Transcripts

S2.E7

A Study in Swarms

[Zac, as Bolka] My dearest Rusilka, I am writing to let you know Arbagazor is okay. He has traveled through a magical portal to be with his brother and we will likely never see him again, but- but good for him. I have been swept away by some new friends on an adventure and, like Arbagazor, I will likely never be back to Waldsby. I will miss you and- and the loving energy you bring to everything. Oh, but you will guess what one of my new friends used to be an an apparent, um, gun for hire, you know? and he is keeping me beautiful even though you are not here he is so talented. Oh, but he died, though. I forgot. Uh, fell into a pool of acid. These- These Pale Tower guards have been merciless, I tell you. We make camp one night near pool of acid--okay, fine, no big deal. But, middle of night, Pale Tower guards sneak down, they put up sign "public swimming every day six to nine." Valdeen--Valdeen, he's the, uh, the man-whore--he is first to wake and just poop! Right into acid. Of course, after that, no one tried to go swimming--no one else tried to go swimming. Uh, Kapa and the boys came with us as well; they wanted to try and get Thora back from Nazhena. Came all the way to Pale Tower just so Pale Tower could be like, "oh, but she died, though. We have put her soul into a chicken hut." I can't stop thinking about how hard for Kapa as a parent that must be to know, like, it's such a horrible fate for your child to even have to think-- Oh, but she died, though. I forgot. She exploded. Those crafty Pale Tower guards again, they take a stick of explosive, like, how you say, uh, dynamite? and- and they use arts and craft skills to make dynamite seem like cute puppy dog. They do like some white fur and some google eyes and like bing bang boom, and you know how much Kapa loves dogs. Well, she goes right over 'oh, you poor thing, your tail seems to be getting shorter and it is hissing as well, I will come investigate and assist...' and then boom. Fake dog, real death. Those poor boys, Orm and Mjoli, oh my god. First father dies by troll, then mother's exploded by puppy. I cannot imagine how hard for a little- little ratfolk orphans in Irrisen trying to make their way, just to survive. I mean, such harsh lands... Oh, but they died, though, too. Uh, the guards left a trail of little candies that Orm followed--he did not realize that they led to a basket of a catapult--and then once he was in just floop into a bullseye--They painted bullseye on side of mountain. Like, how much time did they spend to set this up, right? And then they dropped an anvil on Mjoli.

 

[laughter]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] There was one other ratfolk named Marge who was with us, but she- she happened to be standing on one side of a teeter-totter or like a seesaw, uh, the- the guards hiding above tossed a giant rock on the other side--the rock was so big--Marge flies like straight up into the air with a whistling sound, like [whistles] I- I do not think she has come down, yet. The only other person with us was a witch named Vasilisa. At first, I thought she was just pretending to be White Witch, but turns out she is a real White Witch who is very good at pretending to be very bad at pretending to be White Witch, which I must give her clever points for. Oh, but she died, though. She tried to overthrow Nazhena and it just, it did not go well. Well, I do not want to be too long; poor magical messenger bird will be mad my note is so big! Oh, no! I think I hear more guards coming. I bet I was mumbling as I write--I do that sometimes without realizing. Oh no! They see me! They have a giant sized slingshot they wish to load me into! Fly, magic bird! Fly! Love, Bolka.

 

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

 

[James] So, I-

 

[Zac] You have problems--you have issues?

 

[James] So, I smoked some weed last night-

 

[laughter]

 

[James] -and I'm not sure it's worn off yet.

 

[Zac] No, you heard-

 

[James] because what I heard-

 

[Zac] You heard right

 

[James] -doesn't make any fuck- I heard right?

 

[Zac] You heard right

 

[James] Okay. Cool. Definitely still high, then.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] We're- We're definitely all very dead [laughs]

 

[Amanda] Well, maybe not Marge! She's still up there!

 

[Elizabeth, laughing] She hasn't come down, yet

 

[David] She hasn't come back yet

 

[James] I was just sitting here and I'm like 'yeah... Wait. I don't remember this.'

 

[Zac] 'Vat of acid?!'

 

[David] Yeah

 

[James] It took me too long to catch on to what you were doing. It's fucking great.

 

[Zac, laughing] Well, we- He had the, uh- He was planning on writing the note and before he decided to write- before he actually wrote the note, everyone was talking about like, oh! fake IDs and passports and should I pretend to be dead? Maybe I should pretend to be dead. And he's like, yeah, maybe... So, as he's writing the note, he's like, maybe I should just kill everybody off for our own- for our own safety. But Arbagazor's fine.

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Yeah, he's fine.

 

[David] Okay

 

[Amanda] Ah, Arbagazor's fine [laughs]

 

[James] That's fucking wonderful.

 

[Elizabeth] Arbagazor is fine and way far away from Irrisen, so...

 

[Zac] So no need trying to send people after him

 

[Elizabeth] No need to kill him off

 

[Zac] Exactly

 

[Elizabeth, laughing] Oh, god.

 

[James] So, last time: You guys finally set off to the wonderful, uh, capital city of Whitethrone.

 

[Zac] Capital city?

 

[James] Capital city. Um, you know, it's gonna take you guys about nine days, and I have taken the honor of plotting it out on the, uh, local area map.

 

[David] Oh, nice

 

[Zac] So, you chose red--stark red--and blue. It looks like a very like a political map, almost

 

[Amanda] Is that like each day?

 

[James] Yep

 

[Amanda] Perfect

 

[James] Each day is a line. You guys are gonna be covering just over 12 miles a day going through the snow. So, like, towards the end of- of day one here, you guys have walked out of the kind of thick forested wood, um, of the Hoarwood forest, and you guys are kind of getting- you're going along on the, uh, the plains, the rolling hills-

 

[Elizabeth] I'd call it a tundra

 

[James] Tundra, there we go, good, good

 

[David] Ohh

 

[Amanda] Mm. Nice.

 

[James] Along the tundra, uh, and you- you see some birds here and there, and then--dun dun dun!--turns out they're bad birds. Oooooo!

 

[Amanda] Damn birds!

 

[James] and they-

 

[Amanda] Shoulda killed them when we saw them the first time

 

[James] Yeah! And you guys see, like-

 

[David] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] I should have just burning hands-in-ated in the Tower. It's my fault.

 

[Zac] These might be different birds, though. We don't know.

 

[James] They could be different birds

 

[Elizabeth] They could be! There's raven swarms everywhere.

 

[James] Yeah!

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[James] Yeah. I really like that on the Golarion map, particularly in this book, they're like 'hey, here's what Irrisen looks like--oh, just kidding! Here's what Irrisen would look like if it wasn't covered in ice and snow.' Like, look at all that green.

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah.

 

[James] So, I don't know about you guys, but I blacked out for a couple hours there.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Woah! What happened?

 

[James] You know, I remember sitting down and we were getting ready to play-

 

[Elizabeth] mhm

 

[James] -and that was at like that was at like 11

 

[Zac] 11? Yeah. Something like that.

 

[James] It's one now!

 

[Elizabeth] What happened?

 

[James] I don't know

 

[Elizabeth] Did we- oh, well. We'd better roll for initiative

 

[Amanda] I think it was the mimosas

 

[James] I think we broke a lot of rules [Elizabeth laughs; James continues] and as punishment

 

[Elizabeth] we lost that time

 

[James] we lost that time, and for some reason we don't have that recorded anymore

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Not for anyone

 

[Zac] Unless you give us ten dollars a month...

 

[Elizabeth] and then maybe

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Unless you give us ten dollars a month... and then you could probably find it in our Patreon bonus content, uh, for our Periodic Table of Content because I fucked up swarm rules so hard

 

[Elizabeth] I think that could easily be we. We-

 

[Zac] We, we- yeah

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Everyone fucked up swarm rules sooo hard, and we kept referring to the document and reading it and then something else would come up and we'd be like, wait a minute, nope! that's wrong, too. Remember that thing we did three turns ago?

 

[Elizabeth] Let's just say: if this was an SAT reading comprehension test, we would have all had really bad scores.

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[James] So, knowing that, and the combat would have played out completely differently, uh, we decided to do a hard reset.

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah

 

[Zac] As long as we're being completely honest and- and telling everyone that- that we did that, we should also tell them, like, it was kind of a cakewalk for the PCs.

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac] Like, they were just walking through it

 

[James] It was

 

[Zac] and it should not have been that easy

 

[Elizabeth] We broke the rules in a way that made it too easy

 

[Zac] Yes

 

[Elizabeth] Which is why we're redoing it

 

[Zac] Exactly

 

[James] Yep

 

[Elizabeth] If we broke the rules in a way that was challenging, that's different

 

[James] We'd have left it; that's fine.

 

[Zac] but then I- and then I discovered, from James and Elizabeth, that people that run other TTRPG shows actually do this, where they regularly, routinely, like, replay and redo things. And that just blows my mind

 

[David] Oh

 

[Zac] because I feel really weird about doing it even once

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah.

 

[James] It's fairly common

 

[David] Is it? Okay. I didn't know that either

 

[Amanda] That's weird

 

[Elizabeth] So, we're uncommon, and hopefully you all think we're uncommonly cool.

 

[James] Wow! Oh, look! Hatch rolled at 24, and Gary got a 21, and the swarms got 20 and 17, and Vasilisa got 16, and Ghost got 12, and Valdeen got 11, and uh Kapa got 9, Vrixx got 7, Bolka got 5.

 

[laughter]

 

[Elizabeth] No, let's just sit in this moment-

 

[Zac] No lie

 

[Elizabeth] -and remember how Bolka got five.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Bolka got five.

 

[David, sing-song] Bolka got five.

