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Campaign 2, Episode 6: The Howling Mines

Below is the full transcript of Campaign 2, Episode 6: The Howling Mines. This episode courtesy of the these fantastic Critters:

Transcription: @amaranthinefae, @olivarcher, /u/trisail, yorglow (tumblr), @ossifrageous, @rikkusho, @maxdsterling, @pkeridactyl, @LadySunset2, @theJocelynbee, @likethetrench, @sohighanddry, finnfire, conardpaul, Cesiouscookies (tumblr), @Chaseifer, @ijtreasure, and @aithradia. 

Editing & timesetting: @asingingbadger and /u/elizabethdoesphysics.

Spellings are official, confirmed by Matthew Mercer.

Final SRT files   |     Final TXT files

MATT: Hello everyone, and welcome to tonight’s episode of Critical Role, where a bunch of us nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons.

TRAVIS: Yeah, we do!

MATT: Apparently, someone’s got mail on Drag Race!

LIAM: That was like standing at the dock going, “Three, two, one, jump!” and Travis was the only one who jumped in.

MATT: Yeah, well done though. Welcome guys! Before we jump into tonight’s episode, we have some announcements to get through. First and foremost, returning once again this week, our fantastic partners and sponsor for the beginning of this campaign, D&D Beyond! An awesome Dungeons & Dragons tool to use for your campaigns, whether you be DM or player, and Sam, do you have anything to say about that?

SAM: Hi! Hey, our partner this week is D&D Beyond, that’s They’d like to invite Critters to check out “And Beyond,” the monthly developer update and Q&A session for D&D Beyond. D&D Beyond product director Adam Bradford will share the latest thing the team is working on and answer questions from the community. The next stream will take place tomorrow, the 16th of February, at 11:00pm– nope– 11:00am Pacific. Check it out at and to celebrate, I’m giving out a prize tonight. It’s another contest, all of you can play, and here’s the rules: using D&D Beyond, you have to create a character, right now, a level three character, any character, go!

MARISHA: On our app?

LAURA: What! That’s going to take so long!

SAM: (intense timer countdown song)

MARISHA: Hold on, it’s refreshing! You should’ve given us warning!

SAM: (singing) D&D&D&D Beyond. D&D Beyond! D&D!

LAURA: I did it!

TALIESIN: Aw, damn it!

SAM: What, I don’t see it. It’s there. She did it.

LAURA and TALIESIN: I did it!

LIAM: Sphincter, Sphincter, Sphincter!

SAM: Oh, you know what? I don’t know how to call it!

LAURA: I have 138 hit points?

SAM: Wow! Wait, at a level three character? No, she’s level 15!

TALIESIN: Callous, 25 hit points! Already done, right there!

SAM: All right, Taliesin wins. See how easy it is to create a character with D&D Beyond?

TALIESIN: A level three blood hunter earth elemental.

SAM: I’ll give you a hint: your prize is attached to my mug.


TALIESIN: Wait, wait, wait! No, leave it! Put it back, I want to do this properly.

SAM: What’re you doing?

TALIESIN: Lift, lift, lift.


MARISHA: Do you just–

TRAVIS: You hit Randomize Your Character.

SAM: Do you see how easy it is? We all created a character in, like, 25 seconds!

LAURA: This random character that I just created is really fucking cool.

TALIESIN: I’m actually really impressed with this fucking character.

LIAM: Aw, I don’t want to have Sphincter next to Caleb now!

SAM: Wait, you really named it “Sphincter?”

LIAM: Yes. That’s the name I gave them! That’s as far as I got! Delete. Oh, there goes Caleb.

TRAVIS: What is your name? Panalanalam– Pana–

MARISHA: Panlanann.

TRAVIS: There are four “N’s” in that name.

MARISHA: I am Panlanann, the wood half-elf blood hunter!

SAM: What was yours, Taliesin?

TALIESIN: Callous.

SAM: Callous? What was yours, Laura?

LAURA: I was Alight, a level 15 fire genasi.

SAM: Her name was Alight?

LAURA: Alight.

TRAVIS: I am Eomita Deephollow, lightfoot halfling fighter.

MARISHA: Dude, my abilities are balls, though. I have a five dex and a four wisdom. That’s sad.

MATT: We’re using those characters for the next campaign.

TRAVIS: No, no, no! No!

MARISHA: Wait, you got dope stats!

TRAVIS: Because I’m awesome.

MARISHA: Look how fucking crap these are!

TRAVIS: You’re in big trouble.

MATT: Thank you very much, Sam, congratulations Taliesin, and thank you D&D Beyond for being our sponsor. Quick reminder to those of you who have an Amazon Prime account, you can get a free subscription to the Twitch channel by going through your actual– yeah, you do it through Twitch! You link your Amazon Prime account to your Twitch name and you are able to subscribe to one channel for free a month. If you have not subscribed and you want to have the VODs available to you before they go up on Youtube, that’s the way to do it, for no additional charge. Check it out. Talks Machina–

LAURA: Sam, stop touching my shit. Look at that! He rolled ones, ones, and ones!

LIAM: Kids!

LAURA: I’m sorry. Sorry, Matthew.

MATT: It’s okay. We haven’t started yet, so technically it’s a buffer. Talks Machina, next Tuesday at 7:00pm Pacific. We’ll be here on Twitch and Project Alpha where our host, Brian W. Foster, will discuss what happens and transpires in this episode tonight, so check it out next week on Tuesday. The podcast of last week’s episode is available for download, so those of you who missed last episode or want to listen to it on your drive or commute, or you just like the audio to create your imagination-scape, last week’s episode is available to download now wherever finest podcasts are located to be downloaded. Any other major announcements from you guys?

LIAM: A little thing that is totally improvised. A couple of weeks ago, a Critter named Courtney– forgive me if I’m getting that wrong– She tweeted a picture of her with this scarf that she was making for Caleb, and she made the hashtag #ScarvesForCaleb and then people started talking about it. I retweeted because I thought it was awesome, and they came up with the idea to make scarves for Caleb– But not for me– to give to shelters: Homeless shelters, to veterans, to anyone who needs scarves or hats or mittens. I think it’s a great idea, and you would make me happy. This is beautiful, I love it, thank you, but don’t pile me up in scarves. Send them to people who need them. I just think it would be a nice thing to do.

MATT: That’s awesome guys, I love it. Once again, 826LA, our fantastic charity we’ve been supporting from the very beginning of this show, almost three years ago now. They do fantastic work. If you ever have the opportunity to give your time to it, or want to help donate, or at least look up and see what they do, I recommend you do it, they are fantastic, so thank you guys. Unless anybody else has anything else to interject, I believe it’s time for us to jump in to tonight’s episode of Critical Role.

[click, TV static]
[groovy Critical Role theme]

MATT: Welcome back. You guys are getting sloppy. Welcome back. Last we left off, our gathering of friends have been traversing northward along the amber road, with the distant destination of Zadash, one of the larger cities of the Dwendalian Empire as your destination. Upon traveling, you passed a caravan, spent an evening amongst trees, where you found a wayward cluster of wandering buffalo-like creatures. You continued northward for a second day, rushed on past sunset to rest in the city of Alfield, a small farming town that’s along the way to Zadash. However, upon noticing that some of the buildings in the eastern side of town began to light up with flame, you began to approach rather rapidly, seeing members of the city, citizens fleeing and screaming, and there seemed to be some sort of attack. Upon going into the town, you realize that a number of these buildings are being set fire by an incursion of gnolls. You were immediately brought in by Watchmaster Bryce, who offered to pay you for each set of gnoll ears that were brought to them, and you jumped into the fray, managed to kill quite a few, many of them still left with their quarry it seems, which happened to be quite a number of bodies and/or citizens still living, that were dragged off into the ashen and cloud-covered night. Upon returning, many of you bruised, beaten, and at one point in danger of worse, you were given an evening’s rest at the Feed and Mead Tavern, and were told, if you were interested in pursuing future coin in helping with the current conflict nearing the city, to meet Bryce out by the Broad Barn.

ALL: The Broad Barn.

LAURA: That’s why I wrote Broad Barn down.

MATT: That is why.

LIAM: I wrote “Rod Barn.”

MATT: That’s a different place entirely. You guys all bundled up into a singular room above the floor of the Feed and Mead. Found yourselves exhausted, passed out, and got an evening’s rest, so you’ve all gotten a long rest. You’ve healed up. You’ve recovered your abilities. As the uncomfortable warmth of the morning kicks in, with your small room and number of warm bodies encompassing a very tight and not very drafty space. The partially humid early hours draw you from consciousness. You all begin to stretch your sore muscles and decide what endeavors await you with the new day. What do you guys want to do?

LAURA: What do you guys want to do today?

TRAVIS: That bed was not my favorite.

LAURA: I liked it.

TRAVIS: Little stiff.

MARISHA: You should try sleeping on the floor. It’s actually really good support.

TALIESIN: It’s good for your back, it’s really true.

TRAVIS: You use a pillow, or are you just on the floor?



TRAVIS: Do you have to pray over your swords, or anything this morning?

TALIESIN: No, everything’s fine. They just do what they need to do. I just have to keep them clean.

TRAVIS: Yeah, well we were sharing a room one night, and Molly has a ritual. I think it’s part of his custom. Yeah, he performs over his swords.

TALIESIN: I have to take care of them or else they’ll stop working, of course.


LAURA: Do they need to feed?

TALIESIN: They do actually, yeah. I’ve got to feed them some, well– it’s complicated. I don’t like to go too deep into it, but I’ve got to use my bloodline on a occasion. Actually, since we’re already on the road I should be honest, I wasn’t entirely telling the truth when I talked to you that night.

TRAVIS: No! Stop it!

SAM: You seem so honest.

TALIESIN: Oh, you’re just a bundle of truth too, aren’t you?

LIAM: What is a bloodline?

TALIESIN: I suppose it’s only fair. I did tell you that these swords are special, and that they use the blood of my family to activate themselves. I know I might have said I was from a long line of priests, and–

MARISHA: Oh my god, you killed your whole family.

TALIESIN: I didn’t kill my whole family.

MARISHA: Oh, okay. Never mind, keep going. I’m sorry.

TALIESIN: Our family were less the priests, and more the sacrifices. We may have stolen the swords and run. That’s why I’ve been trying to keep a bit of a low profile when it comes to some of the authorities.

TRAVIS: Yeah. I mean, for fear of your life you ran?

TALIESIN: It’s been a long time, but I’d rather not run into them.

LAURA: What gods were you being sacrificed to?

TALIESIN: Oh, I couldn’t tell you. It was my parents, I was just wee by the time that happened.

SAM: Is there a roving band of priests that are trying to find you right now?

TALIESIN: Oh, I hope not. I mean, it’s been a long time.

MARISHA: Where’s home? Where is this place that you stole–

TALIESIN: My parents never spoke of it. Somewhere out east.

LIAM: You got to the circus from that, how?

TALIESIN: Well, it was a bit of a mess but, I just ended up there eventually. Just looking for a place where I could rest, I suppose?

LIAM: That’s funny, you gave me an answer, but you didn’t really give me an answer.

TALIESIN: Well, I don’t know you that well.

MARISHA: That’s what he’s been doing this whole time.

TALIESIN: That requires a drink.

TRAVIS: I understand that sentiment. Trying to find a little respite, a little peace.

TALIESIN: It’s a good place to be if you want to run, but not run.

SAM: Are there any others of your family out there on the run?

TALIESIN: Not that I’ve ever met.

LAURA: Was it just your parents and you that were being sacrificed?

TALIESIN: You know, I don’t know. I never thought to ask.

LAURA: Did they want to kill you or just take your blood?

TALIESIN: Apparently they needed us alive for it, so there was that.

LAURA: Oh! So it wasn’t so bad, they just slowly drained you.

SAM: Doesn’t sound that bad. Yeah, they’re not going to kill you.

TALIESIN: So I was told.

MARISHA: Isn’t that what you’re doing to yourself on a daily basis?

TALIESIN: It’s not that bad though, it doesn’t leave a mark really.

TRAVIS: You’re in control of it. You’re using it for yourself?

TALIESIN: Oh yes, of course. It can come in handy.

LAURA: Does it have to be your blood?

TALIESIN: Oh yes. Of our bloodline apparently.

MARISHA: Have you tried any other bloodlines?

TALIESIN: Well I’ve cut a lot of people with them. Would you like to take a run at it? You could be lucky.

MARISHA: I’ll save that for another day.

TALIESIN: I had a funny feeling.

TRAVIS: I’m tempted.

SAM: What about you, Fjord? Are you going to vomit any seawater this morning?

TRAVIS: (retching)

SAM: Oh, watch out!


TALIESIN: Could’ve been worth five copper on the open road at one point.

TRAVIS: I seem to have missed my calling.

TALIESIN: Always could use a circus geek.

MARISHA: How’d you sleep, aside from the crappy bed?

TRAVIS: I know what you’re asking. I didn’t have any other dreams. It was fairly restful.

LAURA: No dreams at all?

TRAVIS: None I care to speak of.

LIAM: Do we think there’s anything left of this town?

TALIESIN: That is a question.

TRAVIS: Anything left?

SAM: It didn’t seem like the whole thing was on fire.

TRAVIS: We couldn’t quite see it at night, that’s true. Maybe we should go down.

LIAM: I would like to take a walk and see what it is we’re out to save.

LAURA: We can steal some things!

LIAM: Maybe we do that second, and first we take a walk.

TALIESIN: How do we get paid? There was talk of pay.

LAURA: I thought we already got paid.

LIAM: We did, but Molly was drinking so maybe he does not remember.

TRAVIS: He said he was going to bring the rest, I think, later.

TALIESIN: I’ve got to say, there’s worse ways to make a living.

LIAM: I counted 60 gold.

TRAVIS: Hey, Molly, didn’t you say Bryce said it would come later?

MATT: Bryce had said if you wanted to continue to help with this then there was more money.

LAURA: Let’s keep helping!

MARISHA: Yeah, I mean, it’s not a bad gig.

LAURA: We could stay here forever and just kill gnolls.

SAM: That was very scary. One of them almost killed me!

LAURA: But think about how good we would get over time.

SAM: That’s true. The 10,000 hour rule?

LAURA: Mm-hmm!

TALIESIN: Nott the gnoll killer.

TRAVIS: Jester, we agreed not to put anyone in harm’s way in an excessive manner.

LAURA: When did we agree that?

TRAVIS: Did we not?

LIAM: I don’t remember that, either.

TALIESIN: I don’t recall making that arrangement.

LAURA: Did we agree to that?

TRAVIS: Maybe I thought that was an unspoken thing.

LAURA: Usually when you agree to something you have to say it out loud. Most of the time. Unless it’s, like– We just agreed to it! You said it, you said it!

SAM: What did you agree to?

LAURA: I can’t tell, it’s a secret! Oh! She’s serious about it, I can tell!

TALIESIN: You’re so good at this.

LIAM: Well, my social anxiety is getting the best of me. I’m taking a walk. Goodbye.

MATT: The door slams behind Caleb briskly making his exit.

LAURA: Do you want a doughnut this morning? It’s a little more stale in the bag, I have to let you know.

TRAVIS: I think I’m fine.

LAURA: Do you want one?

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah. More doughnut for us.

MARISHA: I guess we should greet the town.

TRAVIS: Fair enough.

LAURA: Wait! When did we say we were going to meet Bryce?

SAM: Why are you yelling?

LAURA: I thought they were leaving.

TRAVIS: Actually, I think they’ll find us.

MARISHA: Yeah. Maybe we could just stand in the middle of town and go, “Bryce?” until they show up.

LAURA: In front of Broad Barn.

MARISHA: Okay, I have a question about this Broad Barn thing. Is Broad Barn the name of an establishment, or is Broad Barn a very broad barn?

TALIESIN: It’s a very long barn.

MARISHA: It’s a very big barn?

LAURA: What if it’s a street? We didn’t clarify, did we?

MARISHA: What if it’s a tavern? I don’t know, I got confused in his delivery.

LAURA: I bet we can ask the guy downstairs.

MARISHA: All right, yeah.

TALIESIN: He seemed nice last night.

TRAVIS: We go downstairs.

TALIESIN: I’ll follow for this.

LIAM: It’s a Zork game. We go down the stairs.

MATT: I know, apparently. You head downstairs to the only other real location within the Feed and Mead Tavern. There’s Crute still there off to the side and one very dirty and ashy civilian who is currently slowly scarfing a meal with a thousand yard stare. Looks like they had been close to the action and chaos the evening before. As you walk down, Crute looks across and goes, “I see you’re awake. Would you like breakfast?”

LAURA and TALIESIN: Yes, please.

MATT: “All right. It’ll be about an hour. Because it’s just me.”

SAM: An hour? All right.

MATT: “It’s just me.”

LAURA: Do you want some help? I’ll come help you!

MATT: “Come on!”

TALIESIN: I’ll go in for this if it means a faster breakfast.

MATT: The two of you jump in with Crute in what is a not very well kept kitchen, but functional. The gristle, who knows how long it’s been there. It might add to the flavor, who knows.

TRAVIS: A-rating for the city of Los Angeles?

MATT: We’ll put it at a B in Panorama City.

TALIESIN: Wow, that’s an in-joke.

MATT: You guys go ahead and help out. It does manage to cut down the time for breakfast preparation. Eventually food is presented.

LAURA: After we’ve cooked, I’m going to switch out his salt for his sugar.

MATT: Make a sleight of hand check.

TALIESIN: I want to see if I see this. I don’t, do I?

MATT: You’re too caught up in the meal making.

LAURA: 19.

TALIESIN: Oh, yeah, I definitely don’t see this.

MATT: Neither does Crute, as you manage to do so swiftly. Practiced, as if you’ve done this before in many other establishments in the past, maybe.

LAURA: After we cooked.

TRAVIS: You just give us all diabetes, that’s great.

TALIESIN: The frittatas are going to taste real weird.

MATT: As you guys finish your breakfast, the rest of the day is yours.

MARISHA: What does the town look like when we step out front? How bad is it?

MATT: As you emerge from the tavern– and Caleb, you’ve already seen this– you see that the fires have now been reduced to maybe a dozen wide plumes of gray-white smoke on the eastern side of the city. It rises from the ashes and charred wood remains and wood frames where some buildings used to be. It seemed much more dangerous and chaotic last evening, but looking at it now in the day, it’s no more than maybe a dozen buildings or so that were affected. They were more centralized to cause the most chaos suddenly at that time of night. You get the sense as soon as you look around that the folks of the city are on edge, understandably so. You see the people are trying to pick up their lives and move on in the face of what recently occurred. The very air holds this tension as you look around you. People walk past you with sacks of grain and tools, their eyes wide, darting around for unseen danger and glancing past the two tieflings, immediately, instinctually step back a bit and make a wide berth. You watch children run from doorway to doorway, trying to stay out of the street as long as possible. It seems like it’s trying to carry on, but it’s going to be a process. Some folks are rummaging through the remains of the respective buildings. You glance over near where the central portion of your conflict last night took place, where the Candleglow Tavern is, and there you see, amongst the smoldering rubble of the inn, a single halfling man sifts through the wreckage, a crownsguard helping him lift heavier beams. You see as he plucks what he can of his former life from the rubble.

SAM: Should we go over and talk to him?

LAURA: Sure.

SAM: Do we recognize this person?

MATT: You have not met this person, no.

LAURA: You’re a halfling, too, so maybe you should talk to him.

SAM: I’m not technically.

TALIESIN: I’m going to walk over.

SAM: I’ll join. We’ll just go over and scare the shit out of him.

TALIESIN: Need a hand?

MATT: You can see a halfling man, maybe in his fifth decade or so. He has ashy blond hair and a face cracked by smiling, though now too dour and soot covered to see any sort of smile on his face. As he pulls through some of the rubble and he’s making a small pile on the side, he looks up and goes, “Oh, right. Can I help you?”

TALIESIN: We were part of this commotion last night. We were wondering if you need a hand with anything right now?

MATT: “I mean, if you don’t–”

TALIESIN: I’m taking off my jacket.

MATT: “You don’t have to! Okay, okay.” As you dive in, you spend the next ten minutes helping move through some of the heavier beams that collapsed. There is still somewhat of a structure, mainly of the bottom floor, but a lot of the top floor, the one that you were in last night, has fallen in over time. So it’s moving some of the bigger beams out of the way. As you’re pulling through and moving some of the larger pieces of the structure, the halfling man goes, “I appreciate the help. Name’s Thadeus. Thadeus Candleglow.”

LAURA: Oh, this was your place?

MATT: “It was.”

LAURA: Oh, wow.

MATT: “20 years since I was left this place. Built by my grandpaps, Reedus.”

SAM: Were you here when the attack happened?

MATT: “Oh, I was here. When they all came in, I was gone. I wasn’t about to stay around, you know.”

SAM: Did you happen to see where they came from?

MATT: “Oh, I did not. I was in the process of cleaning dishes and dealing with a couple of my patrons. One of them,” and he points over to the rubble. You can see what looks to be a skeletal body that’s been partially collapsed. “I suppose Leiman’s probably not going to be a regular anymore.”

LAURA: Oh, no.

TALIESIN: You going to rebuild, give him a fine plaque?

MATT: “Rebuilding requires something called money. I think I’m probably going to gather what I can here and shop up north and see what other kind of work I can get myself to.”

LAURA: How much gold do you need?

MATT: “I don’t know. A building establishment like this. I’m not entirely certain, but I could check in. I assume it’s probably a few thousand gold pieces for the structure.”

LAURA: I just had that, too! I’m sorry, I don’t have it anymore. But I could try writing to my mom to see if she’ll help you.

MATT: “That’s really sweet.”

TALIESIN: Or, as another thought, since you were basically robbed, who were they? What happened? Has this happened before?

MATT: “Oh, this hasn’t happened as long as I’ve been here, and I’ve been here most of my life, here in Alfield. You hear about these things wandering on the outside, and you know crownsguard keeps you safe. Anything comes too close, they just shoot them in the face with a bunch of arrows and shit.”

LAURA: I love him so much!

SAM: Thadeus, did they seem to be after anything in particular? Were they here for property or people or gold or food?

MATT: “They didn’t take any of my worthwhile stuff, thankfully.” He points over to a pile and you can see there’s some brass urn or vase that’s been smashed and dented by the conflict. You can see bits and pieces of a few keepsakes that might be worth a little bit of money that have been brought out. “They just mainly took all of our food stores. Most of my meats, most of my salted meats, the dried meats, the fresh meats, the butchered meats. They cleared out the butcher down the street.”

LAURA: Shrimp scampi. Butterflied shrimp.

TRAVIS: Coconut shrimp.

LAURA: Fried shrimp.

SAM: Don’t engage them.

TALIESIN: We’re all going to die now.

MATT: “That’s a real curious looking face you got there.”

LIAM: Excuse me, I saw in the middle of the fray — Sir. Excuse me.

SAM: In halfling, I say to him, I’ve also been a victim of a horrible attack.

MATT: Make a persuasion check.

SAM: Oh, minus. Ten.

MATT: But in Halfling, that helped. “Yeah, sorry. What can I do?”

