Harrow from the Other Side
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Well, the portal is closed. I can say that for certain. I distinctly remember it closing. And Bolka--he is somehow tied with us. I am reminded I need to read the cards for him; that is going to be most important. But, I do not know exactly how it is that I got from the Pale Tower... I know we were in the woods, but now we are in, I think Kapa's little hidey-hole, which I guess is good thing, maybe, that we are here, but I- I have to admit I am incredibly scared for what comes next. I think perhaps my companions may- may think 'oh, we did the Pale Tower, we faced the witch there, we have closed the portal; that is half the job done.' They do not know what to truly fear. They still have not really faced a full-powered White Witch and we are going to Whitethrone; there is no place with more powerful White Witches anywhere than there is there. We just need to take that plague mask thing and the- the white hair and ourselves and go find the hut and put things in the cauldron and see what Baba Yaga wants next, I guess. Nothing for it but to try. Yes. We'll- We'll try. Just- Just keep trying.
[Music: opening theme plays (“Jelly Castle (orchestral remix)” by MDK Music)]
[Zac] I'm ready
[James] I'm ready, too
[Zac] I'm ready to go fight the biggest witch there is
[David] Well, right now you're at gunpoint
[James] Yeah, you're at gunpoint. Last session-
[Zac] I'll fight that guy, too!
[James] -you guys finally made it back to the cozy hovel and you guys started uh winding down, falling asleep in various places and locations, and we had a nice long stretch of hours that were calm and uneventful in only external ways, but very eventful in the internal ways of our party interacting with each other and dealing with the repercussions of a very long sleepless night of walking, paired with uh just over a week of quite a bit of trauma. And so, now we're here. It is three-ish in the morning--nice and early--and everyone has started to wake after these really long sleeps. Vasilisa doesn't remember how she got here. She panics. Valdeen wakes up, draws his gun, runs outside to look for Marge and Bolka, and finds them. Marge has a stick.
[Amanda and Elizabeth chuckle]
[James] Let's do this shit!
[Amanda and David laugh]
[Amanda] So Valdeen came- came running out with his gun drawn?
[David] Climbing out, I guess; it's a vertical-
[Amanda] Oh, climbing out?
[James] Climbing out, yeah, and he has his gun and he's looking around and he sees you guys, like [mimics Valdeen] Come inside! [in regular voice] Right?
[David] That's- Basically, I was like-
[David, as Valdeen] I found- I found you guys. Alright, come back inside!
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, you know, I think it's pretty safe out here, Valdeen. We're just talkin' and- and I was findin'-
[David, as Valdeen] But- Vasilisa said-
[Amanda, as Marge] -findin' a stick.
[David, as Valdeen] Well, Vasilisa wanted to know where you were, what- what's going on.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, is she awake? Is she doing okay?
[David, as Valdeen] I don't- I don't know. Uh...
[Zac, as Bolka] Are you doing okay?
[David, as Valdeen] Well, come to think of it now, why am I pointing my gun at you guys?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I don't know
[David, as Valdeen] Let me-
[Amanda, as Marge] I was hoping you'd put it away
[David] I holster- I holster my gun
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, thank you
[Zac] Goodness sake--I was going to do like a charm on and make sure he didn't shoot me
[Zac, Amanda and James laugh]
[David, as Valdeen] What- [groans] My- My head is pounding something fierce still, and I know that I just woke up, but things seem out of sorts. I can't quite make heads or tails of what's going on and people are yelling and shouting left and right and making noise
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, goodness. I think we all just need some quiet. Well, maybe you can help me, uh, Valdeen, with my project. I've gotta somehow attach to this piece of tarp I cut out uh to this stick. You got any ideas?
[David, as Valdeen] Are you making a flag?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, something like that.
[David, as Valdeen] Okay
[Zac] God, yes; to advertise our location [laughs] Valdeen's not- [laughs]
[David, as Valdeen] Um, what are you planning to do, Marge? Before I agree to help, um
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, ya know, with Bolka joining us, and now- now we're all part of this thing together, ya know, I- I- I think- I thought it would be nice if we all had something to kind of represent us as a team.
[David, as Valdeen] Okay
[Amanda] Because, meta-wise, Marge at level five [Elizabeth laughs, Amanda continues] which has not been brought up yet--and we have leveled up, but there was really no room for this to happen--Marge has a banner, now
[David] Oh, so you are making a kind of- a kind of
[David] an actual flag, yeah
[Amanda] Mechanically, I'm actually making a banner
[James] I have- I was like, 'cool, Marge is probably making some kind of horrific finger paint drawing of the murder of their warren or something.' [Amanda laughs, James continues] I think you told me what it was and I'm like 'well, that's...Alright, I don't know what to do with this; I'm gonna walk away...'
[Zac] I was expecting that, too. Like, I knew, kind of mechanically, what she was doing--Oh, cavalier, she's making a banner...
[James] Yep. Yeah
[Zac] But I thought- I was thinking where you were thinking, which was like, she's gonna make something horrific
[James] Horrific and fucked up, yeah
[Zac] That she's gonna want to wave around
[James] and then you didn't, and I was like, well... There's all my khutzpa; I don't know what to do with this. Gonna just [David and Elizabeth laugh, James continues] have someone else deal with it later.
[David] Yeah. [as Valdeen] Marge, I can- I can help you out. What do- What do you need?
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, this is for, uh, uh, I just figured we'd have it on the back of Ghost as a kind of a reminder of how we're all in it together.
[David, as Valdeen] Like- Like a war banner
[Amanda, as Marge] Yeah!
[David, as Valdeen] I've seen those before. Yeah, alright
[Amanda, as Marge] and I've got it all painted up all nice, ya know; it's got Normie on it and it's got Sara on it. Or, I--ya know--could also look like Kapa, but ya know we're all we're all one team and we're in this together
[David, as Valdeen] What- What time is it? Does anybody know what-?
[Zac, as Bolka] Is- Is midnight? The middle of night. Is- Is past midnight, I believe.
[David, as Valdeen] What are we--Why are we doing stuff in the middle of the night? Marge, let's-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I slept a long time and I just wasn't feeling sleepy anymore.
[David, as Valdeen] Ah
[Amanda, as Marge] You've been sleeping a long time, Valdeen. You and uh Vasilisa both
[David, as Valdeen] People usually sleep in the middle of the night, though. I mean, I- I- Probably should all go back to bed so we can have a normal day tomorrow.
[Zac, as Bolka] Yeah, our schedules are very off
[David, as Valdeen] We're going to throw off our whole rhythm at this point. Bolka, you get it
[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. No, we are off our circadian system
[David, as Valdeen] Right!
[Zac, as Bolka] totally
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah. Yeah, the circumference--
[Zac, as Bolka] One hundred percent
[David, as Valdeen] -the circumference- cicadian- what?
[Zac, as Bolka] Yes
[David, as Valdeen] The what system?
[Zac, as Bolka] Like your- your natural sleep cycle that your body wants to do.
[David, as Valdeen] I just call it morning and night. I didn't know it was called something else. But, yeah, okay. Vasilisa is worried, I guess, or something and plus she's kind of acting funny
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay, okay
[David, as Valdeen] You should come check it- check her out and make-
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay, yeah. Well, I got my stick, so, ya know-
[David, as Valdeen] -make...
