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26: Immortal Combat

Darcy and Eggerton have found their way to Blat at last – just in time for Celene’s final move. It’s time for a divine showdown.

We’re going to be in Boston at PodTales, a great new festival of audio drama and fiction podcasting, this October 20th!

Sean will also be at Podcast Movement in Orlando! He’ll be speaking about growing your Patreon on Wednesday, August 14th.

And check out our recommended podcast, Arca 45672!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: Panic, childhood sadness, drug use, alcoholism, totalitarian dystopia, harm and near-death experiences, big mouths and poor singing.

THE ICE CAVERN

SEAN

We are plunging down through the ice into a giant cavern, lit with a glowing redness emanating from the eyes of Celene, who has grown to four times her size, fire and lightning spiralling off of her form… as she glares down at Blat, who is hovering in the air less than 25 feet away, having just destroyed the crystal at the bottom of the cavern.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Blat! You have no idea what you’ve done.

(laughs)

Let me tell you! No, speak not, my Blathoxil. You have destroyed the only mechanism by which I could have removed Morrigu from your soul. Wait! What is this, Blat?

SEAN

And the goddess zooms closer to the hovering Blat, his wings flapping madly to keep him in the air.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh, look at this! You are a vessel.

SEAN

And her hand reaches out hovering over the symbol of Loxsyn on Blat’s chest.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh, priceless. Morrigu is trapped inside you! Perhaps I have found a replacement for my diamond vessel.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in his low, growling Blathoxil voice)

So you want me to become a diamond vessel?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh not become. You are!

SEAN

And she spreads her arms and Blat, you are struck with a pain that makes you arch your back so far back that it is as if it is going to snap. And you are lifted high up to the top of the cavern without your wings even beating, and you are held there in mobile unable to move.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You are the vessel through which I will drink Morrigu and become the most powerful goddess in the universe.

(laughs)

Isn’t that lovely, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(straining)

I could do without it.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

But first, first! My manners! We have guests.

SEAN

And the form spins and moves at high speed down towards the floor. lighting up the entrance in front of which stand Eggerton and Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What—what is that? What is that thing coming towards us?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(stoned laughter)

Duuuude!

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers: an improvised fantasy role playing game set in the world of Alba Salix. Your Game Master is Sean Howard, with players Marisa King, Carter Siddall and Michael Howie.

Episode 26: Immortal Combat.

THE ICE CAVERN

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

When did you get so big?! This is amazing. She’s huge! That can’t just be me. Right? Everyone else is seeing…? Hey! Hey! Hey, can everyone else see how big she got?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What—who is that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s Celene! Look at her!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s Celene?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look at the eyes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh my gosh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She’s all red now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! Blat, are you okay!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Don’t worry. I have a helmet!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no…

SEAN

And with that she gestures, and Eggerton is frozen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hurk!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

I will learn all you know.

SEAN

And she closes her hand into a fist, and you see dark energy, Darcy, streaming out of Eggerton’s eyes as if his entire essence is being pulled out of his being through his eyes.

And the first memory that Celene receives is…?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But Mommy, I want to make fairy cakes on my own!

EGGERTON’S CHILDHOOD APARTMENT

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mommy? I‑I found this book under your bed and I want to try making the fairy cakes.

SEAN (AS EGGERTON’S MOTHER)

Eggerton, I don’t have… Eggerton, Mommy has a headache. You need to just leave Mommy alone. Go do whatever you want to do.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

O‑okay. I’ll go talk to the snails on the roof again.

SEAN (AS EGGERTON’S MOTHER)

Whatever, Eggerton, whatever.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sighs)

Oh, if only I had some friends.

MARISA (AS A SNAIL)

Hello, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hello, Thomas the Snail. How are you?

MARISA (AS A SNAIL)

I am fine. How are you today? You seem sad.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I am sad. My mom’s got another headache.

MARISA (AS A SNAIL)

Oh, she always has the headaches.

CARTER (AS A GRASSHOPPER)

That’s because of alcoholism!

Laughter.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s sad. And it makes me want to cry. But then if I cry, they yell at me. I can’t cry. So I have to pretend that I’m not sad.

MARISA (AS A SNAIL)

That’s very hard to do.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m sure it won’t carry any weight into the future.

CARTER (AS A GRASSHOPPER)

Busy hands make it light work! Maybe instead, you should do something to take your mind off it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What a good idea Mr. Grasshopper! Why don’t I—

SEAN (AS EGGERTON’S MOTHER)

(shrill shout from inside)

Eggerton! Get me a drink!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay! Okay, I gotta go guys. I gotta go.

MARISA (AS A SNAIL)

Okay! Keep your chin up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ll do my best.

THE ICE CAVERN

SEAN

We return to the floor as a four-storey-tall Celene is drinking in the essence and memories of Eggerton, streaming into her through her fist. And she’s utterly ignoring Blat, who is hanging arched backwards, up high at the ceiling, and Darcy standing and watching it all happen.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you doing?! Leave him alone!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh!

SEAN

And she opens her fist and Eggerton can move again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Darcy!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispers)

That was a bad trip.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

It’s been so long. How have you been, Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ve been better.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

We’ll see about that!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No!

SEAN

And she reaches out her hand towards Darcy. And Eggerton, you see Darcy freeze, and she closes her fist and you see black energy soaring through Darcy’s eyes straight into Celene as she cackles—“Ha ha ha!” And the first memory she receives, Darcy, is…?

MARISA

Running around playing tag with my friends.

A STREET NEAR DARCY’S CHILDHOOD APARTMENT

MIKE (AS AN OBNOXIOUS KID)

Ha ha ha! You’re it!