LIAM: I’m sorry, I was part of the fray as well. I was right in the thick of it. I saw a cart piled high with bodies. Are there people missing from town?

MATT: “Quite a few. You’d have to ask around some of the crownsguard.”

LIAM: How has the rest of the village fared? Is everything as poorly off as you are?

MATT: “I mean, plenty of folks seem to get through this okay. They only took down a few buildings. I’m more worried about the folks that were plucked from their homes.”

LIAM: Is yours the only business that was hit?

MATT: “I haven’t looked around, to be perfectly honest. I’ve been a little focused on–” and he gestures out with his hands at the rubble that was once his life.

TALIESIN: You had a lot of meat, didn’t you?

MATT: “Well, you have to present meat. A lot of people around here eat meat.”

TALIESIN: Would you say that you offer a larger selection of meat than some of the other establishments in town?

MATT: “If you’re asking me, then the best meat. Don’t know about quantity, but quality was (tongue click).”

TALIESIN: I feel like I’ve been robbed of the experience of your fine, fine meat products, and I, for one, would like you to rebuild so that I might try some of your meats.

MATT: “Well, if at some point the gracious gods see fit to bequeath upon me a strike of good luck and I can get to rebuilding, my friend, you may be able to try one of my meats.”

TALIESIN: I’m going to take a look– Is the friend who’s dead skeletonized?

MATT: Oh, yeah, burnt charred.

TALIESIN: Oh, burnt, okay. Where is this butcher that you mentioned as well?

MATT: “Oh that’s–” He steps out through where the doorframe is still standing– The one that you defended yourself through most of that battle, just a free-standing frame now.

MARISHA: Was I in the butcher’s? Because that would be some real horror-level shit.

TALIESIN: I think you were in the barbecue shack.

MARISHA: That’s kind of awesome.

MATT: He points over to a building across the way, which is one of the buildings that was nearby, he says, “That there’s the Ruddy Top Butcher, well, what remains of it,” and you can see that building too. It’s still standing, and it’s nowhere near as damaged as the Candleglow Inn, but it’s sustained quite a bit of damage, and it looks like the roof has fallen in.

LIAM: I’m sorry, Mollymauk, another question for you: Is there maybe– I hope it is still standing– but a supply store?

MATT: “Yeah, if you’re looking for farming supplies, general supplies, there’s–”

LIAM: I’m sorry, I’m in the need of some incense.

MATT: “Oh, you could probably find something like that there, The Broad Barn.”

LAURA: Oh! It’s a store!

MARISHA: Question answered. I’m sorry, I’m standing by Fjord. Question answered!

TALIESIN: It’s like half a question, because you’re wondering why it’s called that at this point.

LAURA: I bet it’s big.

TALIESIN: At least wide.

MATT: “At one time it was a barn, but the farm stopped giving up crop, and so they converted the barn itself into what was a general store, because they started selling off the tools they didn’t need, but that made them more money than the crops did that year, so we started importing more tools, and the past 30 years has the Broad Barn has been our commonly known general supply place there on the western side of the Alfield, so if you want to–”

SAM: This is really fascinating.

LAURA: Wow, this is really good talk that we’ve had.

MATT: “Of course.”

TRAVIS: Did you just out-talk Jester?

LAURA: I think I’m going to go look for the Broad Barn

TALIESIN: That’s an idea. Don’t pack up shop just yet, we’re going to see if we can do something about those terrible creatures that have been roaming around.

LAURA: Maybe we’ll find all of those thousands of gold for you, and you can build your shop back up.

MATT: “Well, y’all look like you’re geared up to be making a mess. You going after these things?”

TALIESIN: We are, perhaps, persons of action.

LAURA: We’re really tough. We have no fear.

MATT: He leans in real close to you, getting on his tippy toes to meet your gaze, and he says, “Well, if you manage to go and kill some of them dog people, you tell them, Thadeus Candleglow says hi.”

LAURA: I will.

MATT: “Thank you.”

TALIESIN: She really will.

MATT: “Good.”

LAURA: Here. It’s a moldy doughnut. Be well, child, the Traveler is with you.

MATT: “I’m not a child, but I appreciate the gesture.”

LAURA: You know my name! I leave.

MATT: “Gesture. Her name’s Gesture!”

TALIESIN: It is a gesture, like Prince.

MATT: The adventurer formerly known as Jester. He takes a bite, and (spitting).

LIAM: Also, I’m sorry, just between you and me, I know the look on your face a little bit, you seem a little manic. If you have friends you can stay with right now, you know you don’t have to rebuild it today. I recommend you take it slow.

MATT: “I don’t think I have much of a choice at the moment.” He gives a long stare towards you that fades past a little bit beyond. “Anyway, I should get back to picking up the pieces. Excuse me,” and starts gathering more stuff from the rubble, and the crownsguard behind goes over and takes the things he’s already gathered, and begins putting them into a small crate, and doesn’t engage.

MARISHA: While they were having that conversation, I’m hanging back with Fjord, if you’re cool with that.


MARISHA: Question: If you were a crazy, ravenous, dog humanoid person thing, what would make you really hungry all of a sudden? I didn’t phrase that question very well.

TRAVIS: No, I knew where you were going with it, though. How do we ring the dinner bells, is what you’re saying. How do we get them to come to us?

MARISHA: Yeah. It seems like they’re into meat? Kind of anything.

TRAVIS: Well, they done took it all, I think.

MARISHA: Also, they’re really hungry, more so now.

TRAVIS: Why more so now?

MARISHA: I don’t know. Why more so now?

TRAVIS: Well, they took all the Luby’s Cafeteria with them, so I don’t think they’re going to be hungry for a bit.

MARISHA: But what if they are still hungry?

TRAVIS: Then, we would need to roast some meats.

MARISHA: You know who else was really hungry out of fucking nowhere?


MARISHA: Big angry toad man. Devil toad guy. I feel like I should get better names for all these things.

TRAVIS: Yeah. He was hungry all of a sudden?

MARISHA: I don’t know. I mean, it might be a coincidence.

TRAVIS: You think that some of them gnolls had some fiendish qualities perhaps?

MARISHA: Well, considering some of them were undead.

TRAVIS: Right, shit.

MARISHA: There was that whole zombie gnoll thing.

TRAVIS: I forgot all about that.

MARISHA: Yeah. How could you forget that?

TRAVIS: I had some weird dreams. What did you have in mind? Other nights.



MARISHA: I legitimately didn’t understand what you said.

TRAVIS: Oh, nothing, I got shit in my teeth.

MARISHA: Are you okay?

TRAVIS: Yeah, fine. Did you have a plan? Did you want to do something to wrangle them–

MARISHA: I was just striking conversation.

TRAVIS: Oh, sorry. Well, maybe we’ll follow them to the Barn Broad.

MARISHA: Okay, let’s go to the Barn Broad.

TRAVIS: Broad Barn. I was fucking with you.

MARISHA: I was going along with you.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that’s all right.

TALIESIN: When did we hire Tom Stoppard to write this?

MATT: I know. Seriously.

TALIESIN: I couldn’t deal.

MATT: Where are you guys off to?

LIAM: To the Broad Barn.

MATT: You were told it was on the western edge of town, and since most of the city is built on two intersections of main road, you follow the core essential east to west path, and on the way out, where you first entered last night, even though you just ran past it, you can see there is indeed, right on the edge of town, almost like the town was built to fill the gap in between, a very large barn that looks to have hundreds and hundreds of feet of coiled rope on the outside. The doors are wide open and you can see a number of folks are coming in and out, many of them with cleaning supplies, heavy pieces of cloth, buckets, whatever can be used to start getting rid of the remaining black splash and ashy covering of last night’s destruction. You also notice as you approach on the outside, there’s a bit of commotion. You see a dozen or so crownsguard, and a handful of armed volunteers that all appear to be in regular civvy farmer clothing, that are all gathered in a loose huddle, with Bryce among them. You hear a loud grating voice from within that huddle. As you approach from the outskirts, you see a middle-aged male gnome of ruddy complexion and slicked parted dark hair. He wears very clean maroon and gold robes, and that would lend an air of elegance, were he not hopping around and pointing fingers. You see as he starts shouting between the crew, waving his hand around, “Without any warning, it was your job, Bryce! With Ruben cold dead, that leaves no Lawmaster to preside, forcing me to take that position as well. I do not need that added responsibility, but until we get a new Lawmaster instated from Rexxentrum, I have no choice.” Bryce pipes up at this point, glancing over and seeing you guys’ presence, “Starosta, I’ve sent a request to both Zadash and Bladegarden for a supplementary force, but it may be weeks before any would arrive. Can we send trained hands at my approval to retaliate?” At which point, the Starosta, which has now been identified, “We cannot spare any of our forces while the surviving guard are drawn so thin. Out of the question! Maintain a vigilant perimeter and deflect any further incursions.” Bryce nods slowly, “Can we at least have permission to hire mercenary strength to retaliate, then? I feel not being proactive before the gnoll force can fully regroup can put us at a severe disadvant–” at which point is cut off by the Starosta, “Yes, that’s fine! Hire outside! I don’t want any more of my citizens’ deaths on my record. Dismissed!”

MATT: He immediately pushes through the crownsguard and storms off, which is hilarious to watch a gnome storm out of a group of people, and off with a huff is escorted by three crownsguard from behind, out of that space. The crowd begins to murmur and disperse, and go about their business. Bryce turns and smiles at all of you. They’ve washed up from last night’s damage and dirty conflict, so as they approach–

MARISHA: I turn to Jester, and I go, look inviting. Look heroic.

MATT: “I’m deeply sorry about that. Starosta Kosh is high strung on a holiday, and tensions have never been this high since he was assigned here eight years ago, so please don’t take that to heart. He’s just a–”

LAURA: Dick.

MATT: “Your words, not mine.”

TRAVIS: Seems some people handle pressure better than others. He doesn’t seem like the handling type.

MATT: “No. Those in higher political positions rarely do, it seems. Anyway, I want to thank you all again for your aid last night. I can’t fathom the further death toll, had you not been there and jumped in selflessly as you did. Thank you.” Bryce trails off and looks back towards where Starosta Kosh had stormed off and goes, “Fucking Dwendalian political bullshit. We’ve needed a more trained guard here for weeks, especially with Xhorhas bleeding into the valley, but we’re far too south to matter. Any request has been declined due to all necessary forces being needed at the garrisons by Brokenveil. If they were doing their jobs at the Bluffs, we wouldn’t have so many reports of violent beasts in the valley in the first place, but here we are. At least I’ve gotten approval for a bit more cash. To that, while I do not know what your business here is in Alfield, if you are still interested, we are in need of some skilled mercenary work.”

LAURA: We’re going to kill all of them!

TRAVIS: We couldn’t help but overhear that you were asking for some aid. How long were you thinking you might need these replacements?

MATT: “Well, until at least this threat has been dealt with in a satisfactory way. I’ve unfortunately not had my scouts returned after they were sent the night before, which has not bode well, but I suspect that we should see some sort of hopeful backup sent by Zadash or Bladegarden the next week or two. In the meantime, we’re a bit of a sitting duck scenario, so I’ve sent a few guards to go to Zadash to see what other mercenaries could be sent forward. We do have some folks traveling on the road and will keep an eye out to see if anybody else is looking for some coin, but for now, you are our first line of defense. Or offense, if you will.”

TRAVIS: Well, I think I speak for all of us, we’re certainly up for the task for a bit. Well, maybe for a little less than a bit. Can I ask, are there any other threats to this town, besides those gnolls?

MATT: “Oh, there are plenty of threats. Let’s see, famine, syphilis–”

TRAVIS: Things that come on legs and with weapons, I mean.

LAURA: Syphilis can come with legs–

TALIESIN: I feel like that was worth pointing out.

TRAVIS: Why do both of you know that?

MATT: “You’re not wrong.”

TALIESIN: Tiefling thing.

MATT: “This backwards place has its fair share of issues, as I’ve come to learn as being not from the region, but it seems to me that nothing on this scale has quite assaulted in some time. I mean there have been wandering rumors of terrible things and creatures wandering past the Xhorhas border for as long as the Dwendalian Empire has been around. It’s the whole reason that the garrison’s up north. But this far south, generally the guard can keep things at bay. This is a very organized thing, I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.”

TALIESIN: It’s new then?

MATT: “Well, this is new. Nothing on this scale.”

TALIESIN: It seems, from what we’ve seen, that they were hungry.

MATT: “I’ve done a bit of research overnight, and it seems that gnolls are known to be very aggressively hungry creatures. Could say famished to the point of obsession.”

LAURA: I feel their pain.

TALIESIN: I can understand that.

LIAM: So you wish to hire us. How much? We are very experienced, but we’d like to know what we’re talking about in advance. What kind of money are we talking about?

MATT: “The deal stands. 30 gold per gnoll ear, proof of a dead gnoll. If you can recover any of the missing townsfolk here in Alfield and bring them back safely, I’d be willing to pay 25 gold a head, returned.”

SAM: What if we find a dead body and bring it back?

LIAM: Is there some lesser number for those?

MATT: “There is, because even if they are gone, we would wish to bury those we’ve lost. I could probably muster ten gold per retrieved member of the Alfield citizenry.”

LAURA: Specifically their heads, too?

MATT: “Preferably all of them. Whatever you can find.”

LIAM: It is permissible, is what they’re saying here.

MATT: “Seeing what these creatures did last night, I don’t know what state you’ll find any of of them, but I’m being hopeful.”

TRAVIS: Do you know what area they might have gone to?

MATT: “They seemed to be heading east, to a northeast direction. That’s where the scouts went before they left. I wish I had more information for you, but that may be the place to start.”

LIAM: Could you tell us at least what the landscape is like in that direction, what is over there?

MATT: “There are some spotty woods on the outskirts of the town, that Alfield was built into. Beyond that, it’s rolling hills and fields. There are some older, long grown-over settlements that have been abandoned. Small scale, but honestly, beyond here it’s mainly fields.”

LAURA: I bet we can find some ghosts.

TALIESIN: I always love a ruin.

MATT: “If I might offer some advice: If you do see a ghost, don’t engage.”

LAURA: Do you know where they are? So we know how to steer clear.

MATT: “My dear, there are ghosts everywhere in this world. It’s far more ancient than you assume.”


MARISHA: Bryce, some of these gnolls were undead, or raised from the dead. Do you have any inkling as to why, or have you seen that problem around here before?

MATT: “I don’t know as to why, but it’s not uncommon, from what I could ascertain. Whatever dark powers they worship, it seems allows some to progress beyond death. Rumors are that when gnolls go hungry and left to feed on each other, what remains rises to fight alongside those that still live.”

LAURA: That would be why some of them have chunks missing out of them.

LIAM: This comes from research you have done, that you have read up on? Would you be able to share this reading with me, so that we are fully prepared?

MATT: “Honestly, I just shared with you most of all that I had learned.”

LIAM: Just a small book.

TRAVIS: More of a pamphlet, actually.

MATT: “The only other bit of information I was able to pull from that was, they have this thing, this entity that they worship. It has a name.” Pulls out a few small notes.

LAURA: Fire hydrant.

SAM: Does it start with an A? Sometimes if you go down through the alphabet, A, B–

MATT: As you’re saying this, they pull a small series of notes from their pocket. “Yeenoghu.”

SAM: With a Y? That would have taken forever.

MATT: Let that be a lesson, young halfling.

LIAM: With a Y? Yeenogru?

ALL: Yeenoghu.

MATT: “I don’t know how to pronounce it, I only read it. I apologize.”

TALIESIN: Do I know anything about Yeenoghu?

MATT: Make a religion check. With advantage.

TALIESIN: A religion check? 18.

MATT: It sparks a memory in you. Information floods your mind, and you recall hearing about various demonic leaders of the Abyss. Creatures that once walked the prime plane. You see images of this large, bestial, feral, angry demon. Ever-hungering, ever wandering to conquer and devour in its wake, leaving destruction, fetid meat, and waves of yipping, angry hyenas to devour what was left behind.

TALIESIN: Thank you.

LIAM: Sorry, another question. May I call you Bryce?

MATT: “Of course.”

LIAM: Bryce. We were just about to go inside the barn here and get outfitted for this– for many things, but especially now that we are going to go take care of this problem. Do you have any sort of pull with these people? Might we get any friendly–

TRAVIS: Advance?

LIAM: No. Well, sure, but I’m talking about some sort of discount for getting ready for the road. We’re not that flush.

MATT: “It’s not so much about that, more than these aren’t well-to-do people in their own right, and right now, honestly, rebuilding–”

LIAM: It’s asking a bit much, I was too forward.

MATT: “That’s all right. But you, as I know quite well from personal experience, have some coin to your name. Perhaps that will be of aid to you.”

LIAM: Yes.

TALIESIN: One last quick question, though. What do the gnolls normally eat?

MATT: “As far as I could tell, whatever living things they can get their hands on.”

TALIESIN: Those buffalo creatures that we see roaming around?

MATT: “Probably.”

TALIESIN: Good to know.

MATT: “I will say, if there are any surviving captives, then haste is very much key. For if they are as hungry as they seem, regardless of the massive volume they have acquired through the evening, I know not how many their number is, or how hungry they are. Take too long, there may not be much left to find.”

LAURA: We’ll get this stuff and head right out.

LIAM: Sorry, my curiosity gets the best of me, always. You are talking about buff– “buffaro” creatures, or something? We saw these beasts on the outskirts of town. They look brown-furred, beast of burden-type creature? Do you know what those animals are?

MATT: “Right, yes. The valley aurochs.”

LIAM: Valley aurochs? Got it, thank you. All right, we should get ready for the road. Walking into the store.

LAURA: Was it hit at all? Was the store that we’re going into destroyed at all?

MATT: “No, this was far enough west. It was mainly just a few buildings in the eastern side. Coming from where the woods were, it seemed like they were using cover of tree and canopy upon the incursion, then immediately assaulted partway into the eastern part of the city, burned it from the middle, and then used the flames to escape out the back. What were you about to say?”

MARISHA: (gasps) Bryce?

TRAVIS and MARISHA: (exaggerated coughing)

MATT: “Yes? Are you all right?”

MARISHA: Sorry, a lot on my mind. Speaking of the aurochs, I asked you yesterday if any of the farmers had had their cattle hit? You heard that yet?

MATT: “I could ask around. It does happen on occasion.”

MARISHA: It’s fine. We’ll ask on our way out. It’s good.

TRAVIS: Hey, Caleb?

LIAM: Yeah?

MATT: “If you’ll excuse me, I do have something to get to. But good luck and godspeed.”

LAURA: Have fun dealing with the dick.

MATT: “I’ll do my best.” Bryce turns around and leaves.

LAURA: Did I recognize Starosta Kosh? Did he seem like the type that would have made a little side trip down to– because he seems like the type.

TRAVIS: Was that a character-DM side joke?

MARISHA: I know; I feel like I learned something.

MATT: Make an intelligence check.

TALIESIN: I’m filing, I’m going to put a wall between that.

SAM: I can’t read your dice at all.

LAURA: Intelligence, 18.

MATT: The robe coloring is what caught you, and the hair. The specific slicked and parted comb. You have seen this individual before. You were younger. Maybe eight or so years ago. Eight or nine years.

LAURA: Good to know.

TALIESIN: You’re just made of secrets, aren’t you? Just made of secrets.

TRAVIS: Caleb.

LIAM: Yeah?

TRAVIS: In my personal holdings– I don’t really remember who put this there– but apparently I have five sticks of incense that I have no intention of using.

LIAM: Oh yeah?

TRAVIS: Will that do you any good?

LIAM: Well, that would be worth about– how much, DM?

MATT: What does this incense come from?

TRAVIS: I think it was part of a thing. I don’t know.

LIAM: A pack or something?

TRAVIS: It’s D&D Beyond. I don’t know.

MATT: Oh, so it’s part of the adventuring pack, then.

TRAVIS: I think so, yes.

MATT: It would be negligible by comparison. I’d say maybe, at most, five silver’s worth. At most.

LIAM: That is really very–

TRAVIS: Changed your day, didn’t it? Everything’s coming up flowers now.

LIAM: Yes, this has helped me immeasurably.

TRAVIS: Don’t mention it.

LAURA: Wait, wait. How much incense do you need?

LIAM: Well, it depends on how much I want to do with it. I want my cat back. But I was in the realm of 15 or 20 gold I’m going to spend here today, if they have that much.

LAURA: On incense?! And that five sticks was five silver’s worth?

LIAM: Did anyone say that out loud?

SAM: She has a good eye for value.

LAURA: That is a lot of incense to burn.

MATT: Well, there’s a lot of parts to–

LIAM: It’s not a quantity. It is the quality of the incense. And this was top shelf, but I still need more. So, in we go. And then, I say: Thank you, big guy. And I punch him and I walk in.

TRAVIS: As he walks away, I’m like: Ow!


MATT: I think both of you do that, as you both separate.

LIAM: Keep up a good face for two seconds.

MATT: As you walk into Broad Barn, there are five other individuals that are coming through and are picking up thick cloth for cleaning. One person is picking up a few different burn balm kits. On the far end, as they’re checking out, there is an extremely old gentleman with this giant, gnarled tuft of a chin beard that merges with this halo, like a lion’s mane of white hair. He has this really thin, long, crooked nose. Almost like Engywook from NeverEnding Story, but no glasses. He’s trying to keep a smile in the rather dark faces of people that are coming in, with the evening’s events coming around. As you guys walk in and approach, he glances down and goes, “Well. If y’all need something, y’all just let me know.”

SAM: Oh boy. West Virginia.

LAURA: Do you have any pickles?

MATT: “Y’all want pickles?”

LAURA: You seem like the type of place that would carry pickles.

MATT: He leans back and rummages through what sounds like a small paper bag.

LAURA: They come in barrels, usually. You get barrels of pickles.

MATT: There’s a small glass mason jar with two pickles and he goes, “I’m willing to part with these here pickles!”

LAURA: Is it poop in a jar? Or is it pickles?

MATT: No, it’s pickles. It looks like he may have just pulled it out of his lunch.

TRAVIS: Only you would put poop in a jar, Jester.

LAURA: That’s true.

MATT: “I could part with them for around three copper?”

LAURA: That is a good deal, sir, and I will give you the copper.

TALIESIN: Do you need more copper? Are you all right?

LAURA: No, hold on. No, I’ve got copper around somewhere.

TALIESIN: Okay, because I’ll give you two copper if I get one of those pickles.

LAURA: Okay! Here, I pick some lint of one of the coppers that I have.

MATT: He takes the copper from you.

TALIESIN: I pass him the two copper.

MATT: He has the copper from you. Slides forward the pickles and goes, “(laughs) Good deal!”

LIAM: Excuse me. I just inhaled my own spit.

MATT: “Don’t do that! That is not conducive to a lengthy lifetime.”

LIAM: (Speak N Spell voice) I am okay. (as Caleb) I am needing a very fine kind of incense, and I don’t know if that is the type of things this establishment would carry, but it’s very important. Do you have that sort of thing?

MATT: “You want incense? That’s fancy.”

LIAM: I’m sorry, it’s very noisy in the shop. What did you say?

MATT: “It’s really fancy them incense.”