[Amanda, as Marge] I- I think I'm good, now
[David, as Valdeen] I'm liab- and the way I feel I'm liable to wake up and shoot somebody. So, can-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh dear!
[David, as Valdeen] Bolka, can you hold this for me? [describes] and he takes his gun out of the holster and turns the butt of the gun towards you so you [as Valdeen] Can you-
[James] Oh, shit!
[David, as Valdeen] Can you hang on to this for me just for a little bit?
[Zac, as Bolka] Uh, sounds- seems like big responsibility. I am- I'm-
[David, as Valdeen] Just don't pull the-
[Zac, as Bolka] -flattered that you would trust me
[David, as Valdeen] -trigger. I just- I'm not as normal as I usually... Well, if I'm ever normal--but I'm not uh not a hundred percent, yet. I need some more rest and maybe some coffee tomorrow.
[Zac, as Bolka] Very good. Well, I will keep it safe then until you are ready to- to assume responsibility again.
[David, as Valdeen] Just...yeah. I just need I need some time, I think.
[Zac, as Bolka] This is a- it is a- a dangerous piece of gear, from what I have seen. It can do quite a bit of damage.
[David, as Valdeen] Very, yes. That's why I mentioned: don't pull the trigger. And don't point at anything you don't intend to shoot.
[James] So, what are you retraining as, if you're giving up gunslinger?
[Amanda laughs; David and Zac join in laughing]
[James] There are retraining rules, so, while you're- while you're retraining all of your gunslinger stuff
[David] Right? Yeah
[James] you don't have access to it, but you also don't have access to the new class you're training into
[James] so you're kind of just gonna be really shitty for awhile
[Zac] You're like a level one farmer
[Zac] You're a villager.
[David] I thought I'd take up comedy.
[David] Thought I'd be a comedian, be like a bard
[Zac, in Bolka's voice] Oh, like a train, that could be a, how you say, tutelage between us and like- oh, yes
[David, in Valdeen's voice] ...work on some bardic skills, I've seen one of those guys. They're pretty funny
[Zac] I like that he's like 'oh, I know a comedian who's funny'...
[Zac] ...to Bolka. Like-
[Amanda] Oh no!
[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]
[David] I was wondering if you'd pick that one up [laughing]
[Zac] Wow. Oh, wow. That really hurt.
[Zac and Amanda laugh]
[David] Mm, that was fun-
[James] Wow! Okay. You hand over your gun to Bolka.
[Zac] I point it right at him [laughs]
[Zac] Now who's in charge?
[David] I hold my hands up!
[Zac] Now you get inside of Vasilisa!
[Zac and James laugh]
[David] That took a turn
[Zac] You know, I'm gonna wrap it in like a small blanket or something
[David] Sure, sure
[Zac] and just keep it like near my person at all times
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, don't let them out of your sight. That's- That's better. Um, I'm going back inside. [describes] Valdeen climbs back down and goes back inside. [as Valdeen] Vasilisa, they're- they're up there. I think they're coming down; I told them to. And I'm gonna go back to sleep.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's safe and they do not appear to be doppelgangers?
[David, as Valdeen] They're fine. No. D- You- I'm going to sleep.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] O-kay
[David] Valdeen lays down-
[Zac, laughing] Not even gonna...
[David] He's- [laughing] He's-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] They're probably not going to suddenly grow bloody claws the second we come to trust them, right? Yeah...
[David] He rolls over
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You're also not a doppelganger, right? No one replaced everyone with doppelgangers while I could not what was happening...
[David] Valdeen glares at you and he- Valdeen glares at you and just says [as Valdeen] I'm gonna go to sleep. Wake me up when it's morning. [describes] and covers himself up with the blanket
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's not morning?
[Zac] So, I'm not a doppelganger, but I did prepare the spell blood claw today
[Elizabeth and Zac laugh]
[James] Well, I hope that comes up later
[Amanda and Zac laugh]
[James] watch Vasilisa's eyes just fwoo
[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]
[James, mimicking Vasilisa's voice] Oh no!
[Zac] Just snicked
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay. Well, I suppose we should go back down, then.
[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, yes. We have not done that, yet. Yes. That's- that's what we're doing next.
[Amanda and David laugh]
[Zac, as Bolka] For sure
[James] And down through the hidey-hole comes Bolka and Marge.
[Amanda] So, Marge will put the stick next to the piece of tarp and she will go sit next to Ghost, who is just kind of curled up on the floor, and just kind of cuddle with Ghost.
[James makes Ghost weasel noises]
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, hi, Ghost.
[more weasel noises by James continue as Marge speaks to Ghost]
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that was such a long journey for you. I think the longest you've ever walked before. You're such a good girl.
[James] So, what do you do with your morning, Vasilisa?
[Elizabeth] Vasilisa has-
[James] Marge is cuddling Ghost, Valdeen was like 'fuck it, I'm going back to bed'-
[Elizabeth] Vasilisa can't go back to sleep right now
[James] -and Bolka has a gun!
[Zac] I am not-
[James] You don't see this, but-
[Zac] I'm not brandishing it, yeah
[James] Yeah, yeah
[Amanda, sing-song] Bolka has a gun
[Elizabeth] I think Vasilisa is going to quietly set about pulling her Harrow deck out
[Elizabeth] and she's going to carefully retrieve her actual mat and incense, and she's going to light some incense, and she's going to take some time with her cards. She's not going to prepare all of her spells for the day, but just a few of them. The first one primarily on her mind is blood transcription, but she's also kind of rifling through--she prepares to read magic because she's got all these scrolls today she's got to deal with maybe. [as Vasilisa] These are the ones which I would like to add to my Harrow deck--hopefully they stick. These are the ones maybe I might need to use later, just as a scroll... Oh, good; I still have Radosek's blood. Let's put that there. I shall need that in a little bit... [describes] and she's just kind of [as Vasilisa] Oh, wait! Mm, I guess that's right... Marge! You feel not good still?
[Amanda, as Marge] I--ya know, I'm- I'm- I'm doing okay, I guess.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I mean, do you still feel cursed in a way that is not from the Black Rider?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yes.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay
[Amanda, as Marge] Yeah, that's right. I am.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think maybe that we can help you. [describes] and she says 'we' but she gestures with her cards like she's including her deck. [as Vasilisa] We can help you later today, so I shall prepare for that, yes...
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, thank you so much.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. Give me about an hour and then come over here. I- I remove your curse.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, okay. Okay.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I believe I can do that, yes
[Amanda] And Marge will, if she's not going to sleep, she'll just sit and cuddle with Ghost and watch- watch Vasilisa do her thing.
[Elizabeth] I- I think I'm leaving about half my spells unprepared because I don't know what's coming other- for the day, and then around I guess 4 a.m., when I've done my spell prep and organized things, I will call Marge over. [as Vasilisa] Okay. Are you willing to let me try to remove your curse?
[Amanda, as Marge] I suppose. It's- You- You're good with this kind of magic?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Uh, this is the first time, technically, I have tried to do this particular magic.
[Amanda, as Marge] Ooh. Is it gonna hurt?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I feel pretty confident that I can give it a shot, and probably... I don't know. I've never had a curse removed from me, so I could not tell you. Brace yourself, just in case. Hopefully feels good
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, dear
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You know?
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay. Okay.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You know, like healing magic--like when you wand yourself, it feels good.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that is true, yeah
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes. So I think it's a little like that.
[Zac] I've got that sticker on my drawer--my bedside drawer!
