Friends, he’s done it again. Our transcript champion Orion has worked his butt off to bring us an amazing transcript for episode 9! Thank you so, so much Orion, and to all who have taken the time to transcribe this show! So please enjoy:
Episode 9: Thunderstruck
Created by Yubi, Gary, Kitty and ed.
Transcribed by Orion, because he quite likes transcribing things in his spare time, and he likes TMP even more than that. 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. All attempts at recreating Yubi’s weird mouth sounds are Orion’s own.
Gary as Natalia: Previously on The Mortal Path…
[clips from previous episode with a fast, urgent battle theme beneath them all]
Yubi: Natalia is sitting, reading her book. Her eyes have what look like golden letters running across the iris.
ed as Taro: Oh, I might be seeing some glyphs.
Kitty as Nerium: Little gold letters running across her eyes.
ed as Taro: Yeah!
Gary as Natalia: Wait, what?!
Gary as Natalia: Oh, I was, uh… Helping her escape from some bad people.
Kitty as Nerium: And, um… What happened to her afterwards?
Gary as Natalia: Oh, she disappeared to other side of the world and I never saw her again.
Yubi as Findex: This is where the commander is. Follow me.
ed as Taro: I will say – what is your story here? Because either way this looks a bit embarrassing, right?
Yubi as Findex: Errrr, I…..
ed as Taro: Now let’s go in! Remember, you’re our prisoner! [Gary and Yubi laughing]
Gary as Natalia: Sweet little Findex, you’re our prisoner, right?
ed as Taro, whispering: Nat! Nat!
Gary as Natalia: Greetings, assholes.
ed: Shit. Why did we…?
Kitty: I would like to use my action to attempt to hide behind Taro.
Yubi as Commander Gehesh: This is a dangerous city and you’ve just appeared, holding one of my men captive.
Yubi as Commander Gehesh: Magic, all of you? Is that so?
ed as Taro in a thick American accent: Well, there might be a little bit of magic in these here hands.
Gary as Natalia: What if we were to, ah… Silence them?
Kitty as Nerium: What, kill them all?
ed as Taro: Hhmmmmmm….! Alright Nat, I think you’ve sold me, but what’s the plan?
Kitty: I think we can convince Findex – but if we take out the commander and then see if we can’t talk to Sevren.
ed as Taro: Come out when you hear the signal. And trust me, you’ll hear it.
[The Mortal Path’s theme tune (by Rachel Graff) begins properly, a haunting wordless, vocal melody over a fast-paced drumbeat, fading into a lone violin that sounds over the first few sentences of dialogue.]
Yubi: You guys make your way out of the room and you head along the corridor with Taro in the lead. Who’s going after Taro?
Gary: Uh, Natalia will.
Kitty: Can I… It’s dark in this corridor, right?
Kitty: Okay, I’m just gonna hang back a second because I have never done anything like this before and I am just gonna turn my back quietly to a shadowy corner and just say quietly to myself,
Kitty as Nerium, whispering: Dark Lady, guide my hand.
Kitty: And then turn back and follow, a little bit anxiously.
ed: Alright, Taro opens the door.
Yubi: Okay, everybody is pretty much where they were before. Findex looks more upset than earlier and Sevren kind of has her shoulder turned away from him, almost as if she’s embarrassed to be standing to attention next to him. And the commander is standing over the body of the rebel and poking it with his foot as you open the door?
Kitty, laughing: Oh, there’s no call for that!
Yubi: And as you open the door and you step in, he looks up and he smiles and he says,
Yubi as Commander Gehesh: Ah! You’ve come to some sort of agreement, I assume.
ed: Yeah, I close the door behind me.
Kitty: What? Are we in the room? What?
Gary: Okay, okay, alright.
Kitty: Taro, what are you doing?
ed as Taro in the fake American accent: H-Howdy, pardner. [Kitty and Gary laughing]
Yubi as the commander: Yes, greetings, hello.
ed as American Taro: We have come to an agreement. We’d be much obliged. But there’s no reason in us… You’re doing something for us here, and we are gonna be doing something for you in exchange.
Yubi as the commander: Oh, well… I mean, I wouldn’t say no. What did you have in mind?
ed as American Taro: We’ve decided we ought to show you a little more of our magic.
Yubi as the commander: I’d love to see. Do you… Is it… Transferable? Is it teachable? I’ve always had an interest, you see.
ed as American Taro: My magic ain’t really teachable. But them out the back might be able to show you something. They’re preparing a little treat. But first of all, I’ll set things off.
Yubi as the commander: Well, please, I’d love to see.
ed as American Taro: If you could, could you ask your… Windex over there, if he could face the wall and puts his hands on his ears? I really don’t… I don’t want him hearing any of the incantations, you see. They’re a fair bit secret. [Gary laughing]
Yubi: He gives you a little bit of an odd look at that. Make me a persuasion check with advantage.
Gary: Oh, I love it!
ed: Persuasion, okay…
Yubi: With advantage.
ed: An eighteen.
Yubi: Okay! [Gary sighs with relief] He nods his head and Findex – very slowly and with a look of absolute confusion – turns to face the wall and slowly puts his hands on the side of his head.
ed as American Taro: Alright.
ed: And I’m gonna start walking towards… Commando Rex. Gehesh. [quiet laughter]
Yubi: Okay, and how close are you getting?
ed: I’m just gonna walk quite close and go,
[~5 minutes in]
ed as American Taro: Now, if you’ll look carefully. This is quite subtle. [Gary laughing] But first I have to channel the spirits of the ancients. Can you feel them? [Gary losing his shit in the background]
Yubi: He closes his eyes as you say that and he has a look of… Excitement? And kind of awe on his face. And he closes his eyes and he concentrates and as he does, you guys, all of you hear – from above you, from the skies… The first kind of… fwwooooo… of storm clouds that you saw earlier above. And he goes, [tense violin chords playing underneath the dialogue, getting louder and higher pitched as if building up to an explosion]
Yubi as the commander: I think I can!
ed as American Taro: Now. Listen real carefully.
ed: And then I clap. [the music explodes into a fast paced techno style battle theme under the dialogue.]
Yubi: You clap your hands together and and there is this almighty kind of… ktbwooo! of thunder that shakes the building. And I believe that the commander is thrown backwards, right? He has to make a save of some sort?
ed: He does have to make a saving throw.
Yubi: A what saving throw?
ed: A constitution saving throw.
Yubi: And your DC is? [rolling dice] Erk…
ed: I think it’s thirteen.
Yubi, pained: He got nine… So he goes-
Yubi: He gets pushed ten foot back…
ed: And he takes 2d8 thunder damage.
Yubi: Holy shit… Roll me that thunder damage!
ed, singing off key: He’s been… thunderstru-uu-….uck! [everyone laughing]
Gary: Beautiful bardic…
ed: Now I find out what a D8 looks like. It’s this thing. That would be 13.
Yubi: Thir-… Thirteen?!
ed: No, 11. Sorry. I can’t add.
Yubi: Oh my God…
ed: I added 7 and 4 and got 13 so… 11.
Yubi: Oh my God. Okay, eleven. So, your… blast of thunder rocks out against this room. And he is thrown backwards into the wall. And you see his head smash back against the wall and as he slumps down – because I believe he’s also knocked prone mechanically, right?
ed: Uh, it just says pushed back ten feet.
Yubi: Pushed back? I’ll give him a dexterity check, ‘cause he’s hit that wall pretty hard… [wincing] Nope! That was a nat one! So he slumps down against the wall and you can see this trail of blood going down the wall from where he’s hit his head. And he immediately does not look good. And as you do that…
Kitty, hopefully: With a nat one, does he take extra damage?
Yubi: Uh, nope! I think he just gets knocked prone! And as you do that… Actually, you know what, this body as well…
Yubi: This second body just gets kblup against the wall.
ed: It’s very undignified.
Yubi: Very undignified! The second time that you have…
Kitty: You have already played puppets with it.
Yubi: Yeah, the second time you’ve puppeted this dead body.
ed: They don’t call me the puppet master for no reason. [everyone laughing]
Yubi: Sevren, she picks up a spear and she turns to you with fear and absolute fury in her eyes. But you two, who have been waiting on this signal, you guys absolutely have a surprise round. So we’ll say that Nat’s going to go first because she’s there, and then we’ll get you guys to all roll initiative. So Nat, what are you doing?
Gary: I’m just going to come into the room, and I’m going to say…
Gary as Natalia: I’m sorry, but we can’t allow you to run home and tell everyone about this. Good night.
Gary: I’m going to attack.
ed: I’m pretty sure he didn’t hear any of that, due to the fact that he’s been deafened by…
Gary: Well…! I felt it. I heard it And it felt good. [ed and Kitty laughing]
Yubi: Now, I believe you get advantage, don’t you? ‘Cause he’s prone. And you’re in melee range.
