Hey, hey, Melon Lord? You rule. A HUGE thank you to Melon Lord for transcribing this episode, and all the hard work and effort put into an undertaking like this. We’re so grateful for this! Thank you! So with love in our hearts, we’re ridiculously pleased to present this new transcript by Melon Lord and edited by the ever wonderful Orion:
Episode 7: Finders Keepers
Created by Yubi, Gary, Kitty and ed.
Transcribed by Melon Lord and edited by Orion. Any corrections to suggest to this transcription should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Transcript Error’ in the subject line.
Timestamps written are approximate rather than exact, so as to avoid breaking up the flow of the dialogue.
Kitty as Nerium: Previously, on The Mortal Path…
[Clips from previous episodes with upbeat combat-y music in the background]
Yubi: You realize that this large structure is actually what looks like the top half of some huge city.
ed: Taro says something, but he’s being incredibly sneaky, so you can’t hear it. Because of how sneaky he is. [All laughing]
Gary: You can’t lock me under the stairs anymore, ed.
ed: Nope, those days are over, unfortunately.
Yubi: There is a footstep behind you.
Kitty: I would like to go,
Kitty as Nerium, whispering: Stay still!
ed: Your grand strategy was that when you heard somebody sneaking up behind you, you were like, “Let’s make things easier for them by standing still!”
Yubi: There is something standing right behind you that is about six foot tall, amber yellow, incredibly serpentine – almost lizard-like – in feature, with this kind of rag-tag leather armour, and a short sword that is dripping your blood.
ed: Yeah, fuck the rules!
Yubi: Well, not all of them.
Yubi: The ground and the buildings go [explosion noise] pfwghghghgh, and everything shakes.
[The music stops, and is replaced with a lone violin]
Yubi: This glass explodes in its face and you see it kind of pull back…
Gary as Natalia: I have had the strangest day- no, the strangest three days in my whole life. Now, simmer the fuck down, and let’s just have a chat.
ed: So, I speak Infernal, but I don’t know I speak Infernal.
Yubi as the lizardman: Findex.
ed as Taro: Windex?
Kitty as Nerium, in a dull, shocked voice: We’re in space. We’re in space.
Yubi as Findex: Those that live beneath the city are dangerous.
Yubi as Findex: It dropped from the sky.
ed: I want to be friends with the lizard.
Yubi as Findex: I’ll take you to my commander!
[The theme song (by Rachel Graff) picks up in earnest]
[Music plays uninterrupted for thirty seconds]
Yubi: As Findex leads you into the city, you kind of pass through this one big building, out one side and into an alleyway, and darkness falls. You are now inside the city proper. He is walking slowly, and he is clearly hurting. You can see it in the way that he walks, that you’ve done some pretty serious damage to him.
[The Fallen City theme tune starts, with echoing music like dripping water eventually joined by slowly ascending plucks on a stringed instrument. It has quiet, creepy, abandoned feel to it.]
Yubi: Natalia, there is a couple of minutes where you turn a corner and you go into this other building to cross deeper into the city, and there is like, no light. It is entirely dark for you. Taro, you having darkvision, you can see, but it’s dim light. And Nerium, you are not used to being able to see in pitch-darkness, but there’s a sort of five, ten foot radius that you can pick out this dim glow from. The other two of you – your passive perceptions are nine and, I think, twelve?
ed: It’s twelve now, yeah.
Yubi: Twelve. Taro, you feel from Nerium this tiny little ftfwtfw spark, something you’ve felt from Natalia many times, but you feel this time just from your right – from Nerium. [Kitty chortling excitedly and clapping]
Yubi: You, Nerium, you have ten foot of darkvision.
Kitty: Holy shit! Awesome!
Yubi: Natalia, you don’t feel anything, unfortunately.
Kitty: However, I probably don’t know; I probably just assume that it’s not that dark.
Yubi: Yeah. There’s this kind of dimly lit bubble around you that you can sort of just peer out through.
Kitty: I’m just not going to stub my toe.
Yubi: You’re just not going to stub your toe at this point. But after about ten foot or so it does recede into gloom. After about maybe thirty seconds of walking you turn a corner, and this time there are holes in this layer of rock and stone and wood ceiling that you assume is an upper layer that has sunlight peering through, and you can now see again.
Gary: Now, you said we were walking – isn’t the snake guy, like, slithering? Or does he have legs?
Yubi: No no, he’s got arms and legs!
Yubi: He’s got arms and legs, he’s like- he’s a lizard guy, not like a snake guy.
Gary: Okay, cool.
Yubi: There is a difference. He’s got a tail, he’s got arms and legs, he’s got a little lizardy head, some tatty armour… He does not have his sword anymore, Taro has the sword.
ed: Can we clarify – what is the difference between a snakeman and a lizardman?
Yubi: I think one is all tail, and one has a tail.
ed: You’re suggesting that a snekky does not have legs.
ed: As we have agreed upon the correct nomenclature for snakemens is.
Yubi: Yeah. If there’re legs, it’s a lizard.
[~5 minutes in]
ed: Okay, good, okay, gotcha. That’s all, that’s all, please continue.
Kitty: Hey, Natalia isn’t holding onto anybody and just had to cross a pitch-dark area of floor; does she have to roll anything? So she doesn’t stub her toe?
Yubi: Ah, no. I don’t think so, because it was a very short walk and in a straight line.
Gary: Psshh! Psshh!
Yubi: Yeah, you just got something, don’t you try and then back-hand off-load.
ed: Nerium, you are blind now. [All laughing]
Kitty: Oh, God…
Yubi: You guys are also- you mentioned previously that you wanted to be looking out for things and other movements, so all of you please roll me perception checks, as you come out of this building and this alleyway into what is clearly the next area of this city.
ed: I got a six.
Yubi: A six, a fourteen, and a fifteen. None of you see anyone or any movement, but Nerium, you can see tracks in the sand. As the ground starts to be more on an incline going downwards, the sand has gathered in certain places, and you can see what look like footmarks – like how Findex’s feet are, these kind of very large, almost webbed feet – and you can also see what look like bootprints, and shoeprints. All of them look relatively new, because they’re in sand. There doesn’t seem to be any signs of other life, the way that you are walking.
Kitty: Are the boot shapes of a size that suggest they are lizardmans wearing boots, or are they human-sized, halfling-sized, dwarf-sized…?
Yubi: They seem much more like Natalia and Taro sized.
Kitty: Not any little ones then?
Yubi: You don’t see any little ones.
Yubi: You guys turn a corner and you are in what is clearly another shopping street. This one again is leading sort of downwards, and there are these big kind of cracks in the ceiling that are letting this light through. And again, these streets are covered in signs and bits of writing on the walls and placards and things stuck to the various shop-fronts. And as you guys are heading down, Taro, looking around, there’s this moment where one kind of catches your eye. And you look away and you look back and it says, “Booze Brothers,” or “Alcohol Brothers,” or something like that. [Gary laughing] And you can read it, but you don’t know how you can read it, because you feel like you’ve never seen these letters before, and yet there they are.
ed: Huh. I- I think that doesn’t faze Taro that much, I think he just kind of gives a weird sort of “wuh-hehh?” sort of chuckle, a sort of half-chuckle. It’s just a strange noise; he makes a strange noise.
Kitty: How unusual for him.
ed: Yeah, he’s never done that before. [Yubi giggling]
Yubi: But Natalia and Nerium, as you guys are looking around – these signs are all written in this strange kind of flowing language that you don’t recognize, but as you’re walking down, Taro, you can read most of them. There are a couple that you can’t read that seem to be in a different script – a subtle difference.
ed: I think Taro also says,
ed as Taro, chuckling slightly: Here, should we stop for a drink?
Kitty as Nerium: What do you mean, stop for a drink?
ed as Taro: Oh you know- [sighs] doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter.
Kitty as Nerium: Actually, Mr Findex, a drink would be lovely, because we’ve been walking in a hot desert and I was a bit poorly earlier, and so was my companion here. You wouldn’t have a water skin or anything, would you?
