do not shake a man near death. I do not know if you have any experience with this sort of thing, but please.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Well, sure, I've seen seen plenty of wounds like this before, but I'd- I mean- Usually-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] He will wake up when he wakes up.

 

[Zac] Is he wearing glasses?

 

[James] No

 

[Zac] Okay

 

[James] What?

 

[laughter]

 

[David] Glasses?

 

[James] What? Why?

 

[Zac] Well, cause if he's not wearing glasses, I could slap him, see if I could wake him up.

 

[James] Oh! Okay, that's a-

 

[Zac] But I wouldn't hit a guy with glasses

 

[James] That's a cool thing to know

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Um, let's talk about those checks I asked you guys to roll. Vasilisa, what did you get?

 

[Elizabeth] 21

 

[James] For local?

 

[Elizabeth] Yes

 

[James] Uh, Norm?

 

[Zac] 20. Geography? Is that what I said?

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah

 

[James] Yeah. Anybody else? Nobility, local, geography?

 

[David] I got a 18 local.

 

[James] Local? Okay. No? Okay.

 

[Amanda] Nope, not me.

 

[James] Um, okay: Norm, you recognize him--I- I think the three of you do. So, Norm, Vasilisa, uh, and Valdeen, uh, you all know that he is some type of caravan guard, most commonly operating out of Zimar to the south. Valdeen, you know this man, uh, because he is wearing the signs and symbolism of an Ulfen.

 

[David] Oh. So, Valdeen recognizes the Ulfen Guard symbols from the city of Oppara.

 

[James] Yep.

 

[David] They are the- you want to tell a little bit about what the Ulfen Guard are?

 

[James] Go for it! Go for it.

 

[David] So, the Ulfen Guard are specifically trained in the Shadow Schools and they are the crown- they're the guarders of the crown prince of Oppara. They're especially trained in all kinds of different martial art forms and, uh, skilled assassins and defenders. Um, so he- I'm assuming he must be, since he's older, he's a retired Ulfen Guard, probably

 

[James] Uh, yeah. You- You could definitely-

 

[David] Makes sense

 

[James] Yes, for sure.

 

[David, as Valdeen] This- This man used to be an Ulfen Guard. I can tell by his, uh, his, uh, garb here that he's got in his clothing. Uh, I don't- I don't recognize him personally, but I'm familiar with the Ulfen Guard from the city of Oppara.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I wonder what he's doin' here.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I mean, it looks as though he probably was guarding a caravan. That is typically what a person who is on the road from Zimar to Oppara, typically...

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, gosh. Well, sure. But when we saw him, there was- there was no one else around, though, right. He was all by himself.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] No, no.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yeah.

 

[David, as Valdeen] He was by himself? No one else? Hm

 

[James] Um, at that moment, the woman behind the counter--who has been busy, uh, mixing things and preparing something--uh, slides a vial like across the counter towards all of you. Um, Vasilisa, you would know that this woman is a mute.

 

[Elizabeth] Would I also know- I would know her name, too, right?

 

[James] You- You would know her name. Her name is-

 

[Zac] She never told us. How rude, right?

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[James] Her name is Tessaraea. Tessaraea Willowbark. And you all are in Willowbark Apothecary.

 

[Zac] Wow. Lucky for her to get a job here. That seems like a great coincidence, right?

 

[laughter]

 

[Zac] That just lined up. Sometimes the stars just line up just right, you know?

 

[Elizabeth] Uh, Vasilisa takes the vial. Does she also recognize what it is?

 

[James] Um, she should. It is a very common item in this world. It is a potion of, uh, cure-

 

[David chuckles]

 

[Zac] Oh, let's say-

 

[James] I know, I'm so good! [Zac laughs; James continues] It's a potion of cure light wounds.

 

[Elizabeth] Vasilisa takes the vial and says [as Vasilisa] Thank you, Tessaraea. We appreciate it. [describes] and just forcibly pours it down the throat of the unconscious guard.

 

[James, as guard; coughs]

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, there ya are.

 

[James, as guard] Oh, what's- what's going on? Where- Wh- Where am I?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, you're safe. It's okay.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Tell us what you know.

 

[James, as guard] Uh

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Zac, as Norm] You're in-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] That is typically not the best way to greet someone who regains consciousness. We are not interrogating him.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Oh, oh.

 

[Zac, as Norm] You fell down in the woods outside of--this is- this is, uh, Heldren; this is just a small little town--but you fell down-

 

[James, as guard] I- I made it to Heldren?

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yes. Oh, yeah.

 

[James, as guard] Good. Good. I was- Where's the- the mayor or guard or someone?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We do not have a mayor. [describes] as though that's the important thing. [Amanda and James laugh; Elizabeth continues] Just, like- I feel like Vasilisa says this so often-

 

[James] Right

 

[Elizabeth] -that it's what pops out of her mouth.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Uh, I- I am one of the members of the town council, sir. Who exactly are you? What happened?