Gary: Let’s see. That’s a nineteen.
Yubi: That’ll hit.
Gary: Nat’s all about the quippy one-liners. Even if they don’t really work for this scene. [Yubi and Kitty laughing]. That’s nine damage.
Yubi: Weesht. [Orion note: no, I have no idea what this noise is as well, but I think they’re impressed?] Okay! Alright.
Kitty: Is he dead?
Yubi: Not yet! So, as this commander hits the wall and goes down with this streak of blood, and the other lizard creature readies her spear, the door behind you, Taro, kpoohh bursts open. And Natalia comes running in – saying something that you kind of catch but not quite because she’s moving very quickly. And she just brings her sword down into the stomach of this commander on the ground. And he kind of goes [wheezing] ohh! And tries to hold onto the blade and there is blood dripping from his mouth and he does not look good at all! Nerium.
Kitty: I want to take both of my… Take out my dagger in my right hand and my kitchen knife in my left hand and stab him twice.
Yubi: Okay, where are you standing to do this?
Kitty: Uh, well, I was going to nip round the back of him and get him in the kidneys, but I can’t do that. However I can move through the space of a creature one size larger than me. So I can go wherever… I can duck in under Nat or wherever.
ed: Just power-slide through Taro’s legs.
Kitty: I power-slide through Taro’s legs, yes!
Yubi: Okay, okay, very good!
Kitty: That is what I do.
[~10 minutes in]
Yubi: So, almost the second that Natalia brings her sword down into this guy’s stomach… Taro, you hear footsteps behind you and you move just in time [Kitty imitates hurtling herself across the floor with a woaurgh! noise] for this tiny halfling, suddenly wielding two daggers – one actually a kitchen knife that you saw earlier in the house and you did not know that she picked up – power slide under your legs and bring them both down into his body. Roll me your attack!
Kitty: Uh, yeah. Okay.
ed: If you miss, this is going to be embarrassing as hell.
Gary: With advantage! With advantage!
Yubi: With advantage? See if you crit.
Kitty: WIth advantage? No, eighteen.
Yubi: You get sneak attack.
Kitty: And I get sneak attack. I presume eighteen hits.
Yubi: Oh, yeah, eighteen’ll hit.
Kitty: Okay. That’s… Four plus… So that’s eight damage. And my sneak attack at this point is just one, isn’t it?
Yubi: Uh, 1d6, yeah.
Kitty: Yeah. Ah, so that’ll be 12 damage with my first hit.
Yubi: 12 damage. Where are you stabbing him?
Kitty: I mean, he’s prone – so I can probably get him anywhere. The stomach’s already been done…
ed: The stomach’s covered, they’ve done that bit already.
Yubi: There is a sword in the belly, yes.
Kitty: There’s a sword in the belly, and I’m probably underneath that, so I dunno… Somewhere under there.
ed: Oh no.
Kitty: Let’s chop his nuts off. [Gary laughing loudly]
ed: Oh, goodness.
Kitty: Why not?
ed: Go for it.
Yubi: Okay! So as you’re getting ready to pull this sword back out, this halfling with this look of iron, slides up and dexterity unknown, does these two quick motions and a part of the Commander – as of yet unseen – falls to the floor. In a growing pile of blood.
Kitty: A arterial spray.
Yubi: And he kind of looks down at himself and he looks up at the three of you and his eyes just roll back and that guy is…. Dead… on the ground. [Kitty laughs] He did not survive that at all. He’s very dead now!
Yubi: Goodbye, sweet NPC.
ed: Fucking owned.
Kitty: Well I mean, what am I gonna do with my bonus action now?
ed: Intimidate them.
Kitty: Is that a bonus action?
Yubi: I will let you make an intimidation check as a bonus action, since you killed the commander on the surprise round.
Gary: Take no quarter!
Kitty: Well then. I will swing around and with my blood sprayed face and two knives in my hands, I will say,
Kitty as Nerium: Findex! You’re with us, right?
Yubi: Okay… Make me… Now, it’s your choice.
Kitty: Persuasion I suppose.
Yubi: You can make me an intimidation or persuasion. It’s your choice.
Kitty: I’d rather do persuasion then.
Kitty: ‘Cause I’ve got things in that. Uh… Ooh… Hm… Yeah, that’s thirteen?
Yubi: Okay, Findex – who has at this point turned around, although he’s only taken one hand off the side of his head – looks at all three of you and just goes… [Yubi screams hoarsely] Aaaarrghhh! [the others laughing] As he starts kind of screaming. He just starts screaming.
Kitty: That’s fair.
Yubi: But he doesn’t make any movement. He’s got one hand on the side of his head and he’s just screaming. Roll me initiative!
Gary: That’s a fourteen.
Kitty: Twenty three!
Yubi: Okay, okay, okay, okay! Nerium, you’re up first!
Kitty: Well, I’m going to run to Sevren and say,
Kitty as Nerium: You’ve got two choices – you can join us or die.
Yubi: How close are you getting? Bearing in mind that she’s wielding a spear.
Kitty: What’s the reach on a spear? Is it ten foot? Or…
Yubi: Mechanically, ten foot. But to you, pretty far. [Gary laughs]
Kitty: H’okay! I will…
ed: Like… twice your height?
Kitty: Yeah. Okay I will move one square closer to her, I will take a few steps forward.
Yubi: Okay, make me a persuasion check with disadvantage.
Kitty: Yeah… Hmm, okay, well that’s an eighteen. And that’s a six. So that would be nine.
Yubi: Okay, you just see the fury take over as she starts to move forward with her spear, and it is her turn – unless of course there’s anything else you want to do. You’ve only used one bit of your movement.
Kitty: I mean, that was me… I can’t attack in that case?
Yubi: I’m gonna say that was your check for this time.
Kitty: Then I’m gonna use my bonus action to disengage, if I can?
Yubi: You’re not in melee range of her.
Kitty: Fuck. Hide?
Yubi: Yeah, you can try and hide behind Nat?
Kitty: I’ll duck behind the polar bear.
Gary: You can dash.
Yubi: I mean, that’s not a polar bear. That is a dea-… Yeah, you can use your bonus action to move again.
Kitty: No, I’m gonna duck behind the polar bear.
Yubi: That’s just a lizard man body. It’s not actually a big polar bear. I’m- okay, fine-…
Kitty: I can hide behind it. It’s one size bigger than me.
ed: No one’s gonna know what we’re talking about with this polar bear shit.
Kitty: Sorry. It’s one size bigger than me. I’m gonna hide behind the dead body of the rebel.
Yubi: Okay, thank you. Which is indicated by a dead polar bear on our battle map, okay. [laughing]
ed: You’re not under the polar bear.
Yubi: Okay, so roll me stealth? I guess? [laughing] Although she can like still… watch you do this…
Kitty; Okay, it’s more for cover, really.
Yubi: Yeah. Okay.
Kitty: But fine, I got a twenty two.
Yubi: A twenty two! Okay, you just fucking disappear under this dead body!
ed: Just slip inside this bear. [everyone laughing]
Gary: I really like this idea of this child-like figure running up, saying ‘join us or die!’ And then running away…
Kitty: Fucking right off.
Gary: And hiding very obviously behind a body.
ed: We’re really failing to live through the promise.
Kitty: She hasn’t done this before, she doesn’t know what she’s doing!
[~15 minutes in]
Yubi through laughter: It’s very good! It’s very D&D and I love it! However it is Sevren’s go! And she is going to have a look around… [laughing] You kind of disappear off to the periphery – I guess? [everyone laughing] And she is going to move forward to… Um… You both kind of killed him. So I’m going to roll a d20 – if it’s odd, she’s going to go for Taro, if it’s even she’s going to go for Natalia. It is even! Natalia. She gets about that close and she is going to lunge forward with her spear, with a… [quietly] Mm, this fucking dice can just go away… [normally] With a twelve…?
Yubi: Nope. So she lunges forward but you can see the shock, now that she’s closer to this body and she misses.
Gary: As the spear comes in, this just veil of shadows appears and just whacks it off to the side.
Yubi: Oh, very cool! Yes!
Kitty, clapping: Nice.
Yubi: So what exactly does it look like? How does it manifest?
Gary: When the spear tip comes in, this-… black shadows bar its way. Sort of deflect it off to the side.
Yubi: Ooh… Very, very cool. Windex, his screaming-… Findex. Wow. I’m editing that out. [everyone laughing loudly] Findex-…
ed: That’s canon now, Yubi. That’s canon.
