Transcript: 11) The Manor House

As always, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Sam and Orion for their hard work on this episode! We’re so very grateful for it, and for providing this transcript below! Thank you!

Episode 11: The Manor House

Created by Yubi, Gary, Kitty and ed 

Transcribed by Sam and Orion and edited by Orion. Any corrections or suggestions 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 semi-graphic description of blood at around 3 minutes.  

ed as Taro: Previously on The Mortal Path.

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

ed: Yeah, I’d like to look at the notebook.

Yubi: There are plans to descend to the manor house.

Gary as Nat: If you hear or see anything alarming, be very quiet and don’t move.

Yubi as Findex: What are you going to do?

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

Yubi: And you are suddenly floating above this endless sea of magma.

Gary: Oh, shit.

Yubi: 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, and it smiles.

Gary as Nat: [shaky, almost in hysterical laughter] H-h-h-oh god.

Kitty: This notebook… there might be more stuff, down on the third level that would be quite a good… and it’s got wands and armour and instruments.

Gary as Nat: [urgently] We should go here next. We should go here straightaway.

Yubi: It looks like it’s a fresh wound!

ed as Taro: am I bleeding everywhere? [the battle music dims down to nothing]

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

ed as Taro: [interested] Oah! [underneath the dialogue of the clips the opening theme now starts up, beginning with the lone violin]

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

Yubi: You watch the wound on his back slowly start to lace up. 

Yubi: As you get into the house, hanging slightly crooked on the wall, is this huge portrait.

[the theme music starts to build up again, both in volume and in instrumentation, adding the quick sounding drums in].

Yubi: The next door you go into is the first door that feels jammed. This room looks trashed. And again what catches your attention beyond this rampage that seems to have gone through it is all the smears of dried blood on the walls and the floor that kind of look like big handprints.

[The theme song adds its chorus of mysterious voices leading into the start of the episode, underscored by the drums.]

Yubi: So as Findex manages to shove this door open, you can see beyond this room that has been absolutely trashed, all of this broken furniture scattered across the floor. There are things that look like they have just kind of been absolutely smashed apart. There are bloodstains – or what looks like bloodstains – on the walls and on the floors of this long kind of corridor. And you can see as you kind of peer in, there are two staircases; one quite close to you and one at the other end of this corridor.

Kitty: Um, can I ask, do we have a light source at this point?

Yubi: Ahh, you… Nat, you have your candle, if I remember correctly. [Gary hums in agreement]

Kitty: Is it still on? Is it lit?

Yubi: Yes.

ed: [very proud of himself] It’s lit!

Kitty: Thank you, ed. Hang on, we’re in a corridor? I thought we went looking into a servant’s room?

Yubi: So, as you-… Yeah. I said that last time, right? It’s a long corridor that is clearly servants’ quarters.

Kitty: Ahh!

Kitty: Does it look like something stumbled through it, bleeding? Or like something was attacked in it, bleeding?

Yubi: Make me ahh, an investigation check.

Kitty: [sarcastic] Oh good! It’s a three.

Yubi: A three. You don’t know, but it looked like there was a lot happening in this corridor.

Gary: Uh, can I investigate to see how long ago this happened?

Yubi: Yeah, go for it.

Gary: Okay, that’s a twelve.

Yubi: Okay. Are you going into the room for this, or are you like, peering ‘round the door?

Gary: I’m kind of just looking from a distance, like-

Yubi: Okay.

Gary: Has it happened just… very recently?

Yubi: No, it looks dry, but there’s this weird kind of consistency to the blood, it looks almost like it’s caught somewhere between completely dry and congealed. There are parts that still kind of look like they might be wet? It’s difficult to tell how long ago it happened, it certainly doesn’t look recent, but you couldn’t really put how long ago it happened.

Kitty as Nerium: Um…?

Gary as Natalia: Let’s be careful. Let’s be very careful.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, I second that. Findex – I think it’s best if you go first. [Gary laughs] Because you’ve got such excellent dark vision.

Yubi as Findex: I-…

Kitty as Nerium: And you’re big and strong.

Yubi as Findex: I don’t… I don’t have that…

Kitty as Nerium: You don’t have that.

Yubi as Findex: No…

Kitty as Nerium: Well Taro will probably help lead you.

ed as Taro: Well, I do have dark vision, but… That’s part of the problem, see. ‘Cause I’d rather I didn’t see all this to be honest.

Gary as Natalia: Don’t worry. I’ll take the lead. I’ve been in situations like this before.

Kitty as Nerium: What, really? Hold on, hold on, hold on.

Gary as Natalia: Well not quite.

Kitty as Nerium: Before we go any further. What kind of situations like this have you been in, Nat? I’d be very grateful if you could share that with the group.

ed as Taro:  Look, can we save this for later? Can we not just move away from the strange, magical piano thing?

Kitty as Nerium: That was in the other room.

ed as Taro: Yeah, but look – we’re still pretty pretty close to it.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, but don’t you think there’s going to be more strange, magical weirdness in here that we don’t yet know about?

ed as Taro: Alright. But well, I’d rather we found it first rather than it finding us.

Gary as Natalia: I agree with Taro. Ooh, that’s weird to say.

Kitty as Nerium: I’d rather know what Nat’s been doing that’s like this.

Gary as Natalia: Oh, just cleaning up after people. Don’t worry.

Kitty as Nerium: Oh. Oh, well, we’ve all been there. Alright then.

Yubi as Findex: Do you still want me to go first?

[Nerium quickly says ‘yes’ as Natalia is clearly about to say ‘no’]

[Gary giggling]

[~5 minutes in]

Gary as Natalia: No, don’t worry. I’ll take the lead.

Yubi as Findex: Alight,

Kitty: Can I tap Findex on the elbow?

Yubi: He jumps.

Kitty: Yeah. I say,

Kitty as Nerium, shushing him: It’s alright. It’s just me, we’re all friends. I’d be really grateful if you went up there with Nat. Because, you know, she’s got a candle so it’ll be easier for you to see as well. And I’d just feel a little bit safer.

Kitty: And I can roll persuasion on that if you want me to?

Yubi: No, I think he’s gonna follow your orders at this point pretty much.

Kitty: Smashing. Smashing.

Kitty as Nerium: After you…

Yubi as Findex: I’ll go with her… Alright.

Gary as Natalia: Findex.

Yubi as Findex: Yes.

Gary as Natalia: Findex, hold this.

Gary: And I pass him the candle.

Yubi: He takes it.

Gary: And then I draw my colichemarde.

Yubi: Okay.

Gary: And then start stealthing forward.

Yubi: Okay. Roll me stealth if you’re stealthing. He’s also gonna… [laughs] Oh my God.

Gary: That’s a warm-blooded 21.

Yubi: A warm blooded… Okay, so you creep your way into this room and you start picking over these bits of furniture. And as the glow of the candle kind of spreads out, you can see that there were these doors along the corridor that look like they lead into rooms. A couple of them are cracked open. None of them seem to look – at least from your distance – particularly destroyed or locked. And as I said, there is a staircase that is right by you and there is a staircase that you can see the very faint – very, very faint – outline at the very far end of the hall. And just as you clock these two staircases, and as you count what looks like six doors along the way, there is a crash behind you as Findex, with his nat one, [laughter] steps through what he clearly thought was a bit of floor, but was actually wood. And kind of ‘aagh!’ as he does. And then he freezes and he looks to you with terror and deep apology.

Gary: I freeze and I get ready to stab anything that’d be coming out.

Yubi: Okay, you wait for a couple of seconds. Are you perception-ing?

Gary: Yes.

Yubi: Okay. Roll me perception.