 

[Elizabeth, sing-song] Bolka got five

 

[Zac] Oh, Bolka

 

[Amanda] You must have rolled terribly

 

[Daivd] Wait, it's Bolka Number Five!

 

[Zac] Bolka Number Five, yes. [singing] A little bit of Valdeen in my sights

 

[David, laughing] Oh, no

 

[Elizabeth and Amanda laugh]

 

[Elizabeth] I do also want to--because I said this before in the time that never happened, and this will probably come up--I apologize in advance if anything really terrible happens to Gary because he can't roll well.

 

[James] That's right.

 

[Elizabeth] That's partially my fault.

 

[Zac] What did you do, Vasilisa? This has to do with your cards, doesn't it?

 

[Amanda and Zac laugh]

 

[Elizabeth] It's always the cards. It's always the cards.

 

[David, as Valdeen] I tried to warn ya 'bout the cards

 

[Elizabeth] So, all of my companions were all "no, we don't want you to cast Harrowing on us; we already had our Harrow reading; we're done with the cards; we don't trust that shit."

 

[David] Mhm

 

[Amanda, laughing] Right

 

[Elizabeth] and Vasilisa was like "well..."

 

[Zac] "Oh, Gary!"

 

[Amanda and David laugh]

 

[Elizabeth] "sadge, cause I already prepared my spells for the day, and I know that Harrow readings are super incredibly awesome, so I prepared Harrowing twice." So, I offered a very powerful Harrow reading to-

 

[Zac] an NPC

 

[Elizabeth] -our NPCs, Kapa and Gary. Gary's reading did not go as well as Kapa's. Kapa has nothing but bonuses.

 

[Amanda] Nice.

 

[Elizabeth] Gary has bonuses, but he has two, uh, penalties-

 

[Amanda] Uh-oh

 

[Elizabeth] -that are gonna last for the full duration of the spell

 

[James] Seven days

 

[Amanda, whispering] Seven days

 

[Elizabeth] which is either until he gets to Ellsprin or seven days, whichever comes first.

 

[Amanda] Oh, no

 

[Elizabeth] Basically, if one of the cards in your nine card spread for the Harrowing spell is the opposite of your actual character alignment, then instead of a one-time use bonus, you get a continual penalty.

 

[Amanda] And you wonder why we didn't want it done [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Two cards, unfortunately, for Gary were chaotic neutral, which is the opposite of his lawful neutral alignment, which means that he has two different, uh, temporarily permanent continual negatives.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Ah...

 

[Amanda] Temporarily permanent

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Look, sometimes the cards tell you, uh, bad things, and sometimes good things, and in this case Gary is having a spot of bad luck.

 

[James] So, these two swarms of ravens, uh, break out of the wood about 80 feet away and, as everybody knows, swarms of ravens are a large footprint that consist of about a thousand ravens

 

[Amanda] Oof

 

[James] Which is something we all know

 

[Amanda] That's crazy

 

[Elizabeth] because they're flying

 

[James] because they're flying

 

[Elizabeth] and terrifying

 

[James] and you can't crit on them, and there's no such thing as single target spells against them, but area of effect spells deal fifty percent more damage.

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[Elizabeth] Gotta get all those birds at once

 

[Amanda] So, we know-

 

[James] And those are definitely all things we fucked up on!

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[Amanda] So, we know that a group of, uh, ravens-

 

[David] Ravens is called an un-

 

[Elizabeth A group of crows is a murder of crows

 

[Amanda] A murder of crows, but ravens are-

 

[Elizabeth] A group of ravens

 

[David] They're called an unkindness of ravens

 

[Amanda] An unkindness

 

[James] and we got that right the first time

 

[David] Yeah!

 

[James] So

 

[Amanda] An unkindness of ravens

 

[James] who's winning now?

 

[Elizabeth] because David knows how to use the internet

 

[Amanda] Woo!

 

[David] Google-fu is strong

 

[Amanda] Good job, David

 

[James] and if we did, we would have known the rules about swarms. Okay, so-

 

[Amanda] Moving on!

 

[David] One other thing about swarms: swarms do not threaten

 

[James] Swarms do not threaten

 

[David] Just as a side-

 

[Zac] Oh, so we feel safe

 

[James] Yeah. You guys feel total- [laughs]

 

[Zac laughs]

 

[David] Well, I mean-

 

[Elizabeth] They do distract us, though

 

[Amanda] Well, we can move around as much as we need to

 

[Zac] I don't feel threatened

 

[David] Yeah

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] They're very distracting, so I need them to not be on me when I try to cast spells at them, please

 

[Amanda, laughing] That's good

 

[David] That's a thing

 

[Amanda] So, just stay away! Stay away!

 

[David] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] Stay away!

 

[James] Okay

 

[Amanda] alright

 

[Elizabeth] okay

 

[James] Round one of combat. First up, we have Hatch, who once again--I mean, for the first time--goes [as Hatch] uh oh, that doesn't look good [describes] and then we have Gary, who goes [as Gary] Ah, shit! [describes] and he pulls out a sword with his left hand because his right hand is all fucked up, and then we have the swarms and the two swarms of a thousand ravens each-

 

[Amanda] Oof

 

[James] -burst from the tree line and fly forward with a double movement, 80 feet. So, they are a mere five feet away from the closest adventurers.

 

[Elizabeth] Not good, not good, not good! That's a very dense pack of ravens. That's terrifying. Can you imagine-?

 

[Amanda] In real life, that would be terrifying

 

[Elizabeth] Picture ravens.

 

[James] It's like that

 

[Elizabeth] Big, scary, terrifying black birds-

 

[Amanda] They're big!

 

[James] It's like a 10 foot square right there

 

[Elizabeth] Now, imagine 2,000 ravens swooping in on you all at once.

 

[Amanda] Geez

 

[David] I mean, who's seen the movie Birds, right?

 

[Elizabeth] The sound, too

 

[Amanda] Ravens are like, they're not technically small--they're technically tiny--but they're still big for birds!

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah

 

[David] Yeah. They're-

 

[Elizabeth] Oh

 

[David] uncomfortable

 

[Zac] They're bird-sized birds

 

[Amanda] Uncomfortably big, yes

 

[Elizabeth] If anyone here has not seen a raven

 

[Amanda] I have

 

[Elizabeth] please Google ravens

 

[Amanda] They have them up north

 

[Elizabeth] appreciate the pictures of how frickin' horrifying this is

 

[David] and if you haven't seen the movie Birds, this is a callback to that movie

 

[Amanda] And they're super smart, too

 

[Elizabeth] Oh, god

 

[David] Terrible movie, but classic.

 

[Amanda] Classic horror

 

[David] Gives you nightmares

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth Yeah, yeah

 

[David] This is about to happen.

 

[James] Vasilisa

 

[Elizabeth] Vasilisa]

 

[James] Round one, your turn. Hatch, Gary, and both the swarms have gone. Combat is ensuing.

 

[Elizabeth Okay, okay. You know what-

 

[James] Or, did I make a change and now the ravens just want to give you kisses?

 

[Zac] That's what I'm- Yeah. That's what I'm thinking

 

[Amanda] Aww

 

[Elizabeth] I think with where the ravens are, I feel like Vasilisa is going to move to be extra sure that no one else is in her cone of fire

 

[Amanda] Smart

 

[Elizabeth] and then she is going to burning hands these bitches.

 

[Amanda] Do it!

 

[James] Do you want to do the ones closest to you or the ones that are by the children?

 

[Elizabeth] I'll do the ones by the children because I'm-

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[David] Don't let him manipulate you like that! That was blatant manipulation!

 

[James] I- I am just pointing out that the ones next to the children are next to the children.

 

[Elizabeth] I care about kids. I'm a good--well, not technically, I'm a neutral, but--I'm a good person.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Okay. Here we go. Burning hands! [flame sounds] I need a reflex save from these ravens, which is probably pretty good.

 

[die rolls]

 

[James] Oh. Yeah, they pass.

 

[Elizabeth] Well, half damage--which means full damage because they're a swarm.

 

[Amanda] area of effect

 

[James] yep

 

[Elizabeth] 16 points of fire damage

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[James] You know, that's- that's pretty fuckin' good.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, you want to watch me, Nazhena? Watch this, bitch! [describes] and fire

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] because she's assuming that these are the eyes of the witch, obviously

 

[James makes fire blasting sounds]

 

[Elizabeth] I think that Zac's fire sound effects will be-

 

[James] much better than that

 

[Elizabeth] -on par

 

[James] Much better than that.

 

[Zac] Normally, if James does it, I leave that

 

[Elizabeth] No, yeah. Yeah.

 

[Zac] Well, it saves me extra work.

 

[Amanda and James laugh]

 

[James] Um, okay. Uh, Marge and Ghost. You guys are up next.

 

[Elizabeth] Heck yeah

 

[Amanda] Marge and Ghost will move up to the swarm closest, which is not the swarm next to the kids because she's up front, and she's gonna try and swipe- Oh, you know what? No. She's going to use her shield and try and do a shield bash and hit as many of them as she can.

 

[David] Ooo

 

[Elizabeth] Smart because slashing and piercing weapons only do half damage, but a shield-!

 

[Amanda] But bludgeoning

 

[James] Yup

 

[Amanda] And then Ghost will try to bite and see if he can grab one. Just, you know.

 

[James] Okay

 

[Zac] Ooo!

 

[Amanda] Nat 20!

 

[James] Alright

 

[Elizabeth] Too bad you can't crit, but damn you hit hard

 

[Amanda] So, that's a 29 to hit.

 

[Elizabeth] Smush them with your sword--I mean, shield!

 

[Amanda] That is five points of damage

 

[Elizabeth] Eh!

 

[James] Okay

 

[Amanda] Bludgeoning. And then Ghost will attempt to bite.