Yubi: No, no, nope. Findex’s yell goes from [steadily getting higher as they scream hoarsely] ‘aaa-aar-aarrgh!’ like that. It kind of changes a little bit as they watch what’s happening here. And that is all she can do with her turn, so it is- Taro, your go.
ed: Alright. I think Taro’s gonna walk up to… Findex.
Yubi: Okay, you are in her melee range so if you do that, she’s going to get an attack of opportunity.
ed: Okay, I think Taro kind of ducks under-… Or attempts to duck under whatever she tries to do. I attempt to not get hit as I walk past. Can I use disengage, actually?
Yubi: Okay. That can be your whole action if you want.
Kitty: But if he uses disengage as an action, how is he going to roll to seduce Findex?
Gary and Yubi: That’s true…
ed: That’s a good point. I’ll take my chances to getting whacked.
Yubi: Aha! You bet wrong. So that is a twenty to hit.
ed: Taro dies!
Yubi, laughing: Not yet. So…
Kitty: Yet! [laughing]
Yubi: So she pulls her spear round. She’s only got it in one hand at the moment. I am gonna use the bone dice, though. Which is not a sexy dice though, it’s just a very ominous dice.
ed and Kitty: Booooooone! [Yubi laughs]
Yubi: Well, y’all just did that to yourself because you take eight points of damage as she spins the spear round and gets you right in the back between your shoulder blades.
ed: Alright – so that looked probably extremely painful.
Kitty: Go for the sympathy vote!
Yubi: It looks very bad.
ed: Can I do the rest of what I was gonna do with my turn?
ed: So Gary kills me…
Gary: An opportunity attack interrupts the provoking creature’s movement.
Yubi: So as you try and move past her, she manages to get you with the spear enough that she actually… skewers you for a second? [Gary laughing] And you actually can’t quite move round that bit because there’s a blade embedded in you.
Kitty: Taro kebab!
ed: Like, given how much of a percentage of my health points that did… Yeah. I don’t think he’s walking anywhere.
Yubi: No, no you’re not looking very well. At all. But what you do see is- you do see the look of panic on Findex’s face get more panicked as you take damage.
ed as Taro: ‘ere, Findex! Could you give us a hand?
Yubi as Findex, screaming hoarsely in panic: Aaa-aaa-aaargh!
Yubi: He kind of reaches for a weapon that he doesn’t fuckin’ have – ‘cause you have his sword!
ed: Oh, yeah…
Yubi: And kind of smacks his hands around his thighs for a minute, going “Aaaargh!” [Kitty laughing]
ed: I believe in him!
Yubi: He’s not having a nice day. Okay.
ed: He’s big and strong! [Yubi giggles]
Kitty: He is very strong.
ed: The lizard man is big and tough, and only the best is good enough. [Yubi and Gary laughing]
Yubi: Are you- now are you using your bardic inspiration again?
Yubi: ‘Cause it’s a bonus action and I will give him that.
ed: Yes. Canonically I said that. Yes.
Yubi: Okay! Very good. [Gary snort-laughing underneath the dialogue] You say this. It’s confusing. But it’s very, very stirring. Everyone feels a little bit moved, but especially Findex in this moment.
ed: Alright. Tick that one off my list.
Yubi, laughing: Yeah, take that off. Natalia…
ed: That’s two inspiration, and I have used zero of them on a player character….
Kitty: On actual party members…
Yubi trying not to laugh: [Gary still laughing under the dialogue] Natalia, as you pull your blade out of the very dead body of this commander, you see this other lizard creature’s spear kind of… Ptooo into Taro’s back. And instead of crying out in pain, he spits a little rhyme. [Gary laugh-crying again] And is kind of frozen there. Half skewered. [sing-song voice] What do you do?
[~20 minutes in]
Gary as Natalia: Sevren. You made the wrong choice. So [demonic, low echoing voice] fuck you.
Yubi: Oh! Very good! Okay!
Gary: And then I’m gonna step forward and try and stab… Ooh…
ed: Out of interest, is that the only swear word Nat knows?
Gary: Uh… No?
Kitty: It’s the mechanics of the curse.
Yubi: It is now the mechanics of the curse, yes. [laughs]
Gary: I’ll change it up in future.
ed: Oh, shit.
Gary: So that’s a six-… Nope, a fourteen to hit.
Yubi: So as you cast your curse, you feel again this dark energy, you feel it move almost through this shadowy barrier that you can now almost see manifesting around you. But as you lunge forward with the sword, it glances off her armor. And this is much better than the stuff that Findex was wearing. And you see it cut a deep gouge in the leather but it doesn’t actually make contact. And she turns her head back to you with just fury in her eyes…. Findex! Is going to look around in horror. And in confusion. And he’s going to take a stumbling step to the side and then he’s going to-… Why is he sideways? That was obviously me at some point.
Gary: He was facing the wall.
Kitty, quietly: And then a jump to the right… [laughter]
Yubi, laughing: A very good reference! And then he’s going to kind of… stagger forwards? And he’s going to reach out and he’s just going to… smack… the back of Sevren? In what is going to be relatively ineffectual. But the effort is there.
Kitty: But very significant!
Yubi: But he’s going to use his inspiration! [mumbling] What the hell is…?
Gary: Well, he’s got advantage anyway!
Yubi: He does! He’s been… [inaudible]
Gary: Also, I like that their movement… That they seem to back up to attack people?
Yubi, laughing: Is he upside down? My screen is very far from me.
ed: Yeah, he is.
Gary: And so is Sevren.
Kitty: We’re all facing the wrong way. It’s fine.
Yubi: Oh well. Listen, they’re just little jellybeans to me from this distance. I can only tell who they are by the colours, not by the shape. [Gary laughs] Okay. So he kind of gets up behind her and he reaches out and he kind of does this… Slap, that kind of goes pt-tuh against the back of her. And it does [emphatically] fuck all. But he looks over to you, Taro, in like… [high pitched] ‘Yeah…? Like that..?’
ed: Thumbs up.
Yubi, laughing: Okay.
ed: I give him a little thumbs up. From my position of incredible pain.
Yubi: That is-… Yeah. That is his turn. Nerium.
Kitty: I will… bounce out from behind my dead body of a rebel who… strikingly resembles a polar bear. And as I jump out, I can see the shadows around Nat, can’t I?
Yubi: Uh, yeah, I think at that point you can see them kind of manifesting round her.
Kitty: I wanna go,
Kitty as Nerium, whispering: Cool…!
Gary as Natalia, whispering back: Isn’t it?
Kitty: And then I will keep my double stabby on Sevren.
Yubi: So if you’re standing there, are you throwing them at…
Yubi: Okay. Roll your attack!
Kitty: My attacks… The third one was a thirteen so that… [trails off] The second one, however, is a 24!
Yubi: So the first one, she moves out the way and you don’t even make contact. The second one, you manage to drive right into the muscle of her thigh. Roll damage.
Kitty: Excellent, excellent. Five plus sneak attack of… Four. So that’s nine.
Yubi: Okay. Yep, blood starts to trickle down her skin and she kind of goes [grunting] rgh! And looks over at you. That seems to be a good noise that lizardmen make. She looks down at you in shock ‘cause she did not see you pop out from behind the dead body of the rebel. Anything else on your turn?
Kitty: That was my bonus action, so no. I’m stuck there. If she takes a swipe at me, I’m buggered.
Yubi: She pulls back her spear and she is going to go again for Natalia.
Kitty: Oh, good.
Yubi: Uh, yep. With a fifteen?
Yubi: Again! So she pulls back, and this time there’s this little tsssst spray of blood from Taro, who is now released from the end of the spear. [Gary laughs] [Kitty imitates vomiting] And as she drives forward, again this tschnk! of these shadows that seem to come from solid impact. And the blood kind of splatters across the shadows before it holds there a second and then falls to the ground. And that is all she can do on her turn. So Taro, it’s your go.
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, catch!
ed: I then attempt to throw the sword to Findex. [Gary laughs]
Yubi: Okay! Make me a dexterity check.
Kitty: There’s no way that can go wrong.
ed: There’s not! I’m very good at throwing. Hopefully.
Gary, nervously: Ah…
ed: I didn’t think about this.
Gary: Please don’t kill our friend.
Yubi: He has some HP… [Gary wheeze-laughing]
ed: I think I have a +3 on this. I think I have +3 on this. Sixteen!
Yubi: Ah, yeah. So he’s going to make a dexterity check to catch it. Urrk. Ooh… So you throw the sword, and you manage to arc it so it definitely goes handle first towards him? And he just absolutely flubs his catch and it kind of skitters to the ground. But it’s at his feet. He just does not catch it. He’s just like ‘aaargh!’ consistently.