[Amanda] Wand yourself! It feels good!
[Elizabeth] So, Vasilisa carefully reaches out and touches Marge.
[Amanda] And Marge's eyes are kind of squinted closed and she's holding her breath
[Elizabeth] and Vasilisa is going to attempt Remove Curse.
[magical sound effect]
[James] Okay. It is a caster level check: 1d20 plus your caster level against the DC, which I know.
[Elizabeth takes nervous breaths]
[Zac] He says he knows it. I bet he doesn't know it.
[James] I know it. I looked it up.
[Elizabeth] Uh, I am going to use a snowflake, though.
[James] I was-
[David] Good idea.
[Elizabeth] Vasilisa's like, 'this is my first time with the new spell; I'm thinking of my mentor Theodora...' So she holds her crystal necklace
[Elizabeth] that she got from Theodora, that's one of her spell foci, and she gets a little bit of some of that frosty snowflake luck
[snowflake sound effect]
[Amanda] Oh, it's a good thing!
[Elizabeth] I rolled a nat 1 and a nat 20!
[Amanda] Yeah, I'm looking at it
[David] That is amazing
[James] Well, with that, then you absolutely crushed the DC 17, which is pretty high
[Elizabeth] It's 25, yes
[Elizabeth] Wow, though
[Amanda] Does that mean that my CON is all fixed?
[James] Yeah! Your curse is gone.
[Zac] Ah, so nice
[David breathes out a relieved sigh]
[Amanda, as Marge] Thank you, Vasilisa. I feel so much better
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I was thinking perhaps it could either not work at all or it could work very well, and I think that it worked very well, so I'm very pleased.
[Amanda, as Marge] You seem like you're getting better at magic
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think perhaps I am
[Amanda, as Marge] Do ya think you're powerful enough to, ya know, possibly, uh, see if there's a way to bring Normie back? [a long pause, then Marge continues] Well, because last time you said you just didn't have enough power
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No; I feel like- I feel like I'm not there, yet. But-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, and we saw him, so we know he's still around--his spirit's still out there.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You know, you're not wrong about the having seen at least part of his spirit part. I think I'm a little bit shy of the whole spirit magic thing because the witches I grew up with are more likely to rip the spirits out of someone and shove them into a doll, you know?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh. Oh, like Thora.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] And I'm a little worried. I don't want the witch magic which I do as a witch to be that kind of witch magic. You know?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah. Yours seems to be much-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I don't want to try to help Norm-
[Amanda, as Marge] -much better than the- the cold magic
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -and instead accidentally trap his soul in some way, you know?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah. I guess I could see that. That wouldn't be good at all.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Perhaps someone more like, uh, Bolka, with the- the magic from a divine, you know, good deity, would be more likely-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I'll have to talk to him when he wakes back up!
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes. And, for now, I am going to, uh, quietly, so that Bolka does not give me the judging eyes, uh, cast a spell and, you know, what the [makes a whooshing sound to indicate drinking] [describes] and she pulls out the blood flask and swishes it a little [as Vasilisa] I just need to try to learn some spells over here.
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay. Well, if you don't mind, I'm- I don't know that I'm interested in watching that, either.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, I don't know if I'm interested in watching it, either. It looks unappetizing, but also spells can save lives, as you just learned with the removal of your curse.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yes. That is- That is true, and- and, ya know, I'm all for you being more powerful since we're in a place where there's a lot of other powerful witches.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, yes! You think I am powerful; wait until you meet someone as powerful as moya mama was 10 years ago. [laughs] Oh, god, I hope we do not meet moya mama.
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay.
[Zac] I used to really like v8 juice. Um, I suppose I still do; I just don't drink it very often.
[Amanda, laughing] Okay
[Zac] but even though I-
[James] Keep going, keep going. This is good
[Zac] I like the flavor. Like, I like the flavor of it and everything, but man if you force me to drink an entire liter of it like in one sitting [David groans, Zac continues] like-
[David] Gross, yeah
[Zac] -something I enjoy! But, like, that's just a lot of thick red liquid to drink [laughs]
[David] That's a lot
[Amanda] That is a lot
[James] So, Vasilisa starts casting a spell to drink a liter of blood.
[Elizabeth] Yep. The spell itself is just Vasilisa saying some magic words and drinking that pint of blood.
[James] Okay [makes slurping sounds]
[Elizabeth, makes choking sounds, says] Okay, it's down. Got it. I- I looked carefully through--I compared it against my list of scrolls that I've looted recently, that I'm going to try to learn separately--and the spell Vasilisa is going to try to learn is Bestow Curse.
[Elizabeth] She removed a curse just now; she feels like curses are making a little more sense to her. She has one, she's dealt with one, maybe she'll learn how to bestow her own. It feels like it makes sense. So, for three hours, it's just her, an empty pint that used to have blood in it, and her Harrow deck, and then she rolls a very important spellcraft check of DC 18. [long exhale]
[James] Best of luck
[Elizabeth] I know. I'm like, oh geez, I don't want to fail this
[James] DC 18
[Elizabeth] but also I don't know if I want to use another snowflake just to learn Bestow Curse.
[David] Do it
[Zac] Once I level up, I've got to learn Remove Curse, so that way I can check you in case you go rogue
[Amanda] Yeah [laughs]
[James] No, you just need to Charm her into using Remove Curse
[David] I like that
[Elizabeth] Oooh, oh
[David] It feels very Bolka
[Zac] It seems like an extra step, though
[James] That's true
[Zac] Maybe I should just prepare Remove Curse
[Zac] than try and Charm her. She's gonna hate that
[Elizabeth] I'm gonna use my daily guiding spirit
[Elizabeth] So I still get to roll two d20s and take the higher
[Elizabeth] and I'm gonna do my spellcraft check
[Elizabeth] A nat 20 and a 2!
[Elizabeth] And they switched-
[Amanda] Your snowflakes are paying off!
[James] You're- you're on polars today
[Elizabeth] They switched dice over the last one
[Amanda] Yeah, it's your Vasilisa dice that's a 20 now
[David] That's another picture shot. That's- That's awesome
[Elizabeth] You can't shame one die when they're just taking turns. [Zac chuckles, Elizabeth continues] So, that is a 33, which crushes the DC 18.
[Elizabeth] So, I- I officially now know
[James] You- You learn it so good
[Elizabeth] -how to Bestow Curse
[James] You learn it's so good, you don't use all the magic in the blood and you kind of throw up some other blood
[Zac] Oh, god
[James] and then you have that for later, if you want to do it again
[Amanda] Oh, geez
[Zac] It's not magical anymore, but it's just a tasty snack
[James and Amanda laugh]
[James] Um, I'm kidding, I'm kidding
[Zac, in Bolka's voice] So many vitamins and iron
[James, in 'Hallit' accent to mimic Vasilisa] and blood!
[Elizabeth] So, yeah. It is now-
[James] and plasmas and-
[Elizabeth] -7 a.m. because I took an hour to prepare spells, I cast Remove Curse,-
[Elizabeth] -and then I spent three hours on this, and I now know how to bestow a curse!
[James] Nicely done.
[David] Very good. Valdeen has since woken up ,now that it's closer to seven a.m.
[James] Yep. Sun's starting to-
[David] He probably woke up around 6:30.
[James] -peep over
[David] He sits up and kind of just sits there in the- on the bedroll, looks around the room.