 

[James, as guard] I'm- My name's Yuln Oerstag. I was part of the caravan guard.

 

[James] He's still, like, pretty delirious.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Okay, so Valdeen- Valdeen was right, then.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Yeah. Yeah, he was.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yuln, uh, where is the caravan that you were guarding?

 

[James, as Yuln] It's gone. We were- We were attacked. These bandits and these- these creatures--these Northern creatures--

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, Northern, eh?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Northern like-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] What do they look like?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -creatures from Oppara? What creatures do-

 

[James, as Yuln] No- No!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -you think of?

 

[James, as Yuln] No, far north. Back in the homeland. The creatures of Northern descent. There was animals--large, white fur! And there was snow

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Snow?

 

[David, as Valdeen] Snow?

 

[James, as Yuln] There was snow and- and they all came out of the woods; they ambushed us! They- They took the lady.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh dear

 

[James, as Yuln] They- They took her and they drug her-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Who?

 

[James, as Yuln] -into the forest.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Who's the lady?

 

[James, as Yuln] They killed everyone.

 

[Zac] You must tell us!

 

[laughter]

 

[Amanda] Come on, man!

 

[James, as Yuln] Lady Argentea!

 

[David laughs]

 

[James] Knowledge nobility?

 

[Elizabeth] Who's got time to know about nobles? Really

 

[James] That's fair

 

[Zac] Nah

 

[Amanda] Not me; I'm too busy with the kiddos.

 

[David] Knowledge local?

 

[James] Yeah, I'll take that.

 

[David] Yeah!

 

[Elizabeth] I mean, local, I got a 12.

 

[David] I also got a 12.

 

[Zac] But I got a 16.

 

[James] Valdeen is the only one who recognizes the name. Uh, Valdeen: the Lady Argentea is--you recognize the last name--she is of noble blood from Oppara.

 

[David] Okay [as Valdeen] Argentea, Argentea... That sounds- That's- That's a noble family from Oppara, I'm pretty sure.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] What are the-

 

[James, as Yuln] Yeah. We were on our way to Oppara from- from Zimar. There's- We came under attack. I- I got away, but I think I saw the lady get drug into the forest. I just- I- I made a break for it. I- I knew Heldren was ahead. I just-

 

[David, as Valdeen] You said there was snow. How far-?

 

[James, as Yuln] There's- Yes! There was snow!

 

[David, as Valdeen] Well, there isn't any snow between those two places. Where- Where did you encounter snow?

 

[James, as Yuln] It was along the road when they ambushed us. We ran through a patch of just ice and snow; they came out of nowhere.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I- I am sorry to interrupt, but: snow and ice already on the ground? Not like-

 

[James, as Yuln] Yes

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -'oh no! A spellcaster is casting snow at me!' but like 'it has snowed'?

[James, as Yuln] No! No, it was- it was like- it was like I was back home. Snow and frost. It covered the trees and the ground.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Where are you from?

 

[James, as Yuln] One of the carriages hit a patch of ice! It flipped!

 

[David, as Valdeen] It doesn't sound possible, but--I mean...

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, how far outside of town were ya?

 

[James, as Yuln] I- We- We must have been about--I- I don't know--six miles south?

 

[David, as Valdeen] Mm

 

[Zac, as Norm] Well, gosh. That's pretty close.

 

[James, as Yuln] I- I'm- I'm from, uh- I'm from Irrisen.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Oh, that- that explains it.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Wait, wait: You are telling me you saw creatures like from Irrisen?

 

[James, as Yuln] Yes. Yeah. Creatures from my homeland. They were- They were a bit bigger than normal, but just as sneaky and just as fierce.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Enlarged creatures like from Irrisen?

 

[James, as Yuln] Yes.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] To the south, near the Border Wood?

 

[James, as Yuln] Yes, the- the Border Wood, yeah. We were right next to some woods; that sounds right.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa, sighs] I knew that there was something bad coming. The cards told me. But this is far worse than anything I would have imagined. You know what- what year it is, sir? Yuln? If you are from Irrisen.

 

[James, as Yuln] I don't- You can't be-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is the centennial year...

 

[James, as Yuln] You can't be serious! You- You think that...

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I-

 

[James, as Yuln] It is the centennial, isn't it?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I would blame the Jadwiga and Baba Yaga any day. This year? For this to happen in the summer? It is Baba Yaga's fault.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Who are you talking about?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Every hundred years, in Irrisen, Baba Yaga returns to place a new queen upon the throne.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Uhhh

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Baba Yaga is a very powerful creature. She is-

 

[James, as Yuln] She's the witch to end all witches, the mother of all of them.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Indeed.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, goodness.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, she's like hundreds of years old?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Like the mother of witches

 

[Zac, as Norm] Like, how many- How many-?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I would say thousands, yes

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Wow

 

[James, as Yuln] Hundreds of thousands

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Ageless, you may say

 

[James, as Yuln] Yeah, that sound- [coughs]

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, and why is it every hundred years?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Jadwiga are her daughters, and-- Look, it's a lot to get into, but this is the year that a new queen should be throned. And, now: snow and creatures from Irrisen thousands of miles away from home? How could it not be related?