Kitty: Erm, can I say I I would like to follow quite close behind them.

Yubi: Yeah.

ed: Yeah, also me too. 

Kitty: Yeah. I don’t want to get left behind. And I’m stealthing, like… a lot.

ed: I think I probably was stealthing but I think it’s now irrelevant.

Kitty: 17

Yubi: 17?

Kitty: I mean, with his nat one, I suppose it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Yubi: Well…. It’s a group effort, really.

ed: Do I also have to roll a number then, or can I not…?

Yubi: If you’re stealthing then yes please.

ed: Yeah, sure. Uh, that was a 15.

Yubi: Very nice.

ed: A juicy 15.

Kitty: Erm, I might get my dagger out.

Yubi: Okay, you draw your dagger and… Natalia, what was your perception check?

Gary: 15

Yubi: You don’t hear anything.

Gary as Natalia: Well, that’s one way to discern if there’s any hostiles in the area. [barely holding back the sarcasm] Thank you, Findex…

Yubi as Findex, stammering: I’m sorry, I thought it was the floor. I’m really sorry. I’m sorry. [Kitty shushes him as Nerium] [Findex speaking quieter] Sorry.

Gary as Natalia: Can you get up?

Yubi as Findex: Yeah, it’s just…

Yubi: He kind of like half stands up, and you can see there’s a bit of… What clearly was a table around his ankle. And he shakes his foot to try and get it off. [the cast chuckling quietly under dialogue] And then he has to bend down to pull his foot back out of it as quietly as he can. And he doesn’t do a very good job, but he very carefully places it on the floor afterwards and nods with his sword and the candle

Yubi as Findex: Right. I’m ready, sorry.

Gary as Natalia: Okay. Let’s try this door.

Kitty: He survived the blood sands, you know.

Yubi: Somehow. You haven’t asked him a lot about it.

ed: He’s very competent, probably. [laughter]

Kitty: In Taro’s eyes? Yes.

Yubi: So you open that first door – it’s clearly some sort of pantry. You can see that the shelves have been all… knocked over or knocked in? There doesn’t seem to be anything edible left in it. But you can see boxes and barrels that have clearly been torn open. This is the first place that you’ve seen where there were remnants of food. Everywhere else has been totally cleared out, but here it looks like there are remnants.

Kitty: And how old are the remnants of food. I mean, is there like… spoiled flour or something that’s…?

Yubi: Again, it looks like it’s… It looks like it’s got to a point of starting to turn, starting to go mouldy, starting to go off – and then it hasn’t got further than that.

Kitty: That’s weird. So it’s like it sort of began decaying and then got frozen.

Yubi: Yeah.

Kitty: Would we know that that’s what happened or would we just assume that it began decaying not that long ago?

Yubi: Roll me either nature or just a straight intelligence check.

Kitty, whining sarcastically: Mmhmm, okay, I’m real good at this… I’m real good at this… Nine.

Yubi: It looks a bit mouldy. It doesn’t look good to eat.

Kitty: Yeah, I would like to just stick a finger in that blood. [laughter]

Yubi, quietly impressed: Okay…

ed: You wha’?

Kitty: That’s sort of congealed looking. Just quietly. I’ll just poke a finger in it. I’m gonna sniff it. Okay. [more laughter]

[~10 minutes in]

ed: Blood sniffer over here, what the fuck?

Kitty: Yeah, and then I’m gonna just daub it across my face, in a nice, tribal-… No I’m not. [Yubi laughing

ed: Draw a fucking pentagram in it and be done with the damn thing… [more laughter]

Yubi: Summon the Dark Lady, yeah. No. Um, you sniff it and you can smell iron and metallic.

Kitty: Like normal blood. 

Yubi: It smells like blood, yeah, but something a bit thicker and a bit almost duller than that kind of bright smell.

Kitty: Can I just say? The one thing that I’m possibly looking to determine is like… If there’s any kind of, you know, fish guts smell to it. If it smells like early morning fish market.

Yubi: Yeah, there’s a touch of it. Not enough that if you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t know. But if you’re really smelling for it, there’s just that little touch of that kind of duller scent to it.

Kitty: Yeah, guys, we’re in Innsmouth.

Yubi: You’re in where? Is that like Portsmouth?

ed: No! Yubi, no, no! Yubi no!

Yubi: I don’t know your references…

Kitty: I knew you would not have read any H.P. Lovecraft! [Yubi does a little ‘aaah’ in understanding]

ed: Yubi, get the references, Yubi!

Kitty: There is no cultural relevancy in RDM.

Yubi: That’s so much- I have read Lovecraft I just don’t remember all the words that he used. [Kitty laughing]

Kitty: Yeah, we’re in Innsmouth, definitely.

Yubi: So what Natalia you see this pantry ransacked. Nerium, you’ve smelled this blood that’s got an almost fishy kind of after-smell to it. And Taro, what are you doing as this happens?

ed: I guess I’m just looking around. Seeing if there’s anything that isn’t just like, bad food.

Yubi: Okay, make me a perception check.

ed: Okay! Let me use my perception dice… [long groaning, thinking noise] Uhhh… It’s a four.

Yubo: It’s really scary in here. It’s spooky. It doesn’t look good. It’s not… It’s not good. You don’t like it.

ed: Okay, cool. Good. Good percept’.

Yubi: Yep, you did a good job on that one.

Kitty: Um, I would like to turn to Nat and, relishing the opportunity to do this before she is able to do it to me, I’m going to say,

Kitty as Nerium: there’s something fishy going on here.

Gary as Natalia, without missing a beat: Are you sure it’s not just a red herring? [various ‘oohhh!’ noises from the rest of the cast]

Kitty: Oh, you don’t mess with the master, do you? What was I even thinking?

ed: Woof! What did you think?

Yubi: Wow! Just like the easiest ping pong flick back… Just, wow… [laughter]

ed: You step up to Gary, you better come prepared. [laughter]

Kitty: I was not. I was not prepared. I am going to point out that there is a sort of…

Kitty as Nerium: If you’ve ever been to the fish market, then you know that there’s a particular sort of smell to it. And the people in the portrait back there – with the blue skin and the weird fishy spiky teeth and the big round eyes? – is a kind of a fish person-y thing. And I was… Y’know, the children’s book that we found! And the kid went under the water and was swimming around underneath the water with no sort of breathing apparatus or anything. Do you think we might have like, fish people on our hands?

ed as Taro: Well, we’ve got lizard people here. So I don’t think a fish person is all that far a stretch of the imagination.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah.

Gary as Natalia: Especially if this place has come from somewhere completely different.

Kitty: Mm. Because it was… Because it was. You said in Velloe, in that book that you read, there was lots of rain, so it’s really wet place.

Gary as Natalia: What I would suggest is we make sure these other five doors have nothing bad behind them.

ed as Taro: Yeah, I think that’s a good idea!

Gary as Natalia: Yeah. And then we discuss things.

ed as Taro: Why don’t you go right ahead with that, Nat?

Gary as Natalia: I will.

Gary: I go to the next door.

Yubi: Okay, the next door as you open it… It’s this larger room. It seems to be a kitchen. It looks like it was relatively decked out. Probably where – from your knowledge of servants and servant’s quarters – it kind of looks like this is maybe where the cooking of the house was done. Again, it has been completely ransacked but there is one thing that catches your attention. This room, when you walk into it, there is this little… tingle across your skin. This little crackle of magic in a way that you are growing more familiar with detecting. [Gary laughs]

Kitty: Can I ask – is there any blood in this kitchen? Is there any signs of a struggle or has it been looted like the rooms upstairs were looted.

ed: Yeah, there’s just big bottles full of blood! Just big tanks full of the stuff!

