Transcript: 10) Down Below

We’re back at it again at the Transcript HQ! This time the most fantastic Freddie has worked so hard to bring episode 10 to life in transcript format! We are so, so grateful for this, Freddie!!! Please make sure you check out their Twitter and let them know how great they did! This was also edited by our fantastic Orion, and we are again so grateful to all his hard work organising, editing, and writing these transcripts.

While Orion plans to transcribe more episodes, transcription is a time consuming and difficult task, and this is a passion project of his. We’ll be updating the site with new transcriptions as they come, and will be keeping you all updated on Twitter. If anyone is interested in helping Orion write these transcripts, please email us at themortalpath@gmail.com so we can put you in touch! Alternatively, join the Discord and check out the transcription channel!

So, with another HUGE thank you to Freddie and Orion, we are so pleased to present here:

Episode 10: Down Below

https://themortalpath.podbean.com/e/10-down-below/

Created by Yubi, Gary, Kitty and ed 

Transcribed by Freddie and edited by Orion. Any corrections to suggest to this transcription should be sent to themortalpath@gmail.com 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.

Content warning for description of a wound at around 25 minutes.  

 

Kitty as Nerium: Previously, on the Mortal Path…

[Clips from previous episode playing with energetic battle music in the background] 

Kitty: I’m just gonna say, 

Kitty as Nerium: Dark Lady, guide my hand.

 

ed as Taro: [in a Southern accent]  Now- [laughter from others] listen real careful.

ed: And then I clap. 

 

Yubi: And you can see this trail of blood going down the wall from where he’s hit his head, and Natalia comes running in and she just brings her sword, like, down into the stomach. 

 

ed: Just power slide through Taro’s legs. [Gary laughs]

Kitty: Power slide through Taro’s legs, YES. 

Yubi: [across Kitty] OK, OK, very good! 

Kitty: Let’s chop his nuts off. 

Yubi: OK! [Gary laughing loudly] 

ed: Oh, goodness. 

Yubi: And that guy is DEAD. 

 

ed: The lizard man… is big and tough. And only the best is good enough. 

 

Gary as Natalia: Don’t hit my friend! 

 

Gary: I’m loath to do it but I tear off a bit of my dress. 

Yubi: OK. 

Gary: And I wrap a bandage. 

 

ed as Taro: Tell me, did you mean what you said? 

Gary as Natalia: About what? 

[Battle music fades. Violins of The Mortal Path theme tune begin to play.]

ed as Taro: About, y’know, uh… hurting your friend…?

 

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. 

 

ed: Is there a back room? 

Yubi: Yeah.

ed as Taro: I think we ought to get away from the windows, honestly. 

Kitty: I’m gonna run to a chair and bagsy it. 

 

Yubi: It is a history of this city. The third layer seems to be this cultural hub. There’s something called The Temple, and the very last bit in the book talks about the newfound magic of movement. 

[Drum beat of the theme tune begins to build]

ed: Well they fucked up, didn’t they? 

Kitty: Yeah, but did they fuck us too? 

 

[The Mortal Path’s theme tune (by Rachel Graff) begins properly and plays uninterrupted for about 25 seconds]

 

Yubi: Natalia, how long do you spend reading that book before you fall asleep? 

Gary: One second, let me just find a d4…  About three hours. 

Yubi: OK so after three hours, you just fall asleep on the floor?

[The Mortal Path theme fades out]

Gary: I think I’ll nudge… [laughing] Nerium! 

Yubi: OK! 

 

[“Shuttle” begins to play (by Rachel Graff). The notes are plucked and dissonant and there is a slow, thumping drum beat.]

Gary as Natalia: Hey, Ne- Nerium? Are you there? 

Kitty as Nerium: Nyauhh- get off! 

Gary as Natalia: Um, your watch. 

Kitty as Nerium: Whaa?

Gary as Natalia: Your watch. 

Kitty as Nerium: What- what time is it? It’s the middle of the night, Nat! What-

Gary as Natalia: Y-yes but, unless you want all of us to be murdered in our sleep, I suggest you wake up.

Kitty as Nerium: Oh… Yeah, yeah, I suppose that’s true. 

Kitty: Yep, yep, that wakes me up, definitely.  The “murdered in our sleep” bit wakes me up.

Gary as Natalia: Can I sit there?  

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, actually, that’s probably for the best. If I sit back here I’ll fall asleep again. Alright, Nat, fine, thank you. 

Gary: I curl the fuck up on that chair and zonk

Kitty: It’s nice and warm. 

Yubi: It is.

 

Kitty: So the door is shut?

Yubi: Yeah. 

Kitty: OK. Is Findex still awake? 

Yubi: No, he seems to have fallen asleep. 

Kitty: Ah, OK, that’s fine. I will sit down and… Probably, like, take something sharp out of my sewing kit and sort of hold it in my hand to sort of poke my hand if [laughing a bit] I’m falling asleep.

Yubi: OK, are we talking like a needle? 

Kitty: [across Yubi] ‘Cus I’m tired. Yeah. 

Yubi: OK. Are you doing anything else in those three hours? 

Kitty: At some point I will probably realise that I have the notebook. 

Yubi: OK. 

Kitty: And if I take that out-… Now, given that I have ten feet of Dark Vision, can I read it? 

Yubi: Yeah. 

Kitty: That’s cool! I think I might notice that I’m able to read in the complete dark. 

 

Yubi: Yeah, it’s difficult. It is like reading in a room that’s maybe lit by dim moonlight. You have to really squint and strain to see the letters, actually-… Which is a really good point – how was Natalia reading earlier? Did you maybe light a candle or something, Natalia? 

Gary: Yeah, I had my-… I put my magic candle on. 

Yubi: OK. There is a magic candle burning by the door. 

Kitty: Nobody told me about the magic candle.

Yubi: No, there’s just a candle burning by the door. 

Kitty: And it’s still going. At some point I’m gonna look up and go,

Kitty as Nerium: Ooh, that’s weird. 

Yubi: In fact, it hasn’t even melted. 

Kitty: Can I go over and look at it?

Yubi: Yeah. 

Kitty: Is it hot? 

Yubi: Yes. You put your hand over the side and, yeah, it’s radiating heat. 

[“Shuttle” fades to an ethereal and dreamy flute tune.]

Kitty: OK. Well, that’s fine. In that case, if there is actually a light source then I’m gonna wait until Nat’s asleep and turn my back to it so I can look at my shadow against the wall. 

Yubi: OK. 

Kitty: And then, while I’m looking at my shadow, I’m gonna close my eyes quietly and say- 

 

[Timestamp: ~5 minutes] 

 

Kitty as Nerium: [sighs] Dark Lady, I don’t know if you can hear me where I am now… But I think you can ‘cus I think you helped me today. And I know that you’ve been a comfort to me before and I think I need your help now because-… Because I don’t think I’ve been this scared since the first time I found you. And I don’t know what’s happening, but me and these two idiots seem to be being thrown around and I can’t stand for that. You know I can’t. I don’t want to be anyone’s plaything or a toy that they can do what they like with. And I know you can help me with that. So if you can hear me, I want your help and I want justice again.

Yubi: The candle behind you? There is no wind in this room, but the flame flickers and your shadow – as you look at it – seems to grow bigger and bigger and dies down again as the flame steadies. 

Kitty: That’s cool. 

Gary: Ah, that was so cool!

Kitty: [laughing] Thank you! Yeah, I’d like to look at the notebook.

 

[Ethereal tune fades to silence before “Shuttle” resumes]

Yubi: OK, so. You pull out this relatively worn, nicely bound notebook. It is written in Common as you flick it over. It is the language that you have been speaking, that Findex speaks, that Gehesh spoke as well. It seems to be a personal journal; it seems to detail Gehesh’s journeys in and out of the Fallen City. There are detailed notes on especially the fourth and the fifth layer. From reading this you gather that the fourth and the fifth layer are respectively the layer that you came in on and the one you were on where he was. There are also plans to descend to what he writes as the “manor house” and you find this entry that talks about his previous journey into the third layer: his escapade through the gallery, the treasures he found, how it got him promoted to Commander, that daring that got him his position. There’s writing about the letter he received to not descend again. But he’s written that he knows there’s treasure in the Manor House; he’s written notes about the items he found in the third layer. Things like in the gallery: incredible musical instruments, beautiful sets of armour, wands that seem to contain magic. All of which is written has been taken out and given to the Queen. 

Kitty: That’s annoying. 

Yubi: The last entry finishes on him detailing, again, his plans to descend down to the third layer and to raid the manor house. 

 

Kitty: When you say detailing his plans… [tutting noise] Anything about the best way to go about that so you don’t get attacked? 

Yubi: He’s written his route, how he’ll go down to find the fourth gate. The way that you can descend it; how you’ll see the broken building that he first raided and then where the Manor House is on the left. He’s written that he’s circled it in his map that he found that he hasn’t shown anyone else. 

Kitty: Coooool. Well, d’y’know what? Reading that is probably gonna keep me awake because that’s quite exciting. How long does it take me to read all this? 

Yubi: Probably, like, half an hour? Forty minutes? It’s a personal journal, it’s not like a novel. 

Kitty: OK. I’ll have no idea what time of night it is ‘cus it’s peeing it down with rain out there. 

Yubi: The sound of rain is muffled from where you are but yeah. 

Kitty. Right. [sighs] I’ll try and stay awake for three hours. 

Yubi: OK. Make me a constitution saving throw if you think you’re going to fall asleep.

Kitty: I think I am. Yeah, that’s a two. I mean, hang on, with my constitution that’s a… Yeah, no, that’s a four. 

Yubi: After about an hour and a half, you doze off leaning against the wall. 

Kitty: [sing-song voice] Sorry guys! 

 

ed: We wake up and we’re all dead, and the podcast is over. 

Yubi: So, do you think that you wake up again, or is that just you out? 

Kitty: I think I probably do because I did have something sharp in my hand specifically to try and keep me awake. The thing is, I don’t wanna wake Taro because he’s injured. 

ed: Don’t wake the baby! 

Yubi: [laughing] OK…yeah, after about an hour of being asleep, not that you particularly know it, you nod forward enough that you end up pricking the heel of your palm on that needle and it wakes you up enough that you’re awake again. 

Kitty: Yeah, at that point- 

ed: How much damage do you take from the needle? 

Yubi: Only to your pride. 