 

[James, as Ionnia] Excuse me. Um, Mister Yuln, you're saying that Lady- Lady Argentea was drug into the forest, yes? She was kidnapped?

 

[James, as Yuln] Yes. Yeah. She was alive; they were- they were dragging her. She was kicking and screaming.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh! So maybe they chose their queen. Should- Shouldn't it all go away now?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Unless Argentea is descended from Baba Yaga herself, I do not know why they would want her.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Hm

 

[Zac, as Norm] I mean, nobility's a strange thing. She- They could be descended-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's true. I never understood it

 

[Zac, as Norm] You never know who you're descended from

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Never understood it

 

[Zac, as Norm] You do that 23 and Me thing and find out all kinds of-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Could they- Could they mean her harm, possibly?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I doubt they mean well. I mean, they killed the whole caravan, yes?

 

[David, as Valdeen] So then- then she's at risk right now, even while we're talkin'.

 

[James, as Yuln] Yeah. She's- Yeah, the lady's in trouble. Like I- I gotta get back out there.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh-

 

[James, as Yuln] Where- Where's my sword?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, goodness, no. No, you're not ready.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I apologize, sir, but you are not going anywhere.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, we can all go look for her. Don't you worry.

 

[Zac, as Norm] I'm surprised you want to. Don't you want to rest? I mean, we're both- We- We're both been in medicine for a long time and you look like you need to rest.

 

[James, as Yuln] I- But-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Eh, it's just a flesh wound. He's fine.

 

[Zac, as Norm] It's several flesh wounds!

 

[David laughs]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] What will he do? Save her by bleeding to death?

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James, as Yuln] You guys-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] We don't- We don't want to lose another person, now.

 

[James, as Yuln] Yeah. I hurt- You're right. I am- [describes] and he like tries to like sit up a little bit and you just hear like one of his ribs crack a little bit more [Zac groans and Amanda audibly winces; James continues] and he just like, he goes straight back down.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] If you rip open one of Norm's stitches, it is your own fault.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, I can do it again and fix it. It might just get infected the second time. I can't guarantee. But I could- I could re-stitch it for you, if you need to.

 

[James, as Yuln] No, I- You guys are right. I mean- I- [coughs; James describes] And he coughs up a little blood. [as Yuln] I'm in no position to- to get back out there.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Well, uh, Mister Valdeen, it seems your arrival was not premature at all.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Yes, that's what I said.

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[James, as Ionnia] Um. Miss Morozova? Uh, it seems you may be somewhat of an expert on these manners. Would you mind looking into it as favor to the town council?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa, sighs] I suppose it makes sense to send me; no one else really knows anything of Irrisen around here.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Well, at least to- to see this area. You know it, and- [describes] You guys look over and Yuln has once again kind of like faded out a little bit. [as Ionnia] He seems a bit out of it. [Zac snorts and laughs; James continues as Ionnia] I- I'm not sure what we can take- that we can take what he said with any truth. I would rather have someone who isn't traumatized look at the situation.

 

[Zac] Ooh

 

[James, as Ionnia] If it is some sort of ice and snow, I think you would be someone who would be able to say with certainty 'it is like Irrisen.'

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] This is true. You know I hate ice and snow, but also I love Heldren--I will help.

 

[Zac] Can I do a retroactive sense motive on him to see if I feel like he was telling the truth while he was talking?

 

[James] Yeah

 

[die rolls]

 

[Zac] 20.

 

[James] Yeah- yeah. He believed everything

 

[Zac] He believes what-

 

[James] He believed everything he was saying.

 

[Zac] Okay. That's kind of what I figured. Like, he sounded sincere.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Very good, uh, Vasilisa. Very good. Um, Mister Valdeen, consider yourself employed by the town of Heldren.

 

[David, as Valdeen] That sounds good

 

[James, as Ionnia] You are to escort and protect miss Vasilisa Morozova to the site of said attack and assess the situation and help however you can.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, we were going to go out there tomorrow anyway, lookin' for our warren.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, sure

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Maybe we can tag along and help you out

 

[Zac, as Norm] Well, I mean, if something goes wrong, we could like help make- fix you up and-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] More hands are better

 

[David, as Valdeen] Um-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I would not say no to help, personally.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Ooo! It's an adventure!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Valdeen?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I love adventures

 

[David, as Valdeen] Well, I- I don't- I don't want to be having to look after, you know, more people. Are you- you guys going to be-

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, gosh, no

 

[David, as Valdeen] I mean-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, you don't have to look after us. No.