Yubi: He half turns back to you – he is a naked lizardman, except for having bits of armour on him, and no sword anymore – and he kind of looks down at himself and he looks at you and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: No.
Kitty as Nerium: Just asking, thank you very much, sir.
Gary: [Laughing] I thought he was going to look down at himself and be like, “I’ve got something you could drink!”
Yubi: [Laughing loudly] Gary!
ed: Bad. Bad! Bad Gary!
Gary, still chuckling: I don’t know, I just…
ed: I need one of those, like- cats- like when they’ve spray- spray-gun-
Yubi: Spray bottle.
ed: -spray bottle pulses- just give Gary a spray.
Kitty: Psh psh psh, yeah. And not that kind of spray, Gary.
Ed: Oh no- [Sighs]
Yubi, chuckling: Ohh no… This is very frightful.
Kitty: That’s like eyeball-height for Nerium, that’s really upsetting.
ed: So- so wait- Windex is aware of his nudity.
Yubi: Windex is- Windex- Findex-… now don’t you trick me.
Kitty: Aha! Oh, we nearly got you.
Yubi: Findex is aware that he is not carrying a water skin, nor does he have places to hide a water skin, if that helps.
ed: Okay, okay, yeah. We might have to interrogate this one further. But we can do that in the nature of the canon.
Yubi: Okay. You can press this issue later.
Gary, audibly suppressing laughter: What about in his ass-pocket? [Yubi and Kitty laughing] Sorry.
Yubi: There are currently not liquids in his ass-pocket. So! As you continue, he turns into this alleyway, and you can see now that the shops look even fancier. These are almost kind of like boutique-type shops. And one of them has this mirror that runs the whole length down the shop. It’s reflecting some of the sunlight and it’s sort of lighting the area a bit more, but it’s cracked in places and the edges are tarnished and there are dark spots where clearly the backing has been damaged. And as you guys are walking along, Natalia, you see out of the corner of your eye in the mirror three of you walking along this alleyway.
Gary: Oh, not again.
[~10 minutes in]
Yubi: And one of them is incredibly faded, almost kind of ghostly – this is the one that’s got the blue fingertips and the blue spot on her lips. And the red one is much more kind of visceral. They’re almost walking beside you, almost overlapping with you as you walk.
Gary: I think I probably do a bit of a double-take when I first see it and then I kind of slow a bit and turn and really look.
Kitty: Do we see Natalia do that? Do we need to passively perceive it?
Yubi: You see Natalia slow and kind of look over at this big mirror, for sure.
Kitty: Can I look at the mirror and see if I see anything unusual about Natalia’s reflection?
Yubi: Absolutely, roll me a perception check. In fact, actually, roll me a perception check with disadvantage, please.
Yubi: Thirteen- there is this ver kind of odd shimmer – it’s almost like a heat shimmer – just around the edges of Natalia on either side. It could just be a trick of the light; the mirror’s pretty cracked, you’re not sure if it’s just a little illusion of the glass.
Kitty: Hm. Also, my eyes were doing that funny thing when we were in the dark bit, so maybe I’ve just got a headache from the heat.
Yubi: Yeah, it doesn’t look super weird, there’s just a little kind of shimmer alongside her.
But Natalia, as you turn to look properly, they both turn and look at you and they smile really widely and both of them sort of step closer to you. And at the same time, both of them reach up, and they grasp the gem that you have sewn into the little bit of mesh front on your dress, and they both smile and you hear them say,
Yubi as the twin reflections, in a slightly distorted and echoey voice: Meditate. Think on it. Reach out to us.
Gary: I nod. I try to pass it off, as if to anyone watching I’m just normally nodding at myself in the mirror, as one does. [Others snickering]
ed: Just like, casual.
Gary: After last time, I don’t want to say words out loud because I got some weird reactions. Or rather, some normal reactions to being weird. So I just nod. [Yubi and Kitty laughing]
Yubi: Yes, yes, fair.
ed: It’s alright, you’re good here.
Kitty: Hey, how’s Nat’s makeup holding up?
Yubi: Oh, bad. Very bad. Oh, it’s really bad, actually. [Kitty snickering]
Yubi: You have sweated a lot, and that was not a makeup meant to endure heat, and also fighting.
Gary: And sand. Let’s not forget the sand.
Yubi: And sand! Not the sand, either.
But as you look at them and you give that little nod, they both smile wider and they take a step closer. And the one with the blue fingers and the blue spot on her lips, she reaches up and she puts her hand in front of your eyes on the reflection. And you can still see, but there’s this kind of- almost like looking through gauze, for a moment, like looking through a very, very fine cloth. And the other one with the red fingers, who’s much more real-looking, she twirls her hands and this cloak made of shadows seems to spring from nowhere. And she reaches up and she drops it on your shoulders and you feel this almost weight on you. And then your eyes burn and your vision goes black for a minute, and the pain is overwhelming and absolutely intense.
Gary: I scream and fall back, clutching my eyes.
Yubi: Okay, Natalia suddenly screams, and staggers back holding her eyes after looking into this mirror.
Kitty: I run over to her…
ed: Taro jumps backwards and just kind of rolls and goes into a crouchy ready stance. Combat roll – it’s a full on combat roll. [All laughing]
Gary: Curls up on the floor.
Yubi: [Incomprehensible wheezing]
ed: Yeah, Taro just assumes a fetal position.
Yubi, still laughing: I thought you meant that Taro leaps back and just collapses in terror. [ed laughing]
Kitty: It happens.
Yubi, still laughing: Like one of those goats you can just, like, startle!
ed: He just goes rock-still and collapses and he just, like, tilts over!
Kitty: Oh my God, is that the goats, that you startle them and they just go all stiff and fall over? With the horns, it’s like a blue version!
ed: No, he’s not a goat!
Yubi, still laughing a bit: Okay. Okay. Taro takes up a much cooler and ready-to-fight pose than what we said.
ed, defensively: Taro’s very cool. He’s very cool.
Yubi: Uh huh, mmhm, okay.
[~15 minutes in]
Yubi: Nat, your eyes are just burning, like, tears streaming down your cheeks, absolute agony. And Findex whips around and lets out this kind of “ehrh?” noise of shock and fright as you reel back, screaming.
ed as Taro: Hehrh? Ehrh?
Kitty: I’m going to say,
Kitty as Nerium: Mr Findex, I think she’s hurt!
ed as Taro: Ehrh?
Yubi, laughing: Are you actually doing that in character? Are you mocking him in character?
ed: Yes. Yeah. Hell yeah!
Gary: I’m just- [inhuman chittering noises]
ed: I’ve recovered, realized I’m not – Taro’s not – being currently killed, and now he can make fun of someone.
Yubi: Okay, Findex looks from Natalia to Taro and back again in absolute, just, confusion and horror. And Nat, as that happens the pain just lifts off, and you can suddenly think, and your eyes stop streaming. And as you open them and look around, nothing seems to have changed… Except you can now read the sign above the shop.
Gary as Natalia: Ow.
Kitty: Do her eyes look different?
Yubi: Her eyes don’t look any different.
Gary as Natalia: Ah, ah, ow. That- ow.
Kitty as Nerium: Are you alright? What happened?
Gary as Natalia: Um, well, I think I had an allergic reaction to something.
Kitty as Nerium, slowly: To the mirr-? To the sand…? I don’t-?
Gary as Natalia: Maybe a bit of dust got in my eye – yeah, that was probably it.
Kitty as Nerium: I mean, that’s quite an extreme reaction to some du- you know what? We have had a very long day. I think we need to get somewhere and rest, because I think we’re all a bit overdone, at this point.
Gary as Natalia: I quite agree.
ed as Taro: It’s fine, looking in a mirror can be uncomfortable. I don’t blame you.
Gary as Natalia: I’m not used to seeing myself with makeup.
Kitty as Nerium: Well, do you know what, it looked a little bit better before.