Gary: It’s for useless stock.

Kitty: Excellent. I pick one up and take a glug. 

Yubi: No!

ed: Let’s all chug on some blood, everyone! Everyone just grab a bottle full of blood and we’ll all just chug!

Gary: It’s the Blood Chuggers!

Kitty: Oh, we’ve got a team name!

Yubi, increasingly nervous: No! Please!

ed, proudly: The Blood Chuggers!

Gary: The Four Blood Chuggers!

Yubi: Oh God…

Yubi as Findex: Don’t include me in this… [laughter]

[~15 minutes in]

Yubi: There does seem to be blood in this room. It looks equally kind of smashed and destroyed.

Kitty: Battered.

Yubi: Yeah.

Gary: But there’s no one in here.

Yubi: That doesn’t seem to be anyone in there. 

Gary: Okay, as soon as Nat’s seen that, I’m gonna turn around and go to the next room.

Yubi: Okay, the next room seems to be another kind of storage room. This one is completely empty except for one thing. There is a kind of… hat? It looks like a discarded hat. And again, you have this weird feeling, like this crackle of energy over your skin as you open this door. But it’s quite a small room, there doesn’t seem to be anything else in it.

Gary: Does the magic seem to be coming from the hat?

Yubi: As you take a moment to concentrate and to really kind of reflect on it, it does seem to be coming from that hat.

Kitty: [gasps] Will it sort you into a Hogwarts house?

Yubi: If you’re very lucky.

ed: It means Mario will possess your body and you’ll have to jump on things for the rest of your life.

Yubi, laughing: See, I got that reference!

ed: Mario Cart Odyssey 2, coming soon to Windows PC!

Kitty, laughing: Before I follow Nat across to this storage room. I would like to dart into the kitchen and see if there’s anything else in the way of interesting sharp things. Like dagger sized knives, and maybe a nice pair of small scissors.

Yubi: Okay, maybe an investigation check.

Kitty: [throwing a quiet tantrum] Oh, no! I don’t like those!

Yubi: Well, you’re investigating shit, my man!

Kitty, quietly whining: Can I not use perception-…. That’s a two.

Yubi: A two?! 

Kitty: Fuck that dice!

Yubi: Yeah, get another dice. If you want to just have a look in the room and see if you spot anything from a glance, that will be perception. But if you want to go through things and really look, then that’ll be investigation.

Kitty: I mean, I want to dart in and out as quick as I can. I don’t want to get too far away from Nat.

Yubi: Yeah, you dart in and out. It’s just a trashed up kitchen. You can’t see anything. There’s blood and you just kind of hightail it back out again.

Kitty: Yeah, that’s fair.

Gary as Natalia: Taro. Do you want to take a look at that to see if it’s dangerous?

Gary: And I point towards the hat.

ed as Taro: Yeah, alright!

ed: I’m gonna squat down next to it and just poke it.

Yubi: Okay. It doesn’t doesn’t seem to do anything. It looks like it’s quite nicely made – it’s some sort of flat cap – but it’s got a couple of fancy little bits of almost what looks like feathers or grass or something in the side of it.

Gary, laughing: It is Mario’s flying hat!

ed: All right. I’m gonna pick it up.

Kitty: Oh my god, fly fishing.

Yubi: Okay, you pick it up. You again you get that crackle, that static of magic over it – the same that you get from your cloak.

ed: So for a second, Taro goes to put it on. And then he stops. And then he just goes,

ed as Taro: Eehh… Not sure this is gonna work, Nat. Do you want to try it?

Gary as Natalia, hesitating: Do you know what it might be?

ed as Taro: It’s a hat, Nat. 

Gary as Natalia: Could you identify it?

ed: I don’t know if I have any spell slots.

Yubi: You’ve just slept, you should do. 

ed: Okay.

Gary: Isn’t that a cantrip?

Yubi: Identify is not a cantrip, it’s level one isn’t it?

Gary: Oh shit…

ed: Yeah, it’s level one.

Kitty: It’s actually got a materials cost as well but I don’t know if we’re handwaving that.

Yubi: Well… No, we’re not doing that.

ed: I don’t know what the fuck a materials costs is in these rules.

Yubi: No, we’re not doing that.

ed as Taro: Well. I suppose I could give it a go if you really think I ought to.

Gary as Natlia: Well, it doesn’t seem to have done anything to attack us.

ed as Taro: Yeah, no, you’re right. [Not sounding sure] I know exactly how to tell what magic things do. I can definitely do that.

Kitty as Nerium: You found that floating cloak!

ed as Taro: Yeah, yeah, I could do it with the cloak. That worked very well when I worked out that the cloak’d float. Ah… Yeah, I’ll give it a go. You might want to just, like… stand outside the room, though. Maybe. M-Maybe.

Gary as Natalia: Ah, yes.

Kitty: I stand outside the room and withdraw my second dagger.

Yubi: Okay, double armed outside the room. Roll me that d20. I’m so excited.

ed: Wish me luck, friends.

Kitty: Yeah…

ed: That was a five. [Yubi and Gary laughing]

Yubi: it’s not a one, though! It’s not a one.

ed: It’s not a one!

Kitty: Yeah, that is a victory.

ed: Yeah, we did it, everyone. Thank you for that. Thank you for coming, everyone.

Yubi: You focus on this hat and you can feel this magic – and this magic for a minute almost feels kind of like a magnet. And then you lose the concentration that you have and you see a blood stain on the corner of your eye and you kind of get your spook back on. And you’re not exactly sure of it but you felt kind of a pull to it almost.

ed as Taro: Uh, yeah! Yeah, I think I know what’s going on here. This hat is… It makes you look good. That’s the power it contains. It just… Just makes you look great. That’s what it’s for.

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, well you better have that one then.

ed as Taro: Well, I’d say yes.

Kitty as Nerium: Go on! See how it looks.

ed as Taro: But have you not sort of noticed that the… The fact that it won’t really go?

Kitty as Nerium: Well you don’t put it over the horns, do you? You just sort of wedge in between! That’s how I’ve seen Tieflings wear hats before.

ed as Taro: You think I should just jam this hat between my horns? [Yubi snickering in the background]

Kitty as Nerium: Yes.

ed as Taro: I’m not gonna do that.

Kitty as Nerium: That is what I think you should do.

ed as Taro: That would be disrespectful to this hat.

[~20 minutes in]

Kitty: Okay, fine… ‘Ere, Findex – you ain’t got a hat! Do you want to try it?

Yubi as Findex: I… iI it gonna hurt me?

Kitty: Taro says not.

ed as Taro, cheerfully: Yeah, probably not! Unless you think looking really good is the path to suffering. Which it might be!

Yubi as Findex: I don’t know about that but I’ll try that. I’ll put it on if you want me to.

ed as Taro: Yeah, give it a go!

Yubi as Findex: Alright.

ed: I chuck it. I toss it. I give it a little toss.

Yubi: He catches it.

ed: Does he? Do you want to roll for that because he fucking sucks.

Yubi: No, ‘cause he’s holding a fucking sword and the candle.

ed: Oh yeah, that’s a good point.

Yubi: Okay, well he rolls a nat 20, okay!

Kitty: He catches in it his teeth.

Yubi: [Decisively] No. [Then considering it] Well… Yeah okay actually that’s more funny. So as you kind of toss the hat he has a minute where he tries to grab for it, realises he’s holding a sword and a candle, and just kind of snaps for it with his teeth in a very lizard-like motion. But does manage to catch it. And he rearranges the things he’s holding – which I think also includes books at this point [Kitty hums in agreement] – and puts the hat on his head. And it doesn’t seem to do anything. It looks nice. It kind of suits him. You’re not quite sure how it is sitting on his head because it doesn’t look like it should fit him. But it’s there!