 

[Zac, as Norm] We're old. If we die, we die.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] It's true.

 

[David, as Valdeen] O-kay...

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James, as Ionnia] That is perhaps the most bleak thing you could have said.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I mean, we've had our kids and our life.

 

[Zac, as Norm] We're just realists.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, we don't live long anyway. We're- We're little rats.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Alright, then. Everyone has to know their place, I guess. [James laughs; David continues as Valdeen] Okay. Shall we move on out?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I will need to pack and prepare.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Oh, you're not ready?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Why would I be ready?

 

[David, as Valdeen] You should always be ready.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Look-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] We- We're ready.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We need to get things together and, in order to perhaps search the entire forest for a missing woman-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Alright, alright. Go- Go ahead. Go get ready

 

[Zac, as Norm] Well, now- Now, how long do you guys think you're going to be gone for? This is like a one day thing, we're just going out, right? We're not like-

 

[David, as Valdeen] We don't know how long we'll be gone.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Well-

 

[Zac, as Norm] We want to come back to town-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Border Wood is quite large

 

[Zac, as Norm] No, but you want to come back to town after- Or, are you like the guys thinkin' about goin' out and stayin' out there?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think we may have to stay out.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Okay, we should bring Ghost and we should bring-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We have to go into the forest-

 

[Zac, as Norm] -like our supplies with Ghost, too, then

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's a good idea.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yeah

 

[James, as Ionnia] I- I mean the journey to the Border Wood is gonna be about two hours.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's nothin'.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] But that is just to-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Assuming no complications

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -the edge of the Border Wood

 

[David, as Valdeen] Yes.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes. The- The Border Wood itself-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] She was drug into the forest, correct?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's what he said.

 

[James, as Ionnia] That's what he said, yes.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Precisely. Do you want us to just go check where he was attacked and come back, or do you want us to search for this lady?

 

[James, as Ionnia] If you can find her and bring her back, that is a very high priority.

 

[David, as Valdeen] I'm glad you clarified our mission because I always- I get a little confused about that, too.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes. Somebody of that kind of stature is definitely going to, uh- Oppara is probably going to be breathing down our necks if we don't go and find her. Uh, so, yes. Please. Find her, save her, rescue her.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Alright

 

[James, as Ionnia] Whatever we can- We need to find out what exactly happened to her.

 

[Amanda, as Marge]  Well, we- we'll pack for a long journey, then.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yeah. Be ready for anything.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I- I shall go ready Marigold.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes. Uh. Very good. Uh, if you would all just--when you are ready, uh, what in two, three hours? Give you time to prepare--meet me in the center of town. I believe one of our, uh--I believe the general store still has a few items that might be very useful for you all. I shall go and uh talk to them and acquire those for you.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] May I request that we meet back at Old Mother Theodora's place?

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes. Yes. That is a-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I would like to set us off on the right foot and do a reading for everyone with the Harrow.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, okay

 

[James, as Ionnia] Of course, uh, Vasilisa. Of course.

 

[Zac, as Norm] So, now, do you guys- do you guys all need that much time, or-? Because we could be ready in less, if you guys wanted to be ready in less

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, for sure.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I can hurry. Perhaps half an hour?

 

[David, as Valdeen] I'm always ready.

 

[Zac, as Norm] And you said you're picking up supplies for us?

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes. Uh, there- there are some--I believe the town might still have some cold weather gear still in stock from last winter.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Okay. Well, we've got a little bit of gold left, I think, still, if we could... You have some gold left? I don't remember-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, oh, oh- We do, we do. But I think we've got everything we need.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Okay. Well, no. He's right. We should probably get some cold weather gear.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's true.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] If Ms. Teppen will give us the gear-

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -to help us out-

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh! Oh

 

[James, as Ionnia] That is what I am saying

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -that means we do not need to pay

 

[James, as Ionnia] Yes

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, gosh, no--I didn't want to assume.

 

[James, as Ionnia] No--you all are doing a service for the town we will- we will help however we can.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Well, that's very- I mean, a penny saved is good for the gander. That's my motto. So...

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's for sure. For sure.

 

[Zac, as Norm] I wasn't thinking- I wouldn't assume that it was going to be free, but that's very- very kind of you.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I have not encountered the saying, yet, "A penny saved is good for the gander."

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, yeah.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Is it a typical Taldor saying? I have not heard it here in Heldren, but Heldren is about all I have been to see.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, yeah. I hear all kinds of sayings.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Right. "A penny is good for the gander." I shall ask you later what it means, but right now it is like a riddle for me.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Right, then. I shall run to the general store and I will see you at uh Mother Theodora's in half hour.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Alrighty. Ghost!

 

[David, as Valdeen] Sounds good.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Ghost, come on!