Gary as Natalia: Maybe it was the makeup in my eye…?
Kitty as Nerium: Oh! Do you know, it might be actually! I don’t know what they put in that stuff but it’s stage makeup so it’d be extra thick and- yeah, do you know what? We should probably get you washed up and sorted. Let’s-… Mr Findex, are we nearly there yet?
Yubi as Findex: I know a place where we could rest, by the Fifth Gate.
Kitty as Nerium: Oh, God, that’d be wonderful. Yes, please.
Yubi: He nods his head. He’s definitely looking frightened. He had gone from being very nervous when you started out to clearly having a bit more confidence, and now he’s straight back to, “What the fuck is happening?”
ed as Taro: Hey, hey, uh, Windex, hey. [mocking Findex] Ehrh? Ehrh?
Yubi: He shoots you, from a wounded lizardman, what is clearly a wounded look, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: I- I got a fright. When she yelled.
ed, with real empathy: Aww…
Kitty as Nerium: Mr Findex, if you want to stab anyone, you aim for that one, right?
Yubi as Findex: He’s got my sword.
Kitty as Nerium: Oh, yeah…
Yubi as Findex: Can I- can I have it back?
ed as Taro: Aww, I do kind of want to give it back- Nerium, Nerium, can I give him his sword back?
Kitty as Nerium: Why are you asking me?
Gary as Natalia: Let’s not give him his sword back, he stabbed Nerium!
Kitty as Nerium: Well, he did, actually. He didn’t even say “hello.”
ed as Taro: Sorry Windex, you almost had me sold over there, but it looks like they’re saying no! What can I do, eh? What can I do?
Yubi as Findex: It- it’s Findex, with a “fuh.”
ed as Taro: How do you spell “fuh?”
Yubi as Findex: …I… I don’t know.
Yubi: And he turns around and he just keeps walking. There’s definitely now a dejected little thing to his shoulders. He’s having a rough day.
Kitty: It’s funny how that happens after people have spoken to Taro.
ed: You’ve made me feel really bad for Findex, Win- Windex, no… [Sighs] You’ve made me feel bad for the lizard.
Gary: When I read the sign, was it in- like, did it appear to be letters that I understood, or did I just get the meaning?
Yubi: There is a moment where it’s kind of like trying to look at it through warped glass, and you’re kind of squinting before the meaning comes to you. But as you look at it, and as you start looking around at other signs, it comes quicker and quicker and quicker until it is just like reading books in Common – until it’s just like a language that you know. In fact, you notice that there are two languages on the signs. One seems to be much more common than the other one. They are all shop titles; one seems to be a theatre, there seems to be some sort of blacksmith, there’s a place as you’re walking by that’s called “The Gallery of War,” there’s inns and taverns… It seems to be the remnants of what had been a thriving city. There are also street names on the corners – you see things like “Silver Lane,” “Marble Road,” “Crystal Avenue” – these signs that now appear rusted and warped and all cracked and broken.
[~20 minutes in]
Yubi: After about two minutes of walking, Findex leads you to this road that stops at this huge building that is clearly collapsed much more than other buildings. It leads upwards, almost like a staircase, to where there is a big, big hole in the stone ceiling. And you can see beyond it sunlight streaming in, and what seems to be the next layer up. And he points to it and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: That’s the Fifth Gate. And there is a place just near here where we can rest. I, also think I need to sit down.
Kitty as Nerium: Okay. We’re following you, Mr Findex, that’s fine.
Gary as Natalia: Lead on.
Yubi: He takes a left turn and leads you into what is clearly a house, a house where the door has come off the hinges. It seems to be in relatively good shape and it’s quite tucked away and it doesn’t seems to be very looted either. There’s like a small front room that’s pretty much cleared out, but as he leads you inside you can see that there are other doors leading off into this house that don’t seem to be touched, really. And there’s a couple of chairs that are, again, at odd angles, and he kind of pushes them aside and sits down against one of the walls. Everything, again, is at this kind of slope where things are slid down and gathered at the edges. And he leans against the wall and he closes his eyes, and… Yeah, he’s not looking in good shape. The bleeding has stopped for the most part but you can see that you guys did a lot of damage; there’s big gauges in his face where the glass is, there’s still actually bits of glass stuck in his face where he hasn’t had a moment to try and take it out, and he’s got a big stab wound on his side from where you got him with your sword, Natalia.
Gary: And that’s why you don’t assault people, folks.
Yubi: Yeah, ‘cause you’ll get beat up in the end! [Kitty laughing]
Gary: It’s true.
Yubi: You should always judge your foes.
Gary: Ninety percent of the victims of knife crime are the knife wielders themselves.
ed: I thought you were going to say, “-is the knife itself,” and I was like, “oh, yes! Yes!”
Yubi, laughing: That’s deep.
Kitty: There is no knife except the one you carry with you. [Yubi laughing]
ed: The real knife is the friends we made along the way. [Yubi laughing]
ed: Would you, in the nomenclature of Dungeondragon, say that Findex is taking a short rest?
Yubi: I would say that Findex is absolutely looking like he’s taking a short rest.
ed: Okay. I would like to just go up to Windex and say,
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, Findex, uh… Look. I’m sorry. That wasn’t right, I shouldn’t have made fun of you like that. But, look, you’re a tough chap; I think you’ll be alright if you just take a rest.
Yubi: He opens his eyes and he looks up at you, and there’s a moment of like, gentle confusion on his face, before something clearly sparks up inside him and he suddenly sits up a little taller, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: I’m- I am pretty strong, I think I’ll be fine. We’ll be okay, we’ll make it to the Commander.
ed: I was attempting to cast a spell. But not a spell, like a- a mouth spell.
Yubi: Lucky Findex. [Laughing] Roll me a D20.
ed: Let me find a D20… Here it is. It’s a fourteen on that one.
Yubi: A fourteen!
ed: A fourteen!
Yubi: You feel, as he looks up at you, there’s this moment where again that twin push of magic in your palms – it’s becoming more and more familiar to you – that almost now feels like an undercurrent, rather than random sparks and shocks. Again, you feel that magic – and Natalia, you certainly feel again that crackle and static – and he looks a little better. He certainly looks cheerier again, the blood kind of has coagulated, and he certainly looks in much better spirits. You have the feeling that whatever you just did? Yeah, it worked.
Yubi: He looks mechanically a couple of hit points better.
ed: Hell yeah!
Gary: A top quality mouth spell from the cock doctor.
Kitty: Does that work on the rest of us?
Yubi: If you guys are rolling hit dice, then it absolutely does.
ed: And you were listening. Not if you weren’t listening. You get nothing if you weren’t paying attention.
Yubi: You are all in this small room, you’ve all heard it.
Kitty: Oh, God, that’s hard…Honestly, I’m only three hitpoints down; I’m not going to bother.
Yubi: Okay. You feel the crackle of magic, and Taro, you’re pretty sure you could do that again.
ed: Oh hell yeah.
Yubi: Nice. Good job.
Kitty: I was going to go over to Mr Findex and say,
Kitty as Nerium: Um, Mr Findex, we’re going with you to see this Commander, and there’s no benefit to us running off or not following you, so I suppose it might be an idea if I- I can help you get some of the little bits of shards of glass out? Because that’s going to be hard for you to do for yourself, and I’ve got a hanky here – I can mop you up a bit?
Yubi: He nods, and he kind of pushes himself to lean forward a little bit and closes his eyes.
Kitty as Nerium: Okay, this is going to smart just a little bit, but I’ll be as careful as I can.
Yubi as Findex: Thank you.
Kitty: So I do that.
Yubi: Roll me a medicine check.
Kitty: [Groaning] That’s not the best… Heyyy! On the other hand, it’s not bad when you get a nineteen plus one.
Kitty: Man, he is all fixed up.
Yubi: Well. [Kitty and Yubi laughing] Let’s not be- he is not looking good. You spend about ten minutes very, very carefully and very delicately plucking out bits of glass. This is something you’ve done before.