[James, as Vrixx] Morning, string bean! You want some coffee?
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, coffee sounds good.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Could I get some tea over here? I need a little bit of a palate cleanser.
[James, as Vrixx] Alright, alright. Anyone else?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I'd be good for some coffee, too!
[James, as Vrixx] Coffee... Bolka?
[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, god; she must have done the thing, huh. Uh, no. I am good, thank you.
[James, as Vrixx] Alright. Um, what about you, Kapa? You want anything to drink?
[James, as Kapa] Uh, no. I am fine, Vrixx. Thank you.
[James, as Vrixx] Uh, Gary, can you-? You want to help me?
[James, as Gary] Ah, yes. I can- I can help you, little- little uh sprite man.
[Zac, as Bolka, softly] Why is Vrixx being so helpful?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I don't know. He's not normally quite so helpful...
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think perhaps finding his home...
[James, as Hatch] Yeah, I'm here, too
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Hi, Hatch
[James, as Hatch] Hello
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You were, uh, very close to me when I woke up today.
[James, as Hatch] Yeah, you grabbed me and you used me as like a little warm pillow thing while you slept.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I what?
[James, as Hatch] Yeah, you grabbed me and you were like 'yes, you will do' and then-
[Zac, as Bolka] How you say, 'space heater'? Something-
[David and Amanda laugh]
[James, as Hatch] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Exa- Yeah. You used me as a space heater and it was, uh... You just like snuggled me all night. It was really nice
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh
[James, as Hatch] Thank you
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Well, uh
[James, as Hatch] I enjoyed it.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Thank you for allowing me to have warm snuggles
[James, as Hatch] Yeah. You're welcome.
[Zac, as Bolka] So, how's Valdeen doing this morning?
[David] Yeah, he wakes up feeling better. Um, having some coffee- He's sipping the coffee that Vrixx gives him. [as Valdeen] So, now what do we do?
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, yeah, I think we're gonna have to do more traveling because we gotta get to the chicken hut? Right?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes. We must go to Whitethrone. Gary shall help us and we shall go to Whitethrone.
[James, as Gary] Of course! We will, uh, we can go to Whitethrone...
[Zac, as Bolka] Is where your family is; is where you're from
[James, as Gary] Yes. That is not the problem. I can get into Whitethrone. [chuckles]
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's more us, yes?
[James, as Gary] You all might not be able to get into Whitethrone, but we can get you to Whitethrone. There is a problem of your papers.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, what do ya mean?
[James, as Gary] Well, you need, uh, credentials
[Zac, as Bolka] No, we are refugees
[James, as Gary] I, uh, think they do not consider you...They will not believe you. They will not let you in. You will need the proper credentials to move around the city, uh, freely.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, how do we do that?
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, can we get these papers?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Kapa
[James, as Kapa] Yes?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Does your Heralds of the Summer's Return people do the fake papers?
[James, as Kapa] I believe they might be able to.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Do you have a contact?
[James, as Kapa] My late husband has an uncle in the town of Ellsprin, who is closer to the Heralds of Summer. He should be able to help you all get into the city and get the papers you need to move around. Um, and I will be bringing the boys, and we will be starting new life in Ellsprig [sic], away from this town, which is no longer safe for us. But, we will go to Ellsprig and, uh, things should be- should be better there and we can get you all papers and into Whitethrone.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, how far away is that?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Good question
[James, as Gary] With our traveling conditions the way they are, it will take probably a week.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh!
[James, as Gary] Maybe a little more. Is a good distance away.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] To get to Ellsprig or to Whitethrone?
[James, as Gary] Uh, get to Ellsprig.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay
[James, as Gary] From Ellsprig, probably day, maybe two, to Whitethrone. But, uh, as uh Kapa has said, once we get to Ellsprig, we will have better idea how to get into Whitethrone, which will.... Uh, Kapa, can- can I get new credentials? Can I get new credentials that say 'oh, here is Gary; he is not a traitor'?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] 'He is definitely not traitor.' Hm?
[James, as Kapa] We will have to see. I have no idea, but we will- we will go up to Ellsprig and we will figure out next steps from there. But we know we will need you all to have credentials, so I do not see what the problem is, uh, getting Gary new credentials as well.
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, that makes sense. I ha-
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, what can we do to help to get us ready to go?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Well, I know I would like to spend some time trying perhaps to learn more of these scrolls. We also have at least one potion we did not identify back at the Tower...
[James] There are-
[Zac] The robe and the- Oh, dude
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] And some other things
[James] There are items where we- that haven't been figured out, yet. You guys didn't pass the DC's for that.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think, perhaps, we try to take stock of what we have and what's spells we know-
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, like go through our provisions
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] and gather things
[David, as Valdeen] Well, we have this, too. [describes] and Valdeen holds up a bag
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The magic bag?
[David] The magic bag of holding. Which is a type 2
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] full of- I don't know. How much do we trust Gary? [whispers] Don't let him know
[David] It holds 500 pounds
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I am going to speak in Taldane now, so Gary does not understand
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Here's the thing: Gary's great, but let's not tell him about the very, very large amount of silver bars and things in the magic bag because it would be not very difficult to just grab a magic bag, run for it, suddenly have all the money he needs to do whatever he wants with his family
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, we should definitely hold on to it. Save it, ya know. Maybe give some to the-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, what I'm saying- Let's keep it on the down low
[James, as Vrixx] So, how much are we talkin', here?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, you speak Common
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Low down
[James, as Vrixx] I always have
[Amanda] you do [laughs]
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, we've always been speaking with Vrixx
[James] And you see him licking his lips. He's like- [as Vrixx] How much?
[David, as Valdeen] Well-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Not as much as the pain you would feel if you tried to thieve me
[James] and he just reaches up and he feels his ear and he's like [as Vrixx] That's- uh, I'll go get more coffee
[Amanda, as Marge] You know, it might be good to save a lot of that for the Heralds. I think, you know, they seem to be on the right track-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No, we-
[David, as Valdeen] I- I was-
[Amanda, as Marge] -trying to stop Irrisen altogether
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We may need to help them, yes.
[David, as Valdeen] Well-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I like the idea of the return of summer more than probably most people, but also, we might need it because, you know...
[David, as Valdeen] Any kind of mission in a group like this, you're going to need funding and this is- I mean, this is our funding at this point
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's not selfishness. Is self-preservation in order to save whole world, so
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay. Well, ya know, I just wanted to be sure that it-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We'll give a little bit to the Heralds in a little bit to Gary. It's least Bolka could do--I mean, is Bolka's fault Gary is, you know, with the hand and stuff
[Amanda, as Marge] It's just good to not take more than what ya need
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] This is true, yes
[David, as Valdeen] I mean, I can find a reason to need it all. I'm just sayin'
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I- I've always preferred the barter system more than the currency. I am not a fan of the capitalism, you know, so... Anyway, I'm going to take these scrolls and I'm going to decide which ones to learn first. You all can do whatever you'd like; I just need a few hours.
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, Valdeen, will ya help me with the stick?
[David, as Valdeen] What- Sure.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I'm sorry, did you say you need help with a stick, Marge?
[David, as Valdeen] Apparently, she does. Yes, I'll help you with the stick
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] What's going on with your stick?
[Amanda] Just the way you both are looking at me like 'what's going on with the stick?' [laughs]
[David] I mean, 'I need help in the kitchen, over here...'