[~25 minutes in]
Kitty: At this point, Nerium is quietly, just slightly wondering what the fuck Taro sees in this man.
ed: He’s very endearing! [Kitty sighs disappointedly]
Yubi: He’s very upset.
ed: I like people who are incompetent! [Yubi laughs]
Kitty: I was gonna say – are you one of those who looks for a fixer-upper? [everyone else laughing]
Yubi: Wow… Called out.
ed: Hey, he survived the blood pits!
Yubi: The Blood Sands! Yeah, he did one time. One time he did. Natalia, it’s your go.
Gary: Ah, I’m just gonna bring back my sword and stab him again.
Yubi: You get advantage, ‘cause Findex is flanking – ineffectually.
Gary: That’s sixteen.
Yubi: Yeah, sixteen does hit.
Gary: Right, so I’m gonna just drive it straight through her, and say…
Gary as Natalia: Don’t. Hit. My friend.
Gary: And then that-…
ed: Oh shit, we’re friends!
Yubi: This is very good!
Kitty, high-pitched: Oh my God, we’re friends!
Gary: Thirteen damage.
Yubi: Thirteen. You pull back your sword – and as you say that, these shadows around you… For a second, both of you see these shadows take the appearance of two Natalias. And then swirl into the blade. And it goes through Sevren and out the other side. To a point where it actually almost hits Findex, who’s at the back of her. And Sevren’s blade kind of… kpp-t-puh to the ground as she goes still on the end of your sword and collapses. And she is day-ead. [Gary whoops] And Findex, at that point, does not pick up his sword but he staggers back until he hits the wall and he slides down until he’s sitting. And he puts his hands up and he says,
Yubi as Findex, in distress: Don’t-… Why…? Why did you…
Gary as Natalia: Findex – we were helping you.
Yubi as Findex, hyperventilating: How…?! You killed them!
Gary as Natalia: You don’t need to go the Blood Sands now, Findex.
Yubi as Findex: Aggghhhh……!
ed as Taro: Well, to be fair – we had our own reasons too.
ed: And Taro sits down on the ground.
Yubi as Findex: I don’t know what’s just happened…
Gary: You’re free.
Yubi: He’s gonna make a constitution saving throw? For a panic attack. [Kitty laughing] Which is our new mechanic to roll for a panic attack. [rolls dice] Nope. He starts to breathe heavily and quickly and he kind of puts his head in his hands and is just going, ‘aaagghhhhh…’
Kitty: While he’s doing that, I would like to go over to the… Commando Rex, the dead body-
ed: Rest in peace.
Kitty: -because that is the dead body of somebody I killed!
Kitty: Yeah, I’ve never… I’ve never had this experience before.
ed: Are you gonna take a trinket? ‘Cause there’s a couple you could… [Yubi laughs].
Kitty: Well… Yeah, uh, they kind of got a bit muddy. And I just want to look at him and like, poke him with a toe and go, ‘hm’. And then I’d like to go through all of his stuff.
Yubi: Okay. You go over to this body of this person who has been just so very killed in three different inventive ways.
Kitty, whispering: Yeah…!
Yubi: A real team effort on this particular gentleman-…
ed: It’s a collaboration piece, this body!
Yubi: Yeah, it really is a work of art. The back of his head’s a bit caved in. He’s got this big kind of gaping wound in his stomach and there’s just like so much blood between his legs. It’s-… [Kitty giggles maniacally].
ed, scared: Jesus Christ. [laughter]
Kitty: I think actually, no, that might well be what happened. She might well be just looking at that and giggling.
Yubi: Okay! So the very sweet little form of Meredith Burrows – who’s very good at sewing, and who’s very polite and gentle at all times – pokes this dead body with her toes and then starts to giggle behind you Taro and you Natalia, as you, Taro, sit down really feeling like yep, you just really been stabbed in the back and it’s not feeling good at all.
ed: Taro, whilst bleeding out, is also paying attention to whatever… A kind of confused fear. This new Goblin who has arrived…
Yubi: Fair. You start going through the pockets. What are you doing Natalia?
Gary: I think I’m going to crouch down by Taro and see if I can do something to stop the bleeding.
Yubi: Okay, make me a medicine check.
Gary: That’s a nat 20.
Yubi: Okay, what do you do to stop the bleeding?
Gary: Well. So what was Sevren wearing?
Yubi: Sevren was just wearing bits of armor. Sort of the same thing as Findex? Bits of armor, but hers were much better.
Gary: How about the rebel?
Yubi: The rebel had nothing on.
Gary: Oh! My…
Yubi: The rebel was another lizard person
Kitty: Nakedness isn’t an issue for his people.
Gary: In that case, I’m loathe to do it but I tear off a bit of my dress and I wrap a bandage around the place to try and keep the bodily organs in.
Yubi: Okay, it is in the back. So there’s nothing quite like falling out at this point. But it’s just like a lot of blood. But you tear off a good kind of couple of inches round the hem of your dress. It’s one of those dresses where the waist is gathered. So there’s actually quite a lot down at the bottom almost like a bell and you get a good couple of long strips of material that you do manage to tie round quite tightly round Taro’s torso? Kind of upper chest to get to the back. And with a little bit more extra material to kind of serve as the padding bit, you do manage to put enough pressure and to hold it in place long enough that the bleeding does slowly stop.
[~30 minutes in, slow plucked notes underneath the dialogue as the unsettling, desert-like music starts up again.]
ed as Taro: Oh, thanks Nat. Tell me… Did you mean what you said?
Gary as Natalia: About what?
ed as Taro: About, you know? Uh… H-Hurting your friend?
Gary as Natalia: I said that? Oh. I mean… Well, you’re not-… I don’t… I don’t not like you.
ed as Taro: No, it’s alright! It’s alright. It’s fine. It’s fine.
Gary as Natalia: I just… We seem to be drawn together by something, and…
ed as Taro: Yeah, no, no, I get it. I get it. Perhaps we better ought to go see if Findex is all right.
Gary as Natalia: Oh, yeah, yeah. Let’s, uh… Findex, how you doing there?
Yubi: Findex has kind of brought his knees up to his chest and is just kind of huddled? He’s stopped screaming. He’s stopped making a lot of noise. But he is just kind of breathing heavily. And as you speak to him, he does look up and there’s still that kind of panic in his eyes. And he’s making no move to be violent or threatening. But he’s just kind of frozen in place.
Gary: You’re safe now. We won’t hurt you at all. You fought with us.
Yubi as Findex, panicking: Oh, God. Am I one of the rebels now? Did I betray my queen?
Gary as Natalia: Well, let’s not rush to label each other so quickly. You’re free now.
Yubi as Findex: They’re going to send me to the Blood Sands! They’re going to execute me!
Gary as Natalia, calmly: No, no. You’ll never go back to the Blood Sands. Don’t worry – you’re with us. We’re powerful magical warriors.
Kitty as Nerium, quietly: You’ll probably die first.
Yubi as Findex: You are very powerful.
Gary as Natalia: And what’s the one thing you must never do?
Yubi as Findex: Betray you?
Gary as Natalia: Exactly! That’s a good Findex, good Findex. Now, are you hurt at all?
Yubi as Findex: Not more than I was before all of this.
Gary as Natalia: Okay, you take a couple of deep breaths. And just… Could you be a very brave lizard man for me and give Taro a hand over there?
Yubi as Findex: Yes?
Gary as Natalia: Good.
Yubi: He pushes himself to his feet. He’s clearly quite unsteady. And he moves over in front of you, Taro – but he doesn’t quite know what to do to be helpful? He just kind of hovers there, sort of wringing his hands a bit.
ed, laughing: That’s fine.
Gary as Natalia: Apply some pressure to the wound, Findex. [Yubi laughing loudly]
Kitty: Give him a cuddle.
ed: What the fuck is going on? What is this? What is this shit?
Kitty: Everybody ships it!
Yubi, still laughing: It’s very good!
Kitty: It makes ed uncomfortable and it destroys Yubi’s voice. Everybody ships it.
Gary: I mean, I’m doing it more for Findex? Because if he’s got a task to do, it’s going to focus him and bring him out of his anxiety.
ed: Yes, you’re right.
Yubi: Yeah, yeah, fair!
Yubi: He does what you were doing a moment ago, and he sort of like, kneels down and he kind of puts one hand on your shoulder and the other hand just kind of holds the bandage in place to keep pressure on the wound.
Gary: I’m then going to spin around and go,
Gary as Natalia: Nerium! What did we get?
Kitty as Nerium: I don’t know. I’m just trying to find something.
ed as Taro: ‘Ere – don’t take all the good stuff! I get some of this too, alright?
Gary as Natalia: Oh, we’ll share it out.
Kitty as Nerium: Yeah we’re a team!