 

[die rolls]

 

[James] Alright

 

[Amanda] Ah! It's a nat one! What the heck?!

 

[James] Alright. Ghost misses.

 

[Elizabeth] The ravens are just flying around and Ghost is like [makes effort sounds]

 

[Amanda and James also make sounds to imply Ghost trying to bit at flying birds]

 

[Elizabeth] I'm trying

 

[Amanda] Just like snapping jaws

 

[Elizabeth] I like that James's sound effects for Ghosts are so much better than ours...

 

[James makes more Ghost weasel sounds]

 

[Amanda and David laugh]

 

[Amanda] And that's my turn.

 

[Elizabeth] That was a good turn, though.

 

[James] Uh, Valdeen

 

[David] I would like to do a perception check.

 

[James] Do it!

 

[David] I want to see what's around us that's not these birds.

 

[James] Let's see- What did you- What did you get last time? 14?

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[David] I'm rolling

 

[James] Right?

 

[Daivd] I'm rolling dice

 

[James laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] It's gonna be-

 

[James] Yeah, go ahead. Roll me some dice.

 

[David] I got a 27.

 

[Amanda] Woo!

 

[Elizabeth] Yay!

 

[James] That's great. You- You just- All you see is birds. There's just a shit ton of birds. You look around, you do not see any other threats or anything of interest; just birds and the massive amounts of shit that are falling from the sky

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] because, as we all know, when something dies, it vacates its bowels.

 

[David] I think I-

 

[Amanda] So as birds fall, they poop?

 

[Elizabeth, singing] Black birds shitting on a snowy day

 

[James] You know, I looked up enough things about swarms; I'm not looking up things about birds

 

[Amanda] You can't even tell--It's all white!

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[James] I'm just assuming-

 

[Elizabeth, still singing] Take these broken wings and void my bowels

 

[Amanda] So, Marge hits a bunch of birds with her shield and they all just get pbbt

 

[James] Yeah, why not?

 

[laughter]

 

[Elizabeth] In more than one way

 

[James] Sure. I don't care.

 

[Elizabeth] Feathers everywhere-

 

[Zac] Why not?

 

[Elizabeth] -bird shit everywhere-

 

[James] This is a fantasy setting

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] -blood, shit, feathers just everywhere...

 

[James] Yeah! Blood, shit, and feathers. There's our episode title.

 

[David] I changed my mind. I changed my mind. James

 

[James] Yeah?

 

[David] I want to undo my perception check. I don't want to know any of that.

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Oh, shit. Um... Well, can't take that one back.

 

[David] Okay. Fine. Alright [clears throat]

 

[Amanda] What are you going to do now?

 

[Zac] It's kind of like reading the Harrow cards

 

[David] I- Right?

 

[Zac] Like, rolling perception checks. Like, do you really want to know?

 

[David] It's like, why did I do that? Okay

 

[Zac] I don't want to know the horrible truth

 

[David] Well, there is a swarm in front of me that I will attempt to put some bullets in. I- I hope-

 

[Zac] Pretty sure they're immune to guns

 

[David] I hope it does something. So, I'm gonna attack it. Um, my weapon damage is bludgeoning and piercing, and it-

 

[Elizabeth] So, the bludgeoning part-

 

[Amanda] Mm

 

[David] It is based on the size of the swarm; it should hit them. So-

 

[James] I hope so

 

[David] Let's roll to attack and see what happens

 

[Amanda] Do it! Do it!

 

[James] Yeah. Give me attack versus touch.

 

[David] Okay

 

[Amanda] Roll high! Roll high!

 

[Elizabeth] They're tiny, not diminutive, so we have hope.

 

[David] Let's, uh, let's roll this. Let's roll this damage. How about 22?

 

[James] 22 will definitely hit this one

 

[gunshot]

 

[David] 12 damage

 

[James] 12 damage, and it is bludgeoning

 

[David] Yes

 

[James] So-

 

[David] The same one that Marge hit is what I'm hitting

 

[James] Yes. Okay. Perfect.

 

[Zac] Because it's bludgeoning, are you gonna make more poop come out?

 

[James] Yep, yep. A lot more poop. [Elizabeth laughs; James continues] A lot more poop. Less blood.

 

[Elizabeth] The higher the damage, the more the poop.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[David] Valdeen says [as Valdeen] I'm getting too old for this shit.

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[Zac] Classic

 

[Elizabeth] Yes

 

[James, in Vrixx's voice] That was a- That was a lot better zinger than the last one he did

 

[David] What last one, James?

 

[laughter]

 

[James, as Vrixx] Uh, nothing! [as self] Uh, next up is going to be Kapa. Kapa is going to of course tell the boys-

 

[Zac] Be good!

 

[James] -to move back and hide.

 

[Amanda] behind the donkey

 

[James] Get out of the way

 

[Amanda] Hide behind the donkey!

 

[Elizabeth] Under their sled, maybe. They're riding a sled, right?

 

[Amanda] Oh, that's true. They could flip the sled over and put it on top of it

 

[Zac] They won't think to do that. They're dumb.

 

[David and Zac laugh]

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth] Ohh!

 

[Amanda] Just because they're kids...

 

[David] Wow

 

[Elizabeth] Orm and Mjolni are like [imitates the ratfolk children] Mister Bolka, did you just say we are dumb?

 

[James, as Kapa] Boys, quickly! Flip over the sled and protect yourselves!

 

[Amanda] There. See? [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] There.

 

[David] All of our stuff's dumped out now...

 

[Elizabeth] They might be dumb, but they're obedient to their mom

 

[David] It's terrible

 

[James] and Kapa will move forward, drawing out both of her hand axes, and she is going to attack and hit.

 

[Elizabeth, whispering] I'll bet it's slashing damage

 

[Amanda, whispering] Probably

 

[James, whispering] It is

 

[Zac, whispering] Who knows?

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[David, whispering] Why are we whispering again?

 

[Elizabeth] I don't know. It's a bad habit. [Amanda laughs; Elizabeth continues] It's a bad habit I have [laughs]

 

[Zac] We don't want the birds to hear us, in case they know we're here.

 

[Elizabeth] When you're in a Hitchcock movie, you whisper; it's a rule.

 

[David, imitating Hitchcock] Good evening

 

[James] Okay. So, Kapa deals two points of damage to the uh 'boids' in front of her. And Vrixx is going to, uh, roll to aid Kapa-

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[James] um, on her next attack, and he rolled an eight.

 

[Elizabeth] He has to have at least a plus two on his attack, right?

 

[James] He does not. He has a plus zero. So, he fails.

 

[Elizabeth] What?

 

[James] So, he flies up and he's seeing what's happening and he goes [as Vrixx] Alright, Kapa, you can- Holy fuck! Look at all those birds!

 

[laughter]

 

[Elizabeth] They're so much bigger than he is!

 

[Amanda, laughing] Yeah, exactly

 

[James, as Vrixx] That one just shat the same size as my body!

 

[James] Bolka, your turn.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Ai...This is so many birds [describes] and he just- he starts counting each of the birds, trying to figure out how many there are

 

[Elizabeth and Amanda laugh]

 

[James] Alright, uh, let's- let's pause. Zac, I need to count one to two thousand, please

 

[Zac] And see how many rounds that takes me

 

[James] Yeah.

 

[Zac] Um, no [as Bolka] but the number keeps changing! I have to start over again... Valdeen shoots one up, beginning again... [describes] Bolka is going to cast a spell on his mace that engulfs it in flames. [magical sound]

 

[David] Ooo

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[Elizabeth] Ooo

 

[David] It's the first time we've seen this?

 

[Zac] And his hand is not burning. No, I think I did this with the cabbage patch kid.

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah. I remember

 

[David] Oh, that's right. That's right.

 

[Elizabeth] in the Tower

 

[Zac] but I don't know if I ever got to actually hit with it

 

[Elizabeth] I'm sorry [laughing] the cabbage patch kid?

 

[David, at same time] the cabbage patch kid?

[David, laughing] yeah

 

[Zac] Yeah, the-

 

[Elizabeth] We all immediately knew what you meant, but also- [laughs]

 

[David] Right?

 

[Zac] Yeah. That's what- I mean, it's just what I pictured. A baby made of cabbage.

 

[James] Yeah. So, that's uh your standard?

 

[Zac] Yeah, that's my standard. Maybe I'd like to move next to Kapa? A step up, so I'm closer to Kapa and Gary a little bit.

 

[James] Perfect. Alright, top of round two, we go back to Hatch, uh, who is going to hop on top of Bolka's head and he's gonna throw his arms up like a red panda and go [makes growling sounds in Hatch's voice, describes] and try and appear more menacing, uh, boosting Bolka's attack. [die rolls] And he succeeds. Bolka, you have a plus two on your next melee attack.

 

[Zac] An adorable plus two.

 

[James] An adorable plus two

 

[Elizabeth] Oh, but did Hatch mess up Bolka's fabulous hairdo? We hope not. It's sturdy

 

[David] No, it's fine

 

[Elizabeth] It's a sturdy hairdo. Okay. Got it. yeah

 

[Zac] I'm still wearing the man bun, right?

 

[Elizabeth, laughing] No!

 

[David] No

 

[Elizabeth] Nevah!

 

[Elizabeth and Zac chuckle]

 

[Amanda] Poor Marge [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Marge is having a rough time.

 

[James] Gary's gonna move up 15 feet and attack with his cold iron long sword. [die rolls]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. Gary, we have to have talk about this weapon you have later

 

[Elizabeth] What? You like fey now?

 

[Zac] No, I do not like cold iron

 

[Elizabeth] Ooo...Intrigued

 

[James] So, Gary moves up and misses, uh, mostly in part to his missing fingies and his negatives imposed by that.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I am sorry, Gary

 

[James] Then we have... bum, bum, bum, bum, bum-ba-da-ba-dum, do-do-do...