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, ya know, I made this uh kind of like a flag, I suppose, uh, just with the two people that I love very, very dearly that we've lost
[David, as Valdeen] Okay
[Amanda, as Marge] but to remind us of our uh, our team
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Kapa isn't dead, Marge.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] That's a striking resemblance, but she is right there. I am pretty sure she did not die
[James, as Kapa] Yes, I thought that I looked like me; I thought you were just making a- a picture of all the ratfolk you have met.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Kapa, you are alive, right? You are real, Kapa?
[James, as Kapa] Yes. Hello!
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No one died when I sl-
[James, as Kapa] I am Kapa
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, no, no, no; Kapa didn't die, no.
[James, as Kapa] Yes, I am right here. Is good.
[Amanda, as Marge] Ya know, I knew another ratfolk. Her name was Sara, and she had the same white ear.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh
[James, as Kapa] Oh, that is...huh
[Amanda, as Marge] She was a very dear friend to me.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Is- Is that a common trait upon...
[James, as Kapa] No. I mean, I-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Do lots of-
[James, as Kapa] How many people have your freckles?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Thank you for noticing
[James and Amanda laugh]
[Zac, as Bolka] In Irrisen, ratfolk are like snowflake, where there are no two that are exactly alike.
[James, as Kapa] Yes. I- I did not know you had a friend that looked like me. That is... That is spooky. That is like the gnome man you were all telling us about.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The gnome man is literally the twin brother of a different- you know-
[James, as Kapa] Yes. It sounds like that, except for-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Do you have a secret twin?
[James, as Kapa] N- I mean, I've had a lot of siblings over the years because [laughs] when you give birth, they are-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I've met Marge; I know- I could not tell you how many kiddos-
[James, as Kapa] Yes. I- I have not- I have not had identical twin, though. That is not something I have had.
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, ya know, I grew up with Sara and I- and I would know if'n you were, ya know, a sibling of hers because I would have known you, too
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I'm sorry. You grew up with Kapa s- with Sara?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, no, no; with Sara.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] There's-
[James, as Kapa] No, I think I am-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] There's Kapa-Sara-
[James, as Kapa] I am Kapa
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -and Sara-Sara
[James, as Kapa] Yes
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, what- what do you mean, there's a Kapa-Sara?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, 'Kapa' is just Skald term for 'Sara.' Same thing, translate-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that's even stranger than I thought. I had no idea!
[James, as Kapa] Oh. Uh, yes. I thought you were just practicing, uh, using my name in your language because it was easier for you. I did not mind. It is okay, yes?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes
[James, as Kapa] It is fine.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Is like, uh, it is okay if you all, my very close friends, call me Lisa.
[David, as Valdeen] Oh, now you tell us?
[James, as Hatch] Okay, Lisa. [laughs happily] We're friends.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Did I not tell you that?
[David, as Valdeen] No, I don't think you've ever mentioned we could call you...Lisa?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Last week, maybe? I don't know-
[David, as Valdeen] Maybe I'm forgetting. I've been tired.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I think we were all a little out of our minds last week
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's been a little bit of a day...week
[David, as Valdeen] That's fair.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] ...time. Two weeks, almost, I suppose.
[Zac, as Bolka] I like the way it sounds in Skald, though. I like 'Vasilisa.' Has a very-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] 'Vasilisa Morozova' makes me feel-
[Zac, as Bolka] Has a strong
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Rolls off the tongue
[Zac, as Bolka] Strong sound.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes.
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay, so I- I- We've got to find a way to attach this- this tarp
[David, as Valdeen] Okay. Well
[Amanda, as Marge] to the stick, and then I'm- we need to find a way to uh really attach it to Ghost.
[David, as Valdeen] Where's Ghost?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, Ghost is just laying right over there
[James makes weasel sounds]
[David, as Valdeen] Let's look at the saddle here on the back of Ghost.
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay
[David, as Valdeen] Is there- is there a place we could attach? Here, let's take a look here. Is there like a place we could attach this?
[James makes more weasel sounds]
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I'm sure there is.
[David] So, I help you kind of fasten it to Ghost's saddle, and it stays mostly upright, maybe slightly to the left
[David, as Valdeen] Marge, yeah, I think this will- I think this will work. Is this- Is this what you were hoping for? Something looked kind of like-?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah! I think this will do it, for sure. I just want to make sure everybody can see it, and it's a good reminder of, ya know, why we're here and what we've lost and- and, um
[James, as Kapa] Did you lose this person?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I've lost both of these people.
[James, as Kapa] Oh. This a very sad flag.
[Amanda, as Marge] This is Norm; he's my- my husband.
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah. We- we only lost Norm just a few days ago.
[James, as Kapa] Yes, you had mentioned that
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah
[James, as Kapa] I did not know about-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, and you lost your husband, too
[James, as Kapa] Yes. Also a few days ago. Excuse me.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I- I understand. [describes] and she pats Sara on the- Kapa on the back.
[Zac and Elizabeth chuckle]
[Zac] You can relate, right?
[Zac] You can totally relate!
[James] You are holding a d20 and you're staring at me.
[Zac] I'm always holding a d20.
[James] Do you want to start rolling some spellcraft checks?
[Zac] I want to cast guidance on myself.
[Zac] Okay, so, there was something else besides the robe. Was there a ring?
[James] There's a ring that I know you guys haven't identified
[Zac] So, I'll do potion first
[James] Po-sh first
[Zac] and then the ring and the robe. And I'm gonna cast guidance on myself right before I do this, and I have detect magic prepared today.
[Zac] 21 on the po-sh
[James] You get it. This is an elixir of truth.
[Zac] Oh-ho-ho! [as Bolka] So charming!
[James] This elixir forces the drinker to say nothing but the truth for 10 minutes. DC 13 negates for will. They must answer any questions put to them in that time, but with each question they can make a separate will save. If one of these secondary saves is successful, they don't break free of the truth-compelling spell, but they also don't have to answer that particular question. If they do answer, they have to tell the truth. No more than one question can be asked each round. And it lasts for 10 minutes.
[Zac, as Bolka] This is interesting. I think this potion may be for like interrogation or something? It makes only, whoever drink, only can tell the truth.
[David, as Valdeen] Well, that could be useful.
[Zac] Um, now I want to check the ring.
[James] The ring.
[Zac] And I cast guidance on myself
[Amanda] That's the same roll
[Zac] Another 21.
[James] Okay. Bolka, this is a ring of regeneration.
[Zac] Whew! That sounds amazing
[James] It's really good. Alright: this white gold ring is set with a large green sapphire. [Zac gasps; James continues] When worn, the ring continually allows a living wearer to heal one point of damage per round, and an equal amount of non-lethal damage.
[James] In addition, the wearer is also immune to bleed. While wearing a ring of regeneration, if the wearer loses a limb or organ or other body part, the ring regenerates it.
[Amanda and Zac] Wow!
[James] As per the spell regenerate. In either case, only damage taken while wearing the ring is regenerated.
[Elizabeth] Awww. I was looking at Gary and I was like 'oh!'
[Zac] Yeah, he had to have been wearing-
[Elizabeth] -and then I was like 'oh...no. Damn it.'