Kitty: [laughing] Which is fine ‘cus I really don’t have any. I am going to at that point go, 

Kitty as Nerium: Hmmmmm! Ouhhhhh- 

Kitty: And wake Taro. 

 

[Timestamp: ~10 minutes]

 

Yubi: How? What do you do? 

Kitty: I’m going to go over and I’m going to joggle his shoulder. [Gary laughing] 

ed: Joggle…

Yubi: [laughing] That’s a good word! 

ed: Joggle that shold’.

Kitty: Joggle! Yeah! Jog it. Wobbling it. Joggle. [Gary and Yubi giggling] 

ed: Right, I’ve been joggled. Is this considered a long rest? 

Yubi: At this point I think you’ve been out for I think maybe four or five hours so not- 

Gary: Wait, mine was three hours. 

Yubi and Kitty: Yeah. 

Gary: Nerium was- 

Yubi: Kitty read for about half an hour, forty minutes and then fell asleep for an hour so- 

Kitty: I didn’t fall asleep straight after, did I? 

Yubi: OK, you’ve had about six hours which is the absolute minimum needed for a long rest. 

Kitty: There you go. 

 

ed: Oh, alright. I think Taro just mumbles. And just-

ed as Taro:  Nehdehpehtehpehbeh…beh…

Kitty as Nerium: No- Taro, Taro, Taro- wake up. 

ed as Taro: Eh- wo- woh- 

Kitty as Nerium: Murdered in our beds! 

ed as Taro: Thank- thank God, finally. [Gary and Yubi laughing] 

Kitty as Nerium: OK, that’s not the response I was after. Taro…I won’t murder you, but do you remember Commando Rex? 

ed as Taro: Se- buh- Commando- Commando- Commando? 

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, get up. 

ed as Taro: Ah- uh- up? Don’t know that one. [Gary giggling]

Kitty as Nerium: [deep sigh] 

ed as Taro: I have to sleep for important reasons- 

 

Kitty: I kick Findex – gently. I’m not gonna joggle his shoulder, I’m gonna kick him – but gently.

Yubi: Do you just kick him in, like, what, the fuckin’ head? [everyone laughing] 

Kitty: No!

Yubi: The side? 

Kitty: I want him to wake up, not pass out!

ed: [across Kitty] You just fuckin’ full on curb-stomp Findex! 

Kitty: I did not kick Findex in the head. 

ed: Like a fuckin’ football

Kitty: I- [laughing] No, more like a rugby ball, ‘cus he’s a lizard. 

ed: [in a Russian(?) accent] Like zhe motherfucking football?

Kitty: I mean, he’s lying on the floor so I’m gonna sort of nudge his… side. With a small foot. 

Gary: Not one of your big feet. 

Kitty: I nudge him gently in the side with my small halfling foot. 

 

Yubi: Okay, he wakes up pretty quick and clearly with a small fright. He looks up with wide- 

Kitty: Does he go [high-pitched]  “uh!!!” 

Yubi: He does! He goes- 

Yubi as Findex: Erk! 

Yubi: And looks up at you with wide- 

ed: Ah, yes, his catchphrase. “Erh!” 

Kitty as Nerium: Did you get a fright? [Gary losing it] 

Yubi as Findex: Ye-ees! [Kitty laughing] Are we- are we moving? 

Yubi: He kind of rolls over, and you know when people are sleeping on the floor and they have to roll onto their bellies and crawl onto their feet? He really slowly crawls to his feet and he’s rubbing his eyes. 

Kitty: I might stop him before he actually gets to his feet because then he’s like four foot above me. 

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, Findex, we’re not moving. It’s your turn to take watch. 

Yubi as Findex: Oh… Right. Of course. Sure. 

Kitty as Nerium: You sit there and you watch this door-

Yubi as Findex: I’m- I- I was a soldier. I know how to take watch. 

Kitty as Nerium: OK, just checking. 

Yubi as Findex: Thank you. 

 

Kitty as Nerium: And you remember what Nat said?

Yubi as Findex: Don’t betray you. 

Kitty as Nerium: Yes! 

Yubi as Findex: Especially don’t betray Nat. 

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, all of us. 

Yubi as Findex: [long pause] Yes. 

ed: A ghost appears and says,

ed as ‘ghost’, speaking in one long monotone breath: Don’t betray Taro most important of all, don’t betray Taro because he’s the most important character.

Kitty: Hey, know what? That doesn’t happen because Taro is asleep. 

ed: [across Kitty] The ghost disappears. Yeah, that’s why I said it was a ghost. 

Yubi: Findex, not seeing this ghost that doesn’t happen unless you literally want to use the spell slot for it- 

ed: [sarcastically] Yeah, I’ll use the spell “Ghost” that I have. [all giggling] 

Kitty: That you can cast in your sleep. 

Yubi: You have Unseen Servant and Minor Illusion, my guy, the world is your oyster. You can do whatever you want. 

ed: Yeah, that is true, I do have like three ghost spells. 

Gary: Taro casts “Hamlet”. [Kitty and Yubi laughing] 

ed: I don’t understand culture so I don’t get the reference. 

Yubi: [laughing] OK. 

ed: Thank you for not including me this time. 

 

Yubi: Findex sits back against the wall and sort of arranges himself into a more awake looking position and…

Kitty: I don’t have anywhere comfy to sleep now. 

Yubi: Nope. 

ed: You can sit on Findex’s lap. 

Kitty: No. [Gary laughing] I’ll leave that to you, Taro. I will snuggle up against the base of the-… Actually, Taro’s chair is the sofa, isn’t it? So it’s longer. Can I squeak onto the end? 

ed: Like a fuckin’ cat? You just- 

Kitty: I’ll push his feet on the floor and squeak up onto the end. 

Yubi: [laughing] You’ll push his feet on the floor? [Gary laughing] OK. Taro, you are suddenly kind of awoken by your knees to your feet being kicked off the sofa, so you’re just-…

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, now you’re awake? 

Yubi: On it, like, on your body? Side?? And Nerium climbing up to the end of the sofa. 

Kitty: I curl up like a dormouse and go back to sleep. 

ed as Taro: Z, z, z, z, z. [Orion note: He’s literally saying ‘z’ – pronounced ‘zed’ as in British English – repeatedly to imitate sleeping].

Yubi: OK, Taro does not give a shit. He can sleep semi-horizontal. 

ed: Yep. 

 

Yubi: Findex does stay awake. But he doesn’t make any move to wake you guys, so how long do you sleep for? 

ed: A thousand years. And when we wake, the world will end. 

Gary: I sleep for another three hours. 

Yubi: OK. 

Kitty: Honestly, I… What did you roll for that? 

Gary: A d4. 

Kitty: Yeah, see, I’m rolling a fuckin’ d8 at this point. 

ed: We’re rolling dice? 

Kitty: I will sleep for six more hours. 

Yubi: OK well, Natalia sleeps for three more, unless Taro is sleeping for less than that. Natalia, you wake up first and Findex is sitting against the wall watching the door. 

 

[Timestamp: ~15 minutes]

 

Gary as Natalia: Well good morning Findex! 

Yubi: He kinda jerks and looks over to you and goes,

Yubi as Findex: It’s-… It’s still pre-dawn but… Good morning.

Gary as Natalia: Ah, excellent. Now, if [laughing] you hear or see anything alarming I would advise you to be very quiet and don’t move. 

Yubi as Findex, quietly panicking: What are you going to do?

Gary as Natalia: Oh, I’m just going to meditate. 

Yubi: As you say that he gives you a little bit of a weird look but he nods his head and sort of turns his gaze back to the door. 

Gary: I close my eyes and concentrate on my breathing. 

Yubi: OK. 

Gary: For a while?

Yubi. OK. After about… Five? Ten minutes? You feel a little bit calmer. 

Gary as Natalia: Ah, that’s good. 

 

ed: Were you not sufficiently chilled out by sleeping? [others laughing] That was too stressful so you had to fuckin’… Get your chill on in the morning? 

Yubi: ed, have you never woken up anxious? C’mon man, sometimes you wake up and it’s like the first thing that hits you. 

ed: But I’m not a D&D character. 

Yubi: No, that’s fair. 

Gary: They would probably be a lot more anxious. 

Kitty: Under the circumstances I think the three of us are pretty fucking anxious. 

Gary: ed, last time you killed a man, did you wake up feeling refreshed? [Yubi chuckling] 

ed: Um, let me think about it. I’ll get back to you later, I’m thinking about it. It’s just gonna be one of those things I think about for a while. [Gary laughing] 

 

Gary: OK, I’m going to tentatively start reaching out with my mind. 

Yubi: OK, roll me a d20. 

Gary: That’s a seven. 

Yubi: A seven. You feel this little… Tingle of magic. And it seems to be kind of centred in the centre of your chest. 

Gary: Is it where the gem is? 

Yubi: Yeah, it’s pretty much where the gem is. 

Gary: I’ll kind of crack one eye open and glance down. 

Yubi: It’s sitting in the mesh front of this dress. Not that the whole front is mesh, it’s just kind of- what’s it called- the-

ed: The boob window. [Gary laughing]

Yubi: Yep. 

Kitty: It’s in her cleavage. 

Yubi: It’s wherever people decide it is in drawings. It’s somewhere on the dress. 

Gary: Oh God. [someone wheeze laughing] I’m going to close my eyes again and try and concentrate – and concentrate on the gem and try to feel the magic. 

Yubi: OK.

Kitty: Close your eyes and let the magic happen. 

Gary: Yeah, exactly. 

Yubi: Now look- 

Gary: Just that warm thing nestled between my-

Yubi: STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT! [Kitty laughing uproariously and clapping] All of you, stop it!!

ed: Th episode’s just never gonna fuckin’ end, is it? This one’s just gonna last forever. 

Kitty: If we’re lucky we might leave the room. 

 

[Mysterious synth music begins to play.]

Yubi: OK, so you start to concentrate on the gem and after a couple of minutes you again feel this burst of magic and your vision goes from being just ‘your eyes are closed’ to this total blackness. But you can feel that somewhere, just ahead of you, is a presence. 

Gary as Natalia: Hello? Are you two there? I’m trying to do what you said. Is this what I’m supposed to do? 

Yubi: There is a second where the darkness almost seems to twist and stretch and you are suddenly floating – or you feel like you are floating – above this endless sea of magma. 

Gary: Oh shit! 