LIAM: Well, look at me. Can you not tell how fancy I am?

MATT: “That’s why I’m curious.”

LIAM: Well. You know, I‘ve been on the road a long time and I’m carrying a smell with me, if you cannot tell.

MATT: “I got incense!”

LIAM: To the point, I like it. I would like to spend about 20 gold worth of incense. Do you have that much? I don’t mean cheap shit.

MATT: “What kind of establishment do you take me for?”

LIAM: Well, it’s a barn, *ja*?

MATT: “Touché.” He wanders away from there and gathers any semblance of anything that could be considered incense to some degree. It’s a massive volume, it’s– when he said quality over quantity, it’s definitely a quantity circumstance. Two big burlap sacks filled with all sorts of fine ground herbs and things that could amount to.

LIAM: I would like to make an insight check to make sure it’s not oregano.

MATT: Go for it.

LIAM: Come on, where’s the druid? That’s what would be for oregano. That’s Vex. This one.

LAURA: But she would know if you were swindling.

LIAM: Perception?

MATT: No, that’ll be insight.

LIAM: Insight? Oh, that’s much better. That is an *elf*.

TRAVIS and LAURA: A what?

MATT: An elf.

LIAM: *Elf.* 11. You just learned something, everybody. It’s 11 in German.

MATT: He seems to be doing the best he can.

LIAM: Good. This is really good. I will give you 17 gold for all this.

MATT: “Deal!”

LIAM: One. Two. (continues counting)

SAM: While he’s counting this out, is there anyone else in the store? Anyone at all?

MATT: At this point, there’s three other people in the store, and they’re slowly filtering out.

SAM: Do I see any little trinkets or anything? Little brass things? Little baby bottles? Anything?

MATT: It seems that most everything they have here– a lot of them are basic pharmacy supplies. There are a few metallic joints that could be used for when you’re tapping a keg. They have some keg taps there. They have– oh my god.

LAURA: You’re such a dick.

LIAM: 16.

SAM: Oh, that one fell.

LIAM: 16. And I push the 16 gold forward.

MATT: (slamming) “I appreciate your patronage.”

LIAM: These are heavy.

TALIESIN: I know this may be a stretch, but do you have maybe any healing potions or anything like that? Or maybe– this might be weird– some kind of poisons maybe?

MATT: “That’s pretty weird. I’m going to say there, sir, I mean you look pretty weird. That’s a pretty weird request. No, we do not carry poisons.”

TALIESIN: For dealing with pests on a farm. That sort of thing.

MATT: “We have insecticides.”

TALIESIN: Think that will work on a gnoll?

TRAVIS: Yeah! Insecticide. Pesticide. Herbicide.

MARISHA: An insecticide generally refers to insects. And we’re talking gnolls.

LAURA: But it’s usually poison you put–

TRAVIS: Have, but you ever chugged a bunch of insecticide? That’s a bad day.

TALIESIN: Stuff is stuff, it’s bad for anybody. I guess.

LIAM: Is it flammable? Do I know if it’s flammable?

MARISHA and TALIESIN: How much is it?

MATT: “For about a vial that big? A silver.”

MARISHA: You’re going to have to use a lot.

TALIESIN: What would that really– If I were to drink that right now, what do you think that will do to me?

MATT: “Well, you may have some real serious shits for a few days.”

TRAVIS: It’s like Visine.

TALIESIN: Wow, really.

SAM: May I examine it?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Okay. I’m going to look at it. Smell it. Look at the fluid. Do I know anything about this chemical at all?

MATT: You do. It’s a very diluted form of acute poison, to the point where it wouldn’t actually affect any larger creature. But if put in a large batch of water used to spray down crops, certain insects– how are they called again? I forget– aphids, things like that would die off.

SAM: Aphids? Oh, that’s nothing. It won’t really do much.

TALIESIN: You know much about these sort of things?

SAM: Sometimes. Not a lot.

TALIESIN: That’s very impressive.

LIAM: Nott, you’re selling yourself short.

SAM: Speaking of– and I’ll ask him for the components to make acid. Does he have that stuff?

MATT: Yeah. In a very Anarchist Cookbook kind of way. He doesn’t sell you acid, but there are the materials available where you could create it.

SAM: Okay. How much for all this shit?


MATT: How many vials worth are you looking for?

SAM: Just one.

MATT: Just one? “This will run you about 12 gold.”

SAM: All right. That’s fine.

LAURA: Oh, could you through a med kit in there with it if you have any left?

MATT: He looks around, “I’m afraid we’re clear out. Bit of a– ”

LAURA: You have things going on.

MATT: “Lot of things. Sorry.”

LAURA: It’s fine.

MATT: “My apologies.”

LAURA: No, it’s okay. I have this pickle.

MATT: “It’s a good pickle.”


MARISHA: Is it a good pickle, though?

LAURA: I haven’t tried it. I just drank the juice, but he ate it.

TALIESIN: I ate mine. It was quite good. Now we’re just sharing the juice at this point.

MARISHA: Guys, let’s go kill gnolls.

TRAVIS: Just the juice?

TALIESIN: Juice is great!

TRAVIS: It is. With a little whiskey.

MATT: (groans)

MARISHA and LAURA: Picklebacks!

MATT: Brine drinkers.

MARISHA: Nom nom nom!

TRAVIS: Like cheeseburger in a shot glass.

MARISHA: Yeah, so good!

MATT: Ugh, stop it.

LAURA: Are we prepared now to go?

SAM: Wait, no.

LIAM: No, I have things to do.

SAM: Do you sell any healing potions?

TALIESIN: I asked that.

SAM: You asked that already?

TALIESIN: Yeah, I did ask that.

SAM: Oh. Never mind!

MATT: “We’re not really purveyors of healing potions, and those that have are usually held by the Crownsguard.”

TALIESIN: Wait, the Crownsguard? Really?

LAURA: We didn’t ask Bryce for any healing potions.

TALIESIN: We should ask Bryce for some healing potions.

MATT: You actually asked the night before, and Bryce had said that they’re currently being used to tend to the people that were in really bad places. It’s hard to walk through a war zone and be like, “Hey guys! Do you have supplies?”

TRAVIS: What do you need to do for the rest of the day, Caleb?

LIAM: Well, I would really like to get my cat back, so I would need about an hour to go do a little stuff. Do you have anything else to do?

LAURA: I mean, there are people getting chopped up and eaten. But if you really want a cat.

LIAM: What are we doing? Are we taking our cart?

TALIESIN: Take the cart? And get some meat from the butcher?

LAURA: We might be able to go faster.

TRAVIS: I think if we were a little spread it would help.

LIAM: Well, okay. Maybe I can put it on hold, although I really hate to. But let’s come up with what are we doing. What is the plan?

TRAVIS: Well, I would follow the direction they left last night. See if we can find a trail.

SAM: We’re just going to go into the belly of the beast? Because one of the shot me and killed me with an arrow. We could draw them out.

TRAVIS: Yeah, you just stay behind Caleb. You’ll be fine.

LAURA: You didn’t die, Nott. I saved you.

SAM: Thank you so much, but I don’t want to be in that predicament again! Can we draw them out somehow?


SAM: They are fond of meat. Here’s my idea. We stage a barbecue contest. Finest in the land! All the best barbecue will be there! And then, when they come to sample our wares, I run and you kill them.

TRAVIS: You know, I love that idea. Small thing though. *Time*, again, is of the essence.

SAM: Because you want to slow cook that stuff to be really good. It’s true.

TRAVIS: Right. Dry aged. Really get a good hickory chip under them. Problem is, people might be dying in the meantime. So if we could find a more expedient solution.

LIAM: Oh, so were you thinking of having a barbecue here or setting up a barbecue on the road?

LAURA: I’m think in the middle of a field, yes. So that it’s–

LIAM: Just a random field?

LAURA: Yeah.

TALIESIN: It’ll take a while to make the signage alone.

LAURA: So it seems like less of a trap.

TRAVIS: Beau had an idea! Get them, Beau! You tell her–

MARISHA: No, you take it for her, please.

TRAVIS: Beau had a fantastic observation. If we happen to see any one of those beasts of burden on our way out tracking, maybe we could wrangle one up and use it as a bait.

LAURA: And if we don’t see one, then Fjord, you’re the biggest.

TALIESIN: That’s fair.

LIAM: Either way, we would probably need the cart.

TALIESIN: We could also see what they still have at the butcher’s.

TRAVIS: To bring people back.

LAURA: And bring people back!

SAM: And maybe one extra horse.

MARISHA: What did you say Molly?

TALIESIN: Or we could see what else they still have at the butcher’s. There’s a butcher.

MARISHA: Well, the butcher got severely cleaned out.

TALIESIN: Well we just heard that, he might–

TRAVIS: I think you’re right. Extra horse. We need the cart.

LIAM: To carry one of those beasts if we kill one.

MARISHA: If we can try to figure out a way to setup our operation on the edge of the forest so that we’re not in the middle of a field, in the open–

LIAM: Well, is the point to try to– I’m sorry, no you finish your thought.

MARISHA: Hills are bad to fight in, unless you’re on top of the hill. That’s good.

LIAM: I’m not a tactician, but I have a question.

MARISHA: Go ahead.

LIAM: Are we to go back to these things where they live? Their lair, their home, their camp? Or are we hoping to luck into them on the road or–?

TRAVIS: I think we’re making a best guess at this point. My best hope is to find out where they are. What it looks like where they’re staying, and if we can, without confrontation, get some survivors out of there. That would be ideal.

LIAM: I like that idea as well.

MARISHA: Actually, that’s not a bad idea at all. Maybe we could have like a survivor round up team and a defense team?

LAURA: But then how do we get all of the ears?

TRAVIS: I’m just putting it out there: maybe survivors before ears.

MARISHA: We can always go back out and get more ears whenever we damn feel like it.

LIAM: Well that’s the thing. We can do both, but there is a timestamp on the people. We should take care of the people first. Because then we’re increasing how much gold we will bring in because if they die then we will not get as much money for them if they are alive. We should get them alive. Get them out. Kill the baddies if we can at the same time and if not, go back a second time.

TRAVIS: I thought you said you weren’t a tactician, look at you!

SAM: He’s very smart.

TALIESIN: Extremely tactile.

TRAVIS: Caleb’s plan! Let’s do it!

LIAM: No social graces. Let’s do this.

MARISHA: Let’s go!


SAM: Are we getting another horse?

LAURA: We’re going to ask Bryce if they have a horse to spare.

SAM: Why don’t you four go get horses? Me and the C-man will go get some incense and stuff.

TRAVIS: C-man? I thought I was the seaman? Fucking get your titles right. Come on, brother, you know you want to! I’m a proud son of a bitch!

SAM: Sorry! You’re a seaman.

LIAM: Wait, so now we need time?

TALIESIN: We’re going to go get a horse, you don’t need to be here for that.

LIAM: Oh god. I really want my cat, but maybe–

SAM: Let’s go get some incense! I need to buy some tarts.

LIAM: We’ll get the tarts. Maybe it would be handier as a bird.

LAURA: You need a tart?

SAM: I need a tart.

LAURA: Oh, well, why didn’t you say something? Hold on let me dig.

SAM: That’s a bag of pastries!

LAURA: There’s this one–

SAM: Wow!

LAURA: Hold on. I think there’s a blackberry one somewhere in here.

SAM: Oh, I can’t tell what this used to be.

LAURA: It’s kind of gross; I’m sorry.

SAM: Is that the top or the bottom?

LAURA: I can’t tell anymore. It’s all black. Sorry!

SAM: I have two tarts!

MATT: Yes. Very stale.

SAM: I’m taking them.

MATT: You can’t tell if the sour smell is intentional flavor or just time taking its toll. It’ll be tart one way or the other.

TRAVIS: Do we see any crownsguard around? In the street.

MATT: Over time you will. They’re scattered a bit thin and a lot of them are currently focused on either perimeter watch, in case they come back, or helping out those that need help inside the city.

TRAVIS: I’d just like to find one, if I could.

MATT: Within ten minutes of wandering through the city as you guys have gathered yourselves and begin heading towards the eastern side. You see a crownsguard who is currently walking by with some washrags under one arm and a little streak of dried blood down the side of their face. Looks to be like a young man probably in his mid 20s or so. Longish hair that’s been heavily braided on the sides and then pinned to the back in a tuft of a ponytail.

TRAVIS: Howdy!

MATT: “Yes?”

TRAVIS: Sorry to bother, but we’ve been commissioned by Bryce to make a little expedition to go after those gnolls and we’re going to need an extra steed if the Crownsguard has one.

MATT: “We’re not allowed to give out any Crownsguard supplies. If you’re looking for a steed, you probably have to go to the On the Wind Stables. They’re going to be your best bet.”

TRAVIS: Where would those be?

MATT: “Right–” and points over towards the northern side of the town. It’s one of the buildings that’s taken a little bit of fire damage.

TRAVIS: Are you concerned about the people that live in this town? Clocks ticking on their lives and you want me to go get a steed from another stable instead of saving their lives?

MATT: “It’s not–”

TRAVIS: I sure would hate to have to report this to Bryce. I think they’d be pretty upset about it.

MATT: Make a deception check.


MATT: “Look, I mean no offense whatsoever and if– I can go find Bryce and see if we– the Watchmaster would be much more suited to–

TRAVIS: Your name?

MATT: “Reggie.”

TRAVIS: Reggie. I’m disappointed, Reggie. I don’t know what else to say. Let’s go.


LAURA: Should we go to the stables then?

TRAVIS: Fuck yeah. Now!

LIAM: Reggie, this town has been hit hard, you look very weary and maybe a little down on your luck yourself. Maybe I’m just reading into things, but I would gladly pay you a silver for this horse.

TALIESIN: Let me tell you, Reggie, it would be the best deal you could possibly make. I’m going to use Charm Person.

MATT: Did not make that DC check. Reggie glances over at you. He goes, “Let me see what I can do,” and quickly makes his way northward to the outside of the stables.

TRAVIS: Very nice!

TALIESIN: Thank you!

MATT: About five minutes pass and you can hear the clopping of hooves as Reggie comes back with a very obstinate beast on the reins. Dragging it towards you, slowly guiding it. Reggie doesn’t seem to be a very trained individual when it comes to handling creatures, especially beasts of burden. “Will this do?”

MARISHA: Oh good, I see you brought us your best, Reggie. Thanks, man.

TALIESIN: Ignore her, she’s very difficult.

MATT: Hands you the reins.

TALIESIN: You’re a hero. Thank you.

MATT: “Best I could do. Good luck.”

LIAM: Here’s that copper. Thank you.

MATT: “Thank you.”

TALIESIN: I hand him a silver also.

MATT: “Thank you. Thank you.”

LIAM: Silver’s way too little for a horse.

TALIESIN: I said silver and we’re being fair!

MATT: “Just bring it back– it’s on loan! It’s on loan.”

TALIESIN: If we come back, it comes back.

LAURA: Probably. We definitely won’t use it as bait for the gnolls. Okay bye!

TRAVIS: We make our way over to where we left our other horse and cart.

MATT: Okay, easy enough to find. You placed it at a hitching post with a little bit of feed over the evening. Your cart and horse are safe and at your disposal.

MARISHA: I saw them take off into the forest. I tracked a little bit right between those trees. I don’t know, we can start there.

LAURA: I bet they left a lot of tracks and probably some cart things.

TRAVIS: I don’t know why, I thought you were going to say they left behind poop.

LAURA: They probably did! Oh my god! They weren’t wearing any underwear were they?

MATT: They were wearing cobbled together or scavenged bits of leather and hide armors.

LAURA: But did it have holes for their butts?

MATT: It seems like most of them would have had some means of disposing of their excrement.

LIAM: They don’t care, they’re swinging low and leaving it behind.

MATT: They weren’t very well dressed.

TRAVIS: If that’s the direction you saw them head off in, check it out.

MARISHA: I’ll be on the lookout for cart tracks.

LIAM: As we go, and also, we didn’t have time so here, off you go. I will sit in the cart and go blind.

MATT: Okay. While you are sending Frumpkin and you’re keeping watch, you are keeping an eye out for tracks. Make a survival check, please.

MARISHA: It’s not my strongest, but it’s okay.

LAURA: I’m keeping an eye out for poop.

MARISHA: 16. No wait! I rolled a natural 16, so 19! I thought it was a 13; I apologize.

MATT: Very quickly you come upon a number of gnoll footprints in the ground. Seem to be multiple cart tracks. That was the one that you saw.

LAURA: (gasps) Oh no!

MARISHA: Wait are their nearby towns? Are there other nearby villages?

MATT: There were multiple carts.

MARISHA: Oh so we only saw one.

LIAM: The last one.

MARISHA: Okay, can I get like an odd estimate of maybe how maybe gnolls we might be dealing with based on the amount of tracks?

MATT: With that roll, I’d say you surmise somewhere in the neighborhood of about 18 or so gnolls. From what you can gather on the tracks that you found.

TALIESIN: Would my Hunter’s Bane be useful for that? For tracking these creatures?

MATT: You can attempt to glean information..

TALIESIN: Since they technically have some undead around them?

MATT: For the specific– sure. Go ahead a make a survival check to see if you can even find those tracks.

TALIESIN: Just a standard one? Standard survival check. All right.

MATT: Well, technically you’re tracking undead, so you get advantage on this one.


MATT: Same degree. You find the tracks, you see there is the remnants of this gnoll horde returning towards a similar direction. You find three sets of cart tracks.

MARISHA: I turn to the rest of the group and I go: Good news, we were really stupid if we thought we couldn’t track them because there was a fuckton of them. That’ll be easy. Bad news is, oh god, there’s a fuckton of them. That’s it.

TRAVIS: Yeah, that is bad news. Are the carts all heading in the same direction or would they split up?

MATT: They all converge into one path. They head through the relatively thin woods that surround the northeastern side of Alfield. As you progress on that path out to the other side of the woods, continue into the northeastern fields where the rolling hills begin. These hills seem to go on for miles.

LIAM: Frumpkin would be in the air 300-400 feet in front of the cart and I wouldn’t do 100% of the time, but I would talk for three minutes and maybe go: hold on one sec (magic sound effect) and then come back. So intermittent.

MATT: Go ahead and make a perception check.

TRAVIS: Tall grass on these rolling hills?

MARISHA: Or is it just open fucking hills?

TRAVIS: Picked by beasts or–

MATT: No, no. It’s tall grass across the hills–

LIAM: Seven.

MATT: The grass can vary anywhere from knee-high to chest-high in places. The hills, towards the top can get a little more rocky. There are patches where the grass doesn’t grow as well and there’s open dirt and broken shale. After about an hour or so of tracking in that direction you come upon the Rillway Road which is the main road that heads up toward Felderwin. You can see it a little ways off.

LIAM: Also, in this time I would have told the rest of the group: Before Nott and I arrived in Trostenwald, just outside the city limits, we were waylaid by gnolls previously and they were hiding in grass just like this. It was very much like this so we should be– I’m getting very nervous right now looking at it all.

TALIESIN: In theory, am I actively tracking these creatures? The undead at least.

MATT: The undead tracks are falling in line with her tracking. They’re moving as a group but there are far less undead tracks than there are regular gnolls so as best you can to keep tabs on it.

TALIESIN: I’m curious to how much of this Hunter’s Bane I can actually be using right now.

MATT: You’d be leading if she hadn’t made an equally good roll, so now both of you are leading this.

TRAVIS: The grass, is it dead or like vibrant green?

MATT: Vibrant green, for the most part. The wind is picking up a little bit and you can see, especially when you start coming up over some of the bigger hills you can see the waves crest over the hillside and causing the shift of it. It’s a very beautiful space.

TRAVIS: Is it still the morning hour or about midday?

MATT: At this point now you’ve been travelling, we’ll say an hour and a half. It’s getting close to noon.

TRAVIS: High noon?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: You know, I know exactly. It’s about 11:37 so we’re not quite there yet. By the position of the sun.

TRAVIS: Oh no! Don’t do it! Oh no!

(nervous laughter)

TALIESIN: He’s sorry!

TRAVIS: It was right there!

MATT: I know. Anyway.

LIAM: Beholder!

MATT: Don’t think I’m not tempted.

MARISHA: How rough and how open is our situation right now? Are we in the middle of an open field?

MATT: You’re pretty much in the middle of an open field. But the tracks you can see– Because you can see the Rillway Road south of you and the tracks begin to shift further north. As they were heading back, they were keeping off the road best they can as well. You also do notice that within the tracks you do find bits of grass that are spattered with drying blood. You don’t know how fresh it is. Go ahead and make a perception check.

MARISHA: Remember how I was like, this is the worst situation to be in?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm.

MARISHA: I feel like this might be the worst situation to be in.

TRAVIS: Right.

MARISHA: Survival?

MATT: Perception.

MARISHA: Perception? Oh no. Did you see that?

LAURA: That’s a one?


MATT: As you’re having this conversation with Fjord, you’re just not paying attention to the road in front of you.


LAURA: If we’re sitting in the cart, is the grass taller than us or is it way lower than us?

MATT: No, it’s about as tall as the cart at times, at times it’s lower. You guys do stand out amongst the grass. As you head over the hills, or down below, you are above the grass line without an issue.

LIAM: Walking on the ground as a human, is it up to here, or–

MATT: Yeah, it’s about up to your chest at times. Waist or chest. It varies.

LAURA: If I stand up in the cart as we go, can I see out into the grass?

MATT: Yeah, if you wanted.

MARISHA: What if I gave Jester a ride on my shoulders? While we walked.

SAM: On a moving cart?

MATT: What could possibly go wrong?

LIAM: You’ve seen Teen Wolf, ja?

MARISHA: In the cart, and I’m holding you. It’d be kind of cool!

MATT: I’ll allow it. Go ahead and make a perception check, Jester.

LIAM: Here goes all Jester’s teeth.

LAURA: 19!

MATT: Make a strength check.

MARISHA: Okay. Like a saving throw or just a check?

MATT: Just a check.

LIAM: Come on, roll a 20. Make it happen.

MARISHA: That’s okay. It’s a 14.

MATT: Right as your eyes catch something, you drop for a second, but Beau’s beneath you (groans) just barely holding you, the elbows start to buckle a bit, but rallies and (groans) holds you up above. You flatten your back out and give a graceful pose as you look ahead.

LAURA: I’m flying! I’m flying, Jack!

MARISHA: (strained) Yeah, you are!

TRAVIS: King of the world!

MATT: As you guys are coming up over a hill you get a good view down and you can see between the tall grass and the high weeds that are beginning to cluster this vicinity, there is a series of large hills that all break down into this valley where the grass just ends in this area. It looks like it’s barren rock and dirt. You notice, with that perception check, a few carts, a few broken boxes, some tables or contraptions. There’s some semblance of civilization here amongst these hills off the road.

LAURA: (gasps) There’s carts! I see the carts! I jump up and down in her hands.

MARISHA: Oh god– (grunts)

SAM: Are there people in the carts?

MATT: She drops you.

LAURA: Oh, are there people in the carts? Can I see?

MATT: They appear to be empty.

LAURA: They’re empty!

SAM: Abandoned?

LAURA: Maybe.

SAM: I’m going to start drinking.