 

[Zac] Pretty sure we have a flanking bonus on the swarm now

 

[laughter]

 

[James] No, no, no

 

[David] Stop it!

 

[James] You don't! No! Stop it! Uh, then we have the swarms. So. we're going to go with swarm-

 

[David groans]

 

[Elizabeth] Who are they engulfing?

 

[James] -number two gets to go first. Um, should we do Vasilisa and Valdeen, or Marge and Ghost and Val- Oh, Marge and Ghost, that's three! I can get three! I'm gonna get three.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Stay away from the ravens, Marigold!

 

[Elizabeth] Marge, Ghost and Valdeen get engulfed by ravens

 

[James] Yes. You guys get engulfed by ravens, and they're going to deal 1d6 points of damage.

 

[Amanda] Marge is going to use mounted combat and roll a ride check to negate Ghost's damage

 

[David] Oh, wow!

 

[James] Oh, god

 

[Elizabeth] Are you trying to figure out if that works for swarms because swarms are weird?

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac] Is it only on an attack?

 

[Elizabeth] The look on James's face [laughs]

 

[Amanda] Once per round, when your mount is hit in combat

 

[David and James] It's not a hit

 

[David] Yeah, it's not a hit

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth] Aww

 

[James] It's just damage

 

[David] Wow

 

[Elizabeth] I do like the idea of Marge trying and just realizing-

 

[David] If you could move-

 

[Zac] Yeah

 

[David] Like to another square- If you could move away, that would be totally cool. That would be a thing that you could do. If you had like an ability that did that.

 

[Elizabeth] Marge is like "no! Ghost!" Only in Marge voice, not in my voice. Imagine that.

 

[David] Is that- Is that how it would go?

 

[Elizabeth] Imagine that

 

[David] In Marge's voice?

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] Episode title: A Study in Swarms

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[Amanda] So, ignore the Marge's thing.

 

[James] Alright. Marge, Ghost, and Valdeen; you each take five points of damage.

 

[Elizabeth] Ouch!

 

[Amanda] That was more than last time.

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[Amanda] That's okay. We're fine. We've got lots of HP.

 

[James] Let's see...

 

[Amanda] It would take a lot of hits

 

[Elizabeth] but we've- we've got a cleric, now.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. Come at me, bro

 

[Amanda] and we have wands

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah. It would take four or five hits to kill Vasilisa.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[David] This is interesting

 

[Elizabeth] So-

 

[James] The other swarm

 

[Elizabeth] So many

 

[James] -is gonna move in on Kapa, Bolka, and Hatch

 

[David chuckles]

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah! Not me!

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Okay. Is good; leave the kids alone

 

[Elizabeth] Gary and the kids are safe!

 

[David, singing] Leave the kids alone!

 

[Zac] Hey! Bird swarm!

 

[Elizabeth] I know- I'm just imagining James rolling for it or something and being like 'the other swarm of ravens goes in on specifically the ratfolk children.'

 

[Amanda, laughing] Yeah! I think they're hiding underneath the sled, though; so I think we're okay.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I think this one just wants to talk about time share opportunities?

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Alright

 

[Zac, as Bolka] He says once in a lifetime opportunity

 

[David] That's really an unkindness

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Alright, uh: Bolka, Hatch, and Kapa each take three points of damage.

 

[Amanda, singing] We don't need no swarm of ravens

 

[David] Oh! [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[David, laughing] Yes!

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[David] Ah, that's great

 

[Elizabeth] We can't help ourselves [laughs]

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James] and then it's going to be Vasilisa's turn again.

 

[Elizabeth] Vasilisa is going to notice very sadly that these swarms are directly on top of her allies now. She really wants the burning hands, but it would definitely burning hands her allies, too

 

[James] Yep

 

[Elizabeth] If we pull out the handy dandy cone templates-

 

[Zac] Oh, god [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] is there an angle where Vasilisa could move and hit as few allies as possible?

 

[James] If you move to-

 

[Elizabeth] because I only need to hit part of the swarm

 

[James] from where you are

 

[Elizabeth] Mhm

 

[James] you can fire it and only hit Valdeen

 

[David] Hey

 

[Zac] Well, but you want to hit no one. I mean-

 

[James] There- There isn't a spot where she can hit no one.

 

[Elizabeth] There- There theoretically is.

 

[David] There is- There's one spot. If she goes behind Marge

 

[Elizabeth] There is one square with no people on it.

 

[David] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] that's just got ravens on it because in their ten foot square

 

[James] Ah, I see what you're saying

 

[Elizabeth] So, I would like to move and try to angle my cone to only get birds

 

[Zac] You're just singeing the- Yeah. You're just singeing the corner there

 

[James] I see. I see where it is.

 

[Elizabeth] I want to take advantage of these stupid cone rules for once, damn it!

 

[Zac] Right. Make them work for you instead of against you

 

[David] Yeah! Right behind Marge-

 

[Amanda] Yeah!

 

[David] -and then-

 

[James] Yeah. That's twenty feet

 

[Elizabeth] I can pull out the cool cone that- that Amanda made me, if I need to.

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah. Yeah, I want to do that

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth] So, it looks like I'm wasting most of my fire, but actually I'm just smart.

 

[David] It's just fire; it doesn't matter.

 

[Elizabeth] So, I trudge with my snowshoes. I'm like [breathes loudly ha-ha-ha] I- I calculate angles real fast and then say my magic words and boom fire

 

[Amanda makes fire whooshing sounds]

 

[fire sounds]

 

[Elizabeth] -and I burning hands the swarm that is attacking Marge and Ghost and Valdeen.

 

[Amanda] I love it

 

[Zac] You're just trying- It's like a blowtorch on a marshmallow or a creme brulee or something

 

[David laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah

 

[Zac] You just kind of want to graze it.

 

[David] Creme brulee

 

[Elizabeth] I need a reflex save from the swarm, please.

 

[die rolls]

 

[James] They fail.

 

[David] Oh!

 

[Elizabeth] Yes! So, 150 percent damage, and the damage on the dice is 14.

 

[David] So-

 

[Elizabeth] So-

 

[David] 21?

 

[Elizabeth] 21 points of fire damage.

 

[James] Describe how these birds get burnt and dispersed.

 

[Amanda] Yes!

 

[David] O-ho!

 

[Elizabeth] As birds are flying around my allies being like 'haha! we are ravens!' and pecking away, they fly into the flames--the inescapable flames--of Vasilisa's wrath, and just toasty charred bits of feather fly everywhere, and they're magical powerful flames to such an extent that there's no, like, cooked meat or anything; there's just the scent of burning feathers and, where there had been a thousand ravens, there's a few little charred remnants of feathers and that's it--that's the only sign that any ravens were ever there. And Vasilisa glances towards the other swarm and says [as Vasilisa] See that, Nazhena? I am coming for you! Or at least your birds.

 

[James laughs]

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[James] Ghost

 

[Amanda] Okay. Well. I suppose I can move up a couple. Marge will move up to the--I mean, it's only 10 feet, so she'll--her and Ghost--will move up to the next swarm and she will shield bash again, and then Ghost will again try to grab birds.

 

[Zac, in Bolka's voice] Careful not to hit Bolka

 

[Amanda] Nice. A 23.

 

[James] Hit

 

[Amanda] Another five points of damage.

 

[James] Okay

 

[Amanda] and then Ghost.

 

[Elizabeth] Grab one of those birds, Ghost!

 

[Amanda] 22

 

[James] That'll also hit

 

[Amanda] Yes

 

[Elizabeth] Ghost is eating raven today

 

[Amanda] Eight points of damage

 

[David] Ho!

 

[Elizabeth] So much better than eating crow

 

[Amanda] and it is a bite

 

[Zac and David laugh]

 

[Amanda] Um, do I get a grapple or no?

 

[Zac] It can't be

 

[Amanda] because it's not- okay. I had a feeling, yeah, that that wasn't a thing, but [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] So, half dam- So, four!

 

[James] But you do disperse the swarm

 

[Amanda] Woo!

 

[Zac] Aw

 

[Elizabeth] yay!

 

[David] wow

 

[Amanda] Yes!

 

[Zac] Okay. That was still too easy; I think we should do it one more time-

 

[laughter]

 

[James] Let me- Let me throw on-

 

[Elizabeth] Another swarm-

 

[James] No! Let me throw on the advanced creatures template

 

[Elizabeth] And Nazhena Vasilliovna herself shows up

 

[James] I mean, you guys just- Do you want me to TPK? Is that what you're looking for?

 

[Elizaberth] Noo!

 

[David] Stop it, guys! This is good! We're supposed to win! We're the heroes

 

[Amanda] Yes! Marge just comes in with her shield and starts just waving it around wildly and knocks a bunch out of the air.

 

[David] That's awesome

 

[Amanda] and Ghost grabs, you know, a- a couple of birds in their mouth when- [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Cronching. Nom nom nom nom

 

[Amanda] -as they, you know, go flying around, and- and then they're like 'yaaa!' and they fly away.

 

[Elizabeth] Dispersed!

 

[James] Congratulations

 

[Amanda] Yay!

 

[James] You've won.

 

[David] Okay

 

[Zac] Bolka dispels his flaming mace [magical sound effect and quenching sound]

 

[James] He doesn't get to use it again...

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[Amanda] Sorry, Bolka.

 

[Zac] Like [as Bolka] Okay, I guess I- maybe I overreacted. Maybe I should have just like, uh- taken it easy.