Yubi: And it is all you can see for miles and miles and miles. And as you look down at it, you can almost see in the middle this human-like face but it’s huge, it’s titan sized. It’s this gigantic, almost shifting expression in the lava and the rock. And it smiles. 

Gary: [laughing nervously] Oh God! 

Yubi: And then you are [snaps] brought out of your meditation like that and you are back in the room. 

 

[Mysterious music fades to “Shuttle”] 

Kitty: Can I ask, was Nat speaking out loud? Or just in her mind?

Yubi: Roll me a d20. 

Gary: That’s a nine. 

Yubi: Yes, you were murmuring it out loud. You didn’t quite have the control to not actually say it. 

Kitty: With a passive perception of fifteen, did it wake me?

Yubi: How light a sleeper are you, canonically? 

Kitty: Canonically, probably pretty light but, in this instance, maybe less so because we had a fuck of a day. 

Yubi: OK! You were kind of woken up by the exchange between Natalia and Findex. Before you were awake enough to know that Natalia said something very quietly although you didn’t 100% catch what it was. 

 

Kitty: OK. I’m gonna roll over and go- 

Kitty as Nerium: Well of course the two of us are here and we got Findex. Morning! 

Gary as Natalia: Ah, yes. Morning. Are you feeling better? Oh! Taro, are you OK?… Taro? 

ed as Taro: Z, z, z, z, z, z, z.

Kitty as Nerium: I think he’s quite a heavy sleeper. 

Gary as Natalia: That doesn’t surprise me. I think we have a little more darkness left. 

Kitty: Is it still raining outside? 

Yubi: Yeah, you can still hear the rush of rain. 

 

[Timestamp: ~20 minutes]

 

Kitty as Nerium: Nat, this is a weird thing to ask, I’m sure, but um, you couldn’t possibly-… I’d just like to nip out, ‘cus it’s raining and I’m kind of covered in… Y’know, blood and viscera and things and I’d just quite like to wash my face. 

Gary as Natalia: OK? 

Kitty as Nerium: D’you think it’ll be safe if I  just nip out quickly?

Gary as Natalia: I-I couldn’t say. 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, do me a favour and listen out, yeah? 

Gary as Natalia: We won’t go too far but I’ll come with you and watch your back. We’ll keep in sight of this place.

Kitty as Nerium: Okay, yeah. That’s fine, that’s absolutely fine. 

Kitty: I’d like to stealth my way just outside. 

Yubi: OK, roll me stealth. 

Gary: Should I stealth too? 

Kitty: Yes please, if you would. [dice rolling] Twenty one. 

ed: That’s a big number!

Kitty: I got a big stealth. 

 

ed: You sure you can handle a number that big? [others laughing] I dunno why I thought that would be funny! 

Yubi: [laughing] The funny thing is the- just the… There’s a little wrinkle to your brow after you said it. Like, ‘Why? Why did I say that?’ 

Kitty: [across Yubi] Why did I say that?! 

Yubi: It was very good, I loved it! Right-

ed: It’s a good thing that reproduces well on audio. Shall I try it? Shall I try to wrinkle my brow in an audibly wrinkly way? Let me just get in [very scary gremlin voice] positionnn. 

Kitty: [laughing] That’s very good. 

Yubi: Ah, can’t hear it mate. 

ed: Yeah, don’t think that one got picked up on audio.

Yubi: Maybe it’ll come through on your recording. 

Gary: That did look really good from this end. 

ed: Thanks. 

Kitty: Yeah, it did. It’s true. 

ed: Thanks a lot. [Yubi laughing] 

 

Gary: Twenty five. [Kitty oohing] 

Yubi: Twenty five! You guys, with absolute cat-like grace, pick your way out from this book shop and into the streets. The streets themselves are mainly dry but you can see portions where the roof has cracked in on this layer and the rain is falling through. 

Kitty: Can I ask, are there bits in this layer where, I mean, I know we’re in a desert, but when the ground gets wet does it turn into clay mud or is it like wet sand? 

Yubi: This particular layer doesn’t have sand on it. 

Kitty: Right. But there are rocks around the place?

Yubi: Yeah, there are rocks that have been broken off the buildings. 

Kitty: And there are wet patches of floor? 

Yubi: Yeah. 

Kitty: Excellent. I am going to take off my apron and pinafore and give them a quick scrub with a rock. Because actually abrasive is quite good for getting blood stains out. 

 

Yubi: Ok, you find a place where some masonry has fallen and created a natural basin where some water has collected. It’s pretty clear, good looking rainwater.

Kitty: Yeah, it’s not by the time I’m done. 

Yubi: No, by the time you’re done it’s a puddle of filth. 

ed in a weird cowboy accent: That’s some gooood rainwater right there! [Gary laughing] 

Kitty: I should point out at this stage that under my pinafore I have a blouse and petticoat. 

ed: I was mildly worried. 

Kitty: Stuff underneath. So I look like I’m in a blouse and petticoat. But my pinafore is a bit cleaner than it was. I feel much better for that. I’m all done! 

Yubi: Alright. It is still warm. It’s still raining but it’s still humid. 

Kitty: Ah, that’s kind of nice though, because that means hopefully my dress is gonna dry. I’m not gonna put it back on by the way. 

Yubi: OK. 

Kitty: I’m just gonna carry it over my shoulder. 

Gary: I’m gonna wash my face and try to finally remove this plastered shite. 

Yubi: Yeah, you get the last bit of makeup that you couldn’t just dry scrub off with a rag. 

Kitty: All the gunky bits. 

Yubi: You both feel a bit refreshed. OK? 

Kitty: Yeah, fine. We’ll go back and see if Taro has finally risen from his slumber. 

 

Yubi: OK, you make your way back. Are you stealthing it back? 

Kitty: Yeah. 

Gary: Yes. 

Yubi: OK, make me stealth checks. 

Kitty: Eee! That’s not as good! Sixteen. 

Gary: Seventeen. 

Kitty as Nerium: Ooh! Nat, by the way, this notebook! 

Gary as Natalia: Yes? 

Kitty as Nerium: This was one from Commando Rex as well, and it says in here good ways to get down to the third layer! Look – and there’s one of the maps that has a special circle for where he thought was the best way to get in. And there’s stuff in the gallery. They’ve taken it all but presumably, if there was stuff in the gallery, then there might be more stuff in the third layer that would be quite good. And it’s got wands and armour and instruments!

Gary as Natalia: Ooh, this is very exciting. 

Kitty as Nerium: It is a bit, innit?

Gary as Natalia: We should go here next; we should go here straight away! 

Kitty as Nerium: I mean… Yeah. Yeah, why not, actually? Why not? [takes a breath, and abruptly changes topic] Nat? 

 

Gary as Natalia: Yes? 

Kitty as Nerium: You remember in the cave, a while ago… And there were those names that that voice was saying and you got a bit anxious ‘cus they were people you’d, like, killed? 

Gary as Natalia: Well… Yes.

Kitty as Nerium: With a sword, yeah? 

Gary as Natalia: Yes?

Kitty as Nerium: So you’ve done that more than just yesterday? 

Gary as Natalia: Yes. 

Kitty as Nerium: And does it always feel like that? I mean, it was quite… Satisfying. 

Gary: [laughing] Ho-ly shit! Um… 

Gary as Natalia: It leaves me with mixed feelings. I don’t… regret it. But there is a part of me that feels… some sorrow. 

Kitty as Nerium: Right. Yes, of course. That’s very true. Yes. Anyway, look, I think we’re nearly back!

Gary as Natalia: Are you OK? 

Kitty as Nerium: I’m fine, actually. Are you alright? 

Gary as Natalia: I’m… I don’t know what I am. 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, we’re in a bit of a pickle but I think we’re handling it OK. 

Gary as Natalia: I think so too. If we can keep what Taro says to the minimum, I think we’ll come out of this OK. 

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, I don’t know if it’s better when he’s asleep or awake. 

Gary as Natalia: I take asleep. 

Kitty as Nerium: Maybe. Still, he might be awake by now and we’ve got to get down to the third level. 

Gary as Natalia: Ooh, we do. Magical items make me so excited! 

 

[Timestamp: ~25 minutes]

 

ed: This is fucking cyyyberbullying! [others laughing] I’m calling the cops! 

Yubi: The two gremlins return [laughing].

Gary: As Natalia walks through the door, she goes from almost childlike chatting and gossiping to- hup!– so that Findex only sees strength. [Kitty and ed laughing] 

Yubi: OK, Findex knows who’s in charge. You two come back just as Taro is starting to wake up, and Findex is exactly where you left him but looks pleased at your return. Looks relieved for sure. 

ed as Taro: Ehhwo- you up already??

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, for a while now actually! How are you feeling Taro? 

Yubi: As you wake up, Taro, you can feel there’s still this pain at your back. And you feel OK, you don’t feel as injured as you were before, but as you reach over and pull at the bandages a bit, you two both see that the wound is very much still there. It hasn’t closed at all. In fact, it looks exactly like it did when he was first stabbed but it’s just not bleeding. But you can see the muscle, you can see the ripped skin- it looks like a fresh wound, it’s just not bleeding. 

Gary: What the fffff-…

ed as Taro: My back seems to hurt a little bit, it’s a bit- I don’t think I rested up alright, maybe I need a few more hours? 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, hang on, hang on, before you go back to sleep.

Kitty: I’m gonna take out that green bottle I found on the first day. 

 

Gary as Natalia: Wait, Findex, is this normal- do your people coat their blades with something? 

Yubi as Findex: No, nothing. I’ve not seen anything like that before. 

ed as Taro: Sorry, is what normal? Can someone please fill me in? I’ve just woken up-

Kitty as Nerium: Do tieflings wound differently? I’ve never heard that they do. 

Gary as Natalia: Your wound hasn’t exactly… healed. 

ed as Taro: Ah! Well, that’s interesting, isn’t it? Um, what do you mean by that? Am I bleeding everywhere? 

Kitty as Nerium: No, it’s just like you’ve just got a hole in you. 

ed as Taro: Oh! OH! OK! Alright! [Gary laughing] Uh…

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, is it?

ed as Taro: Well! Ehhhhh? Um? It’s not the most alright thing, I think. [Yubi and Gary laughing] 

Kitty: OK. I would like to give him my green potion and say,

Kitty as Nerium: Right, have a sip of this and we’ll see if it helps. 

ed as Taro: Alright? 