[~25 minutes in]
Kitty, chuckling: It is, yes.
Yubi: If you had, like, a flask of water and maybe one of your magnifying glasses, that would certainly help a lot more but you manage to get rid of probably most of the glass, if not all of it. At least the dangerous bits.
Kitty: I’ve got tweezers in my sewing kit…
Yubi: Yep, you use those to take out the small slivers without cutting yourself or anything. As Nerium is doing this, Taro and Natalia, you guys are in this small room that’s got maybe three doors leading off from it.
Gary: I’m staying alert.
Gary: I’m just keeping an eye on these doors, and at some point I might say,
Gary as Natalia: You know, you two are being very nice to a guy who attacked us.
Kitty as Nerium: I don’t know that we have any choice at this point, Nat. I didn’t want to go with him, but I don’t know the way out now.
ed as Taro: He looked really upset, alright? I’m not a cruel man. I’m a nice person.
Kitty as Nerium: That’s going a bit far…
Gary as Natalia: Just remember this, Windex. If you turn on us again, I will kill you without hesitation.
ed as Taro: She really will. I would not test that – at all.
Kitty as Nerium: And I think that’s fair, actually.
Yubi: He cracks open one eye, and he looks at you, Natalia, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: I, I… I know.
Gary as Natalia: Good.
ed: I’m going to go open a door. I think it’s time we have a look around where we are, let’s check this place out.
Yubi: Okay. You go up to one of the doors, and as you open it, it’s jammed a little bit on the hinge, but it’s easy enough to push open after giving it a little shove. And what seems to be a kind of kitchen-y, maybe like a dining-y room area – again, a lot of the furniture has, like, slid down to the bottom corner, although the incline in this particular house isn’t too steep – but it’s full of stuff. There’s just loads and loads of belongings all around it. Are you taking some time to have a proper look, or are you just having a quick look?
ed: I think I’ll shout back, and be like,
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, Nat, there’s some stuff in here!
Gary as Natalia: Ooh! Any books?
ed: Are there any books?
ed as Taro: Yeah, there’s some books.
Gary as Natalia: Let me see, let me see!
Yubi: Okay, you go into the kitchen, and there is indeed a bookshelf that is mostly fallen over – but backwards, so all the books are in it. There’s not a lot of books, but there are a fair few. They seem to be mostly recipe books, some novels – they are all in the same language that is the one on the majority of the signs and on the road signs. Taro, are you having a look at them too?
ed: I’m going to have a look at some other stuff, I’m not so interested in the books. I’ll see what else is around.
Kitty: I would also like to say that I’m not totally hot on being the only one left in the room with Findex, so if he needs a bit of a kip as part of his short rest, I will probably go and see what the others are doing.
Yubi: This is about five minutes into you plucking glass out, so you’ve got another five or so minutes, but the door is- it’s a very small front room, you can absolutely still see Taro and Natalia. It’s just the difference of them being in another room with the door open. So you can still see, like, Taro’s horns – they’re not that far, they’re maybe fifteen, twenty foot from you.
ed: Is it dark here?
Yubi: No, it’s not dark-dark; it’s kind of gloomy – it’s this kind of reddish gloom that seems to be over everything – but there’s enough light from outside to illuminate things. This place has windows that are mostly shattered and broken into- or, sorry, rather, not broken into, but like broken from the impact. There’s enough light coming in that you can see around.
ed: Well that’s odd… ish. Okay, so that was a pun from, like, two minutes ago. Your monologue went on longer than I thought. [Yubi chuckling] You started saying stuff, and I thought, “Oh, I can make a Pokemon joke here,” so I had it in my mouth, ready to go, and then you just kept talking.
Yubi: Well, that is my one true sin.
ed: For like, thirty seconds, and then I said the pun, and, by that point… So, if you’re interested, and you’re listening to this podcast, I would say just go back about forty seconds, and really just kind of skip around a little bit to see if you can work that pun out. [Yubi laughing] It’s not very hard, I think you’ll pick up on it pretty sharp-ish. Thanks for listening to my podcast, I’m ed, and this has been, um-
Yubi: All EDited Out. [All laughing]
[Transcriber’s note: And then they actually did it, the absolute madman! And didn’t even include the exchange that started it. Stay tuned for the first episode of that blooper reel sub-podcast after episode 9.]
Yubi: So looking deeper into this kitchen, not at the books… There’s a kind of sink at the back that seems to be mostly intact. It’s one of the few appliances that don’t seem to have really broken on whatever impact this was. It’s got this covering, this sort of wooden covering, that is still in place on top of it.
ed: Yeah I’m cracking that open, let’s pull off the lid!
Yubi: You pull off the lid, and there is maybe five inches of this kind of brackish water still left in it, but what catches your attention is not so much the water left in the sink, but the fact that there are four candles at the bottom of the water, [Gary chuckling] all of which are out, and one single candle in the water that is still burning.
[~30 minutes in]
[Transition music plays uninterrupted for twenty seconds]
Yubi: Hello, it’s me, Yubi, your DM! I’m just here to say: Hi! Thank you so much for listening~!
We are so grateful. We have got over two thousand, five hundred downloads – it’s just absolutely been amazing, you guys, your response has been fantastic. Thank you all so much. For all of you who tune in, give us a listen, we appreciate it so much and we really hope you’re enjoying the story.
We’ve had some absolutely awesome iTunes reviews. It really helps us out every time that you guys leave us a review on iTunes – iTunes algorithms work in such a way that they really help us out, so we appreciate every single one of them. You guys have also been fantastic about tweeting about us. Again, if you tweet with us under the hashtag #theMortalPath, then we might pick your name to be in the show – very exciting. It might get mangled, because that’s what my players do! We also have had an absolutely amazing response on Tumblr; our blog has got over two hundred followers, there’s been all this amazing art and media being produced, you guys have to go and check it out. It is fantastic.
Speaking of art and media, we have our competition, and today is the deadline for getting things in for the competition-slash-giveaway. We will be picking winners soon – we’re going to be doing it internally, and to work out which ones are going to be, you know, the winners. Thank you so much everyone for entering. We have had some just incredible, incredible entries! Every single one has been absolutely awesome. We’re going to compile a list of entries for everyone to see… It’s just been incredible, we are just so amazed. And we have a fantastic set of dice from @SettlingGeek on Twitter to give away. Please go and check out @SettlingGeek’s stuff, it’s s-e-t-t-l-i-n-g-g-e-e-k, @SettlingGeek on Twitter.
I’d also like to give a huge shout out to our friend Rachel Graff who composed the theme tune for The Mortal Path. I forgot last week to say that the music for The Fallen City was also composed by Rachel Graff under her album Sketching the Rain, which you can find on Bandcamp. I would so recommend listening to it, buying it – you pick your own price – but she has just gotten married to the love of her life, and really could, you know, use a little bit of extra income to help with the honeymoon and all of that. So if you want to support a newly married composer, then go and check out Rachel Graff – R-a-c-h-e-l G-r-a-f-f – on Bandcamp, you can buy all of her music there, you will find The Fallen City track, it’s just- it’s incredible. When I heard it I immediately messaged her, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, can I please use this track for this place? It is perfect.” She also has a WordPress that you can check out under the same name. I would so recommend looking at her stuff, it is incredible.
We’d also love to give a huge thank you to Dice Bard, who helped us in our first giveaway by donating an amazing set of dice. Their wares are incredible, and it’s just so fun to get in correspondence with them, they’re very funny, it’s really, really great.
Our next episode is going to be out on the fourteenth of March – that’s episode eight – we are really, really looking forward to it, the story is going in some awesome directions, and we really hope that you enjoy this episode! I’m going to let you get back to the show. Thank you so much for everything! Until next time.
[Transition music plays for twenty seconds, signalling the end of the break.]
ed as Taro: Here, Nat-… Nat. This does not seem… Regular. You’re an irregular type of person, could you come and have a look?