 

[James, as Ionnia] Uh, and of course, uh, thank you, Tessaraea. We will, uh, of course reimburse you for the potion and, uh- uh, please do just keep an eye on Mister Yuln here. Uh, ring the- your bell if, uh, you need, uh, somebody to come.

 

[Zac, as Norm] I'm glad Yuln is resting again. It reminds me--remember when Rob had the fever and like he kept wanting to get up and go out and play-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] No, that was John. That was John.

 

[Zac, as Norm] John had the fever and he kept gettin' up and wantin' to go play and we were like 'no, you have to rest' and the fever lasted like three weeks because he kept like gettin' up and runnin' around? Remember that?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Poor Aria; she was so sad not to be able to play with him.

 

[James, as Ionnia] Right, then. Uh [lets out a breath] Okay. Okay. Good luck.

 

[laughter]

 

[James] She says to, uh, [together with Elizabeth] Vasilisa

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Um, and she exits the shop.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Alrighty, we'll be- we'll be on our way. We'll meet you there.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yeah, we you just gotta go pack up a few extra things for Ghost.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Sounds good.

 

[James] So, we rejoin our party in the home known as Old Mother Theodora's. Uh, you all have arrived, um, ahead of Ionnia Teppen. You're still kind of waiting on her to arrive. But, the wonderful Vasilisa Morozova has offered to do a Harrow reading. So, I think you all are gathered around her.

 

[Amanda] Mhm

 

[Zac] Mhm

 

[James] Um, kind of seeing what exactly it's about. Uh, Elizabeth, do you wanna take over for what's going to happen?

 

[Elizabeth] Yes. Vasilisa is seated at a table. In front of her is a dark wood box that is polished to a mirror sheen and, as people are gathering around and entering the cottage, she opens up that box and takes out a very fine leather mat which she lays out onto the table and she pulls out a stick of incense and sticks it into the lid of the box and lights it so there's a strong scent of incense that starts to fill the room. She's carefully taking out the cards and shuffling them, and then she absentmindedly shoves a bunny rabbit out of the way and says [as Vasilisa] Azalea! Please. I am busy right now. Although, you remind me. [describes] and she stands up and goes and fetches a stone bowl, kind of like a basin, and she sets that in the middle of the table, in front of her Harrow mat. She looks around, seems a little bit surprised that everyone's still standing--she's used to people who come for readings, they know to down across from her. [as Vasilisa] Please, please; everyone, it would help if you would gather around and sit at the table. [describes] and she just kind of gestures and waits.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Okay, I'll sit.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Right next to you, hon.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Okay.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Alright. Now, this reading is going to be a bit different than the usual because we are all about to face some trouble together. If you could all gather an item of personal importance to you--something which is marked by your psyche, if you will--and put it into the basin on the table.

 

[James] What does everybody produce and put into the basin?

 

[David] So, Valdeen takes from his inside shirt pocket a coin that doesn't look like the current currency everyone's used to seeing. It is something else. Um. You don't recognize the symbols on the front or back, but he flicks it across his finger, uh, rather deftly--you can- he's got some dexterity to it--he does a pretty cool flourish with it and then he looks at it, flips it up in the air, catches it and puts it on his hand, looks looks at the result, and then sticks it in the bowl.

 

[James] Uh, what kind of metal is the coin? Is it copper, platinum, gold? Is it something completely different like steel?

 

[David] No. It is- it is- looks like it's a combination of gold and either platinum or steel, you're not sure.

 

[James] Oh, okay. Agate

[David] It's a combination. It's like- It's like a-

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] Yeah

 

[James] That's awesome. I love it.

 

[Zac] Um, Norm's is just a- a stone. It's just a stone. Um, it's a, like a black, like a shiny almost translucent, like, onyx stone. Um, but since acquiring it and since it had- came to have significance for him, he has, um, wrapped a small wire around it once and then another wire around it crossways to kind of like keep it held, and then he can- he- he has a little a small chain off it so he's like able to hold it onto it better.

 

[James] Awesome.

 

[Amanda] Well, Marge is going to- she's gonna look at her wedding ring and then kind of sigh and shake her head and put her hand inside of her shirt and like in a little pocket she pulls out a tooth.

 

[Zac chuckles]

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Dope.

 

[Amanda] It's an- obviously a rat tooth. Um, and she'll put it in the bowl.

 

[James] And does Vasilisa put anything into the basin?

 

[Elizabeth] Vasilisa reaches up to her neck and pulls one of her pendants off; it's the crystal sphere that she wears. It's wrapped in a copper setting and she just drops that into the bowl, as well. [as Vasilisa] Alright. I believe we are ready to begin. I have two things which I will ask of all of you. First: Begin by keeping in mind the question which we are asking of the Harrow. Today, we are asking: What is the trouble which we shall face as we pursue this Lady Argentea? What sort of trouble awaits us on our road? So, keep that in your minds. And, second: I need each of you to choose a card-

 

[Zac, as Norm] Ooh, fun

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -to represent your role in our journey. [describes] and she holds out nine cards and passes them around and lets each person of the four pick one, and she picks one for herself as well. [as Vasilisa] And if you could please reveal your card. I see I have drawn The Cricket, so my role in this journey is The Cricket. The Cricket is a creature whose mind is quick and body is quick. So, something about my role has to do with travel, has to do with speed. Valdeen?