[James] Yeah, he had to have been wearing it. But, you have this ring, now. This super fucking dope ring
[Zac] That's badass
[Amanda] Yeah, it is
[Elizabeth] Super badass
[James] Badass as hell
[David] So good
[Amanda] Sounds like a frontline fighter item
[Zac, as Bolka] Yes, I do not want to be selfish, but it matches my, uh, my- my color motif very close
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It does indeed. It is a white gold. It has an emerald...
[Zac, as Bolka] The white gold with the green is beautiful. [describes] and then there's the robe.
[James] Then there's the robe
[Zac] I really want this check.
[Amanda] You should have done that one first
[Zac] Ah. No, I'm saving it for last to build up the hmm of it all.
[David] You got this!
[Zac] Alright. Cast guidance on myself. [die rolls] Oh, that's even better!
[Zac] Sixteen plus eight: twenty-four!
[James] You just hit it.
[Zac, David, and Elizabeth] Oh!
[Zac] Goddamn, that's a good
[James] It was a DC 24
[Zac] That means it's caster level nine?
[James] Caster level nine; you are correct.
[David] Oh, wow
[Elizabeth, whispering] What is it?
[Zac] Please tell me something
[James] This is-
[Amanda] I'm telling you nothing!
[Elizabeth] Is it a witch robe? [whispers] Be a witch robe
[James] This is a brand new Robe of Useful Items
[Zac] Oh, fun!
[James] With extra patches for: a bag of 100 gold pieces, three flasks of alchemist fire, a ladder, an open pit, a potion of cure serious wounds, a rowboat, a pair of war dogs, and a window.
[Amanda] Wow. Elizabeth knows the window thing, it looks like.
[Elizabeth] No, it's just so fucking exciting, guys! You can just be like-
[David] It's so cool, yeah
[Elizabeth] 'I would really like a window to be here' and you pull your patch off and you like woop, pull it to size and you slap it on the wall, and there's a window!
[James] So, in addition to all of those things, this robe has all of the standard things, which include two of each of these: dagger; bullseye lantern; mirror, which is highly polished two feet by four feet steel;-
[James] -uh, ten foot pole; hempen rope; and sack.
[Elizabeth] That's amazing.
[David] The robe appears, to those that see it, to be an unremarkable, normal robe. When you put it on, you notice all the functionality it has, but no one else can perceive that it has all this functionality.
[Elizabeth, whispering] So cool
[David] It's another one of the features of the robe, which is really neat.
[Zac] I'm glad we finally figured these last items out
[Zac] That's- That's really fun loot.
[David] That's a really neat one. I like that.
[Zac] 'War dogs'? What are war dogs?
[Amanda, laughing] Yeah, I was-
[Amanda] Yeah, my eyebrows rose with that one
[Elizabeth] While Bolka is busy identifying stuff--and for quite some time afterwards, I'm sure--I would like to spend an hour trying to teach my Harrow deck how to cast the spell youthful aspect. [die rolls; Elizabeth continues] I did it. I passed the lowest possible DC. I would like to do my- draw my Harrowed card for the day, in case it's wisdom and it helps me learn more things from scrolls. The Tangled Briar: suit of shields; it's a constitution check. The Briar is growing berries, which will remind Vasilisa that it might be a good idea to make more magical berries, so she'll then finish preparing spells for the day, and I'm just going to prepare all sorts of goodberry castings and some climbing beanstalk castings, so we can stock up on fresh foods, magical and not-so-magical.
[Amanda] So, is Vasilisa gonna do a reading?
[Elizabeth] I would like to. I did prepare the spell Harrowing today. I could only prepare it once because I needed to remove a curse from my good friend Marge, but I would like to do Harrowing on one of us, whether it's me or Bolka.
[Amanda] I actually like this top card. Can we just say this is one of our cards? Because this is not horrifying. It's cute. It's a theater.
[Amanda] It's like a pretend monster and a-
[Elizabeth] It's a neutral good card, too.
[Zac] Okay, that'll be- That'll be Marge's
[Elizabeth] All the world's a stage, and we're just players in it.
[James] So, for the group reading that we're gonna do, how do you approach people, Vasilisa?
[Elizabeth] I- I imagine that we at some point have a meal together. We have some of the rabbit
[Elizabeth] the- yeah. Like, it's- it's finally solidly breakfast time--it's probably like mid maybe more like brunch time, like, 10 a.m. rolls around. I look around and we're- we're settling down to eat. We've put most of our treasure back away. And Vasilisa just looks around and thinks 'what helps me make big decisions? Oh, wait!'
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Everyone. Uh, while we have a moment to breathe today and we are resting and preparing, I would like to do a Harrow reading for us, much like we did back in Heldren, Valdeen and Marge.
[David, as Valdeen] Hm
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I remember
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] But with Bolka here with us, now. Last time, we were going to go into the Border Wood and did not know what we would face. This time, we are about to go on a new journey to Whitethrone and do not know what to face, necessarily. So, I would like to- I would like to consult the cards, if that is okay with all of you?
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, that- that sounds good to me. What do you guys think? [describes] and she looks at Valdeen and Bolka
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah. I've been- I've been hesitant about these cards and all this magic, but Vasilisa has proved herself to me as far as being on a- a force for good and trying to make things right. I- I trust her judgment, if she thinks we should do this.
[Zac, as Bolka] Yes, I am familiar with, uh, certain types of- of divination like this, like, uh, oracle spells and things like that. I- I see no harm in- It's only to learn. It's not like curse or anything, like we-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Indeed, yes.
[Zac, as Bolka] This is much more mild than what we have all already agreed to.
[David, as Valdeen] That's a fair point
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] True. Very true.
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah
[Zac, as Bolka] In for one penny, in for several geldings or whatever, I do not know.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] In for a copper, in for a platinum.
[Zac] Yes. One PP.
[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]
[Elizabeth] So, Vasilisa is going to take her Harrow deck and say [as Vasilisa] Alright. I think this reading is going to speak to our mutual goal of traveling to Whitethrone, but even more immediately traveling to Ellsprig [Ellsprin]. So, if you would focus upon that. This seems to be a question- I am torn because it is a very cold terrible dangerous place, so our constitutions--the shields--might come into play, but also we may need some element of charisma to talk our way into Whitethrone, to deceive people into allowing us into the city; I think that one feels most correct--the- the suit of crowns. What do you all-? I know you don't know the cards like I do, but do you think this is more- getting into Whitethrone feels more like a- a feat of the mind or a feat of the body?
[James, as Kapa] Crowns would make sense. We are going to the crown of the nation, after all.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] This is very true. We are going to Whitethrone and we are dealing with Elvanna; the suit of crowns feels fitting.
[David, as Valdeen] I don't know much about uh being charismatic or trying to convince anybody anything, I mean, other than by force, so maybe we need something to help us be strong and be able to survive anything we encounter as resistance.
[Amanda, as Marge] It is a long trip, ya know, all the way to Whitethrone. Hmm. Well, that's a tough call because I really don't know this place.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Getting there in the win- The winter weather has proven to be a challenge to us, yes; but also, I think the witches we shall face, with their charm and things, you know, like Bolka casts upon people like Gary, maybe, you know-
[Amanda, as Marge] They will be the hardest part of it, I think. Yeah, yeah
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] That would also be more like the suit of crowns, as far as dangers
[Amanda, as Marge] Okay. Well, you know, I guess it makes sense with the crowns and the Whitethrone and the-
[David, as Valdeen] Sounds like crowns it is
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Alright
[Amanda, as Marge] Alright
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I would like each of us to select a role card. I shall take mine and set it aside to decide to reveal for later. Uh, Valdeen? Would you please?