 

[David] You could just hang out; just watch

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No, wait! Let's look closely! Winter witches can travel through snow.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Oo- Wait, what?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Like, they disappear into the snow and travel through it and then pop out, like- it's magical

 

[David, as Valdeen] Can I ask: Why are you telling about this-? This is the first time I'm hearing this. Why are you telling us now?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I feel like I've said it before, but it-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I think you have! Ya know, back in the Tower

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yeah, back in-

 

[David, as Valdeen] You said mirrors! You mentioned a bunch of mirror stuff, but that's it.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilsia] Yeah, I've mentioned it before. Uh-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Before we went to the Tower

 

[Zac, as Bolka] They- they travel. They-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Winter witches travel through snow and ice, as though it were nothing

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Like, almost instantly

 

[David, as Valdeen] Okay

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Like, shook!

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, I'm going to roll a perception, then, just to see

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is common knowledge

 

[Elizabeth] I'm looking around, paranoid. Because I am paranoid.

 

[Amanda] and Vasilisa has made Marge paranoid [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] It's contagious

 

[David] Valdeen's just paranoid anyway

 

[James] Uh, so Bolka takes another point of damage.

 

[Elizabeth gasps]

 

[Amanda] Why?

 

[David] Okay

 

[James] -and what did everybody get on your perception checks?

 

[David] 23 for Valdeen

 

[Elizabeth] 19 for Vasilisa

 

[Amanda] 21 for Ghost and 14 for Marge

 

[Elizabeth, whispering] What's happening?

 

[David] 23 for Bolka

 

[James] And a 23 for Bolka?

 

[Zac] Yeah, 23.

 

[Elizabeth] What's happening?

 

[David laughs]

 

[Amanda] Uh oh. Uh oh

 

[Zac] Is this damage from the birds or is this something different?

 

[James] No.

 

[Elizabeth gasps]

 

[Amanda] Oh no

 

[Elizabeth] Sorry; I'm just so excited! It's only one point of damage, and I'm so excited

 

[David] No, but I mean, something's going on and I don't like it

 

[James] Yeah, something's going on.

 

[Amanda] Yeah, yeah

 

[James] I don't think you can tell.

 

[Elizabeth] Oh shit!

 

[James] Bolka definitely doesn't know

 

[Elizabeth, softly] Oh, shit. Does Bolka just feel not great?

 

[James] When the swarm attacked, Bolka took another point of damage.

 

[David] Ahhhh

[James] Like, and it would just blend in with that. Like, and you feel sore all over, just cause that's how swarms work.

 

[Zac] So, is it a different source? Like, does my- do I need to apply my DR again?

 

[David] Oooh

 

[Elizabeth] He has DR/cold?

 

[Zac] No, I just have DR

 

[Elizabeth] Holy balls, that's right; he's special

 

[Zac] So, if it's a different, uh-

 

[Elizabeth] -in a way that's secret.

 

[Amanda and David laugh]

 

[Amanda] Unless you figure that secret out

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah. In which case: kudos

 

[Zac] So, if it was a different, like, attack, it would apply again, but if it was part of that first bird attack-

 

[James] It's bonus damage

 

[Zac] Oh, okay. Then it would-

 

[Elizabeth] Oh, so it's part of the same

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac] It's part of the same attack. So, I will take a little bit extra damage.

 

[Elizabeth, softly] Woah

 

[Amanda, softly] Interesting

 

[Zac] Okay

 

[James] Cool

 

[Zac] Unless these were cold iron birds. Are they cold iron birds?

 

[Elizabeth and David laugh]

 

[James] No, they're not cold iron birds

 

[Zac] Okay

 

[James] No. But, yeah: Bolka, you took an extra point of damage in there and I don't think Bolka would have noticed, uh, not with a 23 at least on your own bodily feeling, just because it was everywhere-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] It was chaotic in there

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac, as Bolka] It was chaotic in there

 

[James] and nobody notices anything differently!

 

[Amanda] O-kay

 

[David] Great.

 

[James] The ground is covered with feathers and guts and shit.

 

[Amanda] Great.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa, panting]

 

[David, as Valdeen] Well, I think we should get out of the open

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Okay, what-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Check on the kiddos- Are the kids okay? Are the kids-?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Orm, Mjoli, are you okay?

 

[James, as Orm and Mjoli] Yeah, we're totally fine.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Okay. Is nothing to worry about. Was just birds having a bad day.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay, you can fix your sled now.

 

[James, as Orm and Mjoli] Okay.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I think we should keep on movin', ya know, as fast as possible.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yeah, we cannot stay where the ravens last saw us, for sure.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Why would Nazhena Vis-a-vis send us the- the- the, like, beta squad? This did not seem like very strong... I am a little insulted.

 

[James, as Kapa] They- They are most likely just scouts doing their regular patrols.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Also, ya know, they know where we are!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] They could be attached to any of the winter witches, any White Witch-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh dear

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -could have sent them.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah, I think we should get movin'.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Or maybe any cleric working for a White Witch. You know, like the one that Marge killed back at the Pale Tower.

 

[James, as Kapa] If we are worried about cover, we could simply go back into the wood and work our way through the wood, but that is going to add days to our journey.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think perhaps we just, uh-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Just press forward, then.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -press forward.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Keep on- Keep on movin'.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Keep a close eye out and remember those tarps that we failed to hide underneath the first time we met Kapa. We have some of those on one of the sleds, right?

 

[James, as Kapa] Yes, of course.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. So, we try to hide under hidey tarps if we-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Alright, so-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -see ravens.

 

[David, as Valdeen] So, we need to assign cardinal directions. Everyone needs to pick a different direction that's where you watch the sky

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay

 

[David, as Valdeen] and we'll have everybody keeping an eye out as we travel. That way, you keep an eye before we- you know.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. What should be my direction?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Okay, well, you know, I'm- I'm facin' straight ahead, so I suppose that I'll just keep lookin' that way.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Wh- Which direction is that?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I believe straight ahead right now is, uh, northwest, says my compass.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, yeah. That- That looks about right, yeah. I mean, I'll trust ya. I don't-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I'll look south because that's- my card seems to indicate south, so

 

[David, as Valdeen] Alright, I'll take-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. And I will look this other way

 

[David, as Valdeen] I'll take the other way

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Betrayal often comes from behind, so it makes senseI look south.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, maybe the kiddos can, ya know, sit backwards on the, uh, sled and just keep an eye behind us

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes

 

[David, as Valdeen] Sure

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, they will help me look behind, but we won't trust the ratfolk children to be the only ones looking

 

[David, as Valdeen] Extra eyes couldn't hurt, you know.

 

[Amanda] and Marge will attempt Skald to yell out to the kiddos to [as Marge] Hey, can you look behind us and let us know if there's any other birds comin'?

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Hey, mom?

 

[James, as Kapa] Yes, what is it, children?

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Um, why does she want us to look in her butt for birds?

 

[laughter]

 

[James, as Kapa] She is just trying the language out; it is okay. She wants you to look behind us for birds.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Not in the behind, but to our rear, you know.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Ooh, that makes way more sense.

 

[laughter]

 

[James, as Kapa] Yes, I know. [describes] and she pats them on the head. They situate themselves in the sled and face backwards.

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[David] Let's go!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Maybe you can play a game that once Marge taught to me. It is "I Spy"

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, "I Spy"!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, that one. And you can tell us if you spy anything that looks like a bird or perhaps a witch that is not me.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Okay

 

[James] So, you guys fall back in line? Same order moving forward-

 

[Zac] Yes

 

[James] -now that you guys have been accosted by 2,000 fucking birds!

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Is everyone okay, by the way? Some of you have pecks on your skin? You are bleeding a little

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, just some scratches and stuff; it's not bad.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh no, is- Do we have people that are damaged?

 

[David, as Valdeen] I- I'm alright.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Other than you, Bolka? You're bleeding from your forehead right there.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, barely, barely

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You got pecked

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, I don't think, you know, we need anything special right now; it's just some- just some scratches.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] I- you know-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's your choice, but when a witch pops out of the snow to kill us, is your fault if you die and is not me...

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, that's when I think we need the healin'.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Well, you need the healing so that you're prepared for the witch to pop out of the snow; they don't give you a, you know, warning first.

 

[Zac] but we're walking while we're saying this

 

[James] Yeah. Of course.

 

[Amanda] Yes

 

[James] Of course

 

[Elizabeth] Oh, yes

 

[Zac laughs]

 

[Amanda] We are now walking.

 

[Zac] Crunch crunch crunch. And probably just like a tiny bit faster

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac, laughing] Like, ohh

 

[David] Just pick up the pace just a little bit

 

[Zac] Yeah, we don't want to be where we- where that happened. So we hustle.

 

[James] You hustle

 

[Zac] Let's go

 

[James] You go. As you guys end the near of your first day, you find a small cluster of trees to start making up camp.

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[James] What does- What does camp look like for everybody?

 

[Amanda] Well, I think, ya know, Marge is, uh, going to go find some firewood, just so that way we can cook before we put the fire out because we don't want to leave that burnin' too long, I'm sure, but she's going to put up her hood so she looks like a creature who's supposed to be in this forest rather than a ratfolk walkin' around.

 

[Elizabeth] There's a cute little yeti wandering around?

 

[Zac] So, you look like a mythical yeti, but you look like the tiniest, cutest-

 

[Amanda] I'm a little mythical yeti--I'm like a yeti kid [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] Yay

 

[Zac] I feel like it's still a curious sight, though.

 

[Elizabeth] I love it!

 

[James] One of the things they establish, uh, in Book Two is the process of setting up a camp. In order to establish a camp to provide shelter and building a fire to stay warm, this requires a successful DC 15 survival check-

 

[Amanda] Piece of cake

 

[James] -and an hour of effort. A result of 20 or higher reduces this time to less than an hour. Once a camp is established, characters inside shelters can remove their cold weather gear, study, pray, and rest to recover damage. So, who wants to be camp lead?