Gary as Natalia: Well thank you very much. So, did you just open this now?
ed as Taro: Yeah, there was a lid on it, this wooden thing.
Gary as Natalia: So… This was still afla- Windex, do people come here a lot?
Yubi as Findex: Not to this part. Only to go up to the Fifth Gate.
Gary as Natalia: Hmm…
Yubi as Findex: Why?
Gary as Natalia: No worries, go back to sleep. Uh, hm…
ed as Taro: You’re sort of missing the point here that there seems to be a candle that’s alight underwater – is this something that’s normal? Am I missing on that one?
Gary: Is it underwater?
Gary: Oh shit!
Yubi: It’s underwater, and it’s still lit.
ed: It’s lit!
[~35 minutes in]
Gary as Natalia: I’m pretty sure that’s magic. Hm…
Gary: Can I do, like, an arcana check?
Yubi: Yes, absolutely.
Gary: With a tasty plus zero.
Gary: That’s a seven.
Yubi: Yep, that’s magic! [Kitty laughing]
ed: Can I do an arcana check?
Yubi: Absolutely you can.
ed: Check it, I’ve got- oh, I do have more than plus zero. Eat my shorts. [Yubi laughing] I got a nine. It’s magic!
Yubi: It’s magic!
ed: It’s magic! So magical.
Kitty, singing: Oh, oh, oh…
Yubi: Definitely doesn’t seem normal.
ed as Taro: Hey Nat, I think it’s magic.
Gary as Natalia: I agree. Ah, let me see what happens if I do this.
Gary: I reach in and try to pick up the candle.
Yubi: Yeah, you pick it up. Are you picking it up by the burning end or just by like, the normal candle bit?
Kitty: I mean, do you really-
Gary: I don’t pick it up by the fire.
Yubi: I’m just double-checking. Hey, it’s a free world. It’s a sandbox. It’s your oyster.
Kitty: You might want to check that with Taro, but I’m fairly sure on that, yeah.
Yubi: [Laughing] Yeah. You take the candle and you pull it out of the water, and it’s still alight. It’s giving off heat, it doesn’t seem to be melting.
Gary as Natalia: Interesting… Here.
ed: I try and blow it out. Fffw.
Yubi: It blows out.
ed: Okay, cool.
Gary as Natalia: Why? Why would you do that?
ed: No, shit, not cool, uh oh, whoops! [Gary and Kitty laughing] Welp!
Gary: Are there any matches in this kitchen?
Yubi: Roll me an investigation check.
ed: There’s got to be matches, there’s got to be matches…
Kitty: Neither of you have prestidigitation, then?
ed: Let me consult the list…
Gary: And… No.
Yubi: Okay, after maybe three minutes or so of going through drawers, you do find a little box which has, I think, two matches left in it.
Gary: [Worried noises] Okay.
ed: Better make them count!
Gary: I strike one, and I lit that fucker.
Yubi: Yeah, the candle lights up again.
ed as Taro: Alright, dunk it! Dunk it!
Gary as Natalia: Okay, yes.
Gary: I dunk the candle.
Yubi: You put it under the water and the flame doesn’t go out.
Gary as Natalia: Interesting. What if we try and burn something?
ed as Taro: Hang, on, hang on.
ed: I want to pull one of the other candles out of the sink.
ed: And I want to try and light it with the other candle.
Yubi: It takes a minute because the wick is wet, but after maybe thirty seconds of trying, it lights. This one almost immediately does start to melt.
ed: Aw. I dunk it.
Yubi: It goes out.
ed: Sucks. Piece of shit candle.
Gary as Natalia: Well, this could be handy. Certainly if I’m reading in the dark.
ed as Taro: Or underwater.
Gary as Natalia: … Or underwater, yes. [Giggling] That would also be helpful.
Yubi: [Giggling] I’m saying that giggle’s in character, that’s very good.
Kitty: [Giggling] Yeah. [Gary chuckles]
ed: So was there anything else interesting, while we’re looking around?
Yubi: The other thing you find in this room is-
Kitty: Can I come in yet?
Yubi: So, as you guys have been searching the drawers, you find three kitchen knives that look to be in relatively good shape with pretty good handles on them. That’s pretty much all you find in this room that’s of use – there’s some pots and pans – it’s clearly someone’s kitchen. Or it was.
Gary: I try and burn something with the candle.
Yubi: Okay, are you taking a bit of wood or a bit of paper from one of the books?
ed: The curtains, the curtains!
Gary: Just a little bit of wood or something. I do it over the sink, because I know about fire safety.
Yubi: You easily find a splinter of wood that’s come off a bit furniture, and after a couple of seconds, yeah, it catches light, and it burns just like a normal wood chip.
Gary as Natalia: Interesting. Okay…
Gary: I’m going to blow the candle out.
Yubi: It goes out.
Gary: I don’t have any pockets, do I?
Yubi: Not in that dress. I think you’ve still got your clasp.
Kitty: I believe you have a small reticule.
Yubi: No, I think that went to you.
ed: I’ve got pockets.
Kitty: No, I have the dagger, but…
Yubi: Oh, Natalia’s still- that makes everything all the better, that you’re still carrying that small, pearlescent pink clam shaped clasp this whole time. [Gary giggling] Very good.
Gary: And my clam thing eats the candle.
Yubi, sputtering: Oh God-
Kitty: [Giggling] You’re going to stick the candle in the clam.
Yubi, laughing: No! Please! Oh my God!
Kitty: Oh dear.
ed: Why is everybody so quick to blame me when these things happen?
Yubi: I don’t- this is it, we were all very quick to blame other people when people were being betrayed, but actually it was Kitty; we all blaming ed when people are being horny, but actually it’s Gary. This is terrible, ed’s just getting the blame for everything!
Kitty: Well I mean, that’s what bards are for, isn’t it?
Yubi, audibly suppressing laughter: You could say he’s the scapegoat… [Gary chuckles] Get it? Get it?
Kitty: [Long groan]
ed: Don’t like it. Don’t like it.
Yubi: As you’re finishing up in the kitchen, Nerium, you come to the door.
ed: I want to point out, we should take the matches. The match. The remaining match.
Yubi: Yeah, you’ve got one match left.
Gary: Yeah. [chuckles] I take that.
Kitty: I come to the door and I say,
Kitty as Nerium: Have you found anything?
ed as Taro: We found some matches!
Kitty as Nerium: Well that’s good!
Gary as Natalia: And a candle.
Kitty as Nerium: What, one candle? Well, I suppose it could be useful…
Gary as Natalia: Well-
ed as Taro: Well, we did find [in unison with Gary] four candles.
Kitty as Nerium: Four- oh, four candles?
Gary as Natalia: Yes.
Kitty as Nerium: In the kitchen? That’s unusual. I wonder where the heads of the forks went. [Orion note: this is now officially a British podcast]
Garry as Natalia, giggling: I don’t know.
[~40 minutes in]
ed: Is this- is this- are we- is this perjury? Not perjury, uh, plagiarism! Bingo. Is this plagiarism?
Kitty: To be fair, it’s probably out of a copyright at this point.
ed: Ohhh, okay.
Yubi: I don’t even know what you’re quoting.
Gary: Four Candles.
Kitty, disbelievingly: Oh my God. Four Candles?
Gary: You’ve never seen Four Candles?
Yubi: I’ve never seen Four Candles.
Kitty: Can we put a little bit where you have looked up the Two Ronnies Fork Handles sketch, and watched it, just because otherwise, if I was listening to this podcast, I would be ripping the hair from my head going, [faux-sobbing] “What do they mean they’ve never seen it?”
Yubi: I promise that I will listen to the Four Ronnies- no, the Two Ronny Candle… [laughing]
Kitty: It’s the Two Ronnies, Four Candles.
ed: That would be a concept.
Yubi, laughing: I will Google ‘Two Ronnies, Four Candles’, and I will not be afraid. [All laughing]
Kitty: Just, leave cups out of it, whatever happens.