[The drums start up to signal the intermission music at 33 minutes in]
Yubi: Hello, my lovely chickadees. It’s me Yubi, your DM, here to say: How you doing? I hope you’re doing well. I’m doing okay. Thank you for asking. I appreciate it. [sing-song] And I also appreciate everyone who listens to our shoo-ow. [normally] Did you like that segue? I thought that was pretty smooth. But yeah, I just wanted to take this time again to say thank you so much to everyone who has been listening to us. We are, amazingly, almost at or just over I think 4000 downloads, which is incredible. Like, thank you so much! That is just so cool. We really, really appreciate it. All the people who have been reaching out to us, letting us know they’ve been enjoying it on Twitter… You can tweet to us under the hashtag #themortalpath, all one word. People like Colin who’ve been tweeting to us. People like Freddie, Shepard.. Scullay? Scully? Not sure how to say that one, but it’s very good. Geometry failure. Like, thank you, thank you so much for tweeting at us. We really, really appreciate it. We love to hear what you’ve got to say, we love to see the art that you guys have done for us. Everything is just so cool. Thank you so much.
And on that note, I just want to take another moment say thank you so much to everyone who’s left us iTunes reviews. It means so much. We read every single one of them. They are so lovely and they really help us find new listeners. So if you have a moment, we would appreciate if you could take the time to leave us a review on iTunes, leave us a rating. We do look at every one, they do really count. And we are just so grateful for all and any of them. We also have a Tumblr account that you can follow, which is themortalpath. We reblog quite a lot of stuff on there. There’s a fair amount of art happening there, which is awesome. Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s really good fun.
[~35 minutes in]
I’d also like to say thank you to of course Rachel, our amazing composer Rachel Graff who composed our theme tune. She’s also worked on this amazing album called Sketching The Rain that you can find on her band camp. If you just go to Rachel Graff dot com – R-A-C-H-E-L-G-R-A-F-F dot com – you could find links to her band camp. The track we’re using for the fallen city is called Shuttle. You can pay what you want; she’s just got married to her wife and they’re saving up for the honeymoon. So any cash you can throw their way would be so helpful for them. But it is free to pay what you want. So if you if you just want to download it, go for it. It is amazing.
I also want to say thank you to Settling Geek who really kindly provided us with the prize to give away to Crondarling who again, congratulations, won with the awesome playlist that you can find on our Twitter account. Settling Geek has so many cool wares, it’s not just dice. It’s just like the coolest stuff. Although their dice are so pretty – like please, I really want like 800 sets to add to my already 200 odd strong collection of dice. I do love me some good dice. And Settling Geek have the best. So check them out. They are so cool. They are so, so awesome.
We are doing another episode of the Behind the Scenes episode that we do – Getting Mortal, take two. So if you have any questions, if there’s anything you want to know, please feel free to let us know on any one of the aforementioned social medias. Or you can shoot us an email at email@example.com. We can’t guarantee that we’re going to answer every question but we’re going to be looking over all of them and picking out which ones we have time to talk about on the behind the scenes ep, which is going to be a lot of fun. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. And we’ve already had some come in, so thank you so much for those. But yeah, please feel free to send us questions, we would love to answer all and any of them.
We also have a little special something coming out soon, beginning of April. Keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m very excited about it. I’ve been working on it since we started recording pretty much. It’s a real passion project of mine. It’s a real… It makes me really happy. It really, I think, reflects the heart and soul of The Mortal Path. So keep an eye out. Keep an ear out. And I’ll let you guys get back to the show. [drums start up under the dialogue to signal the end of the intermission] Thank you so much for listening. I love all of you, every single one of you. Enjoy.
[end of intermission music, the standard upbeat drums underneath the techno-y panflute. Under the dialogue the same track from before plays, with the unsettling and quiet, dissonant plucked notes and the rustling wind]
Yubi: As you start going through the pockets, you do find a couple of things, you find three cut round gems, they’re polished, they’re very beautiful, and they’re all cut to exactly the same sort of size. They’re this deep, amber-ish color. They’re pretty flawless gems and you find three of them. You also find what looks like a letter that’s been folded. The wax seal has been broken, but it’s still folded up. You also find three sheets of parchment that have been tightly rolled and just glancing at them as you’re pulling them out from inside his cloak, they look like maps. Two of them looks like it’s the same sort of parchment and one looks like it’s a different type of paper. You also find a pen and a little set of inks. You also find… He’s got two swords on him, he’s got bits of pretty nice armor actually that are strapped to him. Very well polished, very well kept. There’s the insigma [sic] of a crown-…
ed, trying not to laugh: Sorry, could you say that word again? [Gary giggling quietly]
Yubi: The insigma…?
ed: It’s-… [spluttering]
Kitty: Could you perhaps mean the insignia?
ed: Yeah. Could you perhaps say that a third time? [Gary laughing in the distance]
Yubi: The insig-…
Kitty: And this time make it an actual word?
Yubi: The… insig…na? Insig-…
Kitty and ed: Insignia.
Yubi: Insignia. The insignia! The picture of… [Kitty laughing] There’s a picture on the armor.
Kitty: A logo!
Yubi: Thank you, Gary. for writing that out for me. I thought it was insigma. Nope! Incorrect.
ed: Insigma… That’s a word, isn’t it? [Orion note: it’s apparently an IT company! But no, not a real word.]
Yubi: Well, it is now. The insignia of a crown that is wreathed in flames. But instead of the crown having points going upwards, it seems to have fangs going downwards. And you also find what looks like a pretty beaten up notebook.
Kitty: Okay, well. I mean, I get to one of these first, right?
Yubi: Yeah, yeah, you’re like pulling them off the body.
Kitty: Very genuinely… The parchment, the ink, the maps, the letter – I am going to hand to Nat. And with the letter specifically, I’m going to hand to her and say,
Kitty as Nerium: Is this something you can read?
Gary as Natalia: I’ll give it a shot.
[~40 minutes in]
Kitty: Okay. The three cut gems will slide into my pocket, I think, because they’re pretty.
ed: I’m rolling to perceive that shit.
Kitty: Yeah, that’s 10, that’s not great.
Yubi: You can roll. If you’re watching her do this, you can roll a perception check to see if you see her sliding the gems at her pocket?
ed: I absolutely am. Yeah. What’s my perception? 14.
Kitty: Yeah, you saw me do that.
Yubi: You see Nerium pocket what looked like a couple of pretty rocks, gems… You’re not quite sure what exactly they are
Kitty: I’m going to take one of the swords – because I probably can’t lift two – hold it out towards Taro. And say,
Kitty as Nerium: Here, this one looks pretty good! You could have this one and then Findex
can have his back.
ed: What kind of sword is it?
Yubi: It’s kind of more like Natalia’s one. So Findex’s one was kind of more like… You know when you’re a kid and you draw a sword? And it’s got a hilt and it’s like a triangle thing?
ed: Yeah, yeah.
Yubi: Yeah, that’s like Taro’s one, whereas Natalia’s one is much more elegant.
ed: So with my gamer brain, would you say that was a finesse weapon?
Yubi: Yeah, for sure.
ed: Cool, as a gamer I’ll accept the sword. As is my right as a gamer to accept the gamer’s sword. [all laughing]
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, I- uh… [makes garbled noise accidentally then proceeds to mock himself for it as the others laugh.] Ehh, eurgh, heurgh…
Kitty: Nerium says ‘are you alright Taro’?!
ed: And Taro says…
Gary (jokingly) as Natalia: Someone’s been mixing Taro.
ed as Taro: Yeah, I think you ought to be giving me something else as well.
Kitty as Nerium: Well, Taro I don’t know you that well. [Yubi laughs]
ed as Taro: You know – those things you slipped in your pocket.
Kitty as Nerium: Oh!
Kitty: I immediately pull them out and say,
Kitty as Nerium: Well, they look weird and I was going to ask.. um, Windex about them later! Yubi: Roll me deception! Please!
Kitty: [squeaks] Eleven!
Yubi: Eleven! Make me an insight check, Taro, against that.
Gary: Can I insight check that as well?
Yubi: Yes, absolutely.
ed: 19. [Kitty laughs]
Yubi: Oh, she’s very much bullshitting. But you did just watch her desecrate a man – so, you know, there’s only so much you can do.
Kitty: I brought them straight out and handed them over!
ed as Taro: Yeah, I think I’ll hold onto whatever that is.
Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, if you want to!
Gary as Natalia: Me too.
Kitty as Nerium: Sure! Windex – what are these?
Yubi as Findex: Coin. They’re money. It’s… He’s just got some on him.
Kitty as Nerium: Ohh. Well, then, that’s fair, yeah. One each.