Kitty as Nerium: Don’t drink all of it please.

ed: Taro takes two sips. 

 

Yubi: Okay! So as you take this vial, I want you to decide what it looks like and what the inside of it looks like. Because for Nerium it looks like her mother’s warm-your-bones stew. But I want to know what memory Taro has that would be the strongest, that would be something equivalent. 

ed: It’s cum. [others laughing hysterically] No…

Kitty: Leave it, leave it! No, it is! 

ed: It’s not cum, it’s just-

Kitty: No, that is now canon! 

ed: It’s not canon! I’m being silly! Look, what else was I gonna fuckin’ say, come on! Jesus Christ! [Kitty and others losing it] What else was I gonna say in that position; you set me up! You set me up. 

Yubi: [laughing] Oh my God! 

ed: How could you not see that coming? How was that surprising for any of you?

Kitty: How did you not see that-…

Yubi: Wiiiink!

ed: Wiiink!

Yubi: Oh my God, okay…

Gary: Can we all just call Taro Pacman for a while? [Yubi laughing]

 

ed: God, OK. I think it looks like… [a pause for ed to think] I think it looks like the tea that they used to serve on one of the big desert wagons he spent some of his childhood on. 

Yubi: OK, that’s what it looks like. And as you uncork it, it smells exactly like that. As you take that first sip, it tastes exactly like that. Make me a Wisdom saving throw. I think.

ed: Alright. 

Kitty: A saving throw? 

ed: Saving throw. 

Kitty: Dude, I’m sorry if this kills you. 

 

[Timestamp: ~30 minutes]

 

ed: It’s a six- eight, it’s an eight. 

Yubi: It’s an eight! You take two sips and before you know it, you’ve downed it. [Kitty gasping] 

ed as Taro: Hey, that was alright. Where did you get this after all? I haven’t seen this in a long time. 

Yubi: You two watch as Taro downs it. Roll me- 

ed: I like how canonically Taro just has no self-restraint, apparently. I think that fits. 

Yubi: [across ed] I gave you a chance. [Gary laughing] Roll me 2d8. 

Kitty: You roll ones, I shall be very cross. 

ed: I got nine. 

Yubi: You heal nine points of damage. I want you to make- 

ed: Wasn’t I already at full health from long resting? 

Yubi: No. So I want you to make a mark that you have recovered nine hit points of magical healing somewhere.

ed: OK. If that goes above my maximum hit points-

Yubi: You just lose it. You just go to max if it was below max. And how much were you down for before? 

ed: I was down eight. 

 

Yubi: You were down eight. You watch as Taro takes that first sip, and then that second, and then just downs this little vial.

Kitty as Nerium: Oh! Oh! Um-

Yubi: You watch the wound on his back slowly start to lace up and heal up and you watch from the inside out as the muscle and tendon knit together and the flesh remakes the skin, until there is no scar whatsoever. There is just perfectly smooth skin where that wound had been. 

Kitty as Nerium: I am magic. Look at that!

Gary as Natalia: Have you got more of that?

Kitty as Nerium: No…

ed as Taro: I can’t help wondering where you got it from though. 

Kitty as Nerium: [sighs] Do you remember where Nat got her sword? 

Gary as Natalia: Oh yes!

ed as Taro: Oh, of course, yeah, those boxes.

Kitty as Nerium: That was mine. 

ed as Taro: Ah, OK. 

 

Kitty as Nerium: Can I have the bottle back please? 

ed: I chuck it. [Gary giggling]

Kitty: I- fucking WHAT?

Yubi: Make me a dexterity check to catch that. [Gary making distraught noises] Or a slight of hand. Snatch it out of the air. 

Kitty: What, me? A dexterity check to catch it? Alright, sorry.

Yubi: Yeah you! 

ed: Now you get to roll. 

Kitty: I thought he was the one throwing it. 

Yubi: I think you’re close enough that he can throw it, it’s whether or not you can- 

Kitty: Oh Jesus I’m so glad I’m a halfling! [others laughing] Ahh OK! So that’s sixteen. 

Yubi: You catch that easily. 

Kitty: I catch it. I would like to glare at Taro, just for a second, and then I will drop my gaze and quietly tidy my vial away, thank you. 

ed: Taro does a thumbs up. 

Kitty: I don’t see it. 

Gary: I thought that was gonna get vial-ent. 

Yubi: Nooauuuuhhhhhhhh. DM takes one point of psychological damage. 

ed: Well, that’s the best joke we’ve heard all session, I think. [Yubi laughing] 

 

Yubi: It’s certainly up there. Okay, what are you guys doing? 

ed: I think Taro’s saying hi to Windex. 

Kitty: Seething. 

ed as Taro: Alright Findex, you sleep alright?

Yubi as Findex: Yes? 

ed as Taro: Good, good to hear. Good to hear.

Yubi as Findex: Are you feeling better? 

ed as Taro: Well I seem to be, I’m feeling full of beans.

Yubi as Findex: Was that your magic? 

ed as Taro: It’s not my magic. 

Yubi as Findex: It’s far beyond my understanding, I’ve never seen anything like that. 

ed as Taro: Well, I tend not to question these things. Seems alright to me. 

Yubi as Findex: I have so many questions. 

Kitty as Nerium: Or say thank you! [Gary laughing]

ed as Taro: Oh- yeah. Yeah, yeah. Thanks for the magic. And that tea was pretty good. 

Kitty as Nerium: What tea? 

ed as Taro: Y’know, the tea you gave me. 

Kitty as Nerium: … Whatever. I’m glad you’re well again. 

ed: Taro’s just doing some stretches now. 

Kitty: Is he lunging? 

Yubi: You feel better than you’ve ever felt! 

ed: Yeah, he’s feeling juiced! 

Kitty: [laughing] The one healing potion we’ll ever get…I’m so glad. 

ed: It fucking worked, c’mon!

 

Yubi: OK, what are you doing?

Gary as Natalia: Nerium showed me this journal. See?

Gary: And I hand it over to Taro. 

Kitty: I don’t know that you’re holding it and I don’t think I hand it to him. I might hold it up. 

Gary: OK. I point at it as I hope Nerium holds it in a way that Taro can see. 

Gary as Natalia: Look, see, Gehesh was working on a way to retrieve magical items from the third layer. 

ed as Taro: That’s interesting. 

Gary as Natalia: I think that’s where we should go. 

ed as Taro: Yeah, I don’t see why not, right? It looks like people seem to think that’s the place to go, right? Something worth keeping down there. 

Gary as Natalia: Yes, and in fact, I was reading last night- the further down we go, the more chance of magical items and objects there are. For example, the second layer… [pages flipping] has the Archocrypt. And the first layer, not even much is known about it. It’s just full of rich noble people and science or something. And they were practicing magic of movement which is probably how this city got here. 

 

ed as Taro: ‘Ere, what’s an Archocrypt? 

Gary as Natalia: Oh, I’ve no idea. 

Kitty as Nerium: Is it like bitcoin? [Gary laughing] 

ed as Taro: What’s a bitcoin?!

Kitty: [laughing] Sorry.

Gary as Natalia: It’s where a coin gets smashed into bits! 

ed as Taro: Oh, okay. So what happens to the bits? Do they go into the ground? Do they just go everywhere and do people have to come and get them out of the ground? 

Gary as Natalia: They grow into money trees! 

ed as Taro: They grow into money trees! 

Kitty as Nerium: And then you get an NHS! [Gary laughing]

ed as Taro: From bitcoin? You’re saying healthcare is on the blockchain? 

Kitty: I think it’s our only hope at this point. [laughing] [Yubi wailing quietly in despair] Yubi I’m so sorry. 

 

[Timestamp:~35 minutes]

 

ed as Taro: I’m Taro Tarbeberbeber and I canonically love the blockchain.

Gary as Natalia: And it turns out the true road to healthiness was hash all the time. 

ed: Oh my fucking GOD! [Yubi wheezing] Ohhhh! I’m so mad! I’m so mad. 

Yubi: I don’t get the joke but I’m sorry it pained you.

Kitty: Neither do I.

ed: My fucking readings on this fucking audio levels have clipped the shit out because of-… I’m furious at that. [others laughing] I’m furious at that joke. I’m steaming. I’m livid. 

 

ed as Taro: Well, I’m kind of feeling curious about that now. Might be worth investigating. 

Kitty as Nerium: I agree. So the good stuff is further down? 

Gary as Natalia: Yes, it seems to be kind of- [laughing] It seems to be rather an inversion of what it’s like in Cindarion. See, where I’m from, the rich people live on the higher levels and the poor people live underground and deep down. 

Kitty as Nerium: Underground?! Do you know, I was just about to agree with you. In Hopewell there’s the Upper District – but we don’t live underground on the outskirts. 

ed as Taro: Only weirdos live underground. 

Kitty as Nerium: I mean…

Gary as Natalia: That’s a bit rude. 

ed as Taro: Just from what I’ve experienced. 

Kitty as Nerium: I’d like to disagree but the only people I’ve ever known who did live underground were very, very nice – and quite weird. 

Gary as Natalia: Let’s delve. 

Kitty as Nerium: Come on Findex. 

 

ed: Taro’s suiting up. It’s time for Taro to suit up and get that- 

Kitty: Oh yeah, you’re gonna put on that armour. 

ed in an old, weary voice: That juicy plus one that he’s yearned for! Mm. [Gary laughing] 

Yubi: Add that plus one to your AC. As you all stand up Findex looks up at you and goes, 

Yubi as Findex: Wait, do I have to go down there? 

Kitty as Nerium: Yes.

ed as Taro: ‘fraid so pal. Dunno what else you’re gonna do to be honest. I’d be a bit worried if you tried to go back to the-… Oh, I forget what your pals are called. 

Gary as Natalia: Emphasis on try.

Yubi as Findex: I can’t go back to Tenbren. 

Kitty as Nerium: No! They’ll send you to the Bloodsands. You can’t do that. 

Yubi as Findex: They will do that. No.

Kitty as Nerium: You come with us, you’re your own lizard now. 

Yubi as Findex: Aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… O…kay…

 

Kitty: I’m gonna go over to Findex and take one of his ENORMOUS scaly hands in both of mine and I’m gonna say, 

Kitty as Nerium: Findex, listen. Your Queen- are you frightened of her? 

Yubi as Findex: Yes? That’s the whole point. 