Yubi, trying not to laugh: I will do that for sure! Okay, so, Taro, you open one of the other doors to one of the other rooms!
ed: What is behind Door Number Two?
Yubi: It is a bedroom, it is clearly what was once a bedroom.
ed: Do I now get to switch doors?
Yubi: There’s another door that is closed that you haven’t opened yet.
Kitty: Is there a wardrobe in the bedroom?
Kitty: If there’s a wardrobe in the bedroom, can we go and see if there’s any clothes in there that might fit Nat and be a bit more suitable than an evening dress?
Yubi: As you go into the bedroom and you open it up, it’s full of clothing. It’s full of clothing that looks- it’d probably be a little bit big on Nat, but it looks like it’ll fit, for the most part.
Kitty: I would like to call Nat over and say,
Kitty as Nerium: Look, look, look! Anything take your fancy? We can probably take it in, I mean, it’s easier to take it in than let it out, believe me.
Gary as Natalia: Ah, um… Well, I’ve got to say, I do quite like this dress, now.
Kitty as Nerium: What, seriously? I mean, it’s very much your colour, it’s lovely; I’m just concerned about practicality.
ed as Taro: You can put some pockets in it, right?
Kitty as Nerium: Oh yeah, totally.
Gary as Natalia: Oh yes. Oh please.
Kitty: Well, I’ll take a pillowcase, then.
ed: I want to look under the bed.
Kitty: Oh! There weren’t any scissors in that kitchen, were there?
Yubi: Yeah, there were a pair of scissors.
Kitty: Ah, can I go and get those? Because my embroidery scissors got knackered.
ed: Yeah, I don’t know how that happened!
Yubi: Yep, mystery, that one. You go and get the scissors. You spend the next five minutes putting in pretty functional but not very fancy pockets.
Kitty as Nerium: Nat, you’re going to have to stay still.
Gary as Natalia: Okay, Taro, can you pass me some bit of rag or something? I just need to get this fucking makeup off.
ed: Do I have a rag? What’s the rag status?
Gary: There’s a cupboard full of clothes.
Yubi: Yeah, there’s just a lot of material in this room – it is a bedroom. There are pillowcases, blankets…
Kitty as Nerium: It’s a shame we haven’t got any water.
ed: Chucks a rag over. But I want to look under the bed.
Yubi: You have knelt down by the bed, Natalia asks you this, you’re going to chuck over a pillowcase, and you look under the bed. There is what looks to be like- at first you think maybe it’s a quilt. It made out of incredibly beautiful material; it seems to be almost shimmery, almost multicoloured, and as you pull it out you can see that it’s actually a-
Kitty, stage whispering: It’s a body!
Yubi: No. That’s very Yubi, but, no. It’s actually a cloak, an incredibly well-made, beautiful cloak that looks about your size.
Kitty: I drop my sewing needle and go,
Kitty as Nerium, softly and awed: Woooah…
Yubi: Taro, as you pick it up, there is a little spark of magic to it.
ed: Ohh… I’m going to really dig deep into my magic soul and see if I can get a grip on- [Gary giggling] just kind of feel my way through this cloak, and see if I can feel what’s going on with it. Let’s see what I can…
Kitty: Oh I hope so.
Yubi: I am praying to the DND Gods for you.
ed: Here we go. Here we go, kids!
Yubi: Roll me a D20.
Yubi: You didn’t- you didn’t!
ed: So what exactly would be the worst thing for me to roll in this situation? Just, ah, if somebody would like to make a suggestion.
Yubi: It would probably be a nat one!
ed: Well, I can’t say it’s not a nat one.
Yubi: Did you really?
ed: Yes, I did, in fact, roll a nat one.
Kitty: Oh my God he’s going to bring the house down.
Yubi: Okay, link me to your character sheet please.
Gary: Oh no…
ed: Oh no, but that’s, like, weapons!
[Gary giggling, Yubi cackling, Kitty moaning]
ed: I just wanted to use identify! I’ve had this spell for so long; I just want to identify something!
Yubi: You keep rolling nat ones on it!
ed: [Frustrated noises]
Yubi: Because, like, if it’s between a two and a nine, nothing happens. If it’s a ten or above, you do it. But if it’s a nat one, it’s something else, and I think every time you’ve tried to cast this spell, it’s been a “something else!”
Ed: [Frustrated groan] One day, I will identify something, and it will go off without a hitch, and I will know what it is, and what it does! And we’ll all just live happily ever after with that knowledge, of what the thing was and that it does- [Groaning]
Yubi: The good news is that you do get another spell out of it. [all chuckling]
Gary: Cloud of daggers! [Yubi and Kitty laugh]
ed: I’m glad I only pick useless spells, because if I didn’t, we’d be fucked. [Yubi giggling]
[~45 minutes in]
Kitty: You have already, like, knocked Nat out…
Ed: Yeah, but that one’s done, I know that one. We’re good on that one. Alright, let’s spin the wheel of misfortune.
Yubi: So, you reach down into your magic soul, and holding this cloak that you know is magical and probably does something amazing, you feel this buildup of magic, and there’s this moment where you’re like, “Oh my God, it’s happening, I’m doing it!” And then that magic seems to go prprprprp, and flops out of you. [Kitty giggling and clapping] And you have this very visceral feeling of some of that magic kind of being pulled out of you. And there is this shimmering shape that’s a bit shorter than you standing opposite you that is practically invisible. In fact, as you look at it, it gets harder and harder to see, [Gary chuckling] and you feel, suddenly, this cloak being gently pulled out of your hands, and then held. And this cloak is now sort of floating in the air in front of you, as if somebody is holding it.
ed as Taro: Ww- wai- wha- wai- you- wha?
Gary as Natalia: Why did you do that?
Kitty as Nerium: Oh my God, it’s a magic cloak! It floats! [Yubi laughing]
ed as Taro: … Yes! This is a very magical cloak, as I have ascertained by holding it. It is afloat.
Kitty as Nerium: But it’s standing by itself now, it must make you levitate!
ed as Taro, awkwardly: Yes, a cloak of floating!
Kitty as Nerium, awed: Wow…
ed as Taro, still awkwardly: I am so glad I’ve finally found a cloak of floating, it’s what I’ve always wanted to have. Now, I would like it if it would stop floating!
Yubi: The cloak drops to the ground.
ed as Taro: Oh- shit, that worked!
ed: I pick it up and kind of brush it off.
Yubi: Okay. Yeah, you are still holding it.
Kitty: Looking impressed I say,
Kitty as Nerium: Does it do anything else?
ed as Taro: [Pauses] No. [Gary and Yubi laughing]
Kitty as Nerium: Can it- can it float while you’re wearing it?
ed as Taro: Well, let’s give that a try.
ed: I put on the cloak.
Yubi: Okay, you put on the cloak.
ed as Taro: Nope! Doesn’t look like it. Looks like it just does that other trick.
Yubi: It looks really nice though. And actually, as you guys look at it and you look at Taro, there almost seems to be this subtle shift of the fabric and the pattern to where it suddenly really compliments Taro’s outfit. It’s suddenly got this little bit of gold brocade around the edges, there are hints of the- we never decided the colour of your shirt, I don’t think, do you want to pick a colour real quick of your very fancy shirt?
ed: I thought it was salmon, I thought it was mentioned that it was salmon at some point.
Yubi: Salmon. Well I thought so too, but I don’t think any of us said it; we all just knew it was pink.
ed: We just all knew it was salmon!
Yubi: We just all knew that it was pink, but it is actually not mentioned.
ed: A sort of lovely pastel pink.
Kitty: I mean, Nerium does actually really like pink, so, quite possibly.
Yubi: The lining is that same colour and it seems to fit you perfectly.
ed as Taro: This owns!
Kitty as Nerium: That is an amazing cloak.
ed as Taro: Yeah, I like it, it’s pretty good. What a find!
Gary as Natalia: It seems versatile.