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, that’s lovely, Findex! Don’t you clean up nice?

Gary as Natalia: Well done, Taro.

Yubi as Findex: Thank you?

ed as Taro: Yes, Taro succeeds yet again.

Yubi as Findex: Sh-Should I keep wearing it or…?

ed as Taro: Do you wanna? It’s up to you, really.

Kitty as Nerium: It does look very nice.

Yubi as Findex: Alright, I’ll wear the hat.

Gary as Natalia: Let’s check the next room.

Kitty: Does it boost his fragile lizard confidence just a little bit?

Yubi: He keeps trying to touch it. There’s a little feather bit that’s clearly been kind of broken. And it’s tickling at the side of the face a bit so he keeps kind of fiddling with it. As you go into the next room, this seems to be a servants’ dining room. Again, it looks totally smashed up but there’s no one in it. And again, as you move into the next room-…

Kitty: A servants’ dining room?

Yubi: Yeah. There’s the remains of a bench table and-…

Kitty: Oh, like a canteen-y type area.

ed: It’s referred to as a ‘dinner hole’. [Yubi laughs]

Yubi: Yes, the dinner hole. And as you check the last room, this seems to be some sort of outhouse/bathroom type situation – again, smashed up and and no one in there.

Kitty: Do either of these rooms tingle when we cross the threshold?

Yubi: No, these rooms do not. Not that you can feel it, particularly. But they do not.

Gary as Natalia: Right. There’s no one here. Let’s… Let’s investigate. Let’s look around and see what’s happened.

Kitty as Nerium: Okay, did either of you get that little fizzy thing in the kitchen and the room with the very fine hat that our friend Windex he’s now attired in?

Gary as Natalia: You know, I think I did.

ed as Taro: Yeah, you mean the magic thing, right.

Kitty as Nerium, gasping: Oh, was it magic?!

ed as Taro: Well, that’s what I’m assuming here.

Gary as Natalia: It sort of has been in the past.

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, but the hat isn’t magic. So-… 

ed as Taro: No, the hat is definitely magic. I did check-

Yubi as Findex, startled: The hat is magic?!

ed as Taro: Yeah, it’s magically enchanted to look good! I said so.

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, like your cloak. Oh, I see. 

Yubi as Findex, quietly in acknowledgement and fear: Oh…

ed as Taro: Oh, no, my cloak is magically enchanted to float.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, but it did that clever thing as well when it changed colour so it made the blood stains look like they were deliberate.

ed as Taro: Don’t remember that, but…

Kitty as Nerium: No, you see- look, you see that red blotchy bit there?

ed as Taro: Yeah, it was always like that, wasn’t it?

Kitty as Nerium: …. No. Trust me, Taro. I do know clothes.

ed: as Taro: Alright!

Gary: We investigate the kitchen?

ed: We investigate the kitchen!

Yubi: Okay, roll me investigation checks.

ed, singing: It’s time to roll investigation!

Kitty: Different dice, this time.

Yubi: Good.

Gary: Seven of your teens.

Yubi: Seven of your teens? Oh dear.

ed: Eight.

Kitty: Six…

Yubi: Okay as Taro and Nerium-…

Kitty, forlorn: I wanted sharp things…

Yubi: As you guys go in behind Natalia and Findex – and you can’t really see around them very much, it’s not a huge room… But Natalia, you – feeling that tingle of magic – you manage to pick your way back towards the back of the room and you find this cupboard that’s open and inside seems to be this tankard type mug. And you can feel this almost… Again like that kind of electric static field in that area.

Gary as Natalia: Hmm… I think the tingling is coming from this. Right…

Gary: I’m going to pour some of my water from my water skin into this tankard. Just a little bit. And once it’s got… Not very much, just an inch or so of water. And then slowly starts to pour out and see if anything weird happens

Yubi: As you pour the water back out…. You can’t see anything weird but the mug in your hand is very cold. [Gary cooing in excitement as Natalia] And you are in a hot place and it is unnaturally cold.

Gary as Natalia: This seems to chill your beverages! [quiet laughter]

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, blimey, that wouldn’t be a bad thing at all, would it?

ed as Taro, deadpan: It’s chilling.

Kitty as Nerium: That is a top find, Natalia. Well done.

Gary, laughing: I’m going to, uh… take a little sip.

ed still deadpan: You gonna crack a cold one open with the boys?

Gary: Yeah!

Kitty: Take a fucking sip.

ed, excited: Take a fucking sip, babes! [laughter from everyone]

[~25 minutes in]

Yubi: It is the most delicious ice cold water that you have ever tasted.

Gary: Woo! Oh boy, howdy. Well, mission successful guys. Found a much more… [stumbling over his words while ed interrupts]

ed, in a weird American accent: Mission accomplished! [in normal voice] George Bush.

Kitty as Nerium: Well. I mean – don’t forget your sword is also magical because when you hit people with it, bad things happen to them. [laughter]

Yubi: You just haven’t hit them right yet, Natalia. You just wait. You won’t be fucking laughing then.

ed: To be fair, you’ve hit like… Three people. And one of them we decided to make friends with. And now he is our lizard man and he follows us around and wears a cute hat.

Yubi, laughing: He’s your new manservant!

Kitty: He’s got a lovely hat.

Gary: He is our Skyrim packmule.

Yubi: It’s very good because you guys have Monty Python-ed in a Lovecraft setting and I love it! I very deeply love it. But he is that manservant in Camelot, following behind you.

Kitty: [imitating the clip-clopping sound of pretending to be a pony]

Yubi: That is him, currently.

Gary: I’m imagining-… I’ve been playing a lot of Fallout recently – imagine loading him up with carrots.

ed: He’s just like a chest with legs. [the party giggling]

Yubi: He is!

Kitty: Yeah.

Yubi: A chest with anxiety and a lot of feelings.

Kitty: And a very nice hat.

Yubi: And a very nice hat. It doesn’t look supernaturally nice but it is a nice hat. So yeah as you as you take the mug, that is where the crackling, magic feeling is coming from in this room.

Gary as Natalia: I think the rest of the place is clear. I’m keeping this.

ed as Taro: Yeah, it’s a good one, Nat. It should be useful.

Gary as Natalia: Very nice tankard.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, good find.

ed as Taro: Alright.

Gary: I guess I hold that in my other hand.

Kitty: You’re a very powerful magic user, Nat, aren’t you?

Gary as Natalia: Uh… Well, I can now pour cold drinks. I mean, it’s useful, but it’s nice.

Kitty as Nerium: And you can hit things with swords and you can read any language and stuff. That’s pretty impressive.

Gary as Natalia: Do you reckon it could be any language? Not just… I don’t know, a couple? Kitty as Nerium: Oh, I don’t know. I mean you’d know more about that than I would.

Gary as Natalia: This is very exciting.

ed as Taro: Again, can we get a move on? There’s… What was there, some staircase upstairs? Not too comfortable with just sitting around here.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah.

Gary as Natalia: Fair enough.

Kitty as Nerium: Um, Mr. Taro – your loud noises and floaty cloak are also very impressive.

ed as Taro: What? [Gary laughing] Oh. Yeah, I don’t know how any of those work. It’s fine – let’s make a move.

Kitty as Nerium: Yep, agreed! Off we go!

Yubi: Okay, which staircase are you taking? There’s one on the left, there’s one on the right. Kitty: Watch out, house. The Blood Chuggers are coming for you.

Yubi, quietly: Oh my God… Don’t…

Gary: Is there any distinguishable difference?

Yubi: No they both go up.