MARISHA: Jester, I’m going to put you down.

MATT: Okay. How much do you drink?

SAM: I’m going to take three big swigs.

MATT: Okay, good to know.

LIAM: I would like to use Frumpkin to do a once-around from above to see if any of those beasts are on the horizon anywhere for us to kill, and also if there are any survivors or anything here.

MATT: Perception check for Frumpkin.

LIAM: That is a 13.

MATT: 13, good to know.

LAURA: Should we pull the cart over and sneak up?

TRAVIS: Yes. By foot is how we should proceed.

LAURA: Okay. Let’s pull the cart over and hide it in the grass.

MARISHA: Yeah. I help Jester hide the cart.

LAURA: Oh, but our horses. What if they get eaten?

SAM: (nervous) It’s all right. It’s fine. We don’t care about the horses. Let’s just save ourselves. Who cares about the horses?

LAURA: But how are we going to get all the people back if we don’t have horses to pull the cart?

SAM: That’s true.

LIAM: From 100 feet up, I can see through Frumpkin’s eyes all of us being a bunch of dumb fucks in the back of the cart.

MATT: It’s true.

SAM: Should we leave someone back to protect the horses?


MARISHA: Seems a waste.

TRAVIS: Would you want to be the one person that got attacked with the horses by yourself?

SAM: No.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I didn’t think so. We stick together.

SAM: All right. I’ll be part of the Fjord expedition.

(laughter and groaning)

LIAM: The crew! The crew groaned!

LAURA: I heard a groan.

SAM: That wasn’t a groan, that was like– ugh.

LIAM: Disgust?

TALIESIN: That was nausea!

MATT: I feel like I passed a stone.

TRAVIS: Yep. Now I’m ready to die.


MATT: All right, what’s the plan, guys?

LAURA: I’m going to– does anybody have to sneeze?

TRAVIS and SAM: What?

LAURA: Anybody feel like they need to–

TALIESIN: Should we?

SAM: Sneeze? What? Why–

TRAVIS: That would give away our stealthy approach.

SAM: Oh. I see.

LAURA: Because…Bless you! I give you Blessing of the Trickster.

TRAVIS: Holy shit.

LIAM: I was waiting for the punchline.

TALIESIN: What does Blessing of the Trickster do?

LAURA: You have advantage on stealth.

TALIESIN: I have advantage on “smealth,” that’s great.

MATT: “Smealth.”

TALIESIN: On “smealth.” He who “smealth” it.

MATT: Mm-hmm. All right, what are you guys doing with the cart and the horses?

LAURA: We’re hiding it in the tall grass.

MATT: Okay.

TRAVIS: No rocks around, right? No stones or boulders in the field?

MATT: Not that big. The hills themselves are– it’s just large rolling hills in this whole valley area.

TRAVIS: I was trying to get it in the depression of a rolling hill and just–

MATT: Okay. You have to back up a bit to get it out of view.

LIAM: I’d like to point out that we came up with a loose plan, but we’re not doing that plan.

LAURA: What was our loose plan? We didn’t see any of them?

TRAVIS: We haven’t seen anything yet.

MARISHA: We’re not in any tree line or anything.

LIAM: Also, in a pinch, we could kill the horses.

TRAVIS: Kill the horses? Oh, to use as– that’s right, we could.

LAURA: But we won’t be able to pull the cart. I’m really strong, but I don’t know if I can carry that many people.

SAM: She’s lying, she’s not really strong.

LAURA: I am really strong, though.

SAM: Really?

TALIESIN: We wouldn’t have to kill the horse, we could just send the horse–

TRAVIS: Let’s find out what we see first, and then we’ll decide.

TALIESIN: Sure. Recon.

LAURA: That’s not normally how you test strength.

SAM: I don’t know, I’m not strong.

MARISHA: Let’s flank. Around.

TRAVIS: Everybody fan out in a firing line, just one straight line–

SAM: We’re going away from each other?

TRAVIS: Just within eye distance, right? But keep a line.

TALIESIN: Answered my question. I was curious what flanking was.

TRAVIS: Keep in line. We’re going to move towards the cart. We’re going to use the tall grass.

LAURA: Towards the three carts?


MARISHA: Do we need to have some sort of awesome whistle or something? To communicate with each other?

TRAVIS: I’m open to it, if you have any.

MARISHA: Oh, what was that thing you did in the circus? That was cool.


LIAM: (spitting noise) I can’t do that.

(various whistling noises)

LIAM: How about we don’t make any noise at all, but we just sneak in?

TRAVIS: Yeah, let’s do that.

MATT: Having placed the cart where what you assume is the best you can hide it, who is helming the hiding of the cart?


MATT: Go ahead and make a survival check.

LIAM: I will also help with that.

MATT: All right. If you’re aiding, then do it with advantage.

LIAM: Okay. Lift with the legs!

LAURA: 13.

MATT: Okay. I mean, sure.

LAURA: I get some grass and I put it on the cart.

SAM: Put your alarm around the cart! You do it all the time!

LIAM: Do we have the time for that right now?

SAM: How long does it take to cast?

LIAM: Right now, it will take me 11 minutes to do that.

LAURA: Yeah, do it, do it!

TRAVIS: People’s lives. Urgency. Clock. Time. All that stuff.

LAURA: Ten minutes. Okay.

SAM: All right, let’s just go.

MATT: What is the marching order?

LIAM: We’re coming in as a line together.

MATT: All right. What’s the order of the line, then?

TRAVIS: We’re all even moving forward.

LAURA: But what is the order of the line?

SAM: I’m to the left of Caleb there on the end.

LIAM: I don’t want to be on an end. I don’t want *you* to be on the end.

TRAVIS: I don’t mind being on an end. How about that?

MARISHA: Yeah, I imagine that the ends are going to be where you need the most strength, right?

LIAM: I would grab Nott by the shoulder and pull us into the middle somehow.

TRAVIS: You want to be in the middle?

LIAM: Yes.

SAM: Let’s walk with Molly. There. Boom. Got it.


MATT: All right. We have: Molly, Nott, Caleb, Jester, Beau, then Fjord. Okay. I would like you all to make a stealth check, please. As you make your way through the grass.

TALIESIN: That helps.

SAM: 21.



LIAM: 12.



LIAM: Those monster calves.

MATT: As you guys stay low to the grass, pushing through with your hands carefully as you go, hearing the wind occasionally rise and fall with a distant (shh), the various waves of grass beating against itself. You come upon where the grass begins to fall off. You stay low as best you can before the grass itself comes to an end right on the outskirts of where the central area between these hills begins. There, as you poke your head through, you can see three carts that are scattered a bit amongst a mineshaft yard. The exterior of a mine. You can see large, wooden pan tables; some pickaxes that are leaning against the side, the remnants of some lanterns that have rusted. There are the three carts. The carts themselves are spattered with blood. You notice three creatures, similar to the gnolls that you saw the night before, but smaller and dog-like. These are just basic hyenas that are gathered around and are licking the blood that’s soaked into the wood. One of them ends up finding a piece of meat, or something that was hanging from one side, and tears it off. Another one comes over (whines) and bites onto it, and they begin tearing and fighting over it before one of them pushes the other over and it (yelps). It goes back and begins licking the blood off the side of the wood. These three hyenas are just scavenging on the outskirt of these carts.

SAM: They’re just hyenas? They’re not magical, undead hyenas?

MATT: Not from what you can tell.

TRAVIS: Can we see how many entrances there are to this mine yard?

MATT: From this distance, you can’t see any entrances.

MARISHA: Do you think they’re centurions?

LIAM: I think they’re going to make a big fucking stink if we–

MARISHA: If they see us? I’ll be they’re the alarm system.

LAURA: (whispers) We should kill them!

MARISHA: But we have to kill them all at once.

LIAM: That is correct.

TRAVIS: I could make a distraction. Nott, Beau, are y’all fast, quick, and quiet?

SAM: Yes.

LAURA: Sure.

TRAVIS: Who else?

SAM: No, just us.

TALIESIN: I’m quietish.

TRAVIS: There’s three of them, right?


TRAVIS: All right.

MARISHA: You want to try and make a distraction and bring them closer? To us? Then we can jump out of the grass? Do the old “jump out of the grass–”

TRAVIS: About how far from the edge of the grass, where we are, to them?

MATT: About 50 or so feet. 60 feet.

TRAVIS: Can I use Minor Illusion to create a plump little bunny and have it hop out of the grass? But its front leg looks a little lame.

MARISHA: Oh, buddy.

MATT: Quietly, this plump, wounded, with a hint of pink to the fur around the arm where it looks like it may have been bleeding a bit, begins to hobble its way silently out of the grass, just beyond the edge.

SAM: I’m going to hide.

LAURA: Yeah, I’m going to hide.

MATT: You guys are still hidden.

TALIESIN: I’m going to draw one of my swords and just out of experiment, try to get it to do that weird thing it did yesterday. With my hand.

MATT: You initiate the rite, and as you do, the blade begins to give a faint, radiant glow. A whitish-yellow light that you will almost instinctually hold low in the grass to make sure you don’t become a beacon amongst your hiding. You watch as one of the hyenas (sniffing) and begins making its way. The others look over (snarl)– they being to gather up, and the three almost go into this pack swoop formation in the direction of the rabbit, closing in. 40 feet, 30 feet, 20 feet. With a rapid bolt, one of them runs forward and leaps out towards the rabbit and skids into the dirt past it, right to the front of the grassline where you are, Beau.


MARISHA: (slamming)

LAURA: I use Sacred Flame on the one next it.

MATT: Okay, and who is doing what else?

TALIESIN: I’m going to stab the third one.

MATT: The three of you rush out and attack, three individual ones. What are you guys doing?

LIAM: I will send Frumpkin down to the one that just was attacking, right up against it to distract and chirp in its face.

MATT: All right. Beau, go ahead and attack first.

MARISHA: I’m going to take the blunt end of the staff and go right for it as it skids by, I’m going to take right in its neck. Ooh, not great. Ten.

MATT: Ten? You go to swing, and as it sees you suddenly, it backs away, and your staff hits the dirt right next to it. (snarls) It just barely misses it. Caleb, you following up?

LIAM: As Caleb sends Frumpkin right down to the one that Jester was attacking and I will send out a Fire Bolt at the same time.

MATT: Go for it. Roll your attack roll for the Fire Bolt.

LIAM: That’s at advantage if my birdie is bothering him up close.

MATT: Right. Okay. Wait, you’re going for the one that Jester is attacking?

LIAM: Yeah, the one that Jester is attacking.

MATT: Okay. Go for it.

LIAM: That is– oh, that’s good. That is 21.

MATT: 21 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

LIAM: Spells are all still new to me. Oh, that’s a big one.

MATT: One point of damage.

LIAM: Big one point of damage.

MATT: It begins to burn, this small circular image on the outside, and the hyena’s going (barking). Go ahead and–

LAURA: It just has to make a dex save of over 13.

MATT: With a natural one, he does not.

LAURA: Yay. Then he gets four more damage, radiant.

MATT: That’s enough. With the blast of the Fire Bolt, and the incineration of the Sacred Flame, you watch as that hyena bursts into fire and plops to the ground while it burns, smouldering, its flesh becoming the meals it had previously feasted upon. Molly and Nott?

TALIESIN: I’ll take my run first? That’s a– wow. 17. My brain.

MATT: That hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: That seven points, plus three radiant.

MATT: The first strike just completely cleaves it in half, like its momentum, running, almost like it hits the blade, and you hold it out and the momentum just carries it over, seamlessly carving through it.

TALIESIN: Am I close enough to hit the third one that’s still left with my second attack?

MATT: You can have movement to close it. There’s one right in front of Beau, so you’re a little ways away, but you can close the gap, while Nott and–

MARISHA: I didn’t get my bonus attack on that guy. Can I get my bonus attack?

MATT: Yep!

MARISHA: Okay. I want to try and bring my heel down on top of it as it tries to scooch away. Fucking– did you see that?

TRAVIS: I did.

LIAM: Yep. 17 to a three.

LAURA: You need to not use that dice for the rest of the night.


MATT: Nine.


MATT: Nine, again!


MATT: The first hits the dirt, and it backs up. You move out with your heel to go ahead and swing, and it actually ducks underneath and tries to snap at your heel, as Molly closes the gap, and–

TRAVIS: Would you like to go?

SAM: I release my bolt at that same one.

MATT: All right.

SAM: 20.

MATT: All right. Go ahead and roll damage. With sneak attack.

SAM: 13.

MATT: Yeah, Molly, as you rush up, you watch as a bolt just goes right through the side of the hyena’s head, and it just falls lifeless to the ground. All three of them out in a split second.

TRAVIS: I don’t want to, like, make y’all alarmed or anything, but that was kind of fucking efficient.

LAURA: Everybody but Beau, you were missing like crazy on that one.

MARISHA: You know, I had a long day yesterday, okay?

TRAVIS: Hands are sweaty?

MARISHA: Just was faster than I thought.

LAURA: Hey, look! We can use this hyena meat as bait!

TRAVIS: You’re right.

SAM: I’m going to go pull my bolt out of the thing. Is it recoverable?

TALIESIN: Good shot.

MATT: Yeah, thankfully it was a clean enough shot, didn’t seem to get caught or shatter against any of the bones.

TRAVIS: Quick perimeter check to see if we alerted anything, anything’s looking at us.

MATT: Perception check.

TRAVIS: Natural 19.

MATT: Glancing about the vicinity, does not look like anything else is moving or near or has noticed your presence.

TRAVIS: Move to the cart, quick check of anything left behind, clues.

SAM: Do we need to drag these bodies?

TRAVIS: There’s no bodies, just blood spatter.

MARISHA: Do you mean the hyenas?

SAM: The hyenas.

TRAVIS: Oh. We’ve got to figure out where we’re going first.

TALIESIN: I’m also going to point out, they hadn’t been eating the hyenas anyway, so maybe leaving bodies of their pets is not the greatest idea?

LAURA: Toss them into the grass, then, to get them out of view?

TALIESIN: That might be a smarter way to go.

TRAVIS: Do it.

LAURA: Okay, I’ll pick them up and throw them as far as I can into the grass.

MATT: Okay. Like a massive shotput, you watch as tiny Jester, with a double spin each, chucks these relatively heavy beasts deep into the grass field, where they vanish with a heavy thud into the field.

LIAM: She’s like Miss Trunchbull from Matilda.

TRAVIS: You’re a lot stronger than you look.

LAURA: Thank you! Hey, what happened to the little bunny, though? I’m going to look for the little white rabbit.

TALIESIN: Oh dear.

MATT: Bunny appears to no longer be around.

LAURA: That’s really sad, they ate it.

TRAVIS: Yeah, boy, sure did.

SAM: We’ll have a funeral later.

TALIESIN: I’m going to keep a hold of my sword, but I’m going to wrap it in the coat so it’s not glowing ridiculously.

LIAM: There’s just the carts, there’s the one mine entrance?

MATT: You don’t see an entrance to the mine, you just see mining equipment.

MARISHA: Oh, mining. I misunderstood that, too.

MATT: You see pieces of equipment, and the interior of this hill valley, this short little valley, seems to have been prepped for some sort of mining expedition.

SAM: There’s no mine hole?

MATT: You don’t see one at the moment.

LIAM: I’ll take a look around to if there’s anything, where they started or anything like that?

MARISHA: I’ll take the opposite side that he’s doing.

SAM: I’m going to look in the carts.

MATT: Okay. You look in the carts, and they are empty. You see a few wayward pieces of cloth, everything in there is bloodied and caked, and has streaks of it being licked up. It looks like the hyenas had been at it for a while, trying to clear off what was left behind from wherever the bodies that were within were taken. I would like you both to make investigation checks, please. And you’re following the tracks?


MATT: Make a survival check.

TALIESIN: With advantage?

MATT: Because there are undead as a part of this, I will let you.

TALIESIN: Survival check.


LIAM: 20.

MATT: It looks like the dust and the dirt in this vicinity has been freshly swept or dispersed intentionally, meaning that once this little valley had been entered, and the carts had been emptied, something was smart enough to intentionally cover their tracks. You, however– you rolled a 20, you said? As you begin to look about the base of the closest hill, facing away from where you guys had entered, in an eastern direction, you see a pattern of grasses that seem to be interwoven, as opposed to a natural pattern, there is a consistent mesh to the way they’ve been laid.

SAM: It’s a comb-over.

LAURA: It looks like how we put the stuff over the cart.

MATT: As you glance over, you can see a net of grasses that has been woven and thrown over, leaving a small gap on the edge, where you can see the dark exterior of what was a mine shaft structure entrance.

LAURA: That’s way smarter that what we did.

MARISHA: A ghillie net.

LIAM: But we’ll remember it for the future.

TALIESIN: Yours was hand crafted.

SAM: Why don’t we just take this one?

MARISHA: That’s what I was going to say, is it heavy? How big is this thing? Can we fold it up and stuff it in a bag?

MATT: It’s about 12 foot by 12 foot.

MARISHA: Oh, that’s big.

LAURA: It could fit in a backpack. Maybe roll up.

MATT: It’s pretty thick.

SAM: It’s got sticks.

MATT: Well, it’s thrown on and put against the grass, it doesn’t have sticks in its sides.

SAM: Does it have a frame of any sort?

MATT: No, it’s laid on the side of the hill.

SAM: Oh, it’s a blanket! Oh, okay. We can take that.

MARISHA: We can grab it on our way back and throw it on the cart.

LAURA: Throw it on the cart as we’re leaving.

TALIESIN: I miss being low enough level that we just everything we find, no matter how useful.

LAURA: Like in Skyrim, just wheels of cheese. All the cheese.

TALIESIN: We’re going to be cracking open clay pots.

MATT: The scavenger levels, man. All righty. It is too big for you to carry with you, but it can definitely be taken with you should you exit.

LIAM: How about what’s behind the grass, let’s discuss this instead.

MATT: All right. As you pull it back, you do see the wooden support structure of the interior of a mine shaft. As soon as you pull it back and look inside, it looks like a barricade has been partially placed up on each side. You see piles of broken furniture, stools and chairs that are shattered and jammed into each other to form some sort of a barricade on each side. You can see dry-rotted pick-axe handles, and other pieces of general wooden beams used for construction that are all pushed up against the sides, with a small path, maybe about three feet wide, that you could walk through to enter. It looks pitch black on the inside. There is no light source outside of what little bit of daylight is coming through from the entrance.

LIAM: Sorry, I was thinking about a thing you were saying, there is a way through for us?

MATT: There is a way, there’s about a two, three foot gap between this barricade where it made its way in, and once you enter through, you can now see, since there has not been dust put, there is a definitive trail of blood that has dragged through and caked in the loose dirt and dust.

TALIESIN: Should I give it a little light, or no?

SAM: Wait, before we go in–

TRAVIS: You’re anxious to go. You want to go first?

SAM: No! Jesus, no. No, please. There were hyenas out here, right, posted as guards? If one of the hyenas had gone (hyena howl), would something had come out of this hole to come get us?

LIAM: I mean, that is a fair assumption, yeah.

SAM: Then why don’t we make that sound, and wait for something to come out, and kill it.

LAURA: Well, but what if it alerts a lot of the gnolls, and then we don’t have the element of surprise at all any more?

LIAM: Well, we’re talking–

SAM: You want to go into that dark, scary cave?

LAURA: It doesn’t look that bad to me?

SAM: It is a dark scary cave!

TRAVIS: Frumpkin is still just a sweet little bird, so I thought maybe a little, quick flight in–

MARISHA: Canary in a gnoll mine!


TRAVIS: Oh! Oh, smash!

LIAM: Jesus.

MARISHA: We have to do it, it’s too perfect.

TRAVIS: Canary in a gnoll mine.

LIAM: That was good.

TALIESIN: That was so painful.


LIAM: Do not be sorry.

TALIESIN: There’s limits.

TRAVIS: I don’t know if that’s something Frumpkin can do, unless, Nott, you just wanna go in there and go kamikaze.

SAM: No! I’m drinking again.

MATT: Okay. You are now officially intoxicated.

SAM: I don’t have to roll, it just happens?

MATT: Yep.

SAM: Great.

MATT: For the next hour.

LAURA: What does that mean?

SAM: I’ll go in if you need me to.

TRAVIS: Oh, shit! Oh, shit! Oh, yes!

TALIESIN: No! Oh, wow!

LAURA: Is that where “the Brave” comes from?

MARISHA: That was going to be my question!

TRAVIS: We get her hammered, and she’s the most fucking badass.

LAURA: Oh my god, this is awesome.

TRAVIS: Oh wow.

LIAM: Frumpkin has been a sparrow before. Sparrows don’t have darkvision, do they?


SAM: It’s a night sparrow, he should have said.

LIAM: No, it is a regular sparrow.

TRAVIS: My only concern is if we draw them out, there could be more than us, right? I just want to get a quick peek, if we can.

LIAM: Well I mean, I can send him in there, he’ll probably hit the wall a few times, but if there’s any fire or anything–

TRAVIS: You wouldn’t mind?

LIAM: No, you know, I can always bring him back, but be careful, all right? But there he goes.

MATT: Yeah, there’s no light in there. About 25 feet in, go ahead and make a perception check.

LAURA: Yeah, you won’t be able to see anything through it.

LIAM: 21.

MATT: 21. What faint light is coming in from the interior– are you looking through?

LIAM: Yeah, I am.

MATT: Yeah. As soon as you come inside, about 40 feet in the shaft widens into a common area. You see a handful of tables, some chairs, similar to what was placed within the barricade, some sacks strewn about, some torn open and scattered across the ground, some that still lobbed in the corner.

LIAM: Is that from a light source inside, or from sun coming in?

MATT: This is just a very high perception roll with what little light is making its way in there. And that’s where it goes dark, and there’s a (thud) as Frumpkin hits a sloping ceiling.

MARISHA: And dies?

MATT: No, just hits the ground.

LIAM: Please, no!

MATT: Hits the ground, stunned.

LAURA: It’s like those birds that hit our windows at home.

MARISHA: That’s right, yeah.

LIAM: Okay, well I think I have seen all I am going to see for the moment, but I didn’t see anything in there.

MATT: Not in that main area.

LIAM: Nothing living in there that I saw?

MATT: Not with what little bit Frumpkin saw with a quick glance before it got too dark and then he hit the ceiling.

LIAM: Okay. Nott, my friend, I think maybe this is a time where you could– please don’t go crazy, but maybe go in 30 or 40 feet, there’s a room in there, and I don’t think there’s anything in there, but you would see.

SAM: (drunkenly) I’m just going to go in there and get the gnolls.

LAURA: I’m gonna bless you before you go. So you can be sneakier.

SAM: Great.

TRAVIS: Consonants are gone!

SAM: Can sparrows hear?

LIAM: I can hear through my sparrow.

SAM: I could bring the sparrow, you could at least hear what’s going on, like a walkie talkie.

MARISHA: Like a walkie talkie!

LIAM: That’s correct. Richtig. Go.

SAM: Okay. I’ll take the sparrow, jam it in there.

LIAM: Wait, I don’t want to get punched in the face while I’m blind. Somebody please put a hand on my shoulder–

SAM: Oh, you got to hold his hand.