 

[David, as Valdeen] This is a Rabbit Prince

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Ah! Interesting, Valdeen. You are The Rabbit Prince; that is a quirky fellow. He-

 

[David, as Valdeen] You call me what now?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Quirky. Represents, you know, the vagaries of combat--battle personified.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Ahh

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] So, I expect that something about you speaks to the combat we may face. Marge, if you will?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Mine's very interesting. It's The Dance.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Dance. That is indeed interesting, Marge.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I don't dance.

 

[Zac, as Norm] I've seen you dance a couple times.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is not necessarily literal. The Dance is more like the dance of the universe; a rich and delicate framework that requires everyone within it to abide by its rules. So, something about you is following in step with the rules of the universe. You are perhaps our rule-keeper on this journey-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] That does make sense

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -keeping us in pace. And, Norm? If you would.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Well, gosh. I- You guys are all just like one thing; I am multiple things. I am Crows, apparently.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, my! The Crows--it is ominous that one of us has drawn this card as a role for our journey. The Crows are very dangerous. They indicate [deep breath and sigh] a violent taking of that which we love. In this case-

 

[Zac, as Norm] Oh, no. No, I'm helpful!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I- I mean, it may be that there is some risk that either those who love you will soon lose that which they love, uh, or that you may have a violent loss coming to you. As a more positive outcome possibility, maybe you will take a loved one violently away from an enemy. You know? It- It is not necessarily bad, but I would be, uh, cautious as we proceed.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Now, you're sure all this stuff is on the level, right? Like, this actually-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, could this be from the past?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is a fact that often our roles are drawn from our past history, but this speaks specifically to a current-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Ohh

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -question which we have.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I was thinking maybe that had to do with when we uh got to our new warren.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Yeah. That sounds more- Yeah. Like, so we--because we already kind of been through some of this stuff once

 

[Amanda, as Marge] It's true

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It may be. But I want each of you to remember what your role is. So, Valdeen: keep in mind The Rabbit Prince.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Okay

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I shall keep in mind The Cricket. And Marge, do not forget you are The Dance. And then, uh, Norm-

 

[Zac, as Norm] is The Crows

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Again, I hope not a bad thing for you, but The Crows.

 

[James] For those of you listening at home: I am doing none of this. Elizabeth actually has the official Paizo Harrow deck-

 

[Amanda] Yes

 

[James] -and we are actually doing a live reading. None of this has been pre-decided. This- This is- This is happening on air, live!

 

[Amanda] Woo-hoo!

 

[Elizabeth] So, if I don't know what I'm doing, I apologize, but-

 

[James] That's okay

 

[Zac] Wait, so we're rolling dice and drawing cards?

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac] Like, there's just so much random stuff going on.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Hey, don't worry about it! Don't worry about it.

 

[Elizabeth] It- It is a game of chance.

 

[James] It is a game of chance.

 

[Elizabeth] Pathfinder

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] So, Vasilisa takes back the cards from everyone and begins shuffling her deck. [as Vasilisa] Please, everyone, again: remember what it is that we are looking for the cards to tell us.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Violent death. Got it, yeah. I, uh- I'll be on the lookout.

 

[David, as Valdeen] No, no. That's what- That's what you cause. That's what she said. You make that happen, not the cards.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] It could be you, darlin'.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Think about what troubles we may face ahead.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] and I'll dance around it

 

[Elizabeth] and she begins to lay out in a three by three grid in front of her, on the leather mat that lays in front of the basin; the typical layout of a Harrow reading. Now, I do not know if any of you have had your fortune told before?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I can't say that I have. No.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] In that case, let me explain. These cards represent the past, the present, and the future. I shall begin by taking a look at a past--and this may be the past of one of us or of all of us. In this case, Norm, I want you to take particular note. I have turned over The Snakebite, The Crows, and The Hidden Truth. Norm, your role is The Crows, so something in this reading is most affecting you. In this case, I want you to consider carefully The Hidden Truth; that is the card that is speaking most to me about your past. The Hidden Truth usually would symbolize the ability to see past the obvious to see the truth that is hidden, but it is misaligned. This means that instead of you being able to have seen something that is hidden, there is a truth that remains hidden from you. So, something in the past that is hidden from you is associated with the violent loss of a loved one that your role represents. Now, in the present, we have The Inquisitor, The Survivor, and The Courtesan. None of these cards speaks to me more than any of the others; it is more the combination of them together. We are facing a search for the truth; we are facing something like The Courtesan, which is two-faced. So, we may see something like a Survivor here right in the center of our grid and think it is one thing, but like The Courtesan, it may be something altogether different. Something happening right now is not as it appears. And in our future, what shall we face as we search for this Lady Argentea? The Paladin, The Dance, and The Marriage. Now, Marge: you are The Dance, so just as the past speaks to Norm, the future speaks most to you.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, goodness.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] In this case, I would pay particular note to The Marriage--and this is not simply saying something like 'Marge and Norm are married'-