Gary: Okay. 

Kitty: Are they servants’ staircases, though? Both of them?

Yubi: Yeah, a hundred percent.

Gary: Odd is left, even’s right. [Dice roll] Even. Let’s go right.

Yubi: Okay. Are you going quietly?

Kitty: We’re going to do the right stairs. [laughter]

ed: Fuck the stairs, let’s go! But we’re gonna stealth up the stairs.

Yubi: Are you stealthing the stairs?

ed: Yes.

Yubi: Okay.

ed: Sneaky-beaky up the staircase. [dice rolling] Yeah, 17. 17.

Yubi: 17…

Kitty: Uh, 24.

Yubi: 24…

Gary: 11.

Yubi: 11. [dice roll]. Uhh, he got a nat fucking twenty. Go fuckin’ Findex. He’s learned.

ed: He merges into the wall.

Kitty: Yeah, he’s making up for the fucking table.

Yubi: He’s making up for the one earlier. So as you guys head up the staircase, it’s this very narrow wooden staircase. A little bit creaky, but you all manage after Natalia finds most of the little creaks to avoid the ones that she has stepped on. And you come into this much shorter corridor that’s got four doors on the left that look like they lead to servants’ bedrooms, and one door on the right that looks like it leads back into the main house.

Gary: Let’s check them out. Make sure no one’s in here.

Yubi: Okay, you open the doors. There’s only one room that gives you that crackle feeling. Three of the rooms seem to be bedrooms of a sort – or kind of like sleeping quarters. One seems to be… like a bathroom that has a tub in it. These rooms aren’t quite as ransacked and broken. They still look up-ended but they don’t look quite as smashed open as the room downstairs. And as you go into this one bedroom that’s got that tingling feeling, there’s not a lot in this room – but you do see, on the nightstand, another set of candles.

Gary as Natalia: Ooh! More candles.

Kitty as Nerium, playfully: How many?!

ed: Don’t. Don’t.

Kitty as Nerium: Are there… five?

ed: Don’t answer them!

Yubi: There are.

ed: Thank God.

Yubi: There are five candles.

ed: How big are the beds?

Gary, laughing: Good question, actually!

Yubi, thinking about it: They look longer than beds that you’re used to, but quite narrow. So they look like seven foot or so long but quite narrow.

Kitty: Have they got blankets?

Yubi: Yeah, you can see evidence of blankets, pillows, sheets, mattresses.

Kitty as Nerium: It might not be the worst idea if we each took a blanket? Because we don’t know how long we’ll be camping out here when we don’t have any supplies.

ed as Taro: Look, I’m pretty sure we are not camping out inside the spooky mansion.

Gary as Natalia: Well, Nerium’s had a good idea because-…

Kitty as Nerium: Thank you very much, Nat!

Gary as Natalia: We’re going to be grabbing stuff as we go, right? I just don’t want to be holding them in, like… a hand. So if we can use the blankets to make some kind of holding bag… 

ed as Taro: A sack?

[~30 minutes in]

Kitty as Nerium: Oh yeah,no, actually, I can do that because you do the thing where you fold it in twice into the middle and then tie it up round the top.

Kitty: And I’ll show them how to do that with a sheet. A sheet is going to be lighter for making a sling bag. But I would also like to roll up a blanket for me, if nobody else does.

Yubi: Okay, you do that.

Kitty: If nobody else does.

Gary: Now we have… a swag bag.

Yubi: A swag bag, yes.

Gary as Natalia: Findex, hold this.

ed as Taro: ‘ere, Findex – it might help out if you got a bag rather than just carrying all those things in your arms.

Yubi as Findex: Yeah, I’m carrying a lot of books at the minute. Can you make me one of those bags, please?

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, yeah, of course.

Kitty: And I will make him a bag.

Yubi: He puts the books in it and then he puts it over his shoulder.

Gary as Natalia: Wait a second. Have this.

Gary: I give him the tankard. 

Yubi as Findex: Okay.

Yubi: He puts it in the bag as well.

Gary as Natalia: Good Findex.

Kitty: Who’s carrying all these five candles?

Yubi as Findex: I mean, I guess it’s me, right?

Kitty as Nerium, at the same time as ed speaking: Yeah, it probably is.

ed as Taro, at the same time as Kitty speaking: Yeah, I think it might be, Taro, in fact, that- [starts speaking nonsense in annoyance after he realises he’s said the wrong name] Hh, that’s my-…. fluu-flaaa-fwoeww…! Rrgh! Yoss! Rrrr, I’m so good at this-… 

Kitty: And the disbelief is shattered.

[ed, making a horrible gargling growling sound]

[everyone laughing a lot while ed continues to make horrific groaning and sobbing sounds]

Kitty: Now that is a top mouth noise

Gary: That is possibly the highlight of the episode.

Yubi: Findex looks over to you and goes,

Findex: I called the commander dad once, it’s fine, don’t worry – it happens. [Kitty snort-laughing] It was really bad. It was really embarrassing. [Kitty hoot-laughing in the background.]

ed: Call Me by your Name 2018.

gary: For all you fanfic writers out there… [stops to laugh]

Yubi, laughing but horrified: No! No!

Kitty: Findex canonically calls people Daddy when he doesn’t mean to…

Yubi: Oh, no… He just said ‘dad’….

Gary: And Taro calls people Taro. [Yubi laughing]

Kitty: I mean…

Yubi: That really says a lot about both of them.

Kitty: It kinda does.

[Intermission music plays]

Yubi: Well hello! Once again, it is I, your DM, Yubi. Here to say hello, hello, hello. And thank you – always thank you, so many thank yous. I’m full of thank yous. I would like to thank you all for listening. Thank you! It’s been great. It’s been really great, actually. It’s been amazing. We have hit 5000 downloads which is incredible. We are absolutely blown away by your support. Thank you so much for everything. 5000! That’s a lot of downloads. Thank you for listening to us just waffle on about rubbish. Like I’m kind of doing now? A bit? I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet and to the point but you know me – person of a million words. Speaking of words, it would be so great if you guys would leave us a couple of reviews on iTunes. We got a really great start when we had started out and we would really appreciate you guys taking the time to leave us a couple more. They do absolute wonders for people finding our podcast. We are so keen to reach new listeners – we think we’ve got, you know, stuff worth listening to, and we would really appreciate your help. If you would take the time to leave a review. It would just help us out so much. We don’t have any form of advertising – the only way that we can get people to listen to our stuff is through word of mouth. So if you enjoy us, please tell a friend, recommend us, you can tweet about us, you can tumblr about us, facebook… Anything you do to kind of tell someone, ‘Hey, I’m listening to this and it’s really great – you should listen too’ helps us out so much. I really can’t express how much it helps us out. Like I said, we don’t have any advertising. So it’s really through you guys telling people that we’re worth listening to that we get people listening to us.

We’ve had some amazing people on Tumblr and Twitter: [a lot of usernames that Orion does not have the ability to transcribe, honestly], and so many more. We’ve got over 300 followers on Tumblr, over 300 followers on Twitter. Again, you can find us on both those sites under The Mortal Path. You can tweet about us under the hashtag #TheMortalPath. You will get shout outs at this point. I’m always looking for NPC names as well so you have a very good chance of being chosen to be on our show! Which is very exciting to hear all of my players be very mean and cruel about your name – and any name that I give anyone ever.

[~35 minutes in]

I also want to say a huge thank you to Orion [Orion note: that’s me!] who’s been working so hard on transcribing the episodes. We now have episodes one and two transcribed fully! They are on themortalpath.com, which is our website. You can access them, you can read them, they are great. Thank you so much for doing that. We are so grateful. He is doing more – if you’d like to help him out, you can get in touch through our email address, which is themortalpath@gmail.com – we can put you in touch with him. He’s doing a great job, but of course he’s doing it, y’know, in his free time. So Orion, thank you so much for doing them. We are so grateful.