LAURA: Are we going in?

SAM: No, he’s going to go into that other place.

LAURA: Oh, okay.

LIAM: If something bad is going to happen, just shake me.

MARISHA: I’ll punch you in the face.

LIAM: No, don’t do that, just shake me.

LAURA: Just tickle his balls.

LIAM: Don’t do that, just–

SAM: I’m going to go in.

MATT: Okay.

TALIESIN: Punch him in the balls.

MATT: You move past the barricades, heading towards the shadow– the barricade, there’s a lot of stuff jammed up here at the front, almost like it was barricaded from the inside long ago, and then was cleared out partially, going through. You make it through the 35 feet or so of the shaft, in towards where it opens up, and you almost trip, because your toe catches something, and you catch yourself, and you look down to see a long piece of rope that was stretched across that just got tugged, and falls slack.

LAURA: Oh no, you didn’t see that?

MATT: You hear a (creak) and with your darkvision, glance up and see what appears to be a large log that had been affixed to the ceiling. (whoosh) Comes rushing towards you. Make a dexterity saving throw.

LIAM: You are a wee baby rogue!

SAM: Great check! Disadvantage. Great check!

LAURA: Good! Phew!

SAM: What is this, dex save?

MATT: Dex saving throw, yeah.

SAM: 24!

MATT: With disadvantage! You, even in your somewhat hazy drunken stupor, see it just in time and back up as it (whoosh) right past your nose and slams into the wall to the left of you. It hits, and you see the dust settle from the ceiling.

TRAVIS: That, my lads, was a dragon.

MATT: You guys all hear this (slamming) from the inside.

LIAM: Oh shit.

SAM: I’m okay, it was just wood.

MARISHA: What’s going on?

LIAM: I’ve heard a confusing thing. Something fell down, but okay, we’re good.

TALIESIN: I think we might have lost the element of surprise.

SAM: Is it a bigger space in here?

MATT: It is, actually. It opens up to be about 35 feet across from side to side, about 45 or 50 towards the end and then it seems to descend into two different pathways.

SAM: Any signs of life? Anything?

MATT: Make a perception check.

SAM: Eight.

MATT: At the moment, no. But as you’re glancing about, you can see that there are bags of supplies that are partially sundered and torn open. You can see tools, some of them look pretty interesting, there’s a crowbar on the ground across the way, there’s other sacks that haven’t been spoiled yet. You see some of the burlap is dry rotted and pulls right apart, and it looks like there might be some useful things in this chamber.

SAM: Okay. Real quick, I’ll just poke through one of the bags.

MATT: Make an investigation check, with disadvantage.

SAM: Okay, well then, okay, eight!

MATT: You glance through and find a bunch of mildewed rice grain. Right as you hear a (snort).

SAM: I will freeze and slowly turn to the sound.

MATT: You glance over, and from the right chamber you see as two gnolls have appeared in the entrance way and have entered up, called from the sound of the heavy impacting thud on the wall but a few moments ago.

LAURA: Are you stealthed?

MATT: They both– no, he’s not. She is not, sorry. They both arrive to the top of the– (sniffing and growling). They both grab their spears.

SAM: I’m going to say, “Help me! Help me now, please come in, save me, save my life!”

LIAM: Help me, help me now, save my life. We have to go in! Here we go!

MATT: What are you doing?

SAM: I am going to draw and fire at one.

MATT: As they’re both right there, rushing towards you, you say this and you going to pull out and fire one. To the one at the right or the left?

SAM: The first one who spotted me.

MATT: The one who first spotted you would be the one on the left so as it’s rushing towards you, go ahead and fire.

SAM: Okay, 18.

MATT: 18 hits. Go ahead and roll damage.

SAM: Eight.

MATT: Eight points of damage, not–

SAM: Ten, 11 points of damage because I’m going to use Fury of the Small.

MATT: Okay, 11 points of damage. It hurts, but it’s still rushing forward. They both begin to rush in to close the gap. The rest of you rush in; to get to him, it will take the full round to get there. You guys use your movement and dash in. Those of you who don’t have darkvision, you can’t see anything.

TALIESIN: I also uncover my sword at this point, which gives off a little bit of light.

MATT: A faint bit of light. At this point, any of you with ranged abilities right now would be able to strike. But before you do, two of the gnolls rush in and are attempting to attack the small goblinoid female who has walked into their lair. The first strike, that is going to be a 21 to hit.

SAM: Definitely hits. Any of us.

MATT: That is six points of piercing damage as the spear jams into your shoulder and scrapes down the front of your chest, glances off the rest of your armor and it hurts, but you’re fine. You’re still feeling a little fuzzy anyway. The other one attacks, that is going to be a 15 to hit.

SAM: No.

MATT: No. This one you do see coming, and you dodge out of the way. But they’re both right up in your face right now, snarling and (growling). With that, the guys who have ranged attacks, go for it.

LIAM: Wait, so the whole party ran in?

MATT: Yes.

LIAM: As that was happening, the two humans in tandem said, “Wait, let them draw out their– fuck!”

MARISHA: It’s so dark!

MATT: So you guys have disadvantage on any of your attacks rolls because you cannot see. You are blind in the chamber.

LIAM: Are we doing initiative or are we just going?

MATT: For this round, because there’s just two gnolls for the moment, I’m just going through actions here to keep going.

LIAM: Dancing Lights!

LAURA: Guiding Bolt on the one closest to me.

TRAVIS: Eldritch Blast on the other one.

MATT: Okay, so, the one that’s closest to you will be the one that already took damage from the bolt so roll for attack for the Guiding Bolt.

LAURA: 21.

MATT: 21 hits. Roll damage.

SAM: Jesus.

LAURA: Six, nine, ten.

MATT: Ten points?

LAURA: Ten points.

MATT: The one that’s now taken a crossbow bolt to the throat has taken a Guiding Bolt. This giant blast of light explodes around this gnoll as it yelps and it encompases its torso with this glittering light. Now the next attack against it has advantage. It is super hurt, but still standing. You’re making your attack.

TRAVIS: Yeah, I rolled the first one which is a 24, but with advantage. That’s less, so 24.

MATT: You were attacking the other one, so you do not get the benefit.

TRAVIS: Oh yeah, I’m sorry. 24 for the first roll.

MATT: Still hits, go ahead and roll damage on that one.

TRAVIS: Oh balls, that’s–

MATT: What are you using?

TRAVIS: Eldritch Blast.

MATT: It’s a d10 for damage. That’s a d12.

TRAVIS: Oh, that is a 12. Sorry, my bad.

SAM: That’s the other character.

TRAVIS: Old habits, they die hard. Nine points of damage.

MATT: Nine points of damage on that one. It gets blasted by the bolt of eldritch energy; however, it’s still snarling. Currently they’re both looking over at the sudden surge of newcomers.

TALIESIN: I’ve also got a distance attack. I’m going to use Devil’s Tongue on the one that just survived your hit.

MATT: Okay, what does that do?

TALIESIN: I’m going to use Vicious Mockery. In Infernal: You will feed the dogs in hell.

LAURA: Oh, wow, I understood that. It was scary.

MATT: They rolled an eight, minus– yeah, it does not make the save.

TALIESIN: It takes 1d4 psychic, which is three points of psychic damage and has disadvantage on its next attack.

MATT: Got it, great.

LIAM: Four globules of light, Dancing Lights. The room is lit up.

MATT: All right. The room fills with light at this point. The chamber fills, you can now see the scenery around you. Nott, you’re up first. Since you’re the first one to get a shot. There’s one that’s super hurt and one that’s kind of hurt.

SAM: I’ll go for the super hurt one. Who’s right in front of me, right?

MATT: Correct.

SAM: What’s wrong?

MARISHA: It fits in there!

LAURA: Oh yeah, that’s the thing!

SAM: That’s what I’m doing. Laura discovered this last week.

LAURA: It stays up super good.

MATT: Nott, they’re both right up in your face snarling.

SAM: I’m going to go to the super hurt one and be like (scream), grab it and I’ll do Shocking Grasp.

MATT: Okay, go ahead and make your melee spell attack, I believe it is, right?

SAM: Yep, that’s a 19.

MATT: 19 hits.

SAM: Okay, I don’t know how to do this. Hold on, is this a ten? No, that’s a ten, this is an eight. Seven.

MATT: Seven it is. As you reach up and grab it with your hand you watch as a burst of electrical arcane energy surges through its body. You watch as veins pop up its torso to its neck before it collapses to the ground. You have to duck out of the way before it slams. It would have crushed you if you stayed in the space you were, but you sidestep in time as the gnoll falls to the ground lifeless.

SAM: Am I in range– where’s the other gnoll, is it right on me?

MATT: Yeah.

SAM: Okay, I will bonus action disengage and run all the way around to the other side of the room.

MATT: Okay. On the other side. As you’re doing that the gnoll that’s right there sees you rushing off, but now it’s more attentive to the one who blasted it there. I’d say, for the sake of distance, since the moment you saw you fired, it probably couldn’t close the gap, so it’s going to drop the spear, pull out its longbow, and take a shot at you from here.


MATT: It’s going to be a 14 to hit, what’s your AC?


MATT: 14, all right. Not a great roll, you take four points of piercing damage.

TRAVIS: Four points.

MATT: It catches you right in the middle of the sternum. The armor takes the brunt of it and it mostly just snaps at the impact, but it hurt. It’ll bruise. That ends the remaining gnoll’s turn. Next up would be Beau.

MARISHA: Oh, are there any close to me?

MATT: There’s one you can close the gap with. There’s only one that’s currently standing in the room, the other one’s been killed. It was shot to death by Nott.

MARISHA: Okay, I’ll close the gap and come at it with a big double swing from my staff.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Finally a decent roll. 19.

MATT: 19 hits, go ahead and roll damage.

MARISHA: Six, plus four. That’s ten points of damage.

MATT: Ten points of damage, that’s enough to do it. It had already been damaged previously by Fjord’s Eldritch Blast and you watch as it snarls and pulls out its bow, pulls back, notches and releases the arrow. Moments after it’s released with a quick burst of action you saunter up to its side and hit it across the torso with the stick. You feel seven different ribs break as it doubles forward. As it looks at you for a second, you take where the staff has broken in and jam upward toward where its lungs would be and it (chokes) and falls to the ground, dead.

MARISHA: I shake it off my staff a little bit.

TRAVIS: Damn, you broke its ribs to get to its organs.

MARISHA: It’s effective.

LAURA: (singsong) I cut off the ears.

MATT: You guys take a moment here–

TALIESIN: Put them in the jar?

LAURA and TALIESIN: It’s a ear jar!

LAURA: Our pickle jar–

MATT and TALIESIN: –Is now an ear jar.

TRAVIS: What happened? How’d they find you?

SAM: I don’t know. They’re very clever. I was sneaking all the way down and they still discovered me. I don’t know how.

TALIESIN: We look at the rope connected to the log.

MATT: Yeah, as Nott’s saying this your eyes wander off of her over to the right where you see this heavy tree covered in jagged bark that’s (creaking).

SAM: That happened after they discovered me.

TRAVIS: Right.

LAURA: Ooh, what are all these bags in here?

SAM: I was about to go through them, do you want to help?

LAURA: Yeah!

TRAVIS: I will keep an eye down the tunnel that they came from while they pillage.

MARISHA: I’ll look around. Are there any other entrances?

LIAM: As you’re looking I’m going to pull all the Dancing Lights down to one and put the rag over it and walk beside Beau so that she can see.

MATT: Okay. There are two shafts. Both seem to descend. Both curving off in opposite directions. They both have the wooden frame for support.

SAM: Wooden *shafts*.

LIAM: Come on, you people. We need a corner, and a camera for the corner, and a long paper hat for you to put you in the corner.

LAURA: I didn’t even react to him, he had to point it out.

MATT: Looking around it looks like this was a common area. This is the closest chamber to the exterior of the mine. It looks like there were a number of tables here, that a lot of them have been knocked over and broken. A lot of what would have filled this chamber has been pushed into the barricade you saw up front. You’re helming the investigation? Go ahead and make an investigation check.

MARISHA: That was me. Me and Caleb.

MATT: You guys are looking down the shafts. They’re looking in the sacks.

MARISHA: Oh, sorry. For the bags, yeah.

MATT: Both of the shafts just descend and curve out of view. They go at a steady 45 degree decline.

SAM: I’m helping, no? No.

LAURA: Do I get advantage because they’re helping?

MATT: You’re too drunk to help.

TALIESIN: I was helping.

MATT: You’re looking as well? Sure, take advantage then.

LAURA: That is not as good. Investigation. 11.

MATT: 11? Okay. You glance around. You find: there’s an untapped ale barrel, there’s an untapped water barrel, there’s a hooded lantern that still has a functional bit of oil in it, though it’s only about half full and very rusted over, but you clear off the glass on the outside and it’ll work fine. You find a sledgehammer that the handle is not so rotted to the point where it wouldn’t be functional, but a fair sledgehammer if you wanted to break any rock or stone. The crowbar that you had seen earlier, that can be acquired.

LAURA: We should write this stuff down.

MATT: You find a small lightweight rod about that long, that has a short piece of waxed twine hanging from one end.

LAURA: Is it metal, did you say?

MATT: No, it’s not metal. It feels almost like a hard clay.

LAURA: With wax?

MATT: With a waxed piece of twine on one end.

TALIESIN: Can I make a knowledge test to see if I would know what this is?

SAM: A knowledge test? You mean an intelligence check?

TALIESIN: Well, is this intelligence, or what would this be? I’m trying to think– I might have come across this?

MATT: You have as good a chance as anybody to have come across this, so if you want to make an intelligence check.

TALIESIN: Just an intelligence check? I’m trying to remember. 11?

MATT: You haven’t come across one of these.

LAURA: Well, I have it. Then the water–

SAM: A water jug and an ale.

LAURA: A water jug and an ale jug.

SAM: Not jug, it was a barrel.

TRAVIS: Casks.

LAURA: Oh, so I can’t carry that with me? They’re big?

MATT: No, they’re big, heavy, filled things.

TALIESIN: We can put them aside. We will be bringing them out of here.

MATT: You make an intelligence check.

LIAM: Okay, that’s okay. Oh, Scheiße, where did it go? Over here, D&D Beyond. It is ten. Yeah, I rolled very low.

MATT: Ten, okay.

TALIESIN: (whispering) Human, want a lantern?

MARISHA: Oh, yes. Did you light it? Is it a lit lantern?

TALIESIN: I haven’t lit it yet. You can light it, I’ll help.

LAURA: It’s hooded, so you can close off the light.

MARISHA: Oh, I can close it on and off, right? Like one of those things?

MATT: Once it’s ignited and the oil’s lit, yeah, you can open and close the hood.

TALIESIN: I’m one-handed, so I can’t really help you light it.

TRAVIS: Well, what’ve we got, are we happy?

LAURA: Yeah, I found a small rod and a crowbar and a sledgehammer.

TRAVIS: Are you going to carry the sledgehammer?

LAURA: Is it heavy?

TRAVIS: Not for you, Beast Mode.

MATT: Nott, you’re an alchemist.

LIAM: Does the rod look like crudely made or prettily designed?

SAM: Apparently I’m looking it over.

MATT: Yeah, as you’re looking over it, it’s not beautifully made, it looks functional like a lot of the tools here, there isn’t a lot of presentation more than function as what you bring into a mine.

LIAM: Okay, no carving, no glyphs, no nothing like that, just caked in shit?

MATT: Yeah.

LIAM: Okay.

MATT: You take the rod and smell it and a familiar scent hits your nose. You’ve worked in your alchemical time with small level explosives. As part of the elements of the alchemist’s fire, there is a reagent catalyst that when the chemicals mix it causes a minor explosion and then burns heavily, there is an element of that, but it’s very very strong and very intense scent to it. As soon as you smell it, it brings back memories of accidents that have happened in the past on a very small scale. You immediately get this wave of cold shiver down your neck, that this is a very dangerous object if used improperly.

SAM: Yeah, careful with that. I think maybe none of us should hold that. Maybe Fjord, he seems sort of responsible. No, don’t make it a mustache.


SAM: It could blow up your face. It could blow up your face. Yeah, it’s a boom boom stick. That’s the alchemical term.

LAURA: Oh shit.

SAM: I think if you put it near fire it could go explode. Who wants to hold it, who is not Jester?

TRAVIS: Yeah, I’ll take it.

LAURA: Give me my pencil, though. Now!

SAM: Oh great, throw a sharp object.

TALIESIN: Anyone watching home the physics was really demanding on that one.

LAURA: Can I put the sledgehammer on my back?

MATT: Yeah. You can sling it in with your–

LAURA: My shield?

MARISHA: All right guys, left tunnel or right tunnel?

TRAVIS: I’ll tuck the rod into my belt.

SAM: It’s fine, I’ll go down the tunnel and scope it out for us.

TALIESIN: Well, before we do that, we should remember to check for traps maybe.

SAM: Oh.

LAURA: Oh, can you do that?

SAM: I don’t know.

TALIESIN: I certainly can’t.

TRAVIS: You can?

TALIESIN: No, I can’t. I can’t do any of that.

LAURA: I can look for them.

TALIESIN: I won’t be able to find them.

SAM: I can look for them too, I don’t know what a trap looks like.

LAURA: What did that one look like that you got hit with before?

SAM: Big piece of rope, probably should have seen it.

LAURA: Maybe look for ropes crossing the ground.

SAM: All right.

TRAVIS: Maybe this is an opportunity to grow and we look for those now.

SAM: I will make a mental note.

TRAVIS: Great.

SAM: Look for big pieces of rope.

TRAVIS: Yeah. Anything that looks out of the ordinary, out of place. On the wall, on the floors–

LIAM: Have a peeky-poo around as you go.

TRAVIS: Are you still shithoused? Are you fucking hammered still?

SAM: Don’t tell me what I can and can’t drink.


LIAM: You know, she does this from time to time, she becomes a little unpredictable, but you can’t argue with the results, you really cannot.

MARISHA: I kind of like her when she’s like this. It’s good.

TRAVIS: Okay, she needs another shot.

SAM: You want me to go ahead again?


SAM: Oh boy.

LAURA: Which one are we going down though, there’s two entrances aren’t there?

MATT: There are two paths yes.

SAM: I’ll go down one, just a little ways and then I’ll come back.

LAURA: You should actually stealth though this time, okay?

SAM: I will stealth. I’m going to stealth.

LAURA: You have a blessing.

SAM: And search for traps.

MATT: Okay, so make a stealth check first.

LAURA: With advantage.

SAM: Oh good. Okay, twenty something.

MATT: Well, with advantage but then disadvantage from the drunk so it’s just a straight roll.

SAM: The first roll?

MATT: Yes.

SAM: 13.

MATT: Okay, good to know. Then you’re going to check for traps?

SAM: Yes.

MATT: Make an investigation check with disadvantage.

SAM: With disadvantage?

MATT, LAURA, and LIAM: Because you’re drunk.

SAM: That affects– yeah.

LIAM: You can’t tell me what I can do, Matthew.

MATT: Dexterity-based and intelligence-based checks.

SAM: That’s all of the checks. So zero.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Oh wait, no! No, I did the math wrong, it’s ten. I’m drunk, guys!

TRAVIS: I know the feeling.

MATT: Okay, and which path is this you’re checking?

SAM: Left.

LAURA: I was going to say left. I knew.

SAM: I love you.

TRAVIS: Do you want to check air current temperature? Nothing? Anything?

MARISHA: Yeah, little drafts, anything like that?

MATT: You don’t sense any draft, the air is pretty stagnant actually.

TRAVIS: Temperature equal on both sides?

MATT: Seems to be. On the left path you do not notice any traps, anything akin to what you stumbled across as you entered. It does seem to descend in curve out of the way, but begin to snake a bit. You get about 15 to 20 feet down before it begins to rapidly curve left and right, it’s only about ten feet wide. You can continue if you want.

SAM: No thanks. Okay, I’ll go back and report what I’ve heard, or what I’ve learned.

LAURA: Do either of the two paths have more tracks coming in and out of them?

MATT: They both seem fairly equal. You’ve been keeping tabs on footfalls in here. There’s traffic both ways.

TRAVIS: You know what could be really handy in this situation is some of that fancy fucking thread of yours.

LIAM: For keeping things– alerting us of things coming here or–

TRAVIS: Yeah, I don’t mind commiting to one of this tunnels I just want to make sure nothing comes behind us or comes up from the other way.

LIAM: Yeah, that’s a good suggestion. First, what are we doing? What did you find out on that way?

SAM: It just keeps going and starts snaking and there’s no traps though.

LAURA: Let’s go down the right one.

SAM: Why?

LIAM: I think we should also send you down that one as well to have you look around.

SAM: All right. Here I go.


MATT: Make a stealth check please.

SAM: Okay, and looking for traps. Stealth with–

MATT: Disadvantage.


MATT: Oh, it’s straight roll because–

SAM: Okay, 25. 24. Something. It’s a lot.

MATT: All right and investigation check with disadvantage.

SAM: Investigation is 13.

MATT: With disadvantage.

TRAVIS: Because you’re hammered.

SAM: Yeah. 13.


MATT: You begin to curve down the right path and there is a slight depression on one side that you glance over and look and it looks like some of the burlap had been torn from the sacks early in the tunnel and had been used to cover a three and a half foot wide pit that has been laced over to hide its presence.

SAM: It’s just burlap over a pit in the ground?

MATT: Yeah, it’s affixed with a couple of rocks in the sides, it’s very light and would have fallen through. It only covers part of the path. The tunnel is about ten feet wide and the right side of it is where that pitfall is. You notice it and go. “Oh, hmm.” This one does not snake, this one continues in a continual curve for another 40 or so feet before you’re starting to get a little far from friends, you can continue if you want.

SAM: It just keeps curving and curving?

MATT: It looks like it’s going in a downward spiral.

SAM: Oh, a downward spiral. Okay, I’ll go back and report what I saw.

MATT: Great album.

TALIESIN: So true.

SAM: All right, so one path goes “wiggedy woo” and the other path goes “zibbidy zow.”

TALIESIN: Were there any traps?

SAM: No traps. Oh yes, there was a trap! To be fair, there was one trap. I thought you meant any sprung traps. There was a trap.

TRAVIS: You sussed it out.

SAM: I sussed it out. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.

LIAM: How far down did you go each way?

SAM: 40 feet down the “ziggedy zow” and like 25 feet down the “zibbidy zoo.”

LIAM: Well, my instinct tells me that if there’s something there, that they would trap it so probably more valuable if, we’re going on nothing, take the path that is trapped.

LAURA: I agree.

TALIESIN: Hear, hear.

SAM: You’re so smart.

LAURA: Unless they want us to think it’s the path that they’ve trapped.

SAM: Reverse psychology!

LAURA: That’s right, and it’s actually the path that is least resistance.

TALIESIN: Unless they knew that you would think that.

SAM: Oh, reverse reverse psychology!

LIAM: These are dog people? Let’s take the path with the trap.

TALIESIN: Trap, trap.

SAM: Right path.

MATT: As you all slowly begin to descend down the right path.

LAURA: We’re stealthing!