 

[Zac, as Norm] We are, though

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Although it is quite significant for the both of you that you are, the cards are rarely so blunt, if you will. In this case, The Marriage is more a union of ideas or oftentimes more abstract things than just people. So, here, there are two things that are wedded together. Now, The Marriage is misaligned, just as The Hidden Truth was. So, just as with The Hidden Truth, instead of knowing the hidden truth, we still have a secret; with The Marriage, instead of two things being wedded, we have two things being torn asunder. So-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, that doesn't sound good

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -in our future, we should be careful and watch for a moment when, especially associated with Marge, two things shall be torn apart from one another.

 

[Zac, as Norm] And then what do we do, if we see that? What do we do when that happens?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Harrow simply tells us what may come. So, keeping it in mind, we may make better decisions and push--nudge--the future towards what we would want it to be. So, please, hold on to one another, but also be on the lookout for anything which is two-faced, which is not as it appears to be, which may threaten to tear things apart in a way which we would not want. [describes] and then Vasilisa just gathers the cards back together and very, very carefully rolls up her mat and tucks it away, and then--after she's got the deck put away--she reaches a hand forward to the basin and taps the rim, and you haven't been able to see it before, but a number of carved images light up on the rim of this basin and everything within the bowl suddenly looks as though it has caught aflame. So, there's a-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, would you look at that!

 

[Elizabeth] a burst of fire and Vasilisa, you know, waits a moment. The flame crackles and then she says [as Vasilisa] Now, if you all will simply, uh, extinguish the flame with me. [describes] and she takes a deep breath and leans forward and [blows]

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh. Oh, blow! Blow, honey. Blow!

 

[blowing]

 

[Elizabeth] And the flame dissipates and what's left behind are the items that were in the basin. They don't appear to have changed, and Vasilisa reaches in and just plucks up her necklace, and it doesn't seem to be burning her or anything, and she puts it back on. [as Vasilisa] You may all take your items. This is a small magic of my mentor, Theodora. They may give us some luck and protect us as we journey. So, please. If you will.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Al- Alright

 

[Zac] I reach in and I take back my special stone

 

[Amanda] I'll grab the tooth, stick in my pocket

 

[David] Valdeen picks up the, uh, the coin and says [as Valdeen] So, you telling me my lucky coin's now twice as lucky?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Indeed. Yes.

 

[James] And as you all pick up your items--these are the things you've carried for a very long time

 

[Zac] My whole life

 

[James] Yeah. It feels different. I mean, normally, when you hold these things, like, you have like a sentimental value to it that you assign when you hold it, you're like 'oh yeah, this thing' and your memories start coming back about it, you know, where'd you get it, why do you have it, why is this so important to you; but now when you hold them, there's a strange kind of of buzzing in it that you feel on an emotional level.

 

[Amanda] Wow

 

[Zac] Like a vibration

 

[James] Yeah. Like if I- Like a vib-

 

[Amanda] An emotional vibrator

 

[James] An emotional- Oh, god.

 

[laughter]

 

[Zac] This is not after dark.

 

[James] No, this is not.

 

[Zac] This is before dark.

 

[Elizabeth] We all look, uh, very pleased

 

[James] Yeah, it's- it's a- it's like a vibration that you can feel, like, within your soul--that exists within this universe because souls exist.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Zac] Demonstrably

 

[James] Demonstrably, souls exist in this world. Um, but you feel it on a deeper level than you've normally felt with this item, and you all do have a charge to use of it. I do not feel that bottle caps significantly represent what we're going to be doing with these, uh, but for the time being, you all start out with a cap.

 

[Amanda] Woo-hoo! Bottlecap!

 

[James] Do you guys- What do you guys think of names? Like, this seems like a significant enough thing, maybe it should have its own name? Or do you guys just still want to call it bottlecaps?

 

[Zac] Ooh, no, I like another name for it.

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] Naming things is fun

 

[James] Naming things is fun.

 

[Zac] Link it to the campaign, though; have them be like winter- 'winter points', or 'snow clouds' or-

 

[David] I'd just call them 'snowflakes'.

 

[Amanda] Aww

 

[Zac] Ooh!

 

[David] It's very fitting.

 

[Amanda] I'm gonna use my snowflake because I don't like what I-

 

[James] I kind of like that, actually.

 

[Zac] I do, too!

 

[David] It works!

 

[Elizabeth] I'm a special snowflake, so I'm going to use my special snowflake power.