Kitty as Nerium: It is, isn’t it? If everyone who was frightened of her turned around and told her to fuck off, what could she do? She’s only one person.

Yubi as Findex: She is very, very powerful and that is rebel speak! 

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah. But she is one powerful person. Think of how many people are scared of her and how strong they’d be if they all turned ‘round?

Yubi as Findex: I can’t be a rebel. I’ll come down to the third layer with you but I cannot revolt against my Queen. 

[Drum beat of intermission music begins.]

Kitty as Nerium: You can and you will, my love. But come on. 

 

[Intermission music begins properly and plays without interruption for about 20 seconds.] 

 

Yubi: Hello. It is me, your dastardly majestic DM, Yubi. Here to say hello, welcome, thank you. So many thank yous this week actually, this week is a thank you week. So first of all, thank you… to you for listening! It is our tenth episode special, we have almost five thousand downloads which is incredible for ten episodes. You guys have been amazing; thank you so much for showing us this love and supporting us, we appreciate it so much. We have so much fun doing this: it’s so fun to record, I love editing it, I love writing the music for it. It’s just incredible and you guys really, really make it. You’ve been so active on Tumblr, on Twitter. Thank you so much everyone who sent in a question for the second episode of Getting Mortal. We have recorded the episode- my God, we talked a lot of shit! So that’s gonna be a fun one to edit. We’ve got it all recorded so when I can edit it and get it up it will be going up. It will be released soon-ish? So I’m really excited about that, there were some great questions.

 

But yeah, thank you so much for the Twitter love, the Tumblr love. We’ve had amazing people tweeting about us- of course you know Marty Choderick, Colin Suttle, Krondar, Skulleigh, Chris Bazette, GeometryFailure, IvyFox, Freddie, Shepherd and over on Tumblr we’ve had whiskeyyoodles, themadkingandi, therevolutionisbored, (that’s a great name by the way),caligocaperi, isolatedphenomenom, thvrin,- thvvrin? It’s like Thorin with a v instead of an o, which is great! I like to say that one a lot. Breakfasttaco, thehoveringbrain, mystbornlord, acatlatte… Just so many people. That is not all of them, we also have bulbysaur, hoomhum for example…

 

[Timestamp:~40 minutes]

 

Thank you so much for all the love. It has been absolutely incredible, we are so blown away and so grateful. We’ve got almost three hundred followers on Tumblr, we’ve just hit over three hundred followers on Twitter which is incredible, so make sure you check us out. There is always new stuff being posted. There is fanart… And fanfic now! Isn’t that amazing? If you search up The Mortal Path on AO3, you will find Mortal Path fanfic! All of it is amazing, I have read all of it, it is great. There are playlists being made, there is all sorts!

 

And really excitingly, I want to say a special huge thank out to my very special man Orion, who is wonderful and whom I’ve known for a very long time now, who has written a transcript of the first episode. Which is just fantastic, thank you so much for all your hard work dude. Honestly, we are so grateful. He is planning to write more but if you would like to be involved with it in any way then you can let us know on Tumblr or Twitter, or email us at themortalpath@gmail.com and we will put you in touch with him and you will be able to help him out if you wish. He’s planning on doing more of them and you can find them at themortalpath.com on our website under Transcripts, so we’ve got them all there. It is so great, go and have a look. He has put so much hard work into them, they are fantastic. He has a great time writing out the noises that I make. My foley work, as I like to call it? So yeah, go and see what he’s done, it’s amazing.

 

Thank you also to Rachel who composed our theme tune, who also composed the track that plays in The Fallen City – although that is changing this episode at a couple of points. Check out her stuff on Bandcamp; you can find her website rachelgraff.com, r-a-c-h-e-l-g-r-a-f-f. Like I said, she got married recently to her wife, her love of her life. They’re saving up for their honeymoon so if you feel like buying her album, which has the track in the Fallen City, under the album “Sketching the Rain” – I believe it’s called “Shuttle”, is the one that I’m using – go and check it out. But I’ll let you guys get back to the show, thank you so much for putting up with me for another week. It has been, as always, a pleasure. Thank you so much and I cannot wait to see you again in two weeks time! Until then, buh-bye. 

 

[Intermission music plays out again for about 20 seconds] 

 

Kitty: I’m gonna refrain from pointing out that he literally has no choice at this point, because if he goes back there, they’re not gonna be interested in his motives. 

[“Shuttle” by Rachel Graff begins to play again]

Yubi: He makes a small little,

Yubi as Findex: Errrrrr,

Yubi: in his throat. This is just sort of gently constant as he follows you out of the building.

Gary as Natalia: Don’t worry Findex, you’re already revolting! 

ed: Awwwwwww! 

Kitty: Ohhhhhh! Can we get some ice for that burn?

Yubi: [dice rolling] He manages to hold it together for I think the first time in this campaign. [Gary laughing]

Kitty: [across Yubi] You see! We’re good for him!

ed: Yeah, he’s doing it!

Yubi: He shoots you a baleful look and just follows you. It takes you a couple of hours again to get down to where the map is marked as having the fourth gate; so you get down from the fifth level onto the fourth again where you first went. At this point the rain has stopped and the clouds have… The big storm clouds have cleared although the sky is still this very rich, hazy red colour. The heat is starting to really creep back up again, you’re sort of in the thirty degrees celsius already in this dawn. He leads you, although with great trepidation, to where the fourth gate has been marked out on the map that Gehesh had. You can see this half bit of the rubble that has fallen onto a fallen building that leads down into gloom. This now is going underground and it doesn’t seem like there’s gonna be a lot of light in this area.

 

Kitty: I’m gonna put my frock back on. 

Yubi: OK. 

Kitty: It’s not gonna get any drier if we’re going underground. 

ed: I will note that Taro is wearing his cool cloak on top of his armour, because obviously. Because why would he not?

Yubi: It looks very- actually now, out of all of them, Taro, you look the best dressed. Nat kind of has ripped bits of the hem of her dress from your bandages and your pinafore’s been washed but it’s still very stained. Apart from in your shirt, Taro, the hole and the blood which is now covered by the armour and the cloak, which seems to have almost repaired itself or at least made it so that the gash looks like it’s part of the pattern.

ed: Hell yeah. 

Yubi: You look pretty well-dressed, you look fancy at this point.

 ed: It’s a fuckin’ look! 

 

[Timestamp: ~45 minutes] 

 

Kitty as Nerium: We need to go down from the fourth gate, we need to go past the broken building and there’s a manor house on the left. That is where we are going. 

ed as Taro: Hang on- 

Kitty as Nerium: I would suggest that once we go underground we stealth. 

ed as Taro: Why are we going to this manor house? 

Yubi: The manor is where Gehesh has circled and said “this place has treasure, this is where I’m going to go.”

ed: Alright, that does make sense, I was confusing it with the gallery. 

Kitty: The gallery’s been done.

ed as Taro: I agree. I was thinking that if it were the gallery, there’d be no point. Let’s make a move on and I think I agree with your stealth proposal. 

Yubi: Alright, everyone roll me stealth. 

ed: [singing] It’s sneak time, time to sneak!

Kitty: Ooh! Twenty-six! 

Gary: Ten.

ed: Eighteen.

 

Yubi: Nine. OK, who’s going first? 

Gary: Neri-um? 

Kitty: I don’t have any Dark Vision that I know of, so I would imagine Taro. 

ed: I think I might have done, yeah, I was heading off. I’ve got renewed bravery after a good nap. And some nice morning tea! 

Yubi: After a good, good long nap. So Taro, you start to head down this slope, and this one is much more gentle than the climb up. It’s relatively easy to walk down but it seems to go on quite a lot further and there are parts where it’s broken into what seems like a spiral going down. And you are followed by…?

Gary: I would happily go next. 

Kitty: Yeah, and me. I don’t mind. 

Yubi: It’s definitely wide enough, you can go at the same time if you want. 

Gary: Yeah? 

Kitty: Yeah. And we’ll put Findex at the back. 

 

Yubi: OK. You guys start making your way down. Natalia, you’re hitting a couple of little rocks that are skittering off but Findex is really doing a fair amount of gentle clattering behind you. There’s that ksshh ku-shhh of his skin against loose rubble as he’s trying to go down quietly behind you. You do start to make your way into the gloom, and there’s this little period where the light from outside and the darkness cancel each other out and it’s totally dark for a second before your eyes get used to the gloom. You see, stretching out in front of you, this suburban cityscape that is hazy and dank with this darkness that stretches out. These buildings that almost seem to list, bits are broken and crumbled. Out of all of them, it seems the most well held-together, despite the fact that it’s sunk in the ground- and there’s like a tilt to it but it’s not quite as steep as the other layers either. This one seems to be more stable. 

 

Kitty: So the split in this- I know it’s fallen, but it’s done that Titanic split, hasn’t it? 

Yubi: Yeah, pretty much- 

Kitty: Where part of it’s really, really at an angle and that’s most of the bit that’s above ground and the bit below ground is fairly flat but only slightly. 

Yubi: The split is not down the middle in this analogy, it’s a horizontal one. The fourth layer where you first came in, the one that was on ground, the-

Kitty: Oh my God! You guys, d’y’know what that means!

Gary: No. 

Kitty: It’s a tiered city and it’s split across and that means that the physics is probably just about right!

Yubi: Well, you don’t have to be that kind. As you are going down, you notice that the architecture and the structures down here seem to be much more sturdy. It looks like it’s better built, everything looks nicer than even the fourth layer, the fifth layer. As you are going down into the gloom, you can see to your right: you can see this one big building that seems to be in the centre, and then you see this other building that has a little bit crumbled away. As you look at the map, right in front of you, just beyond this block of buildings, is what seems to be a three storey manor house. That looks like it has been circled on the map. 

 

ed as Taro: Alright, this looks like the place!

ed: I say quietly. 

ed as Taro, slightly lower but not actually quieter: Alright, this looks like the place!

ed: I did that in the exact same voice there. [others laughing] Let’s pretend I said it quieter so we can sneak and chat.

Yubi: You guys make your way off the fourth gate. You are now in city streets and these ones seem to be the most well-paved. There’s nice little bits of ornate carving that has mostly survived the fall, although windows have shattered. You can see there are still explosions of shattered glass. This layer does not seem to be looted? Everyone’s just disappeared. 

Kitty: Are there tracks anywhere? 

Yubi: You can look for them. 

ed: What’s the deal with the sand on this level? 