Gary as Natalia: How much are these worth? Say, if we were to go and, I don’t know, buy some food?
Findex: Oh, a lot. You-… That’s-… That’s the highest one we have. You could buy a lot with that.
Kitty as Nerium: Blimey, he didn’t carry small change then.
ed as Taro: if you were to say this was some kind of conceptual unit… Say, let’s call it a Gary piece for now. [Gary laughs] How many Gary pieces would this be worth?
Yubi as Findex: I mean… We have… blue ones and 10 of those is worth one of those. And then we have green ones. A-And roughly 10 of those is worth one of the blue ones. if that helps.
ed as Taro: Yeah, that does help. Thanks.
Yubi as Findex: I don’t have any. [Gary laughing pitifully] Oh, I have some at home. I just don’t have… No, I don’t have any. [audibly panicking and getting upset] ‘Cause I can’t go home. ‘Cause I just killed my commander.
ed as Taro: It’s alright, we can run past your house if you want. It’s fine. [Gary laughs]
Yubi as Findex: I don’t think we can get to it. It’s in the middle of Tenbren.
Gary as Natalia: Don’t worry, there’ll be untold riches beneath this city.
Yubi as Findex: What do you mean? [panicking again] You’re not going down there?
Kitty as Nerium: Do you know what – that might be something to discuss in the morning?
Gary as Natalia: Fair enough. Let’s read this letter.
ed: I put my Gary gem in my pocket.
Yubi: Okay. You all have one Gary gem.
ed: Can I have a look at the armor. Is it… Would it fit a Taro?
Yubi: Are you talking about the commander’s armor or Sevren’s armor?
ed: Either armor.
Yubi: Sevren’s armor would have to be modified to be worn by one of you guys. But the commander’s armor looks like it would fit either you or Natalia.
ed: Okay, we’ll go back to that later.
Yubi: Okay, so you open the letter. It is written in common, it is perfectly easy to read.
Gary: Wait – when you say common, you mean our common?
Yubi: Yeah, it’s written in the same language that you can read.
Kitty: Because we can understand what everyone’s saying.
Gary: Okay. I thought it was all in a different script.
Yubi: Well, everything in the city is. But Findex and the commander and all of you guys are speaking the same language.
Yubi: So you you open it up and it says, “Commander Khadka*. Your request to descend to the third level has been denied. Your task is to clear the fifth from rebel activity – Captain Meihem.” [Gary giggles] [*Orion note: the team then proceed to call him ‘Kedver’ for the entire episode but word of God tells me he was named Khadka.]
ed and Kitty together: Captain Mayhem?!
Yubi: M-e-i-h-e-m. Meihem.
ed: Say that again?
Yubi: M-e-i-h-e-m. Meihem. Captain Meihem.
ed: Say it again?
Yubi: Captain Meihem. That’s what it says.
ed: Spell it for me.
Yubi: M-e-i-h-e-m! Meihem!
Yubi: I wrote it myself.
Kitty: It’s a speak and spell.
[~45 minutes in]
Kitty: So – Commander Kadver. So he was Geyend Kadver. Gehesh! [Gary laughing]
Yubi:. Do you say that out loud?
Kitty: Gehesh Kadver. No. I am asking out of game.
Yubi: Okay. You assume that he was Gehesh Kadver.
Gary as Natalia: Ah, Findex. Was this chap called Gehesh Kadver?
Yubi as Findex: Yes.
ed as Taro: Does that matter?!
Kitty as Nerium: Might be useful to have a name that we can write letters with.
ed as Taro: What for the person we ki-… Oh, yeah, no, yeah. Fair enough. Yep.
Gary as Natalia: And where is this Captain Meihem?
Yubi as Findex: He’s in Tenbren. He’s the captain that the commander said he would take you to.
Gary as Natalia: I see.
Kitty as Nerium: So the commander is subordinate to the captain.
Yubi as Findex, with Gary quietly laughing underneath: Yes.
Kitty as Nerium: The captain as a higher rank than the commander. [ed and Gary laughing]
Yubi as Findex: Yes.
Kitty as Nerium: I just wanted to be clever about that. That’s fine.
ed as Taro: No, yeah – look, you misheard. He’s not a commander. He’s a commando.
Kitty as Nerium: He certainly is now. [everyone laughing]
Yubi: Oh, Boy.
Yubi: Oh boiii.
Kitty and ed: Oh boiii.
Yubi: Okay, so you, you still have the three bits of paper. And you also have the notebook as well.
Gary: I start unrolling shit.
Yubi: Okay! The first thing that you unroll is a map. And it… Are you going for the piece of paper that looks different first, or one of the two that look the same?
Gary: Yeah, the different one.
Yubi: Okay. So the first one that you unroll seems to be hand drawn. it’s kind of wonky. And it seems to be a map of some sorts. You can see places that say, ‘clear’ and ‘clear’ and ‘rebels’, and there’s an entrance marked out and a pathway drawn. And half of it is written out as ‘destroyed’.
Gary as Natalia: Interesting. Findex, is this where…
Gary: And I point to a place between the entrance and the fifth gate.
Gary as Natalia: Is this where we… encountered each other?
Yubi as Findex: I think so. That’s the c-… That was the commander’s map of the fourth layer.
Gary as Natalia: I see.
Yubi as Findex: He has other ones, but he made that one.
Kitty as Nerium: Findex seems distressed still. Can I perhaps offer him a small piece of jerky in this trying time?
Yubi: [Laughs, Gary giggling under the dialogue] He accepts the jerky and eats it kind of on autopilot.
Kitty: It will probably help. It’s fine.
Gary as Natalia: so now we know what the rebels are, if we want to find them. How many…? It was just your group in the city. Correct?
Yubi as Findex: There… There was another one who are up on the next layer above us. And there was one that went down below.
Gary: Hm…I open up one of the other maps.
Yubi: Okay. the next one you open is entirely different from the one that Gehesh has clearly drawn. This one is really beautifully inked across this parchment, you can see individual buildings and houses marked out. And as you look at it, first there’s this script that you know is written all around you. And for a minute, it’s just symbols and letters until it starts to take shape. And you can see overlaid on top of this again in pen and ink and these inks – red and blue – and the same writing as the map that was hand drawn, Gehesh seems to have scribbled out bits that are ‘clear’ or ‘rebels’ or ‘destroyed’. And he seems to be making markings on this map. And looking at it, you can read that this is a map of the fifth layer, the layer that you are on. Indeed, you can see where he’s drawn in the fifth gate. And you can see names of places and wards are marked out.
Gary as Natalia: So there seems to be more rebels on this layer.
Yubi as Findex: Those are places where we previously found them. Most of them we’ve cleared out. It’s their areas that are still not destroyed. They hide out there sometimes.
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, what do you mean by destroyed?
Yubi as Findex: Like the buildings have collapsed. You can’t get into them. It’s just rubble. It breaks halfway.
Yubi: He looks over and he points at the map. And he points to where it says ‘clear’ in the… Almost like where all the red happens. And he says that’s where the layer breaks in half and everything’s destroyed. You remember that bit that just goes over? All of that’s down there.
Kitty: Can I lean over – because I’m looking at this map too – and point at the bit that says…
Kitty as Nerium: What’s this bit?
Kitty: It says outside escape.
Yubi as Findex: There are bits on each layer that you can access down, but most of them… They’re broken. They collapsed when the city fell, we think. You can get out from this way – this portion, it almost touches the sand on one side. You can get out. It’s how some of the rebels get in, into the rubble.
[~50 minutes in]
ed: So there’s there’s like a labelled building near where we think we are. Can I read what that says?
Yubi: You absolutely can.
Kitty: Your commitment is extraordinary. Because this is actually written in code rather than writing.
Yubi: Yep. It was very clever of me.
ed: Kitty’s the only one who can’t read.
Kitty: I mean, I might ask you guys what the bits say.
ed: We say no.
Kitty: And we have pen and-…
ed: Wait, do you know… You know Nat can speak this – but you don’t know that Taro can, right?
Kitty: Yeah. Well, that’s why I handed it all to Nat.
Yubi: So, it says books.
Gary as Natalia: Ooh, books! This one here – are there are lots of books there? Are they all in good condition?
Yubi as Findex: I-I don’t know. I’m sorry.
Gary as Natalia: We must investigate further. Hmm… okay. And this last map…
ed as Taro: Might also be a good place to hide out for the night, because I don’t think anyone’s gonna go look around an old bookshop.
Gary as Natalia: Oh, well…
Kitty as Nerium: Could we make it so it’s secure, do you think, Findex?