 

[David] Yep.

 

[James] I- I think that's it.

 

[Zac] I like it.

 

[James] I think you all, uh, you all get a snowflake charge.

 

[Amanda] Alright!

 

[Zac] Noice

 

[Amanda] I'm special!

 

[James] And so the- the energy you feel inside is that charge.

 

[David] It's very cold.

 

[James] Yes! Oh, it sits against your skin or when you touch it and it feels kind of a little bit cold, but warm at the same time.

 

[Zac] So, it came out of fire and yet-

 

[James and Amanda] It is cold

[at same time, Elizabeth] feels cold

 

[Zac] -it now feels cool

 

[James] Yeah. So, the reading happens

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[James] and as you all pick up your items you feel this energy, and there is a knock at the door.

 

[knocking]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes? Who- Come in.

 

[James] Opening the door, Ionnia Teppen steps in--the woman you all spoke to before--uh, carrying a very large sort of bundle of clothing. She walks in and she- she sets it down. Uh. [as Ionnia] Where should I- I put these, uh, Vasilisa?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I suppose, anywhere. We are each going to have to take our own anyway.

 

[James] She'll set them on the table, uh, but not in a way that it disturbs the basin. Kind of very respectfully. She doesn't just like plop it there; she like takes very careful note not to disturb anything else on the table. And she will set down a bundle of cold weather outfits.

 

[Zac, as Norm] Now, you're sure you don't need anything for this? Like, I feel like we should give you a couple bucks or something. I mean-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, we do have some gold left, ya know.

 

[James, as Ionnia] No, no; it- it's fine, really. You are doing the town a great service.

 

[Zac, as Norm] I- Oh, I mean I hope so- We're going to try.

 

[James, as Ionnia] I- I can't give you all monetary compensation now. For that, we have to go through the town treasurer and that kind of thing--but we will be holding a special session, uh, within the next few hours.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Hopefully, we will not need to actually wear these. It is summer, I hate wearing furs...

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I mean, we- we come wearing furs. So, ya know, we're not gonna need them til a little later.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] True

 

[Zac, as Norm] I wonder if I would hate wearing fur if I wasn't so used to it. I might hate it also.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's a good thought. I don't know

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is inhibiting. I like to be warm, but I do not like to be warm only because I am clothed and it is cold outside. You know?

 

[David, as Valdeen] Cold can hurt, though. Hurts to the bone.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I hate it. I hate it so much I left home. So.

 

[David, as Valdeen] I see.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa, sighs]

 

[James] So, you all have your items gathered, uh, and Marigold, the wonderful donkey, is is saddled with bags to hold supplies, and you all head out of town?

 

[David] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I suppose it's time!

 

[James] Very good.

 

[Elizabeth] Uh, we're going south, right?

 

[James] Yes. Yes. Uh, you guys start to travel south towards the area that Yul- Yuln described, um, and you guys are walking for about an hour and a half and the road and the surrounding area starts to grow a little bit damp and soggy. And as you guys continue forward eventually you start to get a slight trickling of water droplets falling from the sky. Moving forward past that, through this, you start to encounter you know a little bit of slush and ice flurries. And, eventually, you guys come across an area that has been completely like dusted with snow

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, wouldn't you know

 

[James] and you look ahead about 60 feet and the white snowy background is a very sharp backdrop--a very high contrast--to what looks to be the site of a brutal attack

 

[Music: Closing theme, "Press Start" by MDK Music, begins to play]

 

[James] and we'll pick it up next week

 

[Zac] Awww

[David] N- awww, man

 

[Amanda] I think Marge is gonna have some memories, there.

 

[Music stops]

 

[James, in a character voice] Thanks for listening to The Dimension Door Podcast. If you want to see character sheets, cast information, or read a narrative adaptation written by Elizabeth (who plays Vasilisa), check out our website: dimensiondoorpodcast.com . You can also connect with us on social media: Facebook and Instagram @dimensiondoorpodcast and on Twitter @dimensionpod . This episode was 'norm'ally edited by our very own Zac Kreitler. Oh. You get it? Because Zac plays Norm? [laughs] Oh, man. Anyway. Additional audio and effects used in this episode provided by several amazing artists: AShamaluevMusic, BDProductions, ARGSound (Artem Grebenshchikov), Kevin MacLeod, Bronwyn Holmes, Robert Austin, 95Turbo Sol, Jonny Easton, Arn Anderson, Makai Symphony, Savfk, and Whitesand. If you're interested in looking up any of these fine amazing artists, you can check them out in our show notes or description, where you can see the exact spellings of their names and links to various social medias and databases containing all of their delicious ear candy. Anyway, if you want to listen to some more episodes of The Dimension Door Podcast, well: you can right now! This is Episode One; Episodes Two and Three have already been posted and Episode Four is going to get posted on January 1st in the year 2020. Thank you so much for listening.