And speaking of, we are also so grateful to Rachel who’s theme music we are using. We’ve moved on from The Fallen City, so Shuttle no longer is appearing as the background music – but if you miss that track, like I always do, if you go to Rachel Graff’s band camp rachelgraff.com, you can find a link to band camp there and you can buy the track. It’s pay what you want, she just got married to her wife, the love of her life, and they’re looking to save up for a honeymoon. So any money you want to sling their way is fantastic.

I’m gonna let you guys get back to the show. I also just want to apologise because I was really ill when we recorded this episode, so I keep sounding like I’ve swallowed eight frogs, and it’s terrible. But also it’s because I have to do the Findex voice all the time – because I picked a great one! That was smart of me. Woohoo! Uh, yeah! So I hope that you are enjoying this spooky, spooky deep delve into the manor house and I will see you again next week. Or like, in a second. Bye.

[Intermission music plays again to get back to the episode]

Yubi: He puts the tankard and that in. And as he reaches forward to take the candles, Nerium you notice a mark on the base of one of them. And it is a mark that you know very well because it is the symbol of Shah.

Kitty as Nerium: Ooh! Gosh, those candles look really interesting. May I have a look at one of them please, Nat, before we put them all in Findex’s bag? Because, I mean, I’m a Halfling – I don’t have night vision either. So it would be really handy if I could just borrow one?

Gary as Natalia: Of course, I’ll give you one. Shall I light it for you?

Kitty as Nerium: Erm… I’ll hang on to it for now because I think we want to be sparing with them. But it would just make me feel a bit safer if I had one of them. 

Gary as Natalia: Of course.

Kitty as Nerium: Can I have that one?

Yubi as Findex: This one?

Kitty: The one with the symbol on it.

Yubi: Yeah, he shows you that one as you point to it.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, that looks perfect. Thank you very much Findex. That’s fine. I feel a bit better now.

Kitty: I will just… slide that one into my pocket.

Yubi: Okay, mark down that you have a candle with the mark of Shah on it. He puts the other four in his bag. Although you two who have gone into this room-

ed, interrupting: Which-… Out of interest, which Shah is it? Shah 1? Shah 256? [Orion note: apparently, ed is talking about this – but I’m still not sure what’s supposed to be funny about it]

Yubi: I don’t know what reference you’re making.

ed: That’s okay. You don’t have to. I just put it out there into the world.

Kitty: There will be somebody out there who gets that and will be really amused.

Yubi: Yeah.

ed: They won’t be. They’ll feel sorry for me, I think.

Yubi, laughing: Okay. Okay. As-…

Kitty: It may not even be an isolated incident.

Yubi: Wow! Okay, as-…

Kitty: I love you really, ed, I’m sorry! You just set them up.

ed: Yeah.

Gary: Drown your sorrows – have some Shah-dinay.

Yubi, laughing but disappointed: Oh- oh my God…

Gary: Or a Shah-ndy

Yubi: Oh no!

ed, pointedly: And so the plot is now moving forward!

Yubi: Okay! as Nerium slips this candle into her bag, both of you two- or into her pocket, rather… Both of you two feel that movement of that static magic field.

Gary, laughing: Sorry, I just realised – Findex has now got four candles.

Yubi: Yes, yes, he does.

ed: No, that’s not true because he has the original candle as well. So he has five candles. [groans of disappointment from Yubi and Gary] Sorry! Sorry, kiddo. Try again next time. Chump!

Kitty: I am grateful to you for pointing that out, ed.

ed as Taro: ‘Ere, do you want to go check the other side of the building before we go into the main-…. Well through this big door.

Gary as Natalia: Spoken like a completionist.

ed as Taro: Well, we wouldn’t wanna get stabbed in the back.

Gary as Natalia: I quite agree. Yes. Let’s go around the other way.

Kitty as Nerium: Can I make a suggestion?

ed as Taro: If you want.

Kitty as Nerium: Should we maybe block the door from this side? So that we know that that’s sort of like, cut off?

ed: Which way does the door open?

Yubi: It opens outwards

ed: Which way is outwards?

Kitty: Oh, so we can’t really…

Gary: Up and towards the next part.

Yubi: Yeah. Towards the next part of the house.

Kitty: So we can’t block it anyway. That’s fine. Forget I said that.

ed: Taro forgets.

Yubi: Quickly, so when you guys say you want to go back – you mean you want to go back downstairs?

ed: Yep.

Kitty: Yeah

Gary: Yes.

Yubi: Okay.

Kitty: And up the left hand staircase.

Yubi: So – well, you’ve come into a corridor. You can see that staircase – the same staircase – in the other end of the corridor.

Kitty: Oh!

Yubi: So the two staircases have led to the same level. There’s just one on either side of the corridors going up.

[~40 minutes in]

Kitty: Should we just sneak along and glance down – is it a straight or a spiral staircase?

Yubi: It’s a straight staircase.

Kitty as Nerium: Ah, Taro – with your brilliant dark vision, you could do us a real service here. Just check that there’s nobody standing on that staircase?

ed as Taro: Alright!

ed in an odd, posh voice: I do this. [laughter]

Yubi: Okay, there is nobody standing on that staircase. And you can see the bottom – you can see the downstairs servants’ quarter-y room that you were in previously before you climbed the stairs on the other side.

ed: I would like to relay this.

ed as Taro: Nerium! There is nobody standing on this staircase.

Kitty as Nerium: Thank you very much, Taro. I’m grateful to you. So this architect was clearly from the Department of Redundant Staircases Department.

Yubi: Yeah.

Kitty: Okay, fair enough.

Gary: I liked our brief foray into a children’s book. [Kitty laughs] It’s good. Okay, let’s bust down these-…

Kitty: Doors that open away from us anyway.

ed: I think we’re actually coming in more ground space in any other episode so far. We’re fucking blasting through it like we’re SEAL Team Six.

Yubi: Yeah!

Kitty: Yeah, you say that because nobody’s tried to kill us yet.

Yubi: So you open up this door and… Who’s going first?

Gary: Probably Nat.

Yubi: Okay, so you open this next door Natalia and you can see this long corridor that looks much more fancy than the one previously. This clearly leads back into the main part of the house. It again looks relatively pristine. There’s no broken furniture, there’s no blood stains, there seem to be two cupboards at either end of this corridor and there are two doors that are quite close together in the middle of the corridor.

Kitty: Isn’t our door at one end?

ed: Our door’s on the side, right? Like this is… This is a long boy.

Kitty and Yubi together: Oh….

Yubi: Yeah, sorry. Your door’s in the middle.

ed: Okay. Like, imagine if if the corridor was a peebus, then we’re in the middle of the shaft and one is at the base with the balls-

Kitty, interrupting: Why would you use that name?

ed: And the other one is up at the head of the peebus.

Gary: Not everything’s dicks.

ed: The balls! The balls are-…

Yubi: There are two doors ahead of you. Which way are you going?

ed: The balls…

Yubi: ed, stop saying balls.

Kitty as Nerium: Which way, Nat?

Gary as Natalia: How about you check that bureau, Taro you check that bureau-…

Kitty as Nerium: What, on my own?!

Gary as Natalia: Findex, you watch that door and I’ll watch this door.

ed as Taro: All right, let’s do it. I’m up for this parallelization. I’m fucking on it, like… I’m being employed.

Yubi: Okay.

ed: I go to the big cupboard. Big cupboard in perfect synchronicity.