Kitty as Nerium: Mhmm. Oh, Nat, I haven’t finished your pockets – stand still, stay there.
Gary as Natalia: Oh, I haven’t moved.
Kitty as Nerium: No, you’ve been very good. I’m nearly done, nearly done.
Gary as Natalia: I’ve got to say, Taro, I thought you were a bit of a shit magic user, but this shows that you are quite accomplished, if you can make that levitate or control it. I have newfound respect for you.
ed as Taro: Yes, that’s right. I can do all these things… Intentionally. [Kitty giggling demonically] I guess I am magic, after all.
Kitty as Nerium: Alright Nat, you’re done, there’s your pockets.
Gary as Natalia: Oh, thank you.
Yubi: You have two very good, deep, functional pockets on your dress now.
Kitty: They have also been elegantly placed, so as not to interrupt the line.
Yubi: Of course.
ed: I’m nodding, for the benefit of everyone who isn’t looking at me.
Kitty: While I was in the kitchen picking up those scissors, did I see any of the nice sharp knives? I presume they’re in the same place.
Kitty: Can I half-inch one of those and just keep it- something roughly the same size as my dagger?
Yubi: They’re dagger-sized for you for sure, yeah.
ed: It’s not stealing if the owner isn’t here.
Yubi: That’s it. It’s like looting in Fallout 4. Everyone is probably dead; just take it anyway.
Kitty: I mean… But yeah, it’s not like they’ve cleaned up recently, I’m just tidying.
Yubi: Exactly, exactly.
ed: It’s fine, because the concept of private ownership is outmoded.
Kitty: Absolutely, couldn’t agree more.
Yubi: Natalia, are you looking around this room at all?
Gary: Nope, but I do want to say I’ve picked up one of the novels. I don’t know, just something that looked interesting.
Yubi: There’s one that seems to be a fictional-yet-based-in-historical account of some love story in this city.
Gary: Yeah, cool. I’ll go for it.
Yubi: You’ve got that.
Gary: I put it into one of my pockets.
Yubi: Wow, okay. Your pocket is just about big enough to hold a book, although it very much does show that you have a book in your pocket, in a dress.
ed: It ruins the line.
Kitty: [Hissing through her teeth] Oof. Yeah.
Gary: Nat doesn’t care that much about the line.
[~50 minutes in]
Yubi: No. Okay, are you going into the other room?
ed as Taro: Here, Nerium, you should go first, we’ve all got some stuff.
Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, alright then.
Kitty: Uh, stealth. Opening that door super carefully.
Yubi: Okay, roll me a stealth check.
Gary: The door is trapped. [Yubi laughing] An iron spike descends from the ceiling. [Kitty and Yubi laughing].
Yubi, in a deep, foreboding voice: Welcome to Tomb of Annihilation. [Gary laughing]
Yubi: Nineteen- you very, very, sneakily open this door. It’s silent. You are the only one who has managed to get it open without practically having to go bk-chh and kick it in to get it off the door hinge. The room before you looks like it could be some sort of crafting room or an office or some space in which people would make or do things. It doesn’t seem to be a kitchen, it’s not the bedroom, it seems to be another room that has various bits of furniture.
Kitty, singsong: Let’s have a look what it’s got inside!
Yubi: Okay, the first thing that catches your eye is that hanging on the wall at a bit of an odd angle is some sort of small stringed instrument. It’s got a pretty narrow neck, it’s only got three stings. Having a look around, there are various bits of wood that look like someone was in the process of building something that maybe kind of broke in the process. Picking through the rubble, it looks like it could have been some sort of doll’s house type thing – you can find what looks like miniature bits of smashed furniture and things like that. There almost seems to be a couple of bits of what look like they might have been toys in this room, again, wooden models that have been broken. You find one thing which strikes you as a bit odd, because it is in a small lacquered box that seems to be quite tucked away. It is a single key, and the key has this very odd end to it that doesn’t look like it would fit any lock that you’ve seen.
Kitty: Do I find that first? Does anyone see me find it?
Yubi: Are you two going into the room as well?
ed: Yeah, I think so. But we obviously don’t see Nerium go in because she’s so stealthy.
Yubi: [Chuckles] You guys, I think you see Nerium digging through this particular chest of drawers.
Kitty: I might stick the key in my pocket and not be too bothered about the box.
Yubi: Okay. You pocket the key.
ed: Out of interest – is this key, say, sharp? Like a blade?
Yubi: Uh… Are you- oh my God. [Gary giggling] I so nearly- did you see the look on my face as I was, like, getting ready to engage with this thing that you just said?
ed: Oh no, I was just, y’know.
Yubi: You were just shitposting. As always.
ed: Yeah… For my sins… Anyway, yeah, continue with the game we’re playing.
Kitty: Anything else? Anything under any tables? In any drawers or anything that we haven’t looked at, that we need to actually specifically say that we’ve looked at, otherwise we’ll lose out forever?
Yubi: No – but having another look around, there seems to be a sheath that’s of relatively-
Kitty: Eww! You should throw that away!
Yubi: What? [Kitty wheezing] My God. A- [Kitty chuckling] A sheath that looks like it is made for a sword, one about as big as you, actually.
Kitty: Oh, a scabbard.
Yubi: A scabbard. It’s not called a sheath? You sheath your sword?
Kitty: You can call it either, I’m being disgusting.
ed: No, I got it, I got it.
Yubi: Okay. It’s made of leather, it’s quite nicely worked with leather engraving tools. It’s in relatively good shape, it’s sort of under at a collapsed chair.
Kitty: I will hand that to Taro, and say,
Kitty as Nerium: Do you want that for your new sword?
ed: Will it fit?
Yubi: Your- [Breaks down into giggles]
ed: Oh, come on, please!
Yubi: Your sword looks to be a bit too broad for that one! [Gary giggling] [Kitty laughing] [ed stuttering morosely]
Gary: Will it fit my sword?
Yubi: It does look like it would fit your one, Natalia.
ed as Taro: Here you go. It’s more your kind of size. [Yubi laughing]
Gary as Natalia: Oh, thank you.
ed: Do I recognize the musical instrument?
Yubi: You don’t recognize it per se, but you’ve certainly played instruments like that before.
ed: Alright, I’m just going to grab it, give it a little strum, and let’s see what comes out.
Yubi: Okay. It is definitely out of tune. You can see even as you pick it off the wall that either time or the disruption of whatever had happened here has loosened some of the pegs, so, like, one string is definitely way flat, but you can kind of hear what it should be. You’re welcome to try tuning it, if you want.
ed: Nah. I’m putting it back.
Kitty: I mean, by this time, presumably Findex has finished his short rest.
Yubi: Yeah, probably. It’s been twenty, twenty-five minutes.
Kitty: And we didn’t find anything to, like, eat or drink- oh, stuff it, I’m worrying about that too much.
Yubi: You didn’t seem to find anything like that. In the kitchen there were certain things that looked like they might have once been food or drink that have rotted, there was some brackish water at the bottom of the sink…
Kitty: Oh… No, no, no….
Yubi: But perishables seem to have not lasted here.
Kitty: Can I fit the box in my pocket as well?
Kitty: I’ll take it with me, just in case. There’s not a keyhole in the box, is there?
Yubi: No, there’s not. There’s some writing on it – seems to be the same writing as in the rest of this town – but you can’t read it.
Kitty: No, and I have no idea that the other two can read it either.
[~55 minutes in]
ed as Taro: Alright, well I suppose we should get a move on, then; we’ve been here for awhile. You alright, Findex? You alright? Ready to, uh…
Yubi: Findex blinks awake from where he’s clearly been dozing against the wall and kind of starts, but he looks a bit better. He’s still not looking good, but he looks a bit better for having a little snooze and being treated nicely and seen to. And he pushes himself to his feet, and he looks over, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: Where did you get that cloak?
ed as Taro: Oh, I found it under a bed. It’s nice, isn’t it?
ed: I give him a twirl.