Yubi as Findex: I mean, maybe… This area is relatively free of rebel activity? W-We could but I… I’ve only been here three times, and I’ve never been here alone. I mean, I know I’m not alone. You guys are here. But…
Kitty as Nerium, sweetly: You’re not alone… You’ve got us! And we’re on your side.
Yubi as Findex: I think we have to hide the bodies.
Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, we can deal with that in the morning.
Yubi as Findex, quietly: Okay.
ed as Taro: Actually, that said… You got any ideas about that? Not sure where we’d hide a body ‘round here.
Kitty as Nerium: I mean, surely we’d just chuck it down a hole in some rubble. [quickly] I would imagine. A-At a guess.
Yubi as Findex: There’s a lot of rubble here.
Yubi: In this alley, you start to unwrap the third map. And this one, this one’s bigger. And the layer seems to be bigger, and you can read that this is the third layer. So this would be the first layer below what is currently the ground level.
Yubi: And as you look at it, this one has barely been written on. But there are a couple of things that capture attention. One is a kind of mark out of what’s called the fourth gate that you assume is the one leading downwards. There’s also a circle that says ‘clear’. And there is one building that has been circled in red that says, ‘Atanas’.
Gary: What does Atanas mean?
Yubi: It doesn’t mean anything. It’s like a name.
Kitty as Nerium: Who’s Atanas, Findex?
Gary: How do you spell that?
Yubi: A-T-A-N-A-S. At-ah-nas.
Yubi, laughing, horrified: N-No! No! No.
Kitty: Oh, like bananas?
Yubi: No! So the ones circled in red says Atanas, and the one that’s been circled in blue just says gallery.
ed as Taro: Well, there’s a lot going on down here. I’m not really sure where to start. I think we ought to try and take a rest, to be honest. And maybe move these bodies before anyone else shows up.
Kitty: It’s really hot here, isn’t it?
Yubi: It’s still very, very hot. And you can hear above you now thunder, and it’s making everything feel even more close and oppressed. You do still have a notebook in your hands.
Kitty as Nerium: I mean, either we move the bodies or we find somewhere else to sleep because by morning these are going to be ripe.
Gary as Natalia: Uh, Findex – will anyone else be coming through here?
Yubi as Findex: I don’t… I don’t think so. The units – we just go back when our commanders say to do so.
Kitty: Actually, that’s a point. Have we seen any like… Birds or insects or any evidence of animal life here at all?
Kitty: Hmm. Interesting.
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, Findex. Do you get rebels out here often around these parts?
Yubi: He looks over to the body of the dead rebel next to all of you in the room and goes,
Yubi as Findex, confused: Yes..?
ed as Taro: That’s fair. Look, I reckon we ought to take the rebel’s body right. Because it’ll just look like some rebels have come and done these lads in.
Kitty as Nerium: I’m not following, Taro. Care to explain?
ed as Taro: What I’m saying is, if the rebels won to fight here, they probably would have taken their dead pal back right? They probably wouldn’t have just left him.
Kitty as Nerium: Ohhh. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yubi as Findex: That makes sense.
Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, alright.
ed as Taro: Alright, Windex.
Gary as Natalia: That’s good thinking puppet master.
ed as Taro: Pick him up.
Kitty: And he’s not got anything on him?
Yubi: No, he’s got nothing. He’s still kind of like got bits of where he was bound, still kind of wrapped around like an arm or a leg. But that was kind of destroyed when Taro’s unseen servant was doing a bit of tomfoolery.
Kitty as Nerium: Well, if we leave a bit of the bounds, a bit of the ropes that were holding him in the area, then they’ll know that there was a prisoner here. And presumably he escaped and killed ‘em.
ed as Taro: Sure. I don’t think that really matters.
Gary as Natalia: Or was rescued.
Kitty as Nerium: I’m overthinking this. But never mind…
ed as Taro: Let’s let’s have a look at the armor first, anyway.
Yubi: On the commander?
ed as Taro: Yeah.
Yubi: It’s good armor
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, Nat, look. I’m feeling a little bit frail here. I’ll be honest. Do you mind if I have this?
Gary as Natalia: Oh, go for it. These, uh… These shadows seem to be fairly good at protecting me.
ed as Taro: Yeah-…
Kitty as Nerium: You could swap it for that nice cloak you got.
ed as Taro: Yeah, unlikely. I think I prefer the cloak, I’ll be honest.
[~55 minutes in]
ed: All right. I want to like, s-strip the dead guy, I guess…?
Yubi: [laughing] Okay, you peel the armor back from this dead guy. There’s a lot of blood on it. And as you’re unbuckling bits, there’s a definite movement of organs that were held in place [cast wincing audibly] by the armor previously. But you do manage to take it off, and you now have a very bloodstained but nice set of armor.
ed: What kind of armor is it?
Yubi: It’s mostly leather, but there’s bits of what looked like kind of maybe steel? Burnished steel into it.
ed: Okay, I don’t know armor rules. But I wanna take it.
Yubi: Mechanically it’s a plus one.
Yubi: If you wear it, you get a plus one to your AC.
ed: Cool. I’m gonna and pick this up and hold it.
Yubi: [concerned] Okay.
ed: I’m not getting changed. Taro does not get changed in front of people. [Kitty singing The Stripper]
Yubi: I think I think Findex is actually still kind of following you, because he’s still trying to keep pressure on the wound? He’s not really been told to not do that?
Kitty: Aww, that is just cute…
Yubi: So he is just kind of following you as you do that.
ed as Taro: ‘Ere, Findex. I think I’ll be alright. ‘Ere, why don’t you pick up that, uh… That rebel? We’ll go dump him somewhere.
Yubi as Findex: R-Right. Yeah.
Yubi: And he goes.
Kitty as Nerium, reassuringly: You are very strong.
ed as Taro: Yeah, I do appreciate it.
Yubi as Findex: Thank you. [dice rolling]
Gary as Natalia: C’mon, I’ll give you a hand
Yubi: He actually-… As you say that, he’s actually managed to kind of pick up the rebel mostly by himself.
ed: Windex is canonically ripped.
Gary as Natalia, impressed: Well! Never mind!
ed: Nat is also canonically ripped.
Yubi: [laughing] Yeah. He picks up the rebel body – a bit gingerly. He’s clearly not enjoying holding it.
Gary as Natalia: Okay, let’s go find somewhere to dump this. Come on.
Yubi as Findex: Right.
Yubi: He follows you guys out of the building. You can see as soon as you get out, there’s that slope down that leads to this almost like… Cliff drop off where the layer has kind of snapped at one end. And it kind of descends into rubble. And you can see that there are still bits of building intact, and it does look like there is probably a path down. It’s not easy to traverse. It’s much more difficult than the fifth gate.
Kitty as Nerium: Well let’s just chuck him down there then.
Gary as Natalia: Yeah, let’s just chuck him.
Yubi: He takes a small breath. And just kind of… whee! And just kind of throws him? And you watch this, this Lizardman body – that does look a bit like Findex – tumble down over the rocks… pk-koohh... And hits off every one is it disappears down into the gloom. And Findex just kind of stands there for a minute watching where it disappeared.
Kitty: Can I nudge him? Presumably just above the knee, I would guess, is where I would be for a nudge? [laughter]
ed: A knee nudge!
Yubi: Okay, you nudge him standing on the edge and he immediately goes aargh!
Kitty: No, no, no!
Yubo: And he immediately throws himself backwards. So he just kind of collapses onto the ground. As if you were about to shove him off the fucking edge.
Kitty: Yeah, okay, no, no, no. I’ll pat.
Kitty: Reassuringly. And say,
Kitty as Nerium: Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. [Yubi as Findex, hyperventilating quietly] You know? That was… Yeah, good luck sleeping tonight. [Yubi as Findex makes a panicking, long groaning noise, Gary giggling quietly]
ed as Taro: Alright, books!
Kitty as Nerium: Speaking of sleeping, where’re we going? Books.
Gary as Natalia: Books.
Kitty as Nerium: Yes. Let’s book it! [ed quietly ‘wayyyyy’ing in approval at the pun]
Yubi: Okay. Have you guys taken all of the stuff with you at this point?
Yubi: Okay. So, you still have the…
Kitty: I have the notebook, nobody’s asked me about it and I haven’t looked at it yet.
Yubi: You’ve got the notebook journal and you’ve got all the maps and the letter.
Gary: They didn’t happen to have any backpacks?
Yubi: Not that you could see on them, no.
Yubi: How were they transporting things – just in pockets?
Yubi: The commander had a fair amount of pockets in his cloak, clearly.
Kitty: They had a warehouse right outside…. Because that’s where we got the food.
ed: Was that was that a hint to just make sure we took his cloak which is apparently full of pockets.
Gary: Yeah, I’m gonna go back and nick his cloak, and solve the pocket problem that’s been caused by wearing a skirt.