Yubi: You both open the doors to these big cupboards at the same time. And they are airing cupboards and they are relatively empty. There is some sheets, there’s a towel or

two.

Kitty: Does it seem like they have been freshly laundered or are they old and dusty?

Yubi: They are somewhere in the middle. [laughter]

Kitty: I’m trying to work out how recently someone has been around.

Yubi: Yeah, it’s that same feeling-… You can roll me investigation again.

Kitty: Oh ‘cause that always goes so fucking well.

Gary: I mean if you try it enough times, you’ll roll a nat 20.

Yubi: Yeah, exactly.

Kitty: That’s a three. I haven’t got above a five yet.

Yubi: It reminds you of the food. It’s kind of like that halfway between being totally rotten and destroyed and being totally fresh. It doesn’t look particularly fresh but it doesn’t look like it’s been there for ages either.

Kitty: Mhm. Okay, cool.

ed: I’m gonna turn around to Nat and give her a thumbs up and kind of whisper,

ed as Taro: Clear!

Kitty: In my giddy joy at realising that there is nothing going to kill me in this cupboard, I would like to pull one of the whiter-

ed, interrupting: Shades of pale?

Kitty: Sheets of fabric out of it [-ed sighs at being ignored-], throw it over my head and go,

Kitty as Nerium in a high pitched voice: Whoooo!

ed as Taro: Nice.

Kitty as Nerium, normally: I’m being a ghost.

Gary as Natalia, hesitantly: Ah, very funny, Nerium…

Kitty as Nerium: I’ll take it off. Thank you! There’s nothing interesting here.

Gary as Natalia: You’ve entertained us all.

Yubi: Findex claps slowly. [slow clapping sound]

Kitty: I mean, yeah. I think that’s fair. 

Yubi as Findex: Are we going forward? Are we…

Gary as Natalia: Yes, let’s open the door.

Yubi as Findex: At the same time as you? Or just now?

Gary as Natalia: No, you go first.

Yubi as Findex: Okay.

Yubi: He opens this door and it swings forward and he appears round and he goes,

Yubi as Findex: It’s a hallway.

Gary: I open mine.

Yubi: As you open your door, you can see him peering round [laughter from everyone]. And it’s two doors into this large hallway that have-…

Gary as Natalia: Why?!

ed as Taro: Look, I’m getting fed up of all these choosing between two doors, then end up going to the same place-thing.

Kitty as Nerium: But isn’t it weird that they’ve got two staircases that go to the same place and then they’ve got two corridor doors that go to the same place.

ed as Taro: I think it’s just the vibe.

Kitty as Nerium: Do you think it’s… Oh, do you know, we-… Well, I once heard that there was a fancy house somewhere and they had fake doors put in the walls so that it looked even and symmetrical and that was supposed to look fancy and better. So maybe it’s that. Maybe that’s what it is.

ed as Taro: Yeah, you seem to know a lot about that. You seem very sure about that thing that you apparently just heard of.

Kitty as Nerium: Well, you know, I like to pay attention.

ed as Taro: Yeah, you shouldn’t.

[~45 minutes in]

Gary: So, we walked in a straight line. We came to a long room with two airing cupboards.

Yubi: A long corridor.

Gary: But we just walked a metre across it into two different doors – and that’s just continued another hallway.

Yubi: Yeah, so you’re… If you imagine a long bar with the cupboards at either end. and you guys were in the middle, you’ve gone into the hallway.

Gary: What?!

Kitty: So we literally have done the… We’ve looked in both ball sacks and are now heading up the shaft.

ed: No, we haven’t! [laughter] No, we’re crossing the shaft.

Gary, sounding like he’s wincing: That’s a painful image.

ed: Kitty we’re crossing the shaft. We’ve gone from one side of the shaft to the other. The ball sack and the head are-… The cupboard ball sack… It’s obvious we’ve crossed the shaft! Gary: Shaft crossing.

ed: The Shaft Crossers. That’s our new name. The Blood Chuggers and the Shaft Crossers.

Yubi: As you open your door, you can see as you peer round it, Findex’s head. Because he has opened a door into the same room and this is quite a long corridor that has two staircases in it. And these two staircases are really wide and they look really lavish. One is heading up and one is heading down. You haven’t seen the staircases before. The ones that you went up were back staircases – very narrow and rickety. These are lavish and as you peer around, this is clearly some sort of hall and you can see doors to the left. Two on the left and three on the right that are clearly going into separate rooms of this house. You get the feeling that you’ve come out of the tucked away servants’ quarters and back into the main part of the house.

Gary: So we’ve gone through-…

ed: This room’s asymmetrical – I can’t… I can’t cope.

Gary: Doors added in symmetry – to make it more symmetrical. We walk in, and it’s purposely asymmetrical.

Kitty: I am going to freak out and say,

Kitty as Nerium: Oh, okay, no I was completely wrong – because they do the symmetrical thing in the fancy bit of the house and they don’t do it in the servants’ quarters and everything in this place is the wrong way around.

Gary as Natalia: It’s okay. It’s just poor architecture.

Kitty as Nerium: Are you sure Nat?

ed as Taro: Well, I guess even lizards-… Not lizards… Fish get stuff wrong sometimes. Sorry, Findex!

Kitty as Nerium: I suppose that’s true – they are fish, they must have different aesthetic values.

ed as Taro: Lizards always get it right.

Gary as Natalia: It does strike me – this is very… inefishent. [Kitty cheering] 

ed as Taro: Is this just how it’s this going to be from now on?

Kitty as Nerium: I mean, it has been so far.

Gary, misspeaking then correcting himself: The fish come- the fish puns happened-… [laughter]

ed: What?!

Yubi, through laughter: The fish what, Gary? Gary, the fish what? I got that on tape, huh! [everyone laughing loudly, in particular ed, for a few seconds] It’s not all ed in the April Fool’s! 

ed: Yes!

Gary: Ah, the fish puns will happen when we’re having capers. [Yubi groans in disappointment]

Yubi: Nerium, what’s your passive perception? Is it 15?

Kitty: Yeah.

Yubi: Okay – have you come up to the doors at this point?

Kitty: Oh, yeah.

Yubi: Okay.

Kitty: I am, as a general rule, I am stealthing but I am sticking as close to Nat as possible because she looks like the nearest thing to competent that we have.

Yubi: Okay. As you are talking about the architecture of this place, you hear what sounds like either a footstep or a scrape of something coming from the second door on the left in this corridor.

Kitty; Um, I will fling my arm out across probably her knees.

Gary as Natalia, gasping: What?

Yubi: Yeah – mid thigh, knee.

Kitty: And go,

Kitty as Nerium, stage whispering: Remember that time I said stand still? I’ve got a better idea this time – hide.

Gary as Natalia, stage whispering: Where?! [Yubi and Gary laughing quietly]

Kitty: I will try and drag her back behind the door.

Gary: Okay. I’ll close the door behind me. Is there a keyhole?

Yubi: There doesn’t seem to be a keyhole. Findex is still standing there with his door open. Kitty: That’s fine. They can eat him first! I will… [laughs] hold Nat’s arm and go,

Kitty as Nerium, whispering: There’s something! There’s something in the-…

Kitty: Which one was it, second left door?

ed as Taro: ‘Ere, Findex! Findex. Findex, get back in ‘ere!

Yubi: Yeah. From the far end.

Kitty: In the second door on the left up there. There’s something scraping in there. Or moving.

ed: I want Findex to close the door.

Yubi: Findex kind of takes a half step back and closes the door but looks back at you, confused.

Yubi as Findex: I didn’t-… I didn’t hear anything

Kitty as Nerium: It’s the hat, it’s over your ears.