Yubi: So there’s a bit that’s blown in from the hole that leads down, but other than that there doesn’t seem to be any. 

ed: Are we under the ground now? 

Yubi: Yeah. 

ed: Cool.

Kitty: So what am I rolling for looking for tracks?

Yubi: Survival. 

Kitty: Twenty. 

Yubi: You got a twenty?!

Kitty: I rolled a nineteen and got plus one on survival. 

 

[Timestamp: ~50 minutes]

 

Yubi: Very very nice! You spend a moment to have a little look around and you can see this very faint trail of- not quite pure sand but where there’s definitely been footsteps going through, where rubble has been pushed aside that lead off on a sharp turn to the right. As you look at the map and you look at these tracks it looks like this is probably where Gehesh went to go to the gallery and where people brought stuff back out of. 

Kitty: I would like to point this evidence out to my companions. 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, it doesn’t look like there’s been too many people. My feeling on this is, and I’m very happy to be corrected if you think I’m wrong, but, if I can detect these tracks then someone who lives down here might also be aware that this is a route that’s been taken by a stranger. It doesn’t look as if it’s necessarily been discovered but it’s something to be aware of. 

ed as Taro: What, you think people live down here? 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, rebels, apparently. 

ed as Taro: Oh, right, yeah. But I thought they just came here to-

Kitty as Nerium: You have been paying attention, haven’t you, Taro? 

ed as Taro: Yeah, but I thought they just came here to steal stuff, same as everyone else. 

Yubi as Findex: The rebels live on the fourth and the fifth layers, they go further up. It’s dangerous down here. Very few come down here as far as we know. 

 

Kitty as Nerium: Right, so the dangerous stuff…we don’t really know what that is, do we? I wonder if it is dangerous, y’know? I wonder if that might not be just one of those things they tell you to stop you going down here?

Yubi as Findex: The Queen said it was dangerous. 

Kitty as Nerium: Well there you go, I don’t fuckin’ trust her. 

ed as Taro: Yeah, I think I’ll be honest, it’s the oldest trick in the book, is pretending that there’s a ghost or a monster to scare people off of the place where there’s the good stuff. 

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, ‘specially underground. It’s spooky down here, innit? 

Gary as Natalia: Makes a lot of sense. 

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, I’m not saying we should drop our guard, but-

Gary: We walk towards the manor. 

ed: Yup!

 

Yubi: You guys start heading towards where the manor is on the map and it doesn’t take long before you round this little bend in the road and you can see it. It’s this big building that looks relatively intact. It’s almost a horseshoe shape, and the front two prongs have collapsed inwards. You can see that these two bits don’t seem like they’ve survived the fall. There’s three or so layers to it, you can see a couple of storeys. There are windows all along it. It’s dark, it’s silent. The front door is collapsed inwards; it doesn’t look like you can get in from straight at the front. What do you want to do? 

Kitty as Nerium: I would suggest that we look all the way around it before we decide on an entrance point. 

Gary as Natalia: I agree. 

ed as Taro: Shall we split up? We’ll cover more ground that way. [Gary laughing]

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, Taro. You go with Findex, me and Nat are going this way. 

Gary as Natalia: That’s a great idea. 

ed as Taro: Alright!

 

Yubi: OK. Fred and Daphne head one way… [everyone laughing] 

ed: I was gonna say earlier, this is some Scooby-Doo bullshit! [Kitty and Yubi losing it] We’re in this fuckin’ mystery mine where the spooky ghosts are, because that’s where they keep their gold. 

Yubi: It’s very good! I love it!

ed: What, is Findex Scooby-Doo in this analogy? And Taro is Shaggy. This works perfectly, this is flawless. 

Yubi: It’s very good, OK. So one party goes left and the other goes right. 

ed as Taro: [in a questionable Shaggy impression] Well zoinks, Findex! [everyone laughing] 

Yubi as Findex: [in an apathetic Scooby-Doo impression] Ruh-roh, Taro… I don’t like the look of this. 

 

Yubi: As you guys head ‘round, there are a couple of windows that look like you could climb in. A lot of the glass is smashed and the inside of this manor house is dark, although all of you can see. Although Natalia, actually at this point you’re hitting almost no visibility.

Gary as Natalia: Uh, Nerium? I’m relying on your eyes here.

Kitty as Nerium: What? 

Gary as Natalia: I can’t see. 

Kitty as Nerium: Nat, it’s not- are you alright? Is that from your magic reading, has it damaged your eyes? 

Gary as Natalia: Wait, you can see here? 

Kitty as Nerium: Just a little bit. 

Gary as Natalia: I can’t see anything?! 

Kitty as Nerium: Oh. Well, that’s alright. You hold my hand,

Kitty: And I’ll lift my hand up,

Kitty as Nerium: And I’ll go in front. 

Gary as Natalia: OK. 

 

Yubi: As you turn, Nerium- and Natalia, as you look at her- her pupils are hugely dilated, almost like cat’s eyes in the dark. And as she turns and you catch her in that last glimmer of light that hits them, you’ve seen her eyes in the dark before and they’ve never looked like this. 

Gary as Natalia: [gasps]

Kitty as Nerium: What do you see?!

Gary as Natalia: Your eyes! They’re… different. They’re big, black circles!

ed: [in a Russian(?) accent] Beautiful big anime eyes. [Gary and Yubi losing it]

Kitty as Nerium: Big black circles…? Um…[Gary and Yubi continuing to lose it] Nat, it’s very dark down here, I think your eyes might be playing tricks on you. Don’t worry. 

Gary as Natalia: OK. 

Kitty as Nerium: You’ve had a lot of weird things going on with your eyesight recently so don’t worry, it’s fine. 

Gary as Natalia: I wonder if something’s doing things to our eyes? 

Kitty as Neirum: Well, maybe? 

Gary as Natalia: Oh, this is very strange. 

Kitty as Nerium: Honestly, it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing that’s happened. Anyway look, c’mon, we can’t let the other two get ‘round faster than we do. 

 

[Timestamp:~55 minutes]

 

Yubi: You spot two windows that you could climb through relatively safely. As you get toward the back of the house, you guys see, coming across, Taro and Findex. You two have also seen one or two windows that you could climb in. 

Kitty: Have we seen any tracks suggesting that somebody else has come ‘round this way?

Yubi: Make me a survival check. 

Kitty: Ooh, it’s not gonna be a nineteen again, guys. Sorry. 

Gary: How clean are these windows? 

Kitty: FUCK! It’s a nineteen again! 

Yubi: Oh, very nice!

Kitty: I genuinely… Yeah!

ed: Tasty roll! 

Gary: Om nom nom nom. 

 

Yubi: As you’re looking around, there is one point right at the entrance where it looks like one bit of rubble has been shifted ineffectually; like someone has given up. Then there is a little bit at the side where some of the glass seems to have been crunched into and you can see two footsteps leading into the house, made of this powder glass before they turn back. It looks like somebody went in the house, looked around for a few seconds and left again. 

Kitty: What kind of footsteps? 

Yubi: They look like boot prints. 

Kitty: Probably Gehesh then. 

Gary: Maybe. 

Yubi: You would assume that.

ed: There’s no back door or anything? 

Yubi: There doesn’t seem to be a back door, no.

ed: So there’s one way into this- effectively this is a building with one front door. 

Yubi: Looks like it was a pretty big front door. 

Kitty: I personally, with my background, would like to be intrigued that there is no servant’s entrance. 

Gary: [intrigued hum]

ed: [intrigued hum]

Gary: I’m worried about the health and safety aspect. I mean, honestly, it’s a death trap. 

ed: Taro, comically, does not notice or care. [Gary chuckling]

Yubi: OK. 

Gary: Yeah, nor does Natalia, actually. 

 

Kitty: What were Taro and Findex talking about whilst they were walking round?

ed: I think Findex was worrying. 

Yubi: Findex is constantly worrying. 

ed: I think Taro’s starting to get annoyed by the constant mumbling so he’s just like, 

ed as Taro: Ey, c’mon, c’mon Findex- deep breaths, deep breaths. 

Yubi: He’s internally worrying, at this point he’s sort of accepted his fate. At least on the outside. 

ed: Well that’s good. 

Yubi: He seems outwardly relatively calm, although a little bit dejected. 

ed: That’s a good place to be, I think. 

Yubi: Gentle acceptance.

Kitty: It’s working for the rest of us. 

ed: Yeah!

 

Kitty as Nerium: I would suggest that we try and get in through one of the broken windows. I don’t like front doors. 

ed as Taro: Alright!

Gary as Natalia: I quite agree. 

ed as Taro: Sounds good. 

ed: Taro just goes… straight in through the window, we’re goin’ in. 

Yubi: OK. 

ed: Fuckin’ volt that shit. He’s still feelin’ pretty juiced up after that good, good, good, good tea. [Kitty laughing] 

Yubi: Everyone make me a Dexterity check to climb through the window. 

ed: Ouh, that’s an eight! 

Kitty: Can I use acrobatics? 

ed: You fuckin’ front flip through the window. 

Yubi: Yes. [giggling] 

Kitty: Just ‘cus that’s a twenty one, which is cooler than nineteen. 

Gary: Seven. 

Yubi: [laughing] Seven. OK. 

Gary: It’s dark. 

 

[Shuttle changes]

 

Yubi: Yeah. As Taro kind of moves to the window, Natalia, you step up behind him but in the dark you step on the back of his cloak [Gary and Kitty laughing] as he’s climbing through the window and there is a moment where your shoulder smacks into the side of the frame before you pull the cloak free and get in. Natalia, you half-stumble in through this window because as you get into this house your visibility becomes nigh-on zero; nothing. But Nerium, you manage to very nimbly, almost practiced-like, slip in through this window. Findex just lifts one leg a little bit and steps in. It’s not a big climb for him, he gets in. 

ed: Big lizard do the big steppy! 

Yubi: Yep, he do a big steppy and he’s in the house. 

Kitty: Stick his leggy out real far. 

ed: No steppy snake. 

Yubi: So Natalia, you can’t see anything at this point. But Taro and Nerium, as you look around-… Nerium, you’ve only got maybe ten foot or so, so the very edges of the room, you can’t see them really. But you all do notice that the front bit of this room, or at least the bit furthest away from you, has collapsed inwards. This seems to be where the collapse of that front entrance way starts, although there’s still half the room available. What you do notice is, hanging slightly crooked on the wall, this huge portrait. 