 

[David] So, just- Valdeen has a vest of endure elements, so he is not feeling the cold in any way; it doesn't affect him. So, he would tech- he would-

 

[Amanda] Marge doesn't feel the cold, either, with her yeti

 

[David] Yeah, you don't feel it, either

 

[Amanda] but I've got a pretty decent survival

 

[Elizabeth] I feel like Marge is the camp-

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] Sure, sure. I just didn't- I- Valdeen-

 

[Amanda] Being a mom... [laughs]

 

[David] Valdeen's going to help out until everybody else is settled, so Valdeen's not going to set up his own stuff or- make sure everyone else is set up because he's not impacted by it

 

[Amanda] So, everybody roll to aid Marge

 

[Zac] Well, good question: What is Kapa's survival? Because she also--I can see her's being really high.

 

[James] She has a plus eight

 

[Amanda] Oh!

 

[David, laughing] Oh, yeah?

 

[Elizabeth] Oh, my gosh

 

[David] She'd be a good leader

 

[Elizabeth] I feel like Kapa is camp leader

 

[Zac] Like, she has- she has kind of been leading

 

[James] She does this like every week.

 

[Elizabeth and Amanda] Yeah

 

[David] That would make so much sense. Yeah

 

[James] Alright, Kapa's camp leader. Everyone else-

 

[Amanda] We'll roll to aid

 

[James] -roll to aid

 

[Amanda] Oh, what's nice is my aid is a good one

 

[dice roll]

 

[Elizabeth] She gets and aid from me.

 

[James] 'Kay

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[Elizabeth] I- I got an 11.

 

[Zac] Oh! Natural 20 on the aid

 

[Amanda] Uh, Marge rolled an eight, but I have a plus eight to my roll, so I definitely aid, but I give her a plus four instead of the plus two.

 

[James] Did you aid?

 

[Zac] Yeah, natural twenty. Plus five.

 

[James] Two...

 

[Amanda] Plus four from Marge

 

[James] -six

 

[Elizabeth] Two from Vasilisa

 

[James] Eight

 

[David] Two from Valdeen

 

[Zac laughs]

 

[James] Ten. Let's see if Gary can aid, and Hatch and Vrixx

 

[Elizabeth] We're going to set up camp so fucking fast

 

[James] because it's not good so far. Kapa rolled a three.

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth] Oh!

 

[Zac] but she has a plus--you said eight?

 

[James] Ye- We're down two right now. We need another plus two.

 

[Elizabeth] Gary needs to aid

 

[James] So, Gary-

 

[Elizabeth] and then we'll make it

 

[James] Vrixx, or Hatch need to aid.

 

[Amanda] Alright

 

[Elizabeth] Okay. We've got this, guys. We've got this.

 

[Amanda] We can do it, we can do it!

 

[dice roll]

 

[James] One of them aids

 

[David] Alright!

 

[Elizabeth] Oh, thank god.

 

[James] So, we just make 15. It is going to take the full hour to set up.

 

[Elizabeth] Okay

 

[James] There are worse things in life.

 

[David] Sure, sure

 

[Amanda] Yes

 

[Elizabeth] Yeah.

 

[David] It's fine

 

[Elizabeth] It's a little copse of trees; it's hard... We got this

 

[Zac] While we're setting up, my focus is kind of everyone's mental well-being. I'm just kind of checking on everyone slowly one by one, making sure- seeing how everyone's doing, how- is anyone going crazy? That kind of thing. Probably starting with the kids

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Hi, Mister Bolka.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, hello kids.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] How are you?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Good. You're- You're okay, right? Is a fun adventure, yes?

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Yeah. It's- It's alright.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Good. Your mom is doing very good job.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Oh, good.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] It was a bad roll just now, but ignore that.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Yeah, it's okay. She's under a lot of stress.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. Is a lot of that--a lot of us are.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] How are you, Mister Bolka?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, very good.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Good. I like your hair.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Thank you. I-

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] It looks different than normal.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I must- I can tell you secret?

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Oh! Yeah, we love secrets.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] But you cannot tell anyone, especially not-

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] What about- we can tell Mom, though, right?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] No. And especially not Hatch or Vrixx.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Okay.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Um, I had Valdeen do my hair. He did good job.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] He did do a good job. Do you think he would do my hair?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes, perhaps, but I think in secret?

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Okay.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I think he's afraid that maybe Vrixx will make fun of him.

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] That's fair. I'll sneak up on him while he's sleeping and ask

 

[David and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[Zac laughs, says as Bolka] That will end well, I think

 

[laughter]

 

[James, as Orm/Mjoli] Okay. Cool. If anything goes wrong, I'll blame you!

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Valdeen, you should give me your gun again

 

[laughter]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Just in case.

 

[David] Yeah

 

[James] Perfect. Yeah. You guys spend an hour, you get camp set up. Uh, how do you guys want to handle watches at night?

 

[Elizabeth] That's what makes me nervous

 

[Amanda] Because we all know we need that [laughs]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I don't think is important

 

[Elizabeth] We all need- We need two people-

 

[Amanda] We might wanna do-

 

[James] You at the very least need someone to keep the fire stoked

 

[Amanda] Right, and we might want to have two people at a time

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] We need at least two people to be awake at any given moment. First, we have people who do not need to worry about spell casting

 

[David, as Valdeen] Okay

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, okay, maybe

 

[David, as Valdeen] Okay, well that sounds like that's me.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] So, you-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Valdeen

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -and, uh, someone else-

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Gary?

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -who you'd trust to watch with you. Gary is a good choice.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Okay, yeah.

 

[Elizabeth] In Skald, I shall ask [as Vasilisa] Valdeen, do you know enough Skald to converse with Gary if attack happens?

 

[David, as Valdeen] I think this would be a really good opportunity for me and, uh, Gary to practice our Skald

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] You can teach each other languages!

 

[David, as Valdeen] Sure, sure.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, okay

 

[David, as Valdeen] I can teach him a little Common and-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] But do not trust Gary to-

 

[James, as Gary] This sounds good. I- I like this idea.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] We trust Gary to do his own watch, though, right? He could be alone.

 

[David, as Valdeen] No. No, none of us can be alone for watch.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No. Here's the thing Bolka: We have really bad experiences-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -with lone watches. Not good. They are bad idea.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, my goodness. This sounds-

 

[James, as Vrixx] Last time they did that-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Vrixx!

 

[James, as Vrixx] I am not supposed to talk about it

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is okay-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I'm just saying when you bring it up, it makes certain of us want to kill sprites. That is all.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] and so it is for your own good that I remind you-

 

[Amanda] Marge looks down and kind of twiddles her fingers [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -that is bad idea to bring up.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Okay. I was just trying to set the stakes here, but fine. That's-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. Here: Why don't you lean in to Bolka and speak in Sylvan and tell him-

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh, yeah!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -exactly why we need more than one person.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Alright, Bolka. So, last time there was only one person on watch, it was Valdeen and he dropped the ball. [Amanda laughs; James continues as Vrixx] He got a face full of, like, sand, and he was blind and incapacitated, and then everybody else failed to wake up, and it's all Valdeen's fault that they let one of the- the bad guys--you know, one of those evil fey, not like me; I'm totally fine, but like one of them-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, no. You're evil, too.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Yeah, no, well, uh- Hey. One of the other ones came in and, uh, uh- So, Marge, right? [describes] and he points very obviously at Marge, and you all hear him say-

 

[Zac] Bolka looks and nods

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[James] -'Marge'

 

[James, as Vrixx] So, like, there were two of them, right?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Two- Two Marges?

 

[James, as Vrixx] Yeah. Well, one was like- had a penis

 

[laughter]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, her husband who-

 

[James, as Vrixx] Yeah, yeah. Um-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] He died, uh-

 

[James, as Vrixx] Yeah!

 

[Zac, as Bolka] -days ago

 

[James, as Vrixx] Uh, yeah! That night that Valdeen got a face full of color spray from one of those fuckin'-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Evil fey

 

[James, as Vrixx] -worse--worse!--sprites than me. Um, and, yeah, her husband died that night, and ever since then, they don't like to have people be alone.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is fair. So, I will be alone on my watch with the evil fey?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No. I think that is like I am saying--Vrixx does not count as full person. Half person for watch.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Well, here's what I do not know: is there any one, Vrixx, that could possibly show up that, like, would be more powerful than us, that you would be friends with? Like if a White Witch shows up, would you just like side with them and be like 'oh, hey. Good to see you.'

 

[James, as Vrixx] No. Why would I do that?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Eh, because you are self-interested

 

[James, as Vrixx] but you guys are my friends now

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes, but to evil people that matters little.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I just-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I- Vrixx? Vrixx?

 

[Amanda] Good job, Bolka [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think, perhaps, maybe, uh, Vrixx and Bolka should not keep watch together. I feel as though they are bad influences upon each other.

 

[James, as Vrixx] I would- Well, I- Actually, uh-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Vrixx?

 

[James, as Vrixx] I-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Vrixx?

 

[James, as Vrixx] Can-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilis] You are our friend. Yes.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Can I-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] In fact, you're family to Hatch...

 

[James, as Vrixx] Can I- Can I be on watch with, um [describes] and he looks around at everyone [as Vrixx] Uh...Nope

 

[laughter]

 

[James, as Vrixx] No...No...No...