Gary as Natalia: What else can we do? We can’t just stay here. We need to go forward.

Kitty as Nerium: Alright, fine, but we should all be prepared.

ed as Taro: Right – can we not give it a minute?

Gary as Natalia: Okay, let’s just watch.

Gary: I open the door just a crack. As I do so, I prepare my hand to shoot if something appears.

Yubi: Okay. Nothing seems to happen. You are welcome to roll me a perception check if you want to try and hear this noise as well.

Gary: Nine…

Yubi: You can’t hear anything.

Gary as Natalia: Okay, how about this? How about, I go over to the other side opposite that door and I get ready to use my magic and then Findex, if you open the door. So I can just shoot right at it if there’s someone there.

Findex, sounding more nervous: Do you want me to go in first?

ed as Taro: You don’t have to go in – just open the door and get back.

Kitty as Nerium: Yeah, yeah! I mean, it might be stuck and you’re very strong.

Yubi as Findex, sounding extra anxious: Oh… Okay…

Gary as Natalia: I’ll be covering you.

Yubi as Findex: Okay…

Kitty as Nerium: We’re all in it together. Findex.

Yubi as Findex: Right…

Gary as Natalia: We’ll all be covering you.

Yubi as Findex, sounding slightly more confident: Okay. All right. I just opened the door. Don’t hit me with your magic though. Please.

Gary as Natalia: I won’t.

[~50 minutes in]

ed: I’d like to very quietly draw my sharp sword.

Yubi: Okay, you draw your blade.

Kitty: Yeah, I have both daggers out.

Yubi: Okay. Very, very quietly, he makes his way across the hallway. And he flattens himself against the wall by the door and he puts his hand on the handle, waiting for you.

Gary: I move across to opposite the door and get in position. Oh, should I roll stealth?

Yubi: Yeah, if you’re being stealthy, please.

Gary: 20.

Yubi: He has his hand on the door and he looks at you waiting for the signal.

Kitty: How far away is this door?

Yubi: From your doors, maybe about 25 foot.

Kitty: That’s fine. I can do that. Okay, cool.

Gary: Okay, I give him the nod.

Yubi: He flings the door open with such force that it kind of – kchew – bounces off the wall inside – and you don’t see anything. It is dark in that room.

Gary as Natalia: I think it’s-… Wait, try the other one.

Gary: And I shift over a little bit.

Yubi: Okay, he creeps along the wall and – pchew – flings open the second one and again, it’s totally dark in that. From your distance, you can’t see anything in that room. The candlelight glow doesn’t quite hit it.

ed: Wait, doesn’t Nat have night vision?

Gary: Nope.

ed: Oh, shit! I forgot.

Gary: Nat’s a hoo-man.

ed: Okay.

Gary as Natalia: Ah, Nerium?

Kitty as Nerium: Yes?

Gary as Natalia: I don’t think anything’s there.

Kitty as Nerium: I definitely heard something.

ed as Taro: Wait, as in you can see it’s empty?

Gary as Natalia: Well, not really. I just can’t see anything.

ed as Taro: Oh.

Gary as Natalia: Should I take a closer look? Or-… Can you see in there?

ed: All right, I’m gonna… I’m gonna, like crouch down and sneak over to where Nat is?

Yubi: Okay… You just… You kind of like, crouch walk over?

ed: Yeah, yeah… I’m doing a sneaky… A sneaky crouch walk, yeah.

Yubi, trying not to laugh: Okay.

Kitty, pleasantly surprised: Taro’s being helpful!

ed: Don’t count on that.

Yubi: Roll me stealth.

Kitty: My heart is warm.

ed: That’s a 14.

Yubi: 14! Okay! Um, it looks weirder than if you’d just walked over, but you do manage to do it relatively quietly. Are you going for the one that Findex pushed open first?

ed: I’m going for whichever one Nat is standing next to. Or whichever one I get to first, I guess.

Yubi: Okay, so the first one that you look into, you can see it’s a guest bedroom. You get that little spark, that little again crackle of magic coming through it, but you don’t see anything moving in that room.

ed as Taro: Alright, this one looks alright. There’s some magic something coming from in there but this one looks okay. Now let’s have a look at the next one.

Yubi: Okay, as you make your way across and you peer in, how far from the door are you? How many foot from the door?

ed: I guess I’m coming round from like… 10 foot or something? How wide is the room?

Yubi: Okay, you can see into the room. I just want to know how close to the door you are.

Kitty: Um, before you do that, can I say that having realised that I am standing with Findex and that my allies that I teleport with are over there, I’m going to start shuffling into the room over to where Nat is?

ed: Well no, Findex is nearby as well right? Because the next-

Yubi: Findex is against the wall. You’re alone now in the back corridor-…

Kitty: Yeah, no, I’m alone! I’m not fuckin’-… I’m gonna scamper.

Yubi: Okay.

Kitty: Stealth scamper! 

Yubi: Yeah. Stealthily scamper me.

Kitty: Eighteen.

Yubi: You stealthily scamper. You make your way over to Nat and kind of like-…

Kitty, providing the high-pitched foley work of tiny, quick footsteps: Kitikitikitikiti….

Yubi: Yep!

ed: Is that the noise your legs make?! Like… [a bit like a bell ringing] Didlidlidli…

Yubi: Yeah, I get it. Its comedic. But Taro, as you peer into this room, this room looks weird. And the first thing that catches your eye is that there is this long curtain, draped across the middle of the room that doesn’t quite touch the edges of the room. And it looks like the curtain rail has kind of grown across the ceiling.

[new music starts – it is slow and unsettling with a quiet, slow drumbeat and louder, accented, discordant strings. It sounds mysterious and adds a heightened tension under the dialogue.]

Yubi: It looks very, very odd. And as you look at this curtain – and you can’t quite see the colour of it because of your dark vision – it looks to be a thick soft material. Not quite like fur but maybe almost something like velvet and it kind of ripples somewhere in the middle.

ed: I quickly retreat back a bit so I can’t see it anymore. And I go,

ed as Taro: Yeah, I think there’s something in there. Nat, I think there might be something that’s all a bit weird in there.

Kitty as Nerium: Weird how?

ed as Taro: There’s a… Some kinda…  Look, Nat, I think light a candle and… We should… There’s a curtain – we need to see what’s behind it, look.

Gary as Natalia: Okay.

Kitty as Nerium, sounding concerned: Do we need to do that?

ed as Taro: There’s no time to be messing around here, Nerium.

Gary as Natalia: Yes. Get behind me. I’m going in.

Kitty as Nerium: Y’know- yeah, yeah. Thank you, Nat. I’ll do exactly that.

[~55 minutes in]

Gary: I come forward – I grab the candle off Findex. Slowly.

Yubi: Okay, he lets you have that.

Gary: I slowly come forward with sword ready, candle outstretched.

Yubi: Okay! You approach the room and as you do, that candle glow begins to light and you see the same thing as Taro, except you see it in colour. And Taro and Nerium, as the light hits it, you also start seeing in colour. It is this deep, kind of maroon-red curtain. It looks like it’s made of velvet. [music stops to start playing the lone violin that begins the ending theme] It’s got this almost shiny texture to it that looks out of place on velvet. And Natalia, as you take that first step into the room, a hand comes out round from the middle of the curtain and pushes it aside. And you see a face that you know incredibly well. Because you see the face of your father. And he looks old and tired and worn and lost and confused, and he looks up at you and he goes,

Yubi in a deep, cracked voice: Gertrude? Gertrude!

Yubi: And he reaches forward and he starts to walk towards you.

[ending music plays out properly until the end of the episode]

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