 

Kitty: Given that we have an ever-burning candle, I might nudge Nat and say, 

Kitty as Nerium: What happened to that magic candle? 

Gary: Erm… Now, how much do we care about the match count? 

Yubi: I’m willing to let it go. 

Gary: OK, cool. 

Gary as Natalia: Oh, yes, of course! Here. Tss! 

Yubi: The room is opulent and beautiful and untouched-looking except for the smashed glass. All of you now very clearly see that big portrait on the wall. A very beautifully done oil portrait that’s at a little bit of an angle. It shows four… humanoids? Four creatures, all dressed in incredibly extravagant clothing. They have skin that’s silvery green, varying tones. They’ve got this dark blueish hair that goes from a sort of navy blue to a very deep blue. But what catches your attention is the fact that they have these very, very large, pale yellow eyes. And that they’re smiling and their mouths are a bit open and there are just so many teeth. Just so many. [Kitty gasps]

 

[Timestamp: ~1 hour]

 

ed as Taro: Eugh! 

Kitty as Nerium: Ooh, that’s a lot of teeth!

ed as Taro: That’s not… the best look. 

Kitty as Nerium: What… are those? 

Gary as Natalia: They’re really good business for dentists. 

Kitty as Nerium: I meant a bit more specifically but yeah, you’re not wrong. Probably do a lot of work with opticians as well. 

ed as Taro: I’ve not seen anything like that before. Those kind of people. Hey Findex, they any of your lot?

Yubi as Findex: No, no! I’ve never seen anything like that, no! 

Kitty as Nerium: Right – y’know when we were saying that the Queen might have made up how dangerous it was down here? Eh…

Gary as Natalia: Well, we haven’t seen any sign of life. 

 

Kitty as Nerium: Maybe… Maybe it’s like those pictures of people who are half-horse and half-person and it’s all made up? 

ed as Taro: Yeah!

Gary as Natalia: … Centaurs?

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, they’re not real! 

Gary: Can I roll knowledge centaur? 

Yubi: Yeah. 

ed: I too want to roll if I know a centaur real [sic]. 

Gary: I got a twenty. 

ed: I got an eight. Centaur real? 

Yubi: You’ve heard of centaurs! You’re not sure if they’re real or not. Natalia, centaurs are definitely real and you have seen one before. 

Gary as Natalia: Uh, Neri? 

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah? 

Gary as Natalia: Centaurs do exist. They’re real. 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, no, ‘cus they’d be a mammal with six legs, that doesn’t work. 

Gary as Natalia: No, they don’t have six legs. They have four hooves and two arms. 

ed as Taro: Arms are legs, Nat.

Gary as Natalia: No. [laughing] 

ed as Taro: In animals, Nat, arms and legs are the same. Only humans have arms. And lizards. And tieflings. And- 

Gary as Natalia: And centaurs are half human. 

Kitty as Nerium: And whatever those fuckin’ things are up there. 

ed: Yeah, do they have arms? 

 

Yubi: Yeah, they do. And as you look they seem to be-… It’s like a family portrait. The two taller ones have an arm around each other. There are two that definitely look like children in front. 

ed: What are they wearing? 

Kitty: I’m getting a Galaxy Quest vibe from this, am I right? 

Yubi: I don’t know what Galaxy Quest is. 

ed: Don’t know what Galaxy Quest is?!

Kitty: What the fuck! 

Gary: What?! 

ed: [disbelievingly] Don’t know what Galaxy Quest is?!

Kitty: Why am I listening to you on any subject?!

ed: What are they wearing, what are they wearing? I want to know. 

Yubi: It’s the fuckin’ eight Ronnie thing again. 

ed: The sixteen Ronnies [others laughing] 

Yubi: [laughing] That’s my favourite part of the song. 

Kitty: The lost John Hughes masterwork. I love it [laughing]

Yubi: I have not seen Galaxy Quest, I don’t even know what it is- 

 

ed: What are they wearing, Yubi? What are they wearing? 

Yubi: So, the two adult looking ones have these very fancy- they almost look like suits, but they’re very decadent and they have these frills coming out of various parts of them. The two younger ones are in slightly less extravagant clothing. One seems to be in what could be a dress or some sort of pants-suit type deal, and the other is in a suit that looks like the other one’s but without the frills. 

ed: Fuckin’ young Hillary Clinton. 

Gary: I’m imagining the sharks from Shark Tale. 

ed: So are there any doors in this room? 

Yubi: There are absolutely doors. 

Kitty: Oh, God, we’re fucked. 

Gary: I will play with Detect Gary. 

ed: Sorry, what? 

Gary: By which I mean, Gary’s Detect Magic. 

 

Yubi: You take a second and you concentrate and you reach out again, almost like in your meditation. There’s this little crackle from up ahead. There’s one door in front of you that seems to lead to another room. There seems to be something, maybe, in the other room that’s giving off this glow, this warm glow of magic. 

Gary as Natalia: [softly] Guys, this way! There’s magic. 

ed as Taro: [softly] Alright then, let’s go. I think we should keep quiet here. Starting to feel a little less confident about this whole thing. 

Kitty as Nerium: [softly] Yeah, Taro, we should keep quiet. 

ed as Taro, louder: Alright, yes! [others giggling] 

Yubi: If you are stealthing again, roll me stealth checks after getting through that window. 

ed: Stealth time. [singing] Stealth time! 

Gary: Twenty three. 

Yubi: Twenty three. Now, all of this is taking in account the fact that you are holding a candle. 

ed: Thirteen. 

Kitty: Seventeen plus eight, which I can’t do in my head. 

Yubi: Twenty five. 

Kitty: Thank you!

Yubi: And Findex- nat-fucking-twenty! He is a silent lizard boy. 

Kitty: He is very frightened. 

Yubi: He is very frightened. So you open the door into this next room, and this room seems to be a little bit bigger. It looks, again, untouched. This window, although it’s broken in, everything else seems to be like… People just disappeared, just stopped living here one day. Everything is in place, but the big feature in the room, you see this contraption that looks somewhat like a piano, except it’s got three layers of keys rather than just one. On top of it seems to be this book that’s quite large. It’s on its side and has clearly been bound quite hastily. It looks like it’s been tied haphazardly and left on the side of the piano. 

 

[Timestamp: ~1 hour 5 minutes]

 

Gary as Natalia: This is an interesting organ. 

Kitty as Nerium. It’s quite large. 

ed: I fucking… [trails off to mutter to himself under his breath] [others laughing] 

ed as Taro: Well it’s- we ought to be quiet around this thing, not make any additional noise. 

Kitty as Nerium: Nat, Nat, look! There’s a book on top of it. That’s your…

ed as Taro: [laughing] That’s your wheelhouse. [Yubi giggling] 

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah! 

Gary: I’m gonna- can I detect magic and determine if the magic is coming from the book? Or the organ? 

Yubi: Roll me a d20. 

Gary: That’s a nine. 

Yubi: You’re not sure. 

Gary: I’m gonna reach out for the book. 

 

Yubi: As you approach the piano-like contraption, you feel this little… Almost like a little click of magic. Suddenly the keys depress and it starts to play this music by itself. [others making distressed noises] 

[Unsettling, cheerful music-box esque music begins to play under the dialogue] 

Yubi: That seems uncannily loud, and there’s this clicking and clacking of little mechanical parts as this piano starts to play itself. After a second or so you can hear the cogs and gears starting to slow down and it stretches out of time [music begins to slow and distort] It sounds like it’s sort of running out of whatever magic is making it play as you grab the book. 

Kitty, quietly in distress: Aaaaarrrgh…..!

ed: You’re gonna fuuuucking die! 

Kitty as Nerium: Nat, come back!!!

Gary as Natalia: OK! 

Gary: I pick up the book. 

Kitty as Nerium: No, I don’t know that you should’ve picked that up! [ed making frantic noises of agreement]

 

Yubi: You take the book, the piano keeps playing. It’s like one of those music boxes that just keeps, every so often, it just: plink plink plink! Plinking out a few more notes. Natalia, as you take the book, this top is open and all of the things inside it have rusted away. There aren’t actually any cogs or gears to turn. It’s just sounding like there are and you can see this rusted, almost dust, down at the bottom of this piano. 

Gary as Natalia: Well, that’s unusual. 

ed as Taro: Wh-What’s unusual? 

Kitty as Nerium: It’s playing by its fucking self! That’s unusual! 

[Music box music stops playing and previous background music resumes]

Gary as Natalia: There isn’t anything in there. 

ed as Taro: There’s- there’s- ah, oh. Uh, this is- 

Gary as Natalia: It’s an empty piano. 

ed as Taro: Well, I think there might be some magic stuff goin’ on here? I’m not-

Gary as Natalia: Oh yes. 

ed as Taro: I’m not hugely keen on this, can we move on? Can we move away from this room? 

 

Gary as Natalia: I think that’s an excellent idea, let me just, uh…

Gary: I take a look at the front cover of this book. 

Yubi: It’s written in the same language that you’ve seen all over here. It is some sort of personal journal. 

Gary as Natalia: Looks like another diary. Findex?

Kitty, quietly: There’s a lot of those…

Gary: Findex? 

Yubi: He’s kind of pressed against the wall, wide-eyed. 

Yubi as Findex: [nervously] Uh-huh? 

Gary as Natalia: Could you be a dear and hold onto this for me? 

Yubi as Findex: Right. 

Yubi: He takes the journal. 

Kitty as Nerium: It wouldn’t be an idea to actually look in that before we go any further, in case it says things like: “Really glad I set up that booby-trap in the upstairs bedrooms!”

Gary as Natalia: Oh, well… Fine, that does make sense. 

Yubi: He hands it back to you. 

Gary: Flick open and start skimming through. 

 

ed: Findex the lizardman bookcase. [others laughing] 

Kitty: I mean, it makes him useful. 

Yubi: Findex is now your Fallout 4 companion that you just keep giving all the guns to that you don’t want to carry. [laughing]

ed: He’s a portable chest. 

Yubi: Basically. He’s your portable man-of-holding. 

Kitty: He’s our lizard mule. 

Yubi: Your lizard mule. That’s him. 

ed: That just sounds like that’s someone who smuggles lizards across the border. [Gary and Yubi laughing] 

Yubi: Yeah, that is true. 