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I'm sorry. It-

 

[James] and he reaches up and touches his ear [as Vrixx] Nope

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It was an accident. I just wanted to blind you. God

 

[James, as Vrixx] Can I- I know I'm evil and have all my self-interest, so, in the interest of, uh, myself, can I be on watch with, uh, either, uh, Valdeen or Bolka?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes

 

[James] And he looks very sheepish about asking.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] No, I would like to-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Vrixx-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I would like to take Vrixx on watch with me.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. Do you also want Hatch? Because if you take Hatch for watch, maybe I can hold Hatch like a snuggle buddy while he sleeps

 

[James, as Hatch] No, I thought we weren't allowed to be on watch together because we'll prank.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] No, not alone together.

 

[James, as Hatch] Oh, okay. Cool.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Goodness.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, then who are you gonna be with, Vasilisa?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I mean, I could be with you or Kapa or Gary or Valdeen. Am I in high demand over here?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Well, you know, you've got Valdeen and Gary's, and then-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay, Valdeen and Gary

 

[David, as Valdeen] Yeah

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] and Bolka and the fey

 

[Amanda, as Marge] And then Marge and Kapa

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Marge and Kapa

 

[Amanda, as Marge] And then it's you by yourself.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] No, but with Hatch. You and Hatch are cute couple.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] He is a nicer domovoi than the ones I grew up with, so...

 

[Zac, as Bolka] So, Valdeen and Gary, Marge and Kapa, Vasilisa and Hatch, Bolka and Vrixx.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilsia] I go at the end with-

 

[David, as Valdeen] That sounds good to me.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay, fine. Yes.

 

[David, as Valdeen] I think- I think we've decided. Let's- Let's, uh, let's get started.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Wait. So, Valdeen-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I'm not forgetting anyone, am I?

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Valdeen and Gary-

 

[David, as Valdeen] Let's set up our dinner.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] -are first watch

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Language barrier, but might be entertaining, yes.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes, okay. Second watch is, uh, Marge and Kapa.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Got the whole twisted backstory lesbian thing

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Yes. Very good.

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Third watch is-

 

[David] Oh, wow

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Bolka and Vrixx?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes, I want to kind of spend some time with this evil fey.

 

[David, as Valdeen] Hmm

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa, whispering] Maybe you ask Ghost to join that watch, too? Wake you up if anyone eats anybody or something?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] You know, I can do that.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa, whispering] Okay, yes. Okay. [clears throat, continues at normal volume] Fourth watch is Vasilisa and Hatch.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Which is adorable. That is very sweet.

 

[David, as Valdeen] And that's- that's eight hours, right?

 

[James] Sure

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Actually... Did I tell you how many goodberries I made?

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, no

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] There are 21.

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh! That's a lot.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] So, that should get us through a few days on the road. In fact, those of you who are hurt right now could eat a goodberry and feel a little bit better, and also that counts as dinner. So, there you go! [describes] We actually might run out of food if we don't supplement because it's a nine-day trip, though.

 

[Amanda] Yeah

 

[David] So, are we sleeping? What are we doing now?

 

[Amanda] We're doing-

 

[Elizabeth] We're doing watch and sleep

 

[James] We're moving into watches

 

[Amanda] Yep

 

[David] Watches

 

[Amanda] So, who's going first? Oh yeah, that's-

 

[Zac] Valdeen and Gary

 

[James] Valdeen and Gary. Valdeen, do you want to have any conversation with Gary? Are you guys just going back and forth, teaching each other words?

 

[David] I- I think we're- we're just teaching basic words and trying to understand each other for a little while, and then also just there's natural pauses just listening and looking around. We're probably checking to see, like- I'll do a perimeter walk

 

[James] Yeah. Give me your, uh, two hour perception check.

 

[David] You got it. 25 for Valdeen.

 

[James] 25 for Valdeen, and Gary gets 13. Uh, you guys don't see anything on your watch. Passes by uneventful. Towards the end, Gary goes and wakes up Kapa and Marge, and you guys head off to your respective tents and-

 

[David] Okay

 

[James] -take off your cold weather gear and cozy in

 

[Elizabeth] With each other? Oh, respective tents... [Amanda and Zac laugh; Elizabeth continues] Sorry. Sorry.

 

[James] Respective tents, yeah

 

[David] Yeah. I have my own tent.

 

[James] Kapa and Marge, how's your guys's watch go?

 

[Amanda] I don't know that Marge would be particularly conversational, unless Kapa wants to ask questions?

 

[James] Kapa is just working on some needlepoint.

 

[Amanda] Okay.

 

[Elizabeth] I want to know what Kapa is needlepointing

 

[Amanda] Not great: 14 for Marge.

 

[James] And pretty low for Kapa

 

[Amanda groans]

 

[James] But nothing- nothing happens on your guys's watch. It all goes by, uh, pretty easily.

 

[Amanda] Okay.

 

[James] Um, at the end of your two hours, you guys go and you-

 

[Amanda] I will wake up Ghost [as Marge] Okay, Ghost. Now, you know, stay with Bolka. See Bolka there?

 

[James makes weasel noises]

 

[Amanda, as Marge] Oh, just let me know if anything goes on. [describes] and then I can roll for Ghost and-

 

[James, as Kapa] Uh, Mister Bolka. Mister Bolka?

 

[Zac] Oh, you're waking me up

 

[James, as Kapa] Hello! It is time for your watch.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is time for watch number three. Okay, okay-

 

[James, as Kapa] Yes. You got this, Mister Bolka.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] How's my hair?

 

[James, as Kapa] Uh-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I've been sleeping for like four hours

 

[James, as Kapa] You will- You will- Uh, it will be- No one's gonna look at you. Okay. You're with Vrixx and Ghost and they will not care about your hair.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] You are very kind.

 

[Zac] So, on my watch with Vrixx

 

[James] Yeah

 

[Zac] I'm- I'm looking for signs of potential redemption. Like, I'm gonna hang out with him and see, like, I know he's evil, but I want to see if, like, he's--in the last couple days--is he starting to change at all?

 

[James] So, that's interesting that you asked that because Vrixx was actually looking to try and talk to you or Valdeen on their watch, and Vrixx will actually like bring it up with you and he's like [as Vrixx] Hey, so, you're like good, right? Like, you're a- you're what these people would consider to be like a good guy, right?

 

[Zac] And Bolka winks at him and like makes the halo appear over his head [magical sound]

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh, shit. So, you're like super good. Oh, perfect. So, like, they keep calling me, you know, evil, and I don't- I don't really like that. I- I get it. Like, in my own interest and, yeah, I'm gonna protect me, but like, is it evil that, like, I would kill somebody to like protect them?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, no. That is- That is different.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Cause, like, I don't know, maybe if like someone threatened them, I'd, like-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] That does not-

 

[James, as Vrixx] -kick their ass or something

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yeah, no. Kicking ass and killing is not necessarily the evil part; it is not having the ability to care about others.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh!

 

[Zac, as Bolka] So, if you are- if you do care about someone else, then that is the opposite

 

[James, as Vrixx] I mean, like- Hatch is like a good guy and he's always been kind of a narc, but like, I see the way they treat him, and I'm kind of jealous about it, and I think it's because Hatch is like kind and nice, and I think I want to be more like that. I'll mess someone up if they like make fun of you or any of these long lanky fuckers, but like yeah, I'll- I don't want them to get hurt.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] It's all about motive and intention. So, if it's because you actually care about these other living things, then that is not an evil place to be coming from.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Huh.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Perhaps you are not hopeless?

 

[James, as Vrixx] This whole thing is pretty hopeless. I mean, you guys are going up against the fucking queen [laughs]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Ah, yes. No, but I mean like your soul- your soul

 

[James, as Vrixx] I'm happy with like dying for that, I guess.

 

[Elizabeth, whispering] Fey don't have souls

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, that's right; fey don't have souls. I guess I meant soul as kind of a metaphor anyway; like, how you are acting as an entity, as a being on Golarion.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Yeah. I mean, like, I just- I don't like it when bad things happen to these people, and, like-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] That sounds like compassion!

 

[James, as Vrixx] -I would be sad if like the little rat children died.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] That does not sound evil.

 

[James, as Vrixx] What if I also want to like tie Vasilisa's shoelaces together because she cut off one of my ears?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] That sounds like almost a not even proportionate response; it sounds like less than proportionate response.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh! So, you're saying I should cut off one of her ears and that would be okay?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Well... but, they- See, the problem is, her ear is much bigger, so that- you get into another inequality situation...

 

[James, as Vrixx] What about like her earlobe?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes. I think is more fair.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Okay. [Amanda laughs; James continues as Vrixx] You have a knife I could borrow?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I have- Wait, no, no! We should not do this. We should not do this.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh. Well, no! Because it's good, right?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I have a dagger, but, um...No

 

[James, as Vrixx] I'll borrow your dagger, I'll cut off her earlobe, and that's a good trade!

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I am having trouble arguing with the logic of this...

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[David] Wow.

 

[Elizabeth] Vasilisa is going to kill either Bolka or Vrixx; it could go either way right now!

 

[Zac laughs]

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I think, perhaps, though, uh, Vasilisa might not share your sense of equity, and mi- might not think this is such a fair deal. She probably will just kill you. Now, is-

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is good to know that you are feeling compassion, but uh, I think right now half the party probably thinks we'd be better off without you?

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] So, I would still be careful. Tread lightly, as they say. Maybe wait on the ear slicing.

 

[James, as Vrixx] So- Well, then, but if they all don't like me-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] No, some of them do.

 

[James, as Vrixx] Yeah, but, like- like half of them, right? I mean-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Well, I think that like the jury is out, you know what I mean? Like, no, we have not made a solid decision on if you are going to betray us and cause us great problems-

 

[James, as Vrixx] Oh

 

[Zac, as Bolka] -in the future, or if you are actually going to be helpful. You seem to be being helpful, but this is a very guarded group.