MATT: We’re coming to that in just a second. We’re going to go and take a break. Since it’s a little past nine. We’ll be back here in a few minutes to pick up the descent further into this mineshaft.

LAURA and MATT: Into madness.

LIAM: Down the wooden shaft.

MATT: Before we get to that, however, we do have a giveaway from our friends at Wormwood, as you saw last week we have another of their black walnut, two of their Adventurer Arsenal to give away again this week. If you’ve ever seen they’re awesome, well-made and if you open it up on the inside it has a place for you dice, for your pen, a place for a mini or eraser or anything else you want to carry into your game. It fits into the dice box that comes with it as well. We’re giving away two of these during the break to enter this while we’re gone at the break you can go on the Twitch chat and enter when you’re prompted the code word gnoll. That’s G-N-O-L-L. Do not enter it more than once or you’ll be disqualified, and we’ll come back from the break with two winners to this. Thank you so much we’ll see you guys here in a minute.


MATT: Welcome back. We have our two winners in the chat over the break. Congratulations on winning the Wyrmwood package to ding0atx and lunaimperial.

ALL: Woo!

MATT: Congratulations to the two of you guys. Danoba will reach out to you and get your contact information and we’ll get those sent to you ASAP, so well done.


MATT: Yes, all right. You chose the right or the left again?

SAM and LAURA: The right.

MATT: The right, okay. Down the path, the shaft winds for about another 150 or so feet before it slowly levels out into a long chamber of multiple levels. What once looked like a solid mining vein is now strewn with bones and flayed skin pinned to the rock walls with scavenged nails, blood spattered across them with intent painted a jagged smile of sharp teeth on each of these four hides. A faint source of light in the center flickers, a small stone altar holding a cluster of candles in the central level platform. It looks like about six gnoll-like figures have gathered around this stone–

LAURA: We were stealthing, we were stealthing.

MATT: I know. We’re going to get to that in just a second.

LAURA: Okay.

MATT: While a strange seventh figure places small wet stones upon this altar, smaller than the other gnolls. Let’s get a perception check real fast from two of you. Who’s leading the–

SAM: I would have been bringing them down right?

LIAM: You can see in the dark.

LAURA: Yeah, I can see in the dark, I’ll look.

MATT: We’ll say since you two would be in the front then for that, you jumped up first. Perception check both of you.

LIAM: Do you see anything?


SAM: Five.

MARISHA: This sucks.

LAURA: 11.

MATT: Okay, so you don’t see much of the figure. Also right now, I’ll have you guys all do a stealth check, please, as you make your way down.

TALIESIN: Do I still have advantage?

LAURA: No, he has advantage now, sorry.

TALIESIN: That’s okay.

SAM: 22.

LAURA: 15.


LIAM: Ten.



MATT: Okay.

LAURA: Oh no.

SAM: Looks like this is the wrong path, everyone. We should probably go back to the other. Sorry.

MATT: This figure looks gnoll-like, you see the ears and the snout, but as it reaches down and picks up these wet stones and places them in the altar giving small, dark, muffled barks and yipping sounds, you see elements that look like smooth human flesh. The more that you focus in, you can see this looks to be a humanoid figure that is wearing pieces of hollowed out gnoll-like armor. A hood missing a jaw that’s placed over the top of the head, sections of arms worn like a glove with the hand missing sifted through. It seems that a lot of the body parts are discolored and rotting a bit for what you can see from the candle light that’s flickering across it. Long bonelike spines, similar to what adorned the armor of that pack ward that you battled in the middle of the city last night, are also affixed to the outside and pierced through the elements of the shoulders and head of this flesh gnoll hide that it’s wearing. As it growls, mimicking the sounds of the gnolls that it seems to be residing along, the other gnolls around look pacing from foot to foot impatiently (growls and grunts). Begins to speak louder and louder at this altar and places a final wet stone on it. All the remaining gnolls begin to bark in unison together (bark and howl).

LAURA: (whisper) Do we stop this?

MATT: They all at once leap onto the altar and begin tearing into the stones, which are not stones they were glistening, at this point you see hearts that are now being torned and swallowed by the gnolls at the altar.

LAURA: Should we kill them all?

SAM: No.

TRAVIS: Don’t make a sound.

LIAM: (vomiting)

MARISHA: Oh, that was well done.

MATT: They finish devouring the hearts and the humanoid figure begins to bark a few more times and then a broken Common says, “The hunger will be fed: ours and hers. Come,” and points at two of them, “Help me carry more meat below. The rest, stay. Feast on what remains.” Turns around and you now look across the way on the other side of the chamber darkened you see a gnoll leaning in familiar armor: the one that you had battled and had left with the carts, is watching from afar into the chamber down on the lower third level platform.

LAURA: The big mama jamba?

MATT: The weird gnoll priest, I guess you could say at this point, that’s been helming this whole ritual goes and joins the armored gnolls and steps aside and follows second and the two gnolls that were assigned by it leave as well, leaving four in there in the chamber currently.

SAM: Including the armored one or no?

MATT: No the armored one leaves with the priest.

LIAM: Did you describe any light source in here that they’re working by?

MATT: The candle altar. Yeah. It’s not an extremely bright light, but for those of you who are human, it’s enough where you can make out shapes once your eyes have adjusted to the low light interior.

LIAM: Got it.

MATT: You watch as they begin to grab the bodies on the ground. You can see there are now– The grinding of bones as they drag broken corpses across the floor and begin to tear into the torsos.

LAURA: While this is happening I’m going to cast, very quietly, Cure Wounds on Nott next to me because I saw you’re bleeding out.

SAM: Oh sorry. What does that do?

LAURA: You just regained nine hit points.

SAM: Ooh nine.

TALIESIN: This is getting ridiculous.


MATT: (Barking) You watch as four hyenas fill into the space where the gnolls are and begin to sit at bay waiting for the gnolls to finish feasting. One of them gets close, and the gnoll just grabs its head and shoves it against the wall, and it snaps into the wall and then backs up and then waits its turn. You can see the other hyenas that exist in this space. Naturally scavengers have to wait, being at lowest of the totem pole.

TRAVIS: How many total?

MATT: Four gnolls, four hyenas.


LIAM: The one that got thrown into the wall? It got stunned or hurt, it didn’t get any–

MATT: It didn’t seem to be too much. More to just keep it away from the meal.

TALIESIN: We know they go down very quickly.

MARISHA: I’m afraid if we keep waiting, more will just show up.

LAURA: Yeah. Let’s kill them!

LIAM: (whispering) Here we go

SAM: What? We’re just going to go? There’s no plan?

MARISHA: Well, maybe we can draw a few over to us and take them out on our terms.

MATT: If you’re planning to engage, should I show you the layout of where they’re placed?

ALL: Yes!

SAM: He says coyly. Would you like to see the layout of the room?

TRAVIS: I don’t like seven on eight. I am not a fan.

SAM: Seven?

LAURA: But they’re little.

SAM: Six.

LAURA: The hyenas are little.

SAM: Oh, Yasha’s with us, right?


LIAM: The hyenas are just doggos.

SAM: Yeah, they’ve got like four hit points. You can take out two of them in one go. If you were, you know, Grog.

MATT: So here we have.

LAURA: Oh, one’s an archer, two’s an archer, three’s an archer.

MATT: They all tend to carry a bow on their backs.

LAURA: Shit, four’s an archer.

MATT: You can see now the hyenas that are waiting patiently. This one got knocked into the wall. They’re scooting at the sides, waiting for them to finish their meals. You guys are right up here where the shaft opens, glancing down into this chamber. That was where the priest and the other gnolls had exited.

SAM: We’re up on top up there?

MATT: You guys are up on here. Which, for the purposes of–

TRAVIS: Good thing we’re metal.

MATT: It’s fine.

TRAVIS: I mean, I hate it, but–

SAM: Is there any way to even the playing field a bit? Any strategy? Fjord and Caleb, come on?

LIAM: What about the boom stick that you have? We can chuck it into the–

LAURA: Oh! Wouldn’t that be really loud? Wouldn’t that draw them back though?

LIAM: Yes it would, but–

TRAVIS: Plus we’re in a mine.

LAURA: It might bring the whole thing down on us.

SAM: Maybe we could use that to escape later.

LAURA: Yeah, definitely.

TRAVIS: There’s a big column that’s in between them right?

MATT: Correct.

TRAVIS: Is it a column or a stalagmite?

MATT: It looks like it was a stalactite that was then reinforced as a column to help to help maintain the structure.

MARISHA: If we can make some sort of distraction, to get their attention, and if we can put out heavy hitters, our people up front. We can try to hold them in this mouth, ranged people in the back.

TRAVIS: Do you want to throw the rod at the column?

LAURA: I feel like we should do that when we’re leaving. We shouldn’t do that before we go in. Because we’re not going to be able to get to anything.

TRAVIS: There’s another path down.

LAURA: Well yeah, but this is very loud. It would draw things up here.

LIAM: Where would you want this distraction to be? Because I can make a little–

TRAVIS: Behind them, and make them turn away from us. Because we’re in a fatal funnel up here at the top.

LIAM: I can make a little dancing golden person of light appear down at the bottom of the passage.

MATT: A fifth gnoll finds its way into the chamber.

MARISHA: You see, more are going to keep coming.

MATT: It goes over and kicks one of the hyenas off to the side. It sits there (snuffling and whining).

TALIESIN: We can see now or try the other way.

LIAM: If there’s more in there, they’re just going to come in here anyway.

BEAU: And it’s not confined.

TRAVIS: I genuinely feel like we should go the other way.

SAM: The other way? This is it, this is the other way.

TRAVIS: There’s a whole other path.

SAM: It’s nothing.


SAM: That’s nothing.

TRAVIS: Do you know?

SAM: No, I’m guessing.

LIAM: Here’s the question: do you think these things are going to come out of here right away, or is it worth a shot? Maybe there is a way around, to a way they’re not expecting?

MARISHA: Normally, miners build coal mines with connecting shafts and double exits in case one side collapses. You always want another way out. We just don’t know where they’ve put everybody. We’re here looking for villagers, remember?

LIAM: You know, there’s nothing saying we have to run in here if we’re not feeling this. We can backtrack and look in the other direction. In fact, I’m leaning that way.

MARISHA: Hey, Matt. DM question? If we were to try and back out of here, and draw them towards us, what would that be? Just a tunnel?

MATT: Yeah, this tunnel is a ten-foot wide tunnel that continues backward.

LIAM: Plus we do have a map here.

SAM: Five gnolls. We’ve got these guys.

LAURA: We can try attacking them, and if it gets bad, then we use the TNT.

LIAM: Use D&D?

MARISHA: Yeah, that’s what I heard.



TALIESIN: The longer we wait, the more things are coming.

SAM: Maybe it’s the whiskey talking, but I think we’ve got these guys.

MATT: If you wanted to, turning you backward here, there’s this path here. We could continue the tunnel back this way.

MARISHA: It’s only a death funnel if we’re the ones dying, right? If they’re dying, that’s good for us.

SAM: How far is it on the map from where we’re standing to the farthest gnoll?

MATT: The farthest gnoll there? About 60 or so feet.

SAM: We can definitely do a distraction to get some of them to turn away from us. At least we get a round in.

LAURA: Get a surprise round.

LIAM: I can make a little golden person dance behind that guy there.

LAURA: We can get a surprise round on all of them.

MARISHA: Surprise round, get as many range and AoE spells off as we can?

LIAM: AoE? Surprise round? What are you talking about?

TALIESIN: Be helpful!

TRAVIS: Can I use this planning moment to cast Armor of Agathys on myself?

MATT: You may.

TRAVIS: Spectral frost collects from the air on my armor.

MATT: Which, as a note to remind you from last time–

TRAVIS: I didn’t give myself enough cold damage.

MATT: Correct, yeah, so keep that in mind.

SAM: Okay. Are you going to try your thing or should I try my thing first?

LIAM: What is your thing?

SAM: I don’t know. I can try something! I can do a similar thing, have them see something behind them, but you can do the same thing. Yours are already cast, right?

LIAM: Not right now, no. But it’s like that (snaps), it’s easy, this one.

SAM: Okay. I could try to get one of them to fight with one of the other ones of them.

LAURA and MARISHA: Yeah, that’s good.

LIAM: Do that.

SAM: I’m going to sneak up, down the steps to that little crook in there.

MATT: Right here?

SAM: Little further back, yeah. Is that all right? Do I have to roll or anything?

MATT: Roll a stealth check.

SAM: Oh, shit. Okay, with disadvantage?

MATT: Do you still have the gift?

LAURA: No, you still have Blessing.

SAM: Oh, so 26. That puts me within 30 feet of those guys, right?

MATT: Oh yeah.

SAM: And what are they doing? Eating hearts?

MATT: At a closer glance, you look and see. One of them currently is holding a pair of legs that are no longer attached to a torso, and is stripping the flesh from the thigh and leg, tearing into it. Takes a piece and chucks it off to the side, and the two hyenas fight over it. Another one back there, you can see is clutching a scapula, the back of a shoulder blade, and is breaking the bones in half and sucking the marrow out. At a quick glance, you get the sense that some of these may have been denizens of Alfield as of 24 hours ago.

LIAM: I’m going to start throwing up again soon, so let’s either do this or backtrack, please.

SAM: Are they carrying anything on their bodies, on their person? Anything, canteens or weapons or equipment or anything.

MATT: The gnolls?

SAM: The gnolls.

MATT: Most of them have a longbow slung over their shoulder, and have a spear that dangles off to the side, or has been jammed in the ground next to them.

LAURA: While he’s doing it, I’m getting ready. I’m doing this. I’m going to cast Mirror Image of myself.

MATT: Duplicity, or are you doing Mirror Image, the spell?

LAURA: Mirror Image.

MARISHA: Let’s all agree that if this goes bad, we run.

LAURA: Suddenly, there are three me’s around myself.

TRAVIS: If we need to close it off, light the tip of that little wick and throw it.

LIAM: Are we going right now?

MARISHA: Oh god.

SAM: Are any of them holding anything that they put down for a second, or they got it firmly in their claws?

MATT: The one that breaks and sucks the marrow out of the large, shoulder blade areas takes and grinds the teeth against it, scooping out whatever’s inside, then throws that piece on the ground next to it, then takes the arm and begins to splinter the middle of the arm bone and try to get the marrow out of that.

SAM: Are you about to do anything?

LIAM: Are you about to go?

SAM: I don’t know. You tell me.

LIAM: I’m going to really quickly mutter a few arcane words, then there is another Caleb blinking in front of me a little bit and behind me a little bit. It is hard to see me at the moment.

LAURA: Are you casting Blur or Mirror Image?

SAM: What are those words?

LAURA: I want to know for my own sake.

LIAM: I don’t care.

MARISHA: Can I get more into a place with Beau? In this crux, mirroring Nott. Stealth check? Natural 20!

MATT: Does your spell have concentration? You are concentrating on a spell at the moment. Beau, you quickly leap and land with no sound, catlike reflexes.

MARISHA: Three point landing.

MATT: Your foot does slide for a second as you glance down, and where you stepped in, it looks like there’s a bit of leftover pieces of people.

MARISHA: I (gagging).

SAM: I whisper a couple words and use Mage Hand to pick up the little piece of shoulder blade he dropped and throw it in the face of the other guy.

MATT: Okay. It slowly lifts, and one of the other gnolls that’s eating (splat), (growling), and the other one goes (yipping), and they go back to eating.

SAM: They don’t care. Thought they would kill each other, I don’t know. That was it. We’re level three, that’s all I got!

LIAM: (whoomp) A little halfling-sized person of light appears behind the gnoll at the far end there.

MATT: What is it? What are you using?

LIAM: I’m using Dancing Lights. You can use the four lights to make a little person, a little humanoid shape of light. It is doing a little macarena behind the gnoll all the way. I have 120 feet range.

MATT: That spell is not concentration? Right, okay.

LIAM: Yes, it is. But I would know that. I’m not going to do that because of my keen memory that Caleb has, but not Liam.

SAM: I’m going to turn around and whisper to Caleb: Are you going to do the thing? But I’m using Message, so no one can hear us. Are you going to do the thing? If not, I can do my thing.

LIAM: I send Frumpkin through the chamber and down and starts battering into the walls here.

MATT: As soon as Frumpkin begins doing that, you watch as the one that’s nearest on this side, the one that had dropped the arm piece earlier, takes the bow off its back and begins to notch an arrow, looking around. It’s going to take a shot at the bird fluttering through. That is a 17. What’s Frumpkin’s–?

LIAM: Oh, I’m sure that hits. Yeah.

MATT: Six points of piercing damage. The bird goes (thud) on the ground and then dissipates. You watch as the four hyenas suddenly rush in towards where the bird had fallen, and they all go to the spot where it landed and find an arrow lying there, and (snarling and yipping).

LAURA: I cast Spiritual Weapon above the two gnolls directly in front of me.

MATT: The range on that is–?

LAURA: Range on that is 60 feet.

MATT: You’re placing it where? Right there?

LAURA: Yeah, right there. It’s going to giant lollipop down and smack one of them in the face.

MATT: All right. Which one?

LAURA: This one. The one on your left.

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and roll a spell attack.

LAURA: Ooh, 19 plus whatever!

MATT: Nice. Roll damage on that, that definitely hits.

LAURA: That is nine force damage, and that’s my bonus.

SAM: Damn.

LAURA: Then I can do a cantrip. For my action, I’m going to cast Sacred Flame at the same dude.

MATT: Same dude? That is a 15.

LAURA: He saves, so is it half, or–?

TRAVIS: What kind of a check was it?

MATT: That would have been his dexterity saving throw, right?

LAURA: Yes. “Must succeed,” so it probably doesn’t do anything.

MATT: Yeah, then no damage. Okay, that ends your turn. Everyone else gets one action and then we roll initiative.

LAURA: Can I run down the steps and hide behind the barrel like it’s going to make any fucking difference at all?

MATT: Sure. You won’t get to hide, though, but you’re there. You’re standing next to a barrel. All righty, who’s up next?

TRAVIS: I’m ready.

MATT: Fjord, what you got?

TRAVIS: Can you point to one of them that is not undead? Just looks like a regular gnoll, or I can just pick one.

MATT: You can pick one. All of the gnolls in here look like regular gnolls.

TRAVIS: Great. Did you aim at that one?

LAURA: No, I aimed at the other one.

TRAVIS: Okay, I’ll take that far one.

MATT: What are you doing?

TRAVIS: Can I focus and summon my falchion into my hand?

MATT: Yep. It appears into your space in a burst of dull, greenish-blue fire, and there you see it, dripping with salt water across its blade.

TRAVIS: Can I use my bonus action to cast Hex at that right gnoll?

MATT: You may. That one is now Hexed. You watch as the gore that’s been dripping from the front of its body seems to roll up its torso in reverse before it slips into its armor and grasps itself, the darkened shadow gore now holding it in place as the Hex curse.

TRAVIS: Can I reach back and fire Eldritch Blast into it?

MATT: You may.


MATT: That hits. Plus 1d6.

TRAVIS: Six plus four, ten, 1d6, 15 points of damage.

MATT: 15 points of damage. (explosion) That one immediately drops what it was eating as the blast slams into it, as it’s confused by the wrapping of the Hex. As it reels and almost stumbles onto its back, its foot crushes one of the nearby skulls, and there you see this gaping would in its chest where the armor’s been sundered. There’s a smoking plume of blackened, horrible, shaded smoke pouring from it.

TRAVIS: Can I use my distance to move over here, if I may?

MATT: That’s as far as you can, there.

TRAVIS: Am I in your line of sight, Jester? Does anybody need that?

LAURA: Nah, you’re fine.


MATT: Beau?

MARISHA: Okay, I’m going to do something weird, and I hope it works and doesn’t fuck the rest of us. I’ll move up right here next to Fjord. 40. That works good there.

MATT: That’s 20 there.

MARISHA: Let me go one more. That’s good. Then can I reach in my bag and grab out, in my little pouch, grab out a handful out of my 1,000 ball bearings?

TRAVIS: You do have 1,000 ball bearings, I remember that. We had money. She bought a lot of fucking ball bearings.

MARISHA: A lot of ball bearings! Can I take it and– you know how you can take your pocket and flip it inside out? And have a bunch of ball bearings go (metallic clinking) across this way?

MATT: You hear hundreds of tiny metal clangs in succession as ball bearings begin to spray down the stairs and scattering across the floor of this central makeshift ritual room. As they run through the semblances of gore and the areas of the stonework that are exposed between, you have spent your action scattering.

MARISHA: Is that my action? Okay, I’m going to spend a ki point, and as my bonus action take Patient Defense.

MATT: Nice. As soon as you empty those out, you get back and go into your defensive position, preparing for any sort of assault. Caleb?

LIAM: The effect of that hasn’t taken place, correct?

MATT: The ball bearings, in this moment, are now clattering down into the ground.

LIAM: Did Fjord hit one successfully?

MATT: He did, yes.

LIAM: That same one? I am just going to Fire Bolt it. From yeah, yeah.

MATT: Roll for an attack.

LIAM: Fire Bolt. That is an attack range, guide, plus six that is a 15 to hit.

MATT: That hits, just barely.

LIAM: The damage is seven.

MATT: Seven points of damage. The one that you hexed suddenly goes up into flames with a (dying scream) and falls back onto the ground.

LIAM: I’ll use my movement to back up about 15 feet just outside of the chamber.

MATT: You are just there. As the flash of red light arcs from his finger and lights up the path before it impacts and kills the gnoll, Caleb then steps back into the shadows trying to get out of the way. Nott?

SAM: Oh, I get a turn as well? Because I did the Mage Hand thing.

MATT: Yes, but that technically did not initiate into a combat. It just bothered one of them.

SAM: Mildly.

MATT: A temporary inconvenience.

SAM: Sure, I’ll send an arrow down into the one that Jester attacked.

MATT: Go for it.

SAM: That’s the 23.

MATT: 23 hits. Roll damage.

SAM: Nine.

MATT: Nine plus your sneak attack.

SAM: This is a sneak attack?

MATT: Because you were stealthed.

SAM: 14.

LIAM: Rogue best class.

MATT: That one (explosion). The bolt goes through the center of his forehead and embeds itself right to the very back. You watch as (dying scream) and falls into the ground over one of the piled corpse pieces it was tearing through. Becoming one of its meals. And then?

SAM: Crouch back and hide.

MATT: Okay, make a hide check to try and disappear back there. Stealth on that one.

SAM: Advantage, but disadvantage so 16.

MATT: Okay. You did your thing. Molly?

TALIESIN: I’m going to creep out against the wall closest to me and try to hide in one of these coves. Over in the corner, as far as I can get into the–

MATT: You can get right into the similar space as Nott there.

SAM: Does he see me?

MATT: I would say barely.

TRAVIS: Hello!

SAM: Hi.

TALIESIN: Since I’m too far away from anything too crazy, I don’t have a good bonus action. I will use my Devil’s Tongue, I use Vicious Mockery on the gnoll that’s currently in between– not the one that’s– actually the one that’s furthest from us because he’s going to be the archer and in Infernal I’m going to say: I’m too disgusted to think of anything clever.

MATT: It rolled a natural one on its saving throw.