[David, as Valdeen] I'll take- Uh, I'll take this one here.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] and Marge?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, goodness; I'm a little nervous. I guess I'll take this one right here.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] and Bolka
[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, yes. Ah, let's see. Come on. Do you have, like- Is there a card that is like 'The Lovers' or-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Probably, yes. I mean, yes, there- but I don't know in the current- Let's- You did not take The Marriage. I accidentally saw. So, sorry.
[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, that's okay.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] That's okay.
[Zac, as Bolka] You know, marriage is only one type of expressing love, anyway.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Very true. Well, okay. Uh, my card for my role in this is The Empty Throne
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, does that mean you're gonna kill the queen?
[David, as Valdeen] That seems like a mission accomplished, if-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah!
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Empty Throne is- is, yes, a sense of loss. As you can see, the character depicted upon this card is mourning at a grave here. But, it is considered to be a good card, a lawful card; we have lost someone who has taught us important lessons, if only we would learn from them. Though they are dead, they are still with us. I think, perhaps, we can all relate to the absence of the ghosts of our past who have been good influences upon us, are still with us. An alternate reading could be that we empty a throne, and I secretly not so secretly hope that it does indeed mean that we get Elvanna off of the throne of Irrisen. But, I shall remember personally Theodora, my mentor, as I consider this role. Valdeen, what is your role?
[David, as Valdeen] I never thought I'd say this before, but looks like I'm The Unicorn
[Zac and Amanda laugh]
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Unicorn is another very good card. It offers most generously what you are seeking. You see on the unicorn's horn here, there is a piece of fruit being offered-
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, it looks like a pear! Yeah
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, a pear. Just as the unicorn is generously offering up the fruit, so is whatever you, Valdeen, are looking for being generously offered for you to find.
[David, as Valdeen] Hm
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Or, perhaps, you shall be generously offering something to someone as the unicorn does.
[David, as Valdeen] Hm
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] If it turns out to be a negative--if it is misaligned within our reading, perhaps--look out for betrayal or poison; a gift that looks promising, but is bad.
[David, as Valdeen] Ah, yes. Like a Varisian horse. I've heard about those.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh. Do not look them in the mouth, is what I was told.
[David, as Valdeen] Gift- Gift horses. Mhm
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Careful. Marge?
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, mine is the, uh, The Courtesan.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Courtesan? Oh...
[Amanda, as Marge] That's a little bit more creepy lookin'
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes. The Courtesan is two-faced; the face you present outwards with the mask of the courtesan of the beautiful lady, but then there is a hidden face, the more true face of the courtesan.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, and that one's got three eyes
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is intrigue. There's a mask of niceties the courtesan wears, but beneath that mask is a woman of power who shapes events the way she would like them to be, a woman who--how she is treated decides the outcome of the situation she is in.
[Amanda, as Marge] Huh
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I- I do not want to overstep, but I am reminded, Marge, that, when I first met you, I thought you were a completely harmless, gentle nurse, a mother, someone who was nothing but the kindness you present; but you have within you a fire, a- a rage, a violence that comes out when it is needed, when situations forced it upon you--a ruthlessness you showed at the Pale Tower.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, it's been a long time since I've, uh, I felt that way, too, yeah. It's interesting.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] So, The Courtesan feels fitting. How you are treated determines the situation, but there's two sides to you.
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, I'm still very nice, ya know.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No, yes! You have a very good, um, outer face.
[Amanda and David laugh]
[Amanda] Oh, wow!
[David] That was a bit on the nose, there
[James] 'You're pretty, Marge'
[Elizabeth and Amanda laugh]
[Zac] '-on the outside.'
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Bolka, what is your role card?
[Zac, as Bolka] It is- It is pleasant. It is The Theater. It does not look horrifying. I'm sure is, somehow-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, The Theater is another good card. Somehow, between us, we have managed to draw all of the good cards.
[Amanda, laughing] Oh, that's good!
[David] Oh, boy
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Plus Marge's card.
[Amanda] Oh! [laughs]
[Zac, mimicking Vasilisa] The two-faced courtesan that-
[David] and then that-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Which is not necessarily very bad-
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, the two faces. Yeah. Hm.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is more of a neutral kind of card. But, The Theater is a card of prophecy, of truth. There are puppets acting out a scene, just as we are all acting out based upon some forces acting upon us. But, we see--or Bolka sees--the truth of the stage of the theater of it all. You, Bolka, have some way of seeing from the audience perspective. You are not being puppeted; you can see the puppet master. But, now I shall shuffle all the cards together [card shuffling sound] and we shall get our spread for the reading. So, remember: we are going to Ellsprig. [cards shuffle] We are going-
[Amanda, as Marge] So, does this mean I am not, ya know, The Dance anymore? That I am actually just The Courtesan now?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I feel as though that was a little bit [cards shuffle] the past chapter of our lives, you know.
[David, as Valdeen] Now you're a dancing courtesan, is what you are, now. That works that way
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It does make sense
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, dear
[David, as Valdeen] I've met those before
[Zac, as Bolka] This is like your role for- for Book Two.
[James] Yeah. Meta-wise- Hey, listener! This is James! [Zac and Amanda laugh; James continues] Elizabeth and I had this conversation earlier about when we wanted to do uh kind of these big Harrow readings because as Vasilisa she's doing them you know in game from time to time, but these big ones, uh, these ones that we're like really devoting some time to on air, these are ones that are going to be for the book. So this is determining your guys's role for the book. Because last time when she did it, Episode One, I took that and I'm like 'okay, let's figure out how this is going to be impacting the story.' That way it really is like foretelling. This is a real way that we are deciding how things are going to play out in the game, on my end
[Amanda] Oh, geez
[James] and what I am going to use, uh, is this-
[Zac] How are you going to torture us
[James] -this spread.
[James] Yeah, I'm gonna use the spread to determine, like, what is being affected in the game, and I change little things here and there to tie it all in and make the cards true. So, meta-wise, this is deciding the future. In-game, the future has already been decided and this is predicting it.
[Amanda] Okay [laughs]
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Well, we get to decide our future, still-
[James] Yes, but this is-
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We have influence
[James] Yeah. This is- This is part of the influence, though.
[James] So, uh, we're really doing one of these a book, right at the beginning, to kind of uh lay a spread for what's to come. So, uh, instead of doing these all the time, at the beginning of each book, we're gonna go around, we're gonna get some new roles, we're going to see how that affects the spread, and we're going to get the spread, which is going to kind of give a vague look at what the book might be.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Bolka, you have not had your cards read before, so I shall explain. First, we look at our past. We have The Publican, The Teamster, and The Bear. Two of these cards are as neutral as they could possibly be. The card which does speak, The Publican, represents a fellowship. It represents a place of refuge, much like back in Heldren we have The Silver Stoat or The White Weasel in Waldsby. It is a place where you go to feel safe, to be with friends.
[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. Is pub. Is origin of word 'pub,' I believe.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes. A publican is someone who goes to a pub.
[Amanda] Ahhh. Is it really?
[Zac] Linguistics check!