Yubi: You now have many pockets. You are Natalia, Queen of the Pockets and Also One Lizardman.
ed: Taro’s just holding like… A stack of armor with a sword perched on top.
Yubi: Yeah. And also you just kind of have this bit of Natalia’s dress tied around your chest and you’re still very light headed because you have bled out a lot.
Kitty: Yeah, and you’re bleeding through it.
ed: But I’ve got my cool cloak so it’s a great look.
Yubi: It is a good look and actually your cloak has sort of changed to match the color of your blood in places and kind of looks like this pattern rather than that you’ve been you’ve been stabbed. It looks almost like a deliberate pattern.
ed: This cloak is the ultimate vive accessory it’s great. I’m loving it.
Kitty: That cloak… Once you cast Identify successfully on it, you will find it’s called the ‘Style it Out Cloak’. [giggles]
ed: Right, books.
Yubi: You guys head towards the building that is labeled books. And as you get close to it, it’s in pretty good shape. And it does seem to be this bookshop of sorts, although a lot of the shelves have fallen over and quite a lot of the inside is clearly in disarray, even as you can see in the gloom. And as you’re walking in between from the ledge to the place where the commander was, the pockets of sky that you can see through the upper layers… The clouds are this kind of almost violent, deep burgundy color. And you can see little flashes of lightning in the corners of the clouds and you can see that they are heavy with rain, although it hasn’t yet fallen.
[~1 hour in]
Kitty: Can I say the fact that the clouds are violet is just deeply confirming to Nerium that they are in fact in some kind of planar hell.
Yubi: It looks like nothing you have ever seen before.
Kitty: Hell. Yeah.
Gary: Okay, I think we need A plan here. Taro, how about you rest up and slowly change into that armor? Findex, I think you should probably take it easy as well. I’m going to browse for some nonfiction to see if we can get the lowdown on this locale. Nerium…
ed: Is there a chair?
Yubi: Yeah there are definitely chairs.
ed: I’d like to prop a chair against the door from the inside.
Yubi: Okay, you do that.
ed: Minor barricade. There are still windows…
ed: Can I roll for minor barricade?
Yubi: Uh, make me a strength check. [Gary laughing]
Kitty: ‘I cast Lesser Barricade’…
ed: Why do I ask to roll shit that I know I’m gonna fuck up?! Alright, I rolled a 16.
Yubi: Okay, yeah! With surprising ability for a guy who’s been stabbed in the back, you manage to prop a chair up behind the door. It is right by two very big windows [Gary giggling] as usual in shops so you can see inside. [ed shushing Yubi] But that door is probably going to take an extra half second to get by. [Gary laughing]
ed: Is there one floor in this building?
ed: Okay. Is there a back room?
ed as Taro: I think we ought to get away from the windows honestly. For now, while we rest up
Gary as Natalia: Agreed
Kitty as Nerium: Agreed.
ed, singing it for some reason: Opening the room… To the back room… Where they keep all their stooock… That they don’t put on the sheeeelves… It’s the back roooom! Of the book shoooop… Where the book.. salesmen-….
Kitty: Oh God there’s going to be some really off milk.
ed, still singing: -go to hiiide frooom… the customers.
Yubi, clearly trying to stop whatever this is: Yep. Yep!
Gary: Wait, there’s a break room and a toilet.
Kitty: As somebody who works in a bookshop, I can confirm: that is where you go to hide from customers.
Yubi: Yes, correct. You open the door and it’s this quite nice room that’s carpeted. It’s got a couple of chairs that look quite plush, although two of them have been overturned by… You assume the drop. There is stock that has fallen on the floor that was clearly once piled. But it’s a relatively sizable room and it’s relatively comfortable looking. It doesn’t have windows.
Kitty: Can I… I’m going to run to a chair and bagsy it.
Yubi: Okay. [Gary laughs]
Kitty, indignantly: There’s only two comfortable chairs! I want one of them.
Gary: Natalia is still trying to hunt down history and encyclopedia and maybe some newspapers. Yubi: Okay, I’m going to get right to you.
ed: I think Taro also uses a comfy chair
Yubi: Okay. With a little bit of help, you manage to overturn one of the other chairs and it’s more like kind of like a small sofa than a chair.
ed: Alright, that works.
Gary: It’s just gonna be Taro and Windex on a love seat.
ed: Oh no, I’m kipping.
Kitty: Oh fanart, please, somebody.
ed: You can’t ask for things like that. If you ask for it, you have to pay. That’s the law of the land.
Yubi: That is true.
Kitty: But I yearn for it deeply in my soul.
ed: Then pay someone!
Yubi: Commission it! Commission it!
Kitty: Maybe I will.
ed: This is weird but yeah, okay! Fucking let it rip. Whatever you want, man. Whatever you fucking feel like. But Taro is having a nap.
Yubi: Okay. Taro lies down on the sofa. It’s relatively easy to curl up on and you quite quickly, I assume, just pass the fuck out.
Kitty: I’m afraid Nerium also is going to curl up like a little dormouse. And zonk. I am asleep.
Yubi: Okay. Both of you pass the fuck out. Findex kind of stands there for a minute, clearly just incredibly lost. And then he very slowly – not that either of you see it – but he very slowly sits down on the floor, and then lays on his back and he just stares at the ceiling.
Yubi: In silence in this dark room as you two sleep on the comfy sofas. Natalia – as you start going through the books, quite a lot of them are fiction. You can tell that this is you know, a bookshop that deals mostly in fiction. They kind of follow the same storylines as the book you’ve already found. But you do find a section of… It’s that kind of, you know, high fantasy political intrigue type thing. But you do find a section of non fiction. And one book that catches your eye is called A History of Velloe. But what really catches your eye is the illustration on the front of this tiered city on the edge of a cliff. And this… sea, this kind of wild, almost silver ocean swirling up against the cliff. And it looks very beautiful – beautifully bound – and is inscribed in that writing that you’ve seen everywhere.
[~1 hour, 5 minutes in]
Gary, like ‘Othello’: O-vello? [ed laughing]
Yubi: Yes… No! No. No, it wasn’t a Shakespeare pun! It was just-… Oh, my God, I can’t have a name. It’s fine. [ed laughing] It’s fine, it’s fine.
ed: Good gravy. [Yubi laughing]
Gary: Yeah, I take the book, I go to the back room and I start reading that shit. I’m also pointed towards the door.
Yubi: Okay, so you’re facing the door. It is a history of this city called Velloe and it describes the various layers. You get the impression that the poorer districts are at the top. And this place that it’s from is constantly stormy, it’s constantly raining, there’s constantly this kind of extreme feeling weather happening, although it seems normal in the book. And these layers have these big… Almost dishes that protect the others that collect the water and siphon it to other places. It’s this city that works very well, but in an inverse way that you’d expect. All the richer areas are down below and everything starts to kind of go from residential to more learning based on the third layer. The third layer seems to be this kind of cultural hub. There’s something called The Temple in the middle, and it speaks of other smaller shrines and temples. But the main one is in the middle. And it doesn’t really mention who exactly is worshipped. It’s one of those things where the book feels very much like that’s common knowledge. Why wouldn’t you know what is worshipped in this temple? But it does talk about the beautiful architecture, it talks about the beauty of the items within.
And then on the second layer there’s something called the Archocrypt, which seems to be this library-museum hybrid. It’s where things are shown off. Sections of it are open to the public, although it’s expensive to get in and it’s expensive to see some of the really, really special stuff. And the first layer is the biggest layer. This one is off limits to most of the public, it is only where the richest and the noblest live and only where all the scientific experiments take place. And there is this huge building talked about right in the center, called The Learning Chambers. And the book doesn’t go into detail as to what is studied there. But it talks with great excitement about the progress made and the discoveries being found and how wonderful it is and how exciting it is. And the very last bit in the book talks about the newfound magic of movement, of being able to move items from one place to another. [Kitty gasps quietly] And that’s sort of where the book publishing ends with this kind of inscription about how wonderful this new age of enlightenment is, and how excited everyone is for the next chapters of Velloe’s history.
ed: Well they fucked up, didn’t they? [Yubi laughs] [the lone violin starts off the theme again for the ending music]
Kitty: Yeah, but did they fuck us too?
Yubi: So as you sit there reading this book with Findex – who is definitely awake but just lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling – and Nerium and Taro who are both just flat out asleep on the sofas behind you, you hear-…
Kitty: Does Taro snore?
Yubi: I mean, you’ve all slept together before. [quietly] Eyyy…
Kitty: That’s true.
Yubi: You hear above you the first kind of ptpuh-ptpuh-ptpuh of rain starting to hit areas of the Fallen City.
[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 9]