TALIESIN: So yeah that’s three psychic damage and he has disadvantage on his next attack.

MATT: Good to know. Now, everyone please roll initiative.

TALIESIN: Natural 20.

SAM: Natural 20. Actually, do I have to roll with disadvantage, is this dex or intelligence?

MATT: It’s technically a dexterity ability check so it would be disadvantage, yes.

SAM: Two, so six.

LAURA: That is so sad.

MATT: 25 to 20?



MATT: Fjord, what did you get?


MATT: Sorry. So who else rolled a natural 20?

SAM: I did, but I got a disadvantage.

MATT: Right, yeah. But don’t you have advantage with–

SAM: On stealth.

MATT: Just on stealth checks, that’s right. So Molly’s up first. That’s a fun little initiative tracker thing from our friends at Axe & Shield. See how it helps out there.

TALIESIN: I was 23.

MATT: 23. 20 to 15?


MATT: The gnolls roll a natural 18 plus one, so they’re at 19. Gnolls are next.

TRAVIS: O,h gnolls are next.

MATT: Both you guys are at 17?

MARISHA: I’m shaking.

MATT: 15 to ten?

LAURA: 13.

MATT: Jester got 13. Ten to five?

SAM: Six.

TRAVIS: I’m at four.

MATT: They hyenas are before Nott. Then we have Nott, then we have Fjord. Molly, you’re at the top of the round.

TALIESIN: God, that’s awful.

MARISHA: God, that’s bad. I don’t think I even fucking spelled it right. I think I botched that all across the board. I spelled it “Hyneas.”

MATT: Gets the idea across. The special hyena.

LAURA: “Hyneas!”

MATT: What you got, Molly?

TALIESIN: I’m going to get a little– Oh, can I do this? No, I can’t do that. Fuck. I know, I’m so sorry. I should have got my shit together. How far (counting)? Oh god, that’s too far to walk. I’m going to try and get one little crevice. Actually, I’m going to hold my position. I’m so sorry.

MATT: Hold your position?

TALIESIN: Hold my position and use one more Tongue on one of the guys.

MATT: All right. Natural 20 on the saving throw, unfortunately.

TALIESIN: Oh, so no.

MATT: Sorry.

TALIESIN: (Coughs) and I’m holding.

MATT: All right that’s your turn. All right the gnolls are up first. These two here are going to pull out their bow and begin to fire at Beau. Since you had been the first to appear at this point and gathered their attention. They both have disadvantage on the attacks. That is going to be an 11.


MATT: The other is two 14s in a row, so it would be 18 to hit.

MARISHA: Oh hit. With disadvantage?

MATT: 17 to hit, sorry.


MATT: Yeah all right.

MARISHA: 17 is my armor class.

MATT: That would be–

MARISHA: This is with a bow?

MATT: Yep. That’s going to be ten points of piercing damage to you.

MARISHA: I’m going to cat paw try to catch the missile with Deflect Missiles. What do I spend– Oh wait. Oh no, wait, this is a ki point.

MATT: Well, it’s a ki point to throw it back.

MARISHA: Oh no, it’s a ki point to throw it back, it’s just a reaction. It’s 1d10 plus seven. Nine plus seven so 16.

MATT: You catch it in mid-air and reduce it to no damage.

TRAVIS: Fucking dope!

MARISHA: I hold it out like a microphone and go–

MATT: As you do that, the one in the bottom of the ground, who is climbing closest to you, grabs its spear off the side of the wall. (Growling) Runs up the stairs.

TALIESIN: Does this one hit the ball bearings?

MATT: That’s what I’m–

TALIESIN: Oh okay.

MATT: Rolling its dexterity check to see if it can do so. It does succeed. It’s a 15. It slips, but it manages to make its way up the stairs.

MARISHA: I laugh at it, as it comes at me.

LAURA: He looks so stupid.

MATT: Coming into combat with both Fjord and Beau. He’s going to go ahead and reach out at you with that. It’s going to be a 16?


MATT: 16 misses.

LIAM: I hope we at least heard the Looney Tunes bongos on (bongo noises).

MATT: After you drop the arrow, it comes up and you parry this one off to the side and go back into your defensive stance. That ends both of those go there. Now, comes to Caleb.

LIAM: Yeah I can see from where I am, I can see Fjord and Beau with one of these things. I’m going to Fire Bolt, right from where I am.

MATT: All right, go. Roll for attack.

LIAM: That’s it. Aw no.

TRAVIS: Aw, no.

MATT: It strikes part of the stone altar, splintering candle wax and pieces of remnant heart chunks, but no impact unfortunately on the actual gnoll.

LIAM: Sorry!

MATT: You stay where you are?

LIAM: Yeah. I will walk just inside the–

LAURA: Did you go, Beau?

MARISHA: I haven’t, but we rolled at the same time.

MATT: Right, so Beau, you want to go with your action now?

MARISHA: Yes! I’m going to take my staff, I’m going to try and crack this guy on the back of his head where he is.

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA: Jesus Christ all fucking mighty. 13? Does that hit?

MATT: As you swing the bo back, trying to crack him in the head. It actually slips on one of the ball bearings you have left and has it manages to catch itself, it falls out of range of your sweep of the bo. You’re like “Shit!”

MARISHA: I’m my own worst enemy! I’m going to do a knee and a round kick– Oh no, wait, sorry. I can just do one. I’m thinking in advance. One kick with the knee!

MATT: All right, go for the attack.


LAURA: Do you want my dice bag?

MATT: You slip on one of your own ball bearings on the second strike, and manage to catch yourself by grabbing the fur on the outside of the gnoll and using its body to right yourself, and then, “Ugh.” It’s a little slick and sticky.

MARISHA: I wipe my hand on Fjord really quick.

MATT: All right, Jester you’re up.

LAURA: Okay. Have any of them been hurt yet?

MATT: That are standing? This one has been hurt a little bit.

LAURA: Okay. I’m going to move my Spiritual Weapon over to the one on the ground, directly in front of Beau. Oh, I meant on the lower level. Yeah, and it’s going to hit him! Whoa. 16 plus five.

MATT: 16 hits, plus five hits even more.

LAURA: That’s nine points of force damage.

MATT: Nine points of force damage as the lollipop hits the back of the skull and it leans forward and grabs the back of its skull with this pounding, throbbing pain in its head.

LAURA: And then I’m going to use Toll The Dead on the one in front of Beau.

MATT: All righty. So what does it have to roll?

LAURA: He has to roll a wisdom saving throw.

MATT: Okay. And the range of that one is?

LAURA: 60 feet.

MATT: So that rolls a nine plus zero, nine.

LAURA: Yeah! So it takes 1d12 necrotic damage! Two. It’s a little bell this time.

MATT: Just a little bell. You watch as just a little bit of blood comes out one of the hyena’s ears.

TALIESIN: I like to think that your lollipop makes Candy Crush sounds when it hits people.

LIAM: Jester, is the lollipop the flat kind or the round kind?

LAURA: I’m picturing the flat kind, so it can whack.

MATT: So the spiral kind? Gotcha. Are you going to move at all, or are you going to stay where you are?

LAURA: I’m going to stay right there.

MATT: Okay, that ends your turn.

LAURA: And then I make my mirror images be like– I guess they are doing that because I’m doing that because they are my mirror images.

MATT: There you go! There is a whole dance number over there of multiple Jesters. The hyenas go now.

TRAVIS: (sings tune to “Single Ladies.”)

LIAM: That’s the best.

MATT: Does succeed his dex save. This one’s going to take–

TRAVIS: (singing) If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.

MATT: Leaps up to there. Dexterity saving throw, does succeed.

LAURA: Oh jeez, there’s a lot of them. That’s a bigger one it looks like.

MATT: Saving throw succeeds! They’re actually rolling pretty high for their saving throws. This one will be a three, that one does not make it. This one gets part way over and then falls prone there. Uses the other half of its movement to get up, but that’s as far as it can get. It can’t actually attack this round. It’s going to use its movement to make the rest of its run up to the top of the stairs. So that one does not get an action this turn because it slipped on the ball bearings. It’s going to be one attack against Beau.

MARISHA: Whoa, it was effective!

MATT: With disadvantage. That’s a natural 20, and a six.


MATT: Yeah, that does not hit, not at all. It’s plus two. The hyena rushes up and lashes out towards you, you just pop, slap it in the nose and it pulls back.

MARISHA: Nose punch.

MATT: Yep. The two other ones that rush up and come along the flank with the hyena to you, Fjord. First one goes, that is going to be a 15 plus two, 17?

TRAVIS: That will hit.

MATT: All right. Actually, it has advantage on the roll because of pack tactics. It didn’t really help, let’s see here. You take two points of piercing damage.


MATT: The other one is going to attack you.

TRAVIS: It will take ten points of cold damage in return.

MATT: (laughs) Which causes it to shatter into ice on the ground. It bites you and its snout (explosion) T-1000 style. It shatters into a million ice pieces.

TALIESIN: You lost a gnoll there.

MATT: Yep.

TALIESIN: No, you’ve got a gnoll. You should have that looked at.

MATT: Thank you. The other one is going to take a strike at you. Natural 20, it’s a critical hit. 20 and ten. That pack tactics is nasty. That means you, for dice wise, suffer eight points of piercing damage. It takes ten and it explodes into ice as well. Both of these hyenas rush up and strike and both in succession disintegrate into shards of ice across the ground.

LAURA: That is the coolest spell ever.

TALIESIN: It’s so hardcore.

MATT: The spell is gone though, right?

TRAVIS: That’s it.

MATT: That’s going to end the hyenas turn. Nott, you’re up.

SAM: Okay, I’ll lean out from behind Mollymauk’s buttocks and rest the hand crossbow on his left cheek and fire–

TALIESIN: I support.

SAM: –on the gnoll that’s engaged with Fjord.

MATT: Okay.

SAM: Firing. Eight.

MATT: (Laughs) As you drunkenly try and aim in the direction.

SAM: It’s that bulbous butt!

MATT: You almost pull the trigger twice but you’re aiming at Fjord and you’re like, “No.”

TALIESIN: No advantage for engagement?

MATT: No advantage, but he can sneak attack if he hits. That’s how it works. You finally go, and one of the elements of stone in the side of the cavern wall (explosion) as the bolt hits it and goes sideways.

SAM:Am I still hidden? No? That exposes me, do I have to hide again? How do rogues work?

MATT: Yeah, you’re revealed.

SAM: Oh, I was revealed. Okay. So I have to hide again.

MATT: You have to find a way to obscure something’s vision to you before you can hide.

SAM: Sure, got it. Okay, I’ll run up the stairs then and hide back near where Caleb is. Other side. And then hide.

MATT: That’ll work. Go ahead and roll a stealth check as your bonus.

SAM: Well, I’ve cocked. Terrible. Nine plus eight is 17! Oh, wow, I’m so stealthy.

MATT: You’re a rogue this go round, man. All right, that ends Nott’s turn. Fjord, you’re up.

TRAVIS: Oh, it is my turn! Can I use my bonus action to move my Hex from my defeated foe to my new foe right in front of me?

MATT: You may.

TRAVIS: Yeah, and can I whip my falchion around and upstrike just try and cut right through him?

MATT: Go for it.

MARISHA and TRAVIS: (singing) I whip my falchion back and forth.

TRAVIS: That’s only a 16.

MATT: 16 hits!

TRAVIS: Oh good!

MATT: His AC’s 15.

TRAVIS: Can I say two-handed?

MATT: I’ll allow it.

TRAVIS: I’ve got to get in the habit of saying it.

MATT: Yeah, you’ve got to say it. Two-handed, I’ll allow it.

TRAVIS: 1d10. That’s a ten! Four– that’s 14 points of damage plus a d6, that’s 15 points of damage.

MATT: So this one, that had already– 15 points of damage, right?

TRAVIS: Mm-hmm!

MATT: This is the one that you hit earlier with it. As you swing with your falchion, just spinning it in your hand, you arc upward. As you do, you watch as the gore and shadow of your Hex, which now seems to grasp around its chest, almost reaches out to meet the blade in the middle like the two bits of lightning hitting in the center of the sky. As they impact, the blade carries through the momentum, the strength coming from the blade, not from your actual body. As you do, you carve through a large portion of its torso. You watch as the hide armor folds off, revealing this huge gash wound in its chest. It (snarling and growling). It’s still standing, but it’s horribly wounded right now.

TRAVIS: You fucked with the wrong one, son.

MATT: That end your turn, Fjord?

TRAVIS: That does.

MATT: All right, to the top. Molly, you’re up.

TALIESIN: I’m going to run up to these two and join the fray up here.

MATT: All righty.

TALIESIN: First, I’m going to take a swing at the big guy.

MATT: Go for it.

TALIESIN: That’s 16 to hit.

MATT: That hits! Go ahead and roll damage.

TALIESIN: And that’s– just using my normal one for this one. That’s eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of damage. As soon as it rears from the attack, Fjord, you watch as in a flash the cloak billows of Mollymauk’s arrival. As the cloak falls, you just watch as the gnoll’s head just rolls off of its shoulders. You can see the blow that struck it.

TALIESIN: Bonus action with the glowing sword goes down into the hyena.

MATT: Go for it.

TRAVIS: Well, hot damn!

TALIESIN: That’s an 11 to hit?

MATT: That’s its armor class. Hyena doesn’t have a whole lot of armor.

TALIESIN: All right, and that’s eight points of damage.

MATT: Eight points of damage. With the one strike, you turn around and look at the hyena. (whoosh) with the offhand and just carve right through it.

TRAVIS: With a flourish.

MATT: Wait, because that didn’t have the–

TALIESIN: No, this one was the glowing one.

MATT: Well, the glowing one is your main hand.

TALIESIN: Oh, it was my main hand?

MATT: Then your offhand is the other one.

TALIESIN: Oh, okay. I didn’t know how that.

MATT: So what damage would it have been without the bonus?

TALIESIN: That would have been four.

MATT: Four damage? All right, so it’s still there. You carve through, and it’s wounded, but it’s still (whimpering).

TALIESIN: I would have flipped them if I’d known.

LAURA: Couldn’t you have attacked with your offhand first?

TALIESIN: I was going to say, I would have flipped them if I had known.

MATT: You could have.

TALIESIN: I was going to hit the one that didn’t have much left.

MATT: The idea is the bonus action attack happens as part of the attack action.

TALIESIN: Sure, I’ll do it reverse next time.

MATT: No worries, you can keep that in mind next time. It’s all good, you still beat the shit out of it with your offhand. So that ends Molly’s turn. Those two gnolls in the back, this guy is going to back up as he attempts to make a dexterity save. Fails! So he falls prone, uses the rest of his movement to get back up, so he can only move ten more feet so he can’t get that much further away. He’s going to go ahead and take a shot, this guy is going to go ahead and pull back, he’s out of the bearing range and begins making his way towards the door.


MATT: They’re both going to take shots at Fjord. Actually, one at you, one at Molly. They’re not going to fire at you because you visibly caught one and dropped it in front of them like, “Fuck that.”

MARISHA: Aw, damn it!

TRAVIS: Fuck that!

MATT: Against Fjord, that’s going to be 19.

TRAVIS: Oh, that hits.

MATT: And against Molly.

TALIESIN: Blood Maledict on that fucker.

MATT: Okay. That brings it down to a 14.

TALIESIN: Yeah, that don’t hit.

MATT: All right, as the one that is going to fire at you pulls back its arrow, its eyes suddenly go dark and begin to bleed from the inside. It suddenly (snarling) and releases it, and you watch as that arrow splinters against the central column. The one that does come towards you, Fjord, however does strike true. You suffer eight points of piercing damage as this one catches you right to the abdomen, a little bit to the right, tapping something kidneyish in that vicinity and you feel this sudden dull pain and nausea overcome you. That’s going to end the gnolls’ turn; Caleb, you’re up.

LIAM: I saw Nott dart in front of me and chuckle to myself, see Nott walk past, I’m going to walk forward and say: You are enjoying this too much, but okay. Can I see these two? You said they were backing away, correct?

MATT: You can see this one. This one is technically being blocked by that central column.

LIAM: All right then, the diamond comes up, I spin it and little charges of electricity crackle around it, and I kick it out from my hand and it spirals through the room to that one.

MATT: Go ahead and roll your spell attack.

LIAM: Come on, Grog! No.

LAURA: Oh man, Caleb, so rough tonight.

TRAVIS: (as Grog) Sorry.

MATT: What’d you roll?

LIAM: Two. Plus six is eight, did that do it?

MATT: No, unfortunately.

LIAM: *Nein!*

MATT: It skitters off the central column and goes spinning out of control as the electrical sphere shatters against the stone work and dissipates the energy, absorbed by the surrounding stonework.

LIAM: But I was so eager that I actually came down the steps my full movement.

TALIESIN: I’ll also say I think we– oh no, that’s right, you’re double.

MATT: Yeah, that will be your full movement there. Pretty close.

LIAM: I don’t want to go there, I want to go to the bottom of the steps behind Mollymauk and Fjord.

MATT: Ending Caleb’s turn; Beau.

MARISHA: Right, okay. How far away is he? I’m having a hard time seeing. Can I close the gap?

MATT: You could say maybe he’s about 30 feet from you.

MARISHA: Okay, can I do some cool monk shit and do some wall running and leap and parkour and then get to this guy?

MATT: We can certainly try. Make an acrobatics check for me.

MARISHA: Acrobatics?

TALIESIN: I can see this is going to end up with an Office parkour gif in your future.

MARISHA: Parkour! Oh, that’s good! That’s a natural 18 plus six.

MATT: As you run off the edge, the hyena takes a swing at you. That is going to be a 14.


MATT: You feel it snap at your heel, but does not actually grasp any of your body.

MARISHA: My foot just taps his arm just a little bit and I leap off of his arm.

MATT: You push off of him, run along this wall, leap, hit this pillar, and then as you meant leap and land right in front of the gnoll there.

MARISHA: As I’m leaping, I want to take the staff and come down and go (crack) with a slap. Double handed, piece of shit gnoll! Oh god, it’s a two!

MATT: What was the other one?

MARISHA: That was my eight sided die. I’m trying to efficient my rolls.

MATT: Roll both? Yeah. As you swing down, the gnoll manages to see you up in the air and side steps as you hit the stonework.

MARISHA: I scream as I come down the whole way going (screaming).

MATT: (gnoll laughter)

MARISHA: I just go (pop) and do a little jab, okay. That’s an 18.

TALIESIN: You just slap him in the face.

MATT: Damage on that one?

MARISHA: That’s just a d4. Four, so eight!

MATT: Eight points of damage, nice! As it’s laughing, (laughing, punch, growling) its jaw is dislocated and it snaps back into place. You see some of its teeth broke. It looks kind of dazed and hurt by it. It’s looking pretty rough; it’s taken some hits in the past. That’s the end of your turn.

TALIESIN: He can’t run anymore.

MATT: All right, that brings us to Jester.

LAURA: I saw, “Don’t laugh at my friend!” and I’m going to send my lollipop over and hit it in the face.

MATT: Yeah, that’ll do it, 20 feet.

MARISHA: Get a good hit, lollipop!

LAURA: I don’t know if it’s going to hit it. Eight plus five.

MATT: 13? No, I’m afraid that will not hit. As the lollipop comes around the corner, it sees it coming, and moves to get Beau to intercede between lollipop and itself. At that moment, you’re like, “Oh, I can’t quite–,” and you end up withdrawing and not striking this round for fear of hitting Beau.

LAURA: Toll the Dead!

MATT: All righty, so that’s a wisdom save? That’s six, no!

LAURA: Yay! Okay, seven.

MATT: Seven points of damage. As you release the surge of energy, and the sound begins to vibrate in its ears as it (whimpering) and it reaches up as both of its eardrums burst on the sides of its head and it falls to one knee looking like it’s completely ruined and dazed. And Beau, you have a moment to coup de grâce it. You (whack) and break its neck with one swoop of the bo. Combined, you both finish off that gnoll.

MARISHA: Sounds great.

TALIESIN: That’s so cool. That spell is so cool.

LAURA: It’s pretty cool.

MARISHA: Fuck yeah, that was awesome.

TRAVIS: Toll the Dead is the bomb!

MATT: Jester, you want to move?

LAURA: I’m going to hang out where I am.

MATT: Okay. End of Jester’s turn. The hyenas. This hyena is going to move past–

TALIESIN: Does Fjord get an attack of opportunity on it?

MATT: No, that one was not in proper melee with him. That one’s going to move up to you, Fjord. Attacking you, Fjord, that is a six.

TRAVIS: No, it doesn’t hit! Thankfully.

MATT: Attacking you, Molly. That is a 20.

TALIESIN: That hits.

MATT: You take two points of piercing damage as it snaps at you. Seeing that they’re both beginning to glance about and see that their allies are starting to back away, and there’s a lot of you up in this upper area, they’re both going to attempt to break away with the rest–

TALIESIN: I’m definitely going to take an attack of opportunity on that one.

TRAVIS: I’d like to, as well.

MATT: Yep, both of you do.

LAURA: We got to get that last gnoll before he leaves the room.



MATT: Both hit. Roll damage.

TALIESIN: Is this main hand?

MATT: Main hand. This one is hanging on by a thread. It’s the one you damaged last round.

TALIESIN: Eight points of damage.

MATT: Yeah, you carve that one. You?

TRAVIS: 11 points.

MATT: As they’re rushing, you both (whoosh) simultaneously strike back at it as they’re attempting to flee and they stumble down the stairs.

TRAVIS: Can we cheers swords?


MATT: Perfect. Their bodies stumble to the ground and end up– it’s weird because their bodies hit the ground, and the momentum carries them as they slide across the ball bearings, almost like they’re lagging.

MARISHA: Bad physics?

TRAVIS: What’s that– kerning? Curling.

MATT: Finished the hyenas’ round. Nott, you’re up.

SAM: Seeing the gnoll’s expression– I know it well. It’s one of fear and about to run away.


MATT: Make an insight check.

SAM: Okay.

TALIESIN: At disadvantage?

SAM: 19.

MATT: It is not disadvantage on wisdom checks. 19. This gnoll looks like it is ready to fucking bolt. It is on the way out of the room. The tide has turned, it’s starting to see more and more of you appear at the top of the stairs as the hyenas and its friends are being destroyed. It’s going to run.

SAM: Okay. I’m going to put the hand crossbow up and run as fast as I can, straight at it. Using my bonus action to dash, I’m going to say to it: Hey, you! If you spend all day in a well, well that’s a day well-spent! I’ll cast Hideous Laughter on it.


LAURA: I’m glad we still get shitty jokes.

MATT: It immediately goes (cackling) and falls on the ground, on its back, and is now rolling with laughter. Laughter that is echoing through the halls and making its way through the tunnel.

SAM: Don’t you worry. Fjord, kill him!

TRAVIS: You made him prone; it’s harder to hit that way!

SAM: Get closer!

TRAVIS: I’m trying! I would like to move up my 30 feet of speed.

MARISHA: I turn behind me, I go: Watch the ball bearings! Watch the marbles!

MATT: Make a dexterity saving throw.


MATT: As you hear that, just as you reach the bottom of the stairs.