Yubi as Findex: Yeah…? I don’t wear cloaks, but-
ed as Taro: Yeah, no, I could tell. I’ve been meaning to say that. You are…. – do you understand the concept of nakedness? [Yubi chuckling]
Kitty: Oh no, we got to it in the end.
Yubi: He, like, looks down at himself, then he looks at you, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex, haltingly: It’s not a concern for my people.
ed as Taro: Oh, I’m glad. That’s very liberating, I’m sure. Come on then, let’s get a move on.
Yubi: He nods his head, and he leads you out of this little house. He takes you round to that big building, again, and you can see where there are certainly pathways in the stone that people have made to climb it. I would like all of you to make climb checks, please!
Kitty: How do I do that?
Gary: “Climb checks…”
Yubi: Or, I think it’s athletics.
Kitty: Not acrobatics?
Kitty: Do you know what’s really shit?
Kitty: It’s that, if you’re a halfling and you get a nat one, you can reroll it. But if you’re a halfling with a minus one strength modifier and you roll a two… [ed and Gary laughing]
Yubi: Ohhh… [Laughs] Oh…
Kitty: I’m not very strong.
Yubi: This path that has clearly been made around this building to climb it was certainly made for creatures that are generally bigger than about five foot five. So, while Findex, with not ease but without too much difficulty, is able to pull himself up along this incline, and Natalia, you with your training in escapades still find this relatively doable in terms of climbing – Taro and Nerium, it’s hell. And in fact, Nerium, you get maybe ten foot up, and you actually can’t reach the next bit. And Taro, who’s just ahead of you, you’re also vaguely struggling to actually climb.
Kitty as Nerium, distressed: Mr Findex! Help!
ed as Taro, panting heavily: Could you… give us… a hand?
Kitty: I feel like the Witch of the Wastes, in Howl’s Moving Castle. [Yubi giggling]
Yubi: Findex looks over his shoulder, and he looks down at you two, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: Uh… Hold on.
Yubi: And he starts to descend again. And he descends past you and he puts his hands by your feet, Nerium, [Gary chuckling] and kind of starts to try to push you up the wall, kind of.
Kitty: I mean… I might just go,
Kitty as Nerium: Oh, thank you very much!
Kitty: And climb on his back.
Yubi: You do that, and he immediately is clinging to the wall. He goes,
Yubi as Findex: I.. I don’t think I can carry you…
Kitty as Nerium: I don’t weigh much.
Yubi as Findex: I’m not feeling very well, in general.
Kitty as Nerium: [Sighs] Oh, sorry, I misunderstood.
Yubi as Findex: I-I can try, but if we fall…
Kitty as Nerium, unconcerned: Yeah, okay, you try.
Yubi, laughing: He looks over to you, Taro, who’s the closest, with a definite look of, like, “Help.”
ed: I just kind of shrug, and go, “mnnn.”
Yubi: [Laughing] Sorry, bud. He starts climbing; it’s clearly very pained and slow.
Kitty: But it’s physically successful.
Yubi: Yep. He keeps pace, mostly, with Taro, every so often reaching across to kind of grab you by the arm, Taro, to push you up a bit more when you can’t reach the next bit.
Kitty: I’m going to take one hand off the neck frill that I’m clinging to – or whatever it is – and give Taro a quick thumbs up.
ed: I think whenever he grabs Taro’s arm, Taro does his best to flex a little bit, [Yubi laughing and clapping, Gary giggling] just- what little muscle he’s got is still putting on a good show.
Yubi: Okay, after about the third time, he looks over to you and kind of pauses, and he goes,
Yubi as Findex: Am I hurting? Is- are you okay? You’re kind of twitching. [Kitty snorting]
ed as Taro: … No! No, it’s just… Got twitchy arms, you know? Because of all the muscle, it makes them twitch. Um…
Yubi: He looks down, and like, he is holding your arm and his fingers are overlapping his thumb. Like, he’s got a pretty big hand, but you’ve got a skinny arm, my guy. [Kitty laughing] He looks down, and he looks up at you – roll me deception.
[~1 hour in]
Gary: This will be one hell of a roll.
ed: … It’s a nine. [Upset stuttering]
Yubi: Did you add anything to that?
ed: Yeah! Five! [Yubi, Kitty, and Gary laughing] Got to exile this damn die.
Yubi: Yeah, you need to get multiple. This is why I have one hundred and seventy-four dice, so if on betrays me, there are so many more.
Kitty: I feel like there’s a middle ground… [Yubi chuckling]
Yubi: He looks over to you, and he kind of, like, narrows his eyes, and he makes a little noise in his throat that’s somewhere between a “mhm” and an “okay,” and he keeps half-pushing you up the wall as he goes.
Gary: Kind of like an, [mocking Findex’s earlier noise] ehrh? [All laughing]
Yubi: Yeah, I think, kind of, a bit. He makes half of an ehrh sound, and then he stops, because he clearly remembers the mocking he got last time.
ed: I think Taro goes,
ed as Taro: [Muffled giggling]
Gary: So half of an ehrh sound, which would be an eh?
Yubi: He just kind of makes a little weird throat sound, and then Taro makes the same one back, and there’s this very odd, weird moment, as this very hurt lizardman with Nerium on his back, still holding Taro’s flexing arm, helps you guys up this collapsed building.
Kitty: I have limited sympathy for you, Windex, because actually you started by stabbing instead of saying “hello;” you brought all of this on yourself.
Yubi: Are you saying that to him?
ed: Are you literally, just, riding this lizard man’s back while you’re just shit talking? [Yubi and Gary laughing]
Kitty: No, that is out of character..
Gary: “You deserve this.”
Kitty: Not in character, no!
Yubi: Okay, Natalia, you’re about maybe I think fifteen foot ahead of them or so. Out of them all, you’re climbing with absolute ease, it looks like. You are Spiderman-ing up this wall.
Gary: As soon as I get to a suitable point, I’m just breaking open this book and having a little peruse.
Yubi: [Laughing] Okay, you climb pretty quick and you get maybe three-quarters of the way up, and you can see now where this stone ceiling has collapsed in this big- it does kind of look like a double-arched gate. And you can see the red clouds covering the sun above you, still kind of swirling. It seems a bit darker now, outside – there doesn’t seem to be as much light. And you find this nice little outcropping, and you settle down with your book as you watch from, I think at this point, a hundred foot below you, [Kitty and Gary chuckling] the three stooges are attempting their wall climb in what is, honestly, genuinely comedic fashion.
Gary: Is it a good book?
Yubi: It’s a good book, yeah! It’s relatively gripping from the start – starts out with a murder – a bit of political intrigue… [Gary laughing] Yeah, it’s a pretty good book!
Gary: I like the sound of this book.
Yubi: It’s got a solid start to a story, just enough mystery to keep you guys interested, and then on the second chapter it changes point of view, and you are drawn into the story.
Kitty: Oh my God, she got through a whole chapter. [Gary laughs] I think if Nat glances up at any point, I’m going to wave.
Yubi: Okay, you look down, and Nerium waves. And does Taro do anything?
ed: No, Taro’s still climbing; he’s a very tired boy now, it’s time to work extra hard.
[The Fallen City theme stops, a lone violin starts up]
Kitty: Oh God, we haven’t even slept yet! This must be, like, two in the morning! And you’ve been sick, and had all that wine, and you got arrested for murder…
ed: Yeah, sounds like a good night.
Yubi: Yeah, you’re coming to the end of what was once a very good night. And Natalia, as you sit on this outcropping and you alternate between reading your book and looking down to see how they’re doing, glancing up, you can see that the darkening clouds- there’s definitely a heavier weight to some of them. It almost looks like some of them are gathering, not quite on the horizon because you can’t see the horizon from your angle, but maybe in the distance look like they’re maybe becoming storm clouds.
[The music starts in earnest with the familiar drumbeat of the theme song, fading into the lone violin that ends the episode]
[END OF EPISODE 7]