[Amanda] I had no idea
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Now, this card's particular publican is a cyclops. He has insights. Our past, this is saying, has insights which shall help us as we look to our quest. And here is where I would like to see what The Teamster and The Bear--because they are- they are neutral, yes, but they are leading to those insights The Publican are telling us to take note of. So, first, The Teamster. This is a driving external force, and I think I feel as though The Teamster, for us, is likely the oath which we have made to the Black Rider together, but I could be wrong. That is simply the strongest external force driving all of us together which I can think of. The Teamster is pushing us on, and meanwhile, The Bear is a creature of strength--pure strength. The Bear cannot be tamed, cannot be trained. So, perhaps we think we have some control over something from our past, and we are wrong, and we shall learn the error of thinking we have that control. Or, perhaps whatever the teamster is, whether it is the Black Rider's mantle or not--Baba Yaga's influence or not--thinks it has control over us, but our strength is stronger than that driving force. Either way, our past holds the key to our current quest, and The Publican shows us that. Our present: The Paladin, The Midwife, and The Betrayal.
[Zac, as Bolka] That does not sound good.
[Amanda, as Marge] No. Oh, no.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Here, The Betrayal is in a position of true alignment. It is in the strongest place it could be to speak to me within this reading.
[Zac, as Bolka] That is too bad.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] In our present, The Betrayal is selfishness incarnate. It is an envy that twists the spirit and leads to a devastation. There is something in our present that appears to us to be good, to be lovely, but which holds a rotten evil at its core.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, with all the other cards, can ya- can ya know, maybe, who or what that is? It seems pretty serious
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's hard to say. It does indeed seem quite serious, and it could be that the cards are speaking to a person to watch for--a particular individual who shall betray us--or it could be more general, much like The Dance from your previous reading; you do not literally dance.
[Amanda, as Marge] Sure
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Here, the betrayal could be that a circumstance seems good or positive or hopeful, but in reality is dark and bad.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I guess we all got to be a lot more careful.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Definitely be watchful, yes. Because we have with The Midwife something which appears like it could be good--and it might be--but it could also be that changeling demon child, and then we have The Betrayal warning us of something that looks good, but is bad.
[David, as Valdeen] Mm. Things might not be what they seem.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] They might not be
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah. Hm
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] So, let's be careful and watchful and not-
[Amanda, as Marge] How well do you know Kapa? Bolka?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -necessarily trust-
[Zac] Bolka is just thinking, 'Am I evil? Am I the-?'
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, how- how well do we know Bolka? Is what I was thinkin', too. I'm- Yeah
[Zac] 'Am I gonna bring the whole thing down?'
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I mean, appear strong and is actually a helpful person, but maybe the betrayer of us all. I do not- at least his role card did not appear in the middle here, or I would be even more concerned. Our future, though. We have The Unicorn
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh! It's Valdeen's
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Valdeen's
[David, as Valdeen] Hey- Hey, that's me.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] And, most interesting: Valdeen, your role card here is in perfect alignment.
[David, as Valdeen] Ah
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is a good and it is a card of chaos, and it is right there.
[David, as Valdeen] Hm
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, goodness
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that didn't sound good.
[David, as Valdeen] What does it mean?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. We have The Unicorn, The Inquisitor, and The Snakebite. The Unicorn is Valdeen's role card, so very important, especially for him, and perfectly aligned. Also perfectly aligned: The Snakebite, which is an evil card. Now, I am hopeful because usually in this top right corner of our layout, here: that card speaks to a possible good future outcome. So, Valdeen, you are important to us all, to our good future outcome as we go to Ellsprig.
[David, as Valdeen] No pressure, right?
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I mean-
[Amanda, as Marge] Well, you've always been good, so far, ya know
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -no more than ever.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You are going to be-
[Amanda, as Marge] You've only misfired twice!
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -important
[David, as Valdeen] Oh, thanks!
[Zac] That you told us about
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Whether you recognize the good gift that The Unicorn is offering or you are indeed offering something freely for all of us and our quest, something about you is what shall lead us to a positive future. The Inquisitor is a possible neutral future outcome for us. The Inquisitor speaks least strongly here, so is probably least likely, but also could just be least impactful if it comes through. Inquisitor accepts nothing except the truth, cannot be swayed in any way. The Inquisitor might be something, for example, that is a future where someone is seeking or finding truth about us. Maybe we go, for example, to Whitethrone and are recognized to not be what our papers say we are. That could be an inquisitor outcome.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, that doesn't sound like a good thing.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Not as good as the Valdeen unicorn, which we should hope for.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh yeah
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] The Snakebite, though, would be far worse. The Snakebite is vile. It is, as you see, a poisoned dagger dripping with an evil poison. The Snakebite is friends turning against each other. It is people turning against freedom. It is the death of all that is good. I fear The Snakebite would represent us rejecting each other, turning against each other, and if we do that, nothing but death, nothing but the end of freedom and all that is good.
[Amanda, as Marge] Oh dear. Well, ya know, I guess we should all just stick together
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] and hope that Valdeen lives up to his unicorn, uh, potential, yes.
[David, as Valdeen] Yeah, I'll start trying to figure out what that means.
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We are all together in this, Valdeen. That is the core thing to remember and realize.
[David, as Valdeen] I still don't trust your magic in these cards and all this mumbo jumbo, but, I mean, if you're saying it's supposed to be something good that I'm supposed to do, then I'll keep an eye out and try to pay attention. But...
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] If you think you have the urge to offer something freely, or if you recognize what appears to be an offering and gauge it truly--because we- we might have The Betrayal be the offering, and perhaps The Unicorn's role is to recognize 'no, that is not a good pair on a unicorn; this is bad poison fruit that leads to snakebite.' But either way, it appears you, Valdeen-
[Amanda, as Marge, laughing] No pressure!
[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -shall have a role, a very important role to play. All of us must help each other to recognize what is not true, what could be betrayal. But, Valdeen, you are key.
[James] That was a lot.
[Amanda] That was. And not all good
[James] Not all good! Not all bad. And I'm not exactly sure what all it means! [starts to transition into his narrator/announcer voice]
[David] Oh, no!
[James] Has the pub-goer teamed up with a bear? [Amanda and David laugh; James continues] Is the paladin betraying the midwife? Will the unicorn inquisit about the snake bite? I guess that might be what's happening! Guess we'll just have to find out later in the book on The Dimension Door Podcast!
[Music: Closing theme plays ("Press Start" by MDK Music)]
[Amanda] That is a lot to take in and absorb
[David] Can I roll now?
[Zac] Natural one
[Amanda] A natural one? No!
[James] Alright, ending- ending roll.
[David, Amanda, Elizabeth] Ey!
[Zac] So, Valdeen is like a single guy, but he's willing to date a couple, is what I heard.
[David] Whoa, hey!
[David] Sounds like a unicorn to me!
[David] Woo! That was fun
[James] GG, y'all.
[James] Thank you for listening to The Dimension Door Podcast! April is Reviews4Good month: for every review you write on Podchaser, they will donate 25 cents to Meals on Wheels. If the podcast you reviewed responds, they double that amount. You can leave reviews on both episodes and overall review for the podcast. If you haven't reviewed The Dimension Door Podcast or our sister show Severed Fate, this is your time! We will be responding to every review left during the month of April, so really you're guaranteed 50 cents to charity for every review. As always, a wonderful thank you to our Executive Producers Callie Rose and David Lester. Our editing and music is masterfully crafted by Zac Kreitler. Bumper tracks by MDK Music and spell effects from Syrinscape.