Kitty: Wow, that would be very wriggly. [others laughing] 

 

Yubi: As you open this journal, the first- 

ed: Is it alive? 

Yubi: No, it doesn’t- [joking] No, it’s a mimic! Roll initiative! 

ed: It’s not an alive journal? 

Kitty: It’s a fucking mimic. 

Yubi: It’s not a fucking mimic, no. It’s not a live journal either. [Gary laughing] You open this journal and on the very first page is a name and an address. The name is…Dekza Atanas. And also there’s an address, and it says: property of Lord Dekza Atanas, Atanas manor, Mithral Place, Third Tier, Velloe. As you start to flick through it, it is indeed, it’s a personal diary. You skim across details of married life with his husband, Nianci. Their kids, both adopted- 

ed: Hang on. Hold the phone. Did you say “Nyankee?” [Gary laughing] 

Yubi: I did. 

ed: As in…the manga about… cats, that are also school delinquents? “Nyankees”? 

Yubi: No, as in the- that’s very good though! 

ed: It’s so good! 

Yubi: No, as in, I work in a food place and we get very good names through on Deliveroo sometimes, and I write them down in my notebook and I use them sometimes to- 

ed: Hey, Yubi – that’s theft. 

Kitty: Nice. 

Yubi: That is identity theft, I’m sorry. 

ed: Apologize to Nianci. 

 

[Timestamp: ~1 hour 10 minutes]

 

Yubi: I’m sorry, Nianci. So, it writes that this lord works on the second layer, the second level in the Archocrypt. He writes about it being this library-museum hybrid, with these scientific elements. He writes about the Learning Chambers on the first level, and how he wants to work there and be promoted there. He writes about the whispers and rumours of the incredible research they’ve been doing there, distilling something called the Violet Drop. You’re not sure exactly what that means, he doesn’t go into great details about it, but there’s all this talk and excitement about what is being done there and his plans to get promoted. 

ed: What’s his plan to get promoted? 

Yubi: The research that he does; the ways in which he wants to find and distil this Violet Drop. 

Gary: What is a Violet Drop? 

Yubi: You don’t know. He doesn’t explain it. 

Kitty as Nerium: Well, do we think it might be something to do with the magic of movement? This new big thing that they do here? Or they used to before- 

 

ed as Taro: Look, we can’t stand here reading this forever. I think we should get a move on before this- this music thing attracts someone else. 

Gary: Is it still going?

Yubi: It’s very occasionally clanking out one or two notes now. 

Gary as Natalia: Let’s just get a bit further away. 

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, I wanna get away from it. 

Yubi: OK. You go through the next door and this one that you open up to is clearly a personal library type room. There are comfortable chairs, there are book shelves. Again, it looks really nicely put together, as if people have just left. All the books are actually still in the book shelves. There’s only one book that’s out beside the armchair and it seems to have this bookmark in it. 

Gary: What is it? 

Yubi: As you look over, it says on it, The Violet Drop. [Gary laughing] 

ed: Oh, that’s convenient! 

Gary: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say we read that shit. 

ed: Taro is not reading. He’s looking around very concernedly. 

Kitty: I’m looking at how many books there are and wondering how long we have to let Nat stay in here before we can actually keep moving. 

Gary: Nat has a devilish grin on her face. 

 

Yubi: [laughing] Also, when Nat is reading, because she is reading in this other language, those same golden letters are going across her eyes. Taro, you can also read the titles of these books, although Nerium, you can’t. The ones on the bookshelves, they seem to be a mixture of novels, some seem scientific, there’s a whole section that are children’s books as well. It’s clearly some sort of- 

Kitty: Oh, have they got pictures in? 

Yubi: Yes, some have coloured spines that look interesting and not quite as dreary as the rest, although you’ve got no idea what they say on them. 

Kitty: I would like to take those out and see if they’ve got pictures in, and if they’ve got pictures in, are they like the people in the portraits? 

Yubi: You pull one out and the very first picture on the front cover is of a very similar grinning face. That same – not exactly the same, but pretty identical – and as you flick through it, it seems to be, from the pictures, a story about one of these creatures. They seem to have quite long limbs, long fingers, long toes, that has dived off-  

Kitty: Love it. Love it. Really, really very appealing- 

ed as Taro: These spindly mens are starting to really- they’re not quite…right. I mean, look, not to judge but they give me the willies a small amount.

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, you’re not wrong! Out of interest, what are they doing in these pictures? Are they playing, happy, with puppies and a ball-

ed: [across Kitty] TRUCKIN’ AND FUCKIN’. [others laughing] 

Yubi: No, it’s a children’s book! As you- [all laughing] 

Kitty: It’s no good, Yubi. You’re gonna have to give us a terrifying fight again or- 

ed: If you make anything show up I’m gonna fucking poop myself! [others laughing] 

 

Yubi: OK! That’s very nice to know. Okay. So, as you look through the pictures, this one seems to be a story about one of these young creatures who has dived off from one of the layers of the city – you can see it sketched out in this very pretty style – down into this huge, silvery sea that surrounds it. You can see that he is swimming down and meeting all of these monsters that look like, to you, monsters, although he doesn’t seem to be particularly frightened by them in the book. The very last picture, or the very last series of pictures, is him looking down at what seems to be the seabed, and then as you turn the page there’s just one huge, glowing yellow eye. And then the book ends, but you’re not quite sure what the ending is because you can’t read it.

Kitty as Nerium: No! No.  

ed as Taro: Nerium? What do you think the people who live in Hell look like? 

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, I feel like I could hazard a more educated guess than I would’ve been able to a week ago. Do you want this?

Kitty: And I throw him the book over towards him. 

ed: Taro makes no attempt to catch it. [Gary laughing] 

Yubi: OK. Bounces off you, hits the floor with a buh-wough.

Kitty: That’s fine, I don’t feel like picking it up. 

 

[Timestamp: ~1 hour 15 minutes] 

 

Yubi: Natalia, as you pick this book up, it’s clearly very well thumbed. You can see little parts of the pages have been turned, there’s a bookmark in the centre. It is a scientific tome of sorts. You’ve seen them before, you’ve come across them in your library at home. It’s very boringly written. It details these big storms that happen every month, and those have been talked about in the other book that you’ve read. It says that in each storm there is one single crystallised drop that falls, and this is incredibly magical. It is the most essential, magical essence that falls from the sky. During this huge storm every month only one will fall, and this tome is exploring theories and ideas as to how to predict where it will fall; how you could catch it; if you could; and where you could find one when one falls. It talks about the amazing scientific discoveries that have been done with these drops that have been found, although it seems that only one is found every maybe five, seven years or so. It’s always by luck and whoever finds one is made incredibly rich, is kind of seen as this huge purveyor of science and culture. There are hand-written notes all over this book by Dekza – you recognise his handwriting – talking about how he could possibly try and make an artificial one or how he could locate one that falls. It’s quite frantic at times, there are bits underlined and circled and scored. 

Gary: I’m gonna go relay that to the party. 

Yubi: OK. 

 

Gary as Natalia: Maybe this Dekza chap-… Maybe something went wrong with one of these Violet Drops and that’s why the city’s here?

ed as Taro: There’s no way we can know, right? 

Kitty as Nerium: No, but it’s the first evidence we’ve had. 

ed as Taro: Well, not really. Look, they’re interested in all sorts of stuff here, who could’ve known? 

Gary as Natalia: What if we could find one? 

Kitty as Nerium: I…feel like finding a Violet Drop is perhaps quite low on the list at the minute, but hey, maybe!  

Gary as Natalia: But it could take us home. 

ed as Taro: And look, nobody else here seems to know about- well, I don’t believe anyone else here-… It doesn’t look like there are so many of these things around these days, so… I think we might be in a better chance. 

 

Kitty as Nerium: Findex, did it rain this much before the city got here?

ed as Taro: I mean, we are in a desert, I’ll point that out. 

Gary as Natalia: We are in a wasteland. 

Yubi as Findex: We get a storm every…three- two, three months or so. It’s what keeps everything alive. The weather hasn’t changed since the city fell. 

ed as Taro: We might be out of luck then. 

Gary as Natalia: Maybe it’s some kind of storm transportation.

Kitty as Nerium: If they’re doing all this research on the Violet Drop and they generally have at least one available to research on, has anybody been down to the first layer to find if there’s one still there?   

Gary as Natalia: Maybe we should. 

ed as Taro: I think if we want answers about how this got here anyway. That’s the only place we’re gonna find them. 

Kitty as Nerium: If it might get us home… I’d like to go home. 

Gary as Natalia: Let’s continue ransacking this place.  

ed as Taro: Yeah, let’s see what else we can get out of here. We haven’t found anything useful yet, let’s hurry up. 

Gary as Natalia: Findex, please. 

Yubi: He takes the book. 

Gary as Natalia: Thank you!

 

Yubi: The next door you go into is, as you try it-… Who’s going first? 

ed: I guess Taro is. 

Yubi: This next door that’s leading away from the library, as you move to open it, it is the first door that feels jammed. All the other ones opened easily but this one feels kind of jammed. 

ed as Taro: Hey, I can’t get this one to go. Do you wanna give it a go, Nat? 

Gary as Natalia: Sure, I’ll try. I’ll roll a strength check. [others laughing]

Yubi: Go for it. 

Gary: That’s a ten. 

Yubi: Mmm. You manage to shove it forward a little bit. There’s a kind of eerrr of something behind the door moving, almost as if its been blocked off. 

Kitty: Aw, I was gonna suggest Thieve’s Tools to unlock it. 

Yubi: No, it doesn’t seem to be locked, it’s jammed. 

Kitty as Nerium: Findex? 

Yubi as Findex: Yes? 

Kitty as Nerium: See if you can get in there.  

Yubi as Findex: Alright. 

 

Yubi: He puts his shoulder up against the door and gives a good, hearty shove. You hear this, whatever’s behind it, errr ka-chunk, and the door flies open. [ending theme violins begin to play] He staggers a little bit and you can see in front of you this room that is clearly servant quarters. Everything in it is- there’s no wallpaper, there’s no paint, it’s all kind of wooden and stone. But the thing that really catches your attention is that this room looks trashed. The furniture here is smashed and broken and, again, what catches your attention beyond this rampage that seems to have gone through it is all these smears of dried blood on the walls and the floors that kind of look like big hand prints. 

 

[Ending theme continues to play until the end of the episode.] 

 

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