MATT: Okay, you get to the bottom of the stairs, and you barely begin to slip and catch yourself. It’s a DC 12. However, you continue to run. (counting) That’s about as close as you can get on your 30 movement–

TRAVIS: Can I use my bonus action to move my Hex to the laughing gnoll on the ground?

MATT: Yes, you may.

TRAVIS: I’ll cast Eldritch Blast at it.

MATT: Actually, make a concentration check. You’ve taken some damage, and I forgot to maintain your Hex’s concentration.

TRAVIS: Oh. That’s right. Saving throw?

MATT: Make two for me if you don’t mind.

TRAVIS: This first one is a 19.

MATT: Correct. That’s fine.

TRAVIS: The second one is 18.

MATT: Yeah, you’re fine. The Hex moves over–

TRAVIS: I’ll remember that.

MATT: Whenever you take damage, and you have a spell that’s concentration, you have to–

TRAVIS: These spell rules.

MATT: I know.


MATT: Eldritch Blast?

TRAVIS: Yes. Oh, sorry, plus six.

MATT: Disadvantage. Because it’s still prone.

TRAVIS: That’s even higher, so 14.

MATT: 14? Still misses, unfortunately. It hits and gleans off of its armor. However, it isn’t quite strong enough to actually make a painful impact on its body and slams into a nearby rock, causing a spray of dust and debris.

TRAVIS: The attack has to hit for Hex to work, right?

MATT: Correct. All right. That ends your turn, Fjord. Molly, you’re up.

TALIESIN: I’m going to run down the stairs the opposite direction from the ball bearings. I’ll see where I can get, if I can get 30 feet.

MATT: That’s as far as you can get, right there.

TALIESIN: I’m going to also use Vicious Mockery again and yell: Shut up already!

MATT: That actually is a 16. What’s your DC?

TALIESIN: DC on that, it just says wisdom saving.

MATT: Right. Against whatever your spell DC is.

TALIESIN: Where is my spell DC? Well it’s weird, I’m not a spell–

MATT: Spell caster technically. We will say for the purposes of this it’s eight plus proficiency bonus which is ten plus whatever your charisma modifier is.

TALIESIN: My charisma modifier is zero.

SAM: Yuck.

MATT: Yeah. Not a big deal. For now. We’ll tighten it up. Cool. So no effect there. Molly’s turn is over. The Gnoll’s turn. It is laughing its ass off. Now does it make–

SAM: The end of its turn it makes a save.

MATT: All right. Which is a 17. It manages to shrug off the laughter.

SAM: At the end of its turn.

LAURA: Oh, so it can’t get up and move.

MATT: No. It’s just on the ground going (confused whimpering). It’s about to try and get back up. Caleb, you’re up.

LIAM: I’m going to go along the edge of the steps this way and come down toward it and I’m going to now spin and flames lick around it and I’ll go (flick) and I flick that off my hand. This time is also not good. It is a 13.

MATT: 13. It has disadvantage because it’s still prone.

LIAM: Oh. For my attack?

MATT: Yes. Against ranged spells.

LIAM: Same thing. Rolled the same thing.

MATT: Yeah, you release it and it just skids across the ground. Like skipping a stone across a lake. It slams into the wall behind it and (explosion).

TRAVIS: I apologize.

LIAM: No, it’s okay. No, I don’t believe in any of that bullshit. You all are crazy.

MATT: It’s all good, man. Just survive to level five and everything will turn. Unfortunately it does not hit.

LIAM: No don’t worry about me. Keep going. Everybody attack.

MATT: All right. Beau, you’re up.

MARISHA: I want to do this as my two handed attack, but for flavor to skin it. I want to stroll up, channeling The Rock. Charge up the elbow. Then we go a People’s Elbow. Come right down.

MATT: You have advantage because it is prone.

MARISHA: Just a full body weight (thudding). With advantage? Can I consider it a two handed attack?

MATT: You’re just getting your attack, so yeah, still with advantage.

MARISHA: Oh my god! Why?!

LIAM: Two and a three.

MATT: Here is what you do. You walk up. Tap tap. Leap and right as you’re in the air the gnoll kicks out of laughter. Rolls out of the way and you wham!

MARISHA: (yelling in pain)

LIAM: Never recover from that injury.

TRAVIS: Yep, that shit just hangs out in there.

MATT: The worst funny bone pain shoots through your arm as you get up.

LIAM: You are going to be rubbing Tiger Balm into that shit for years.

MATT: You still have your bonus.The gnoll actually starts laughing again.

MARISHA: For flavor, my second attack isn’t really an attack. I’m in so much pain I go (yell) and I kick a little bit.

MATT: Roll the attack. You still have advantage. Yeah, because it’s still prone.

MARISHA: Natural 20!

MATT: That will shut it up.

LAURA: I like that your revenge hits are always really high. That is twice now that they have laughed at you and you have hit them while they’re laughing at you.

MARISHA: Every time I try to show off it never works. That’s what I’m learning. Okay, three doubled to six plus four. So ten.

MATT: So as it’s laughing, you kick it in the head and you see it stunned on the ground for a second and its eyes kind of rolling in different directions. Nice heavy crack to the side of it’s temple.

MARISHA: I don’t care too much. I just roll over and go fetal for a minute.

MATT: Okay, ending Beau’s turn. Jester, you’re up.

LAURA: I’m going to skip over across the upper level towards the far stairs so I can see it. I’m going to send my spiritual weapon over to it and smack it flat on the ground!

MATT: Okay, that does have advantage because it is technically a melee weapon.

LAURA: Jesus Christ, I don’t think either of them hit. Thirteen and lower.

MATT: Nope. It’s just rolling out of the way of everything. It’s doing what Beau did in the last fight, but on the ground.

LAURA: Then I’m going to Toll the Dead. Wisdom.

MATT: Unless it rolls a natural 19.

TALIESIN: This is amazing!

MATT: This one gnoll is just holding on so hard. Jester, I think that ends your turn, unfortunately.

LAURA: Jesus fucking Christ.


MATT: The hyenas are dead. There’s no hyenas left.

TRAVIS: The proned out gnoll is just making it through.

MARISHA: Come on, Nott. Bring it home!

LAURA: I’m going to sit down on the ground and– all my Mirror Images do the exact same thing.

MATT: You watch as four shimmering Jesters all kneel down and shake their heads in their hands. Beau is over there like (gasps).

MARISHA: It’s almost something like a Jacob’s Ladder moment, the end of his life is being stretched out.

MATT: This gnoll is going to need some serious therapy. Nott, you’re up.

SAM: I can’t believe this thing is still alive. It’s still prone, right?

MATT: It’s prone, yeah, so melee attacks have advantage.

SAM: So I walk up to it, and then point-blank shoot– not point-blank, but far enough away that–

MATT: You’re at disadvantage with a ranged attack.

SAM: All right, I’ll stand back ten feet.

TALIESIN: No, you’ll still get disadvantage.

MATT: You have disadvantage from a ranged attack up close and disadvantage against a prone creature. Right now, with your crossbow, it’s disadvantage regardless.

SAM: Oh, well shit. Then I will draw a sword and I will–

TRAVIS: Slap that bitch!

TALIESIN: Now you’ve got advantage.

MATT: Now you have advantage on the attack.

TRAVIS: Get your hands dirty.

SAM: Thank god. Okay, 18.

MATT: 18 hits. Go ahead and roll damage with your sneak attack.

SAM: Okay, 13.

MATT: 13 points of damage. How do you want to do this?


SAM: I think, since it’s on the ground, I would like to pin it into the ground, if I can, by finding the thinnest thing on it and jamming my shortsword into the ground.

MATT: As it’s cackling and moving around, I like to imagine this is all happening simultaneously. Beau’s on the ground holding her elbow, the weapon misses, and it’s rolling and cackling and starting to get up and you’re like “Hmm, there!” (thump) Almost unceremoniously it’s like (dying yip) and falls limp on the ground where you place it. It’s almost like the slow push from Saving Private Ryan. You’re like “Shh, shh, shh.”

LAURA: You’re terrible.

MATT: (dying yips) and it expires there on the ground.

LAURA: I go around and I collect the gnoll ears and I put them in the jar.

LIAM: As the room falls still, I say: Well, he had a good run. A toast to that guy right there on the ground.

SAM: Yes.


SAM: He was like Beyoncé. He was one hot Knowles.

(laughter and groaning)

SAM: I don’t know!

TRAVIS: One point of damage? All of us?

MATT: Everyone takes one point of psychic damage.

LAURA: I have a question. How similar do hyena ears look to gnoll ears?

MATT: They are noticeably smaller and not gnoll ears.

LAURA: What if we said they were baby gnolls? I’m going to cut them off just to be safe.

MATT: Okay. Five sets of gnoll ears and four sets of hyena ears.

LIAM: I’m going to call Nott over to the chest over on that side there. Do you see anything wrong with this? Is there anything hinky about that chest?

SAM: I check for traps. Checking for traps.

MATT: All right.

SAM: This is an intelligence check?

TRAVIS: Are you still intoxicated?

LIAM: It’s investigation, I think.

TRAVIS: Or has that shit worn off with some activity?

MATT: The next ten to 15 minutes or so you’ll be able to shake off the alcohol.

SAM: For now, I rolled an 11.

MATT: Okay. It does not appear to be trapped.

SAM: It’s good!

LIAM: Does it look good?

SAM: It’s totally good.

LIAM: Take a step back. You’ve earned this. I will open it, just in case.

MATT: (clunk) It’s locked.


SAM: I will pick it!

MATT: Okay. Go ahead and attempt, with disadvantage, to pick it.

SAM: What am I rolling?

MATT: It’s proficiency bonus, which is two, plus your dex bonus.

SAM: Okay. Proficiency and dex. But disadvantage. Okay. 21.

MATT: As the adrenaline pumps through your system, it wakes you up a bit and even with the intoxication that’s been flooding your system, you steal a moment of clarity and it opens without an issue. You glance at it, and the chest looks like it’s been bashed in a little bit, like one of the gnolls was trying to get into it and eventually gave up, got flummoxed, and threw it on the ground. As you open it up from the inside, you can see essentially a central medical pack, if you will. An emergency pack for any of the miners that had gotten hurt or wounded. There are two healer’s kits in there. There are a number of disinfectant herbs and funguses. Anybody who is proficient in medicine would know how best to utilize those. I don’t know if any of you are.


MATT: Then it’s a risky endeavor to maybe use one. You do find a small leather hand pack that contained four glass vials, three of which are shattered from the rough movements when it was tossed around, but one that is still intact. That contains a healing potion.

SAM: Is it a healing potion?

MATT: It is. It is a greater healing potion, not a standard healing potion.

LAURA: Whoa!

SAM: I hand it to Caleb. You need this more than all of us. You’re the squishiest.

LIAM: Well, that’s probably true. Thank you. You take the two medicine packs and then–

SAM: What do I do with these? I don’t, all right fine, I’ll take them. I collect medicine packs now.

LAURA: I need them. I could probably use those.

TALIESIN: I also like the idea of maybe giving the healing potion to the healer.

LIAM: She can heal without the potion.

TALIESIN: Can you heal yourself without the potion?

LIAM: Of course she can.

TALIESIN: Oh, well all right then. That didn’t really occur to me.

SAM: I’ll keep the herbs.

MATT: You can mark down medicinal supplies, would be what you call it. You are not entirely certain as to how they are applied, but they are probably healthy.

LAURA: Can I look at them since I’m proficient in medicine?

MATT: You’re proficient in medicine? Yeah. I was asking if anyone was proficient with it.

LAURA: Oh, sorry. I was writing down gnoll sets of ears.

MATT: (laughs) Fair enough. The medicinal supplies you have acquired can be utilized to remove poisons, if quickly applied to where the poison was put. It has two uses. If an action is taken to apply it to a wound, whether a bite or a wound that was poisoned, it can help remove the poison.

TRAVIS: Oh shit.

LAURA: It’s an action you said?

MATT: It’s an action to apply it, yeah.

LIAM: There was a lot of gnoll chatter in here, and a lot of exploding orbs and stuff, so I’m going to guess that we have alerted whatever is beyond that we are here. How do we wish to proceed?

TALIESIN: Well, they make a lot of noise. They may not have noticed.

MARISHA: Can I, since I’m in that general vicinity, go 20 or so feet into this hole and listen and see if I hear anything?

LIAM: They don’t send orbs of fire through the air, though.

MATT: As you step forward a little bit, make a perception check.

LAURA: What was the question? I’m sorry.

TRAVIS: There was no question.


MATT: You hear echoing, muffled in the distance. Some yipping, some conversation in whatever this gnollish language is. You hear a deep, resonant (deep breathing) and a distant (thump). An impact, and a sound near (yips). That’s all. Sounded quite a ways away, like this echo had been traveling a ways down this tunnel.

MARISHA: I bend down–

MATT: You hear a few other cackling chuckles that echo shortly thereafter.

MARISHA: I turn around and come back to the rest of the group and say: There’s something bigger.

TRAVIS: Jester, could you give me a heal a little bit? I took a little bit of a beating.

LAURA: Oh sure. Yeah, I’ll cast Cure Wounds on him.

MARISHA: I think there’s something bigger at play here. Whatever is driving these gnolls I think is deeper in. Can I look around and see if I can find anything like any papers, anything from that humanoid that might be intelligible?

MATT: Make an investigation check for this.

MARISHA: Okay, 20 total.

MATT: Okay. Looking about the altar, you find some smaller pieces of fresher flesh that have been stretched over the edges of the altar, like on the corners. You can see a similar grin across the center. It’s all blood splattered from the hearts that were placed on there. As you wipe a little bit of it away, you can see stained into this loosely tan, human skin the same symbol of the jagged smile. The jagged teeth that form a grin that the various tanned banners that are stapled into the stone walls show and reveal. But no notes. No books, no parchment.

MARISHA: Can I try and figure out what this is, if I recognize this symbol in any way?

TALIESIN: I’d also like to join in on that with a religion check.

MATT: You’ve already made a religion check before, and as you come up and join her, this particular symbol, the grin matches the memory, the flash you had of this entity.

MARISHA: Yeenogru?

LAURA: Yeah, Yeenogru.

MARISHA: Yeenogru?

MATT: You gather that this is probably the symbol that represents this entity.

TALIESIN: The cult of Yeenogru.

LAURA: Yeenogru or Yeenoghu?

MARISHA: Yeenoghu or what?

MATT and MARISHA: Yeenoghu.

TALIESIN: Mr. Magoo. Well, you know. Fake confidence.

LIAM: Are you clear now?

SAM: I’m fine.

LIAM: How many fingers am I holding up?

SAM: More than I think I have on my entire body. I think I just have four on each hand.

LIAM: And thumbs? Or–?


LIAM: You good? Do we need to get out of here?

SAM: Yeah. I’m good. We’re fine. I mean, is this the plan? We were supposed to free living people, but we got some arms. We could bring those back.

LIAM: I don’t think, I mean, yeah, we could, but–

LAURA: He said to bring back anything we could find.

SAM: Are there any identifiable body parts?

MATT: You take a few minutes to look around which gives you two notifications. One, nothing seems to be immediately coming in to search as to what the noises were, and you do hear other distant sounds. Impacts and cackling and stuff. You get the sense that the tunnels deeper in have some activity amongst the gnolls that live below whatever they’ve converted this mine network to be. You also see that all the bodies in this chamber have been pretty much picked of any identifiable facets.

MARISHA: Jewelry, wedding bands, anything?

MATT: If you want to take some time to really pick through it, you could try. Do you want to?

LIAM: No, we’re still trying to get to people here. Our options are we press forward to something worse, or we backtrack and try the other direction or we get out of here.

TRAVIS: We have the silver thread up top, right?

SAM: Did we do that?

LIAM: Did we? No, we opted not to do that for time’s sake.

LAURA: We could do it now. As we move forward.

TRAVIS: Oh, it took a few minutes, didn’t it.

LIAM: Yeah, we could do that now.

TALIESIN: How are you feeling, Fjord?

SAM: Yeah, Fjord, are we going to be Fjord explorers or Fjord escapes?

LAURA: Jesus.

LIAM: Yeah. I could do that quickly. I could put an Alarm here quickly. I could do it the fast way, and know if anything is coming behind us. Is that what we want to do? Do we want to go around, I don’t know, I’m a little terrified of what is down there.

MARISHA: While he does that, can we, no we can’t take a short rest. It’s not enough time.

MATT: That’s up to you.

LIAM: That’s a half hour is a short rest. Or an hour is a short rest.

MATT: It’s about an hour or so.

MARISHA: Nope. Ignore what I said.

LIAM: There’s two ways that I can do this. I can do it lickety-split or I can take my book out and do it the harder way, but that’s ten minutes, about.

TRAVIS: I think it’s in front of us.

MARISHA: There’s something real big back there. It’s real big.

LIAM: We just have to march into it. Okay.

TALIESIN: I’m not convinced that they don’t still have people alive down there.

LAURA: I’m pretty much out of spells now. But that’s okay.

TRAVIS: A short rest doesn’t give us spells back, does it?

MATT: Not for her it doesn’t. (singing) Conservation!

LIAM: How are you with that sledgehammer on your back?

LAURA: What do you mean?

LIAM: You’re carrying a sledgehammer on your back.

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: How are you with it?

LAURA: Oh. I don’t know. It’s a big weapon.

MARISHA: She’s got a badass scythe.

MATT: It’s more of a tool sledgehammer than a weapon sledgehammer.

LAURA: Yeah, I’ve got a scythe. A sickle.

TRAVIS: I’d like to volunteer that perhaps we move forward until we can see whether there are any living people that we can help and we make a decision then.

MARISHA: I saw nothing that would clue me in as to what might be deeper and really big?

MATT: Nothing that caught your attention.

MARISHA: Okay. Let’s go.

TRAVIS: That went far better than the village, but also that big armored bastard wasn’t there.

TALIESIN: Let’s make a pile of these bodies, too. Just in case, maybe they think that they took each other apart.

LAURA: Let’s set them up like they all were making out.

LIAM: No, we don’t have time for that here. We have to get going.

SAM: Like some sort of a circle jerky sort of a thing?

LAURA: Yeah, yeah.

TALIESIN: On the way out.

LAURA: Loosely prop them up like that.

LIAM: When we’re victorious we can do disgusting things as we leave. Nott, I think you should take point again.

SAM: All right.

LAURA: Did you do the–

LIAM: That I thought that was for going back the other way. We want to know if something comes behind us?

LAURA: Yeah.

LIAM: The reasons for doing that are slighter and I don’t want to blow my wad magically.

LAURA: Okay.

LIAM: If we are going the other way, I might.

TALIESIN: I agree.

LAURA: Let’s go and be really smart and do this.

SAM: Am I drunk or am I not drunk?

MATT: If you were to take about ten more minutes, you’d stop being drunk.

LIAM: We talked for seven minutes, yeah?

TALIESIN: All right.

SAM: All right. Wait for three more minutes and then go.

MATT: Okay, so you want to wait until Nott shakes off the–

TRAVIS: The booze?

MATT: The influence, the booze. Eventually, you regain–

MARISHA: While we wait for those three minutes I turn to Molly and I say, “Do you remember anything in your recollections of this Yee…ah…noghu.

LAURA and MARISHA: Yeenoghu.

TALIESIN: Yoplait.

MARISHA: Uh-huh. Yoplait is a female deity? Or a male deity? Do you remember?

TALIESIN: It’s hard to remember. It’s a lot of aggression, anger.

MARISHA: I’m wondering with that whole, you know–

LIAM: Why are you curious about that?

MARISHA: Well, the guy. The guy running the ceremony said that the hunger will be fed, “ours and hers,” right? I mean, that’s what he said, right, DM? I didn’t mishear that?

MATT: Yes.

TALIESIN: Do I remember anything about either gender? Other than I just saw a lot of aggression and a feral aspect of this.

MATT: That was it, yeah.

MARISHA: I just wonder who “hers” is. Who is that?

LIAM: That is the crux of the matter.


TALIESIN: Shall we go find out?


MATT: As you guys are having this conversation, you hear one sound that varies very strongly from the others that have encompassed this tunnel sequence. You hear this female scream, this high-pitched shrieking scream that says, “No! My baby!”

LAURA: Oh, no! This is what happens when we sit down and we talk.

TRAVIS: We got to go. Can’t fuck around with mama deaths.

LAURA: We’re moving forward as quickly as possible.

SAM: I charge ahead.

MATT: You guys rush down the tunnel deeper into the maze of mineshafts–


MATT: And we’ll pick up on that next week.


SAM: Whose baby? Where are they? Why were they crying? We’ll find out next week.

LAURA: That’s one way to get your players to move. There’s babies dying.

MATT: Also, babies.

MARISHA: Oh my God!

TRAVIS: (singing) We fucked up the gnolls, fucked up the gnolls.

LAURA: I like that our pickle jar is getting filled with little–

TALIESIN: Filled with pickled ears!

LAURA: I’m smushing them down so that there’s like–

MATT: Oh god! So it’s actually briney pickled gnoll ears?

TALIESIN: Have you ever had pickled pigs’ feet?

LAURA: Well, we drank all the pickle juice out of it, so, really they just kind of have a pickle stink.

MATT: That’s true.

TALIESIN: They have their own juices.

MATT: Yeah, there you go.

LIAM: It’s like a tip jar.

MATT: Yeah, it’ll be an interesting, interesting learning process of conservation of spells as you progress down–

LAURA: Well, I was saving them but then then fucking Fjord asked for healing.

MATT: I know. That’s okay. That’s what cantrips are for. That’s what weapons are for.

LAURA: That’s what I was using, cantrips.

MATT: That’s what I’m saying something to keep– as you continue forward if you need to assault things. All right. Oh, quick announcement which is fun, so we’re going to have a guest next week.

SAM: Oh. We are?

MATT: Our first guest of the campaign.

MARISHA: We didn’t know about this.

MATT: Yeah you did, I mentioned it.

MARISHA: We knew this. We totally fucking knew this.

SAM: Do we know who it is?

MATT: Yeah, next week we’ll be able to have on our show Khary Payton.


MATT: He’s a long-time friend of a lot of us here, we’ve worked a lot in the VO community. If you aren’t familiar with him, you should look him up. If you’ve been watching The Walking Dead or Fear of the Walking Dead, he’s been awesome. On that show for a long time.

LIAM: Teen Titan’s Go!, plays Grimlock on Transformers, all over the place.

MATT: Phenomenal voice actor, great actor. We’ve been talking for a long time, he’s been wanting to play in this for a long time, but he’s been very busy, of course, those things, but he’s in town and he’ll be joining us.

MARISHA: He’s so nice.

MATT: I know.

MARISHA: He’s such a teddy bear.

MATT: He’s fucking awesome. So, we’ll have Khary here next week. We’re so excited to have him join us, and go give him a little love. He’s actually at a Kansas City convention right now with Will Friedle.

TRAVIS: Oh, nice!

MATT: So if you’re in that area over the next few days, you should go say hi and give him some critter love or on the internet as well. So, yeah, excited to have him next week. In the interim, guys, have a wonderful week, we love you, thank you for joining us, and; Is it Thursday yet? Good night.