 

[James, as Vrixx] So- So if I'm more helpful, they will know that I don't want to betray them, and that I would betray other people I've known for them?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] I suppose they did ask you to be a betrayer, in a sense

 

[James, as Vrixx] Like, if I had to like kill one of the other sprites that I like shared a closet with

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is-

 

[James, as Vrixx] -they would- they would like to know that?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is not so much who you kill, is-

 

[James, as Vrixx] They would- They would want me to stay around if I would kill for them?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Is only about your motivations and intentions-

 

[James, as Vrixx] My-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] You're not just a machine of murder

 

[James, as Vrixx] My motivations and intentions are that I want to be part of this group.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, that is very sweet.

 

[James, as Vrixx] and I'm willing to murder to get that.

 

[Zac] willing to kill

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Unfortunately, we do end up having to murder. When I first met you, I detected on you just straight evil. I'm glad that it seems like that maybe is not as strong as it was those many hours ago.

 

[James, as Vrixx] I mean, I see the way that they treat Hatch, and he seems happy, and I don't know if I've ever been happy. Like, he seems that he's enjoying himself and people are nice to him, and he smiles, and the only time I've ever smiled is when my enemies get their comeuppance.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, no. That- That is harsh way to live.

 

[James, as Vrixx] I'd like to feel smiley for other reasons.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] We're from Irrisen. Like, this- this world is very harsh--you know how hard the world can be--and support system sometimes is the only barrier of protection against such a harsh world.

 

[James, as Vrixx] What- What's that?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] People that will- will care about you and look out for you. Sometimes you cannot do everything for yourself.

 

[James, as Vrixx] That's a thing?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yes!

 

[James, as Vrixx] Huh.

 

[Amanda] The redemption of Vrixx

 

[Zac] It all starts with love

 

[Amanda, singing] All you need is love!

 

[Elizabeth and David, singing] ba-ba-da-da-da

 

[Zac] You guys pick the most litigious estates to steal from

 

[Amanda] I know. Can't do the Beatles.

 

[Zac sighs]

 

[David] Cut it! Cut the mic! Cut the mic!

 

[James, singing] All you need is affection!

 

[Amanda and Zac laugh]

 

[James, singing] bum-ba-bum-bum! All you need is understanding!

 

[Zac] Oy...

 

[James, singing] Ba-da-da-da-ba-da!

 

[Amanda and Elizabeth laugh]

 

[Zac] Great Bolka's bosom

 

[David] Okay.

 

[James, singing] All you need is-

 

[Amanda] Smiles!

 

[James, continues to sing] -like-like, like-like, like-like! Like-like is all you need!

 

[Elizabeth and Amanda laugh]

 

[Zac] Do you want to roll a perception check?

 

[James] Yeah, we should roll perceptions.

 

[dice roll]

 

[Zac] 13

 

[Amanda] Twel- Twel- Ghost only got a 12.

 

[James] Vrixx got a 15. Vrixx is busy contemplating and he's staring into the middle distance ,thinking about his life.

 

[Zac] Is good. I feel like that was a good step, though, for him.

 

[James] Um, and towards the end of your guys's two hours, you see Vrixx go into his little hut, um, for a couple minutes, and he comes out and he goes over and he shakes Vasilisa a little bit [as Vrixx] Hey

 

[Elizabeth] How hard?

 

[Zac] Grabs your earlobe- Just grabs- Just grabs the earlobe

 

[Amanda and David laugh]

 

[James] Imagine- So, it's like- it's like our little puppy son Nova, like, pawing you a little bit.

 

[Elizabeth] Okay. Okay. Vasilisa has been on edge ,so I think she wakes up. [as Vasilisa] What?

 

[James, as Vrixx] Um

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] What's happening?

 

[James, as Vrixx] It's-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Are we under attack?

 

[James, as Vrixx] No. No. It's- It's your turn for watch.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh.

 

[James, as Vrixx] I made you this cup of tea.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I like tea! I like tea better than coffee; thank you!

 

[James, as Vrixx] You're welcome.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Is this-

 

[James, as Vrixx] I hope you have a good watch. I will see you in a couple hours because I respect your personal space and understand that you do not enjoy my company. [describes] and he flies off into his little house and you see the lights turn off in all the separate little rooms one by one.

 

[Elizabeth] Vasilisa would like to do a check to see if Bolka charmed Vrixx while they were keeping watch?

 

[David and Zac laugh]

 

[James] Yeah. Give me a sense motive.

 

[Elizabeth] I would- ahh...

 

[Zac] I would like to think halfway through that, he paused and, like, checked the next card in his hand, and like, uh...

 

[James] Checked his hand...

 

[Amanda] I love your big d20

 

[Elizabeth] Isn't it great?

 

[Amanda] It's great

 

[Elizabeth] 18 plus six is...

 

[James] He seems oddly genuine about it.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] O-kay

 

[Amanda] Which would probably make you pretty uneasy! [laughs]

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] That was- [describes] and she sniffs her tea

 

[James] He doesn't seem charmed or anything, either.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] I think maybe this isn't even poisoned? What is-?

 

[Zac] Isn't even poisoned!

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Bolka, did he- did he spit in my tea? Do you know what is going on?

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, no. Is- This is why I wanted to be on watch with him; he is going- I think he might try to be good soon.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Well-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Less evil? He's trying to be less evil.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay. Well, in that case, I should give him a housewarming present. [describes] and Vasilisa takes out one of her not-magical berries, which is probably big enough that it's like half of Vrixx, and she puts it gently on his doorstep. [as Vasilisa] There. Housewarming present. He can do whatever he wants with that. He tried baking the other day, maybe he makes a berry tart; I don't know.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] That is very sweet of you.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Uh, Vrixx woke me up. Are we waking up Hatch?

 

[James] You look over and Hatch was being used as your pillow.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Yeah, I thought you- That was-

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Oh, Hatch! Oh, Hatch!

 

[James, as Hatch, makes waking up sound] Hrm

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It is our turn to keep watch.

 

[James, as Hatch] Okay

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Bolka, you can use my tent.

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Oh, thank you.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] It's nice and warm from- Me and Hatch kept it quite warm. Toasty.

 

[James, as Hatch] Alright. Here we go.

 

[Elizabeth, as Vasilisa] Okay.

 

[James, as Hatch] Goodnight, Mister Bolka.

 

[Elizabeth] I am going to-

 

[Zac, as Bolka] Have a good watch!

 

[James, as Hatch] Thank you

 

[Elizabeth] I'm going to draw my Harrow card for the day, if it counts as the new day.

 

[James] Yeah

 

[David] Don't do it!

 

[Zac, as Bolka] May the gods not color spray you!

 

[David laughs]

 

[Elizabeth] The Winged Serpent. It's a lawful good card

 

[Amanda] Nice

 

[Elizabeth] of the suit of stars, and it's a pretty winged serpent

 

[Amanda] Mhm

 

[Elizabeth] It's got rainbow wings. So, I actually get- I could add a bonus on my wisdom check today for my Harrowed.

 

[Amanda] Perceptions?

 

[James] Perceptions

 

[Zac] How did your watch- How did your watch go?

 

[die rolls]

 

[James] Hatch got really good

 

[Elizabeth] Speaking of, let's see before I get my result but after I roll if I want to add.

 

[James] Hatch got a 24.

 

[Elizabeth] I'm counting on Hatch; I got a 10.

 

[James] Cool.

 

[Elizabeth] So. It's cold and dark.

 

[James] Hatch does a great job keepin' watch. The rest of the night passes into the morning, and at the end of your watch the sun starts to come up. Everyone is kind of awoken after having a very good night's of sleep, not really interrupted by anything, and you all see the warm morning light start to break over the camp. Day one, officially done, out of nine!

 

[Amanda] Ooo

 

[David] Wow

 

[Zac] Let's go!

 

[James] Okay, so you guys have eight more days ahead of you

 

[Amanda] Yes, yes

 

[James] Um, and we're gonna figure out what those eight days are gonna hold in a future episode of The Dimension Door Podcast!

 

[Music: Closing theme, "Press Start" by MDK Music, plays]

 

[Zac] That is not cool!

 

[David] One day! Aww

 

[Amanda] Wanted one more day-

 

[James] Hey, you know, maybe this night is the most sleep you guys are ever gonna get for the rest of the game!

 

[Elizabeth laughs]

 

[David] Yeah, fair. yeah

 

[James] Cherish it, don't- don't look at 'oh no, what's coming up?'

 

[David] Best night ever

 

[James] Look at 'wow, what a great night we all had'

 

[Zac] I want to go kill a witch, though!

 

[David] Alright

 

[James] Maybe next time, Bolka

 

[Amanda laughs]

 

[Zac] Oh, well, Bolka doesn't want to kill a witch.

 

[James] Oh

 

[Zac] I- Zac wants to kill a witch

 

[James] Maybe next time, Zac

 

[Zac] Alright

 

[Music stops]

 

[James] Thanks for listening to The Dimension Door Podcast. As always, a hearty thank you to our executive producers: Callie Rose and David Lester. Our amazing editor Zac Kreitler is also our resident composer. Our bumper tracks are from MDK music and we use some spell effects from Syrinscape. If you're not listening to it already--and you should be!--check out Severed Fate, our horror themed campaign run by Amanda. The lovely Elizabeth has been working diligently on transcribing our episodes. Transcripts for this episode will be live soon on our website. And don't forget there are plenty of ways to support us! Simple purchases of our dope merch, supporting us on Patreon for bonus content, using our affiliates (Metallic Dice Games and Alchemist’s Fire Barbecue) with promo code DIMENSIONDOOR, and the simplest of all: leaving a review on Podchaser. For more details on all of this and more, check out our show notes!