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

No, come on! I’m always it. I can’t outrun you.

MIKE (AS AN OBNOXIOUS KID)

That’s why you’re always it! Ha ha ha!

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Oh, no, not again. Can you just be it for once?

MIKE (AS AN OBNOXIOUS KID)

Okay, whoever has the weirdest spikiest hair is it.

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

But that’s always me!

MIKE (AS AN OBNOXIOUS KID)

Well, I guess it’s you then! Ha ha ha!

The sound of hooves on the pavement.

SEAN (AS A YOUNG CENTAUR)

Hey, guys! Can I play?

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Uh… aren’t you new here?

SEAN (AS A YOUNG CENTAUR)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

When did you come to Steadfast?

SEAN (AS A YOUNG CENTAUR)

Oh, we came from the country just a couple weeks ago.

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Oh!

SEAN (AS A YOUNG CENTAUR)

I saw you guys playing. Uh, my name’s Paul.

MIKE (AS AN OBNOXIOUS KID)

Hi, Paul. Hi, my name’s Marley!

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

Are there other centaurs here?

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Yeah, sometimes! We sometimes have centaurs come here.

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

Oh, really?

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

I hadn’t seen any. I just, you know, I felt really awkward.

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Oh, no, you shouldn’t! I really think it’s cool that you have an extra set of legs.

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

Really?

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

Can I play tag then?

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

Well, of course! Although you’re going to run a lot faster than us.

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

Oh, okay, well—

MIKE (AS MARLEY THE OBNOXIOUS KID)

It’s okay! So what’s going to happen then is, you two weirdos get to be it together first! And I’m gonna run away. Ha ha ha ha!

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

What? Hey! Stop!

SEAN (AS A PAUL THE CENTAUR)

Okay, I got you this way!

He gallops off.

MARISA (AS YOUNG DARCY)

All right. All right. I’m always it anyway, so I’ll chase you first.

THE ICE CAVERN

SEAN

We return to the cavern, now bathed in the red light through her fiery eyes, as Celene towers over the held-immobile Darcy. And in the moment of her consuming those memories, she forgets about Blat, who is suddenly released, and able to move, along with Eggerton, as they both stare at the energy streaming up from the tiny Darcy into the goddess’s eyes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, leave her alone! You’re a big bully!

SEAN

She pays no attention. She continues to drink the memories of Darcy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No… Okay, I’m gonna… I’m gonna stop you… now…

Dramatic music starts.

MIKE

And Eggerton turns and charges at the foot of the giant Celene. And jumps on it.

SEAN

Awesome. Celene continues to drink the memories of Darcy and you watch Darcy’s form start to grow limp and start to sag as Eggerton leaps on to the giant Celene’s foot, pounding at it. And Blat watches all of this from high above.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat! Help! Help! Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

Oh, Eggerton. Why do you think that would help?

Eggerton. Bend over and count your toes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay! One, two…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Bazooka.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…three, four…

CARTER

And Blat fires.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…five, six, seven…

SEAN

You don’t even have to roll Volley. She’s not even gonna attempt to—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…eight, nine, ten! Should I start over and count down?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I just mean get down!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Well, you should say that next time.

SEAN

Roll for damage. Now are you using your plus ability?

MIKE

Yeah, you should read your character sheet, ya jag.

Laughter.

SEAN

You just got a new ability right? When you leveled up?

CARTER

I don’t know if I should risk it because then I might do damage to myself.

MARISA

Oh yeah, don’t.

SEAN

You actually don’t have to roll here. She’s not going to attempt to…

CARTER

Well then, let’s all read this together, shall we children?

SEAN

Yeah, what’s it called?

CARTER

“Bonded Strike: When you pour your soul into your soul-bound weapon and attack, do damage based on your roll. On a 10+, deal +1d6 damage. On a 7 to 9, deal your damage and your enemy makes an attack on you (+1d6) against your weakened state.

SEAN

So this is a guaranteed hit.

CARTER

Well, all right. There are very few guarantees in The End of Time and Other Bothers. We may as well take advantage.

SEAN

So roll a six-sided die.

CARTER

3!

SEAN

So 5?

(laughing)

Wait, let me do the math on Celene’s hit points.

CARTER

(laughs)

SEAN

Let me subtract a 3 from that. Give me a minute. It’ll take me a little while…

MARISA

No, he has 5! Because it’s a plus, right?

SEAN

Oh, minus 5, oooh.

MARISA

From 300? That’s something!

MIKE

Yeah, that is gonna make the difference. Good job!

SEAN

Eggerton, you see a missile coming in from high above and strike Celene right in the back of her giant head. A fireball erupts—she leans forward from the impact and then rocks backward and opens her fist, releasing Darcy as she turns and directs her attention, lifting her foot and shoving it forward…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooop!

SEAN

Sending you flying back towards the wall, sliding along the ice.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Whoa!

SEAN

As she looks up at Blat flying high above.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh, darling! Did you desire my attention?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I officially wish to submit my resignation.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Gladly received. I will devour you! Slowly, of course.

SEAN

She puts both hands forward—and Darcy, your amulet begins to light up.

And you see Blat flying backwards towards the far wall. You can roll to Defy Danger if you try to do something Blat. What are you going to try?

CARTER

I will try to defy the danger, yes.

SEAN

How?

CARTER

By simply flying down, away from the beams of energy.

(rolls)

7.

SEAN

Plus your Dex.

CARTER

Plus Dex is an 8.

SEAN

Partial. So Blat plummets towards the ground, wings unfurled, but the blast tangles him up and he spins and slams into the ice. Roll 1d4.

MARISA

(sighs)

MIKE

(laughs)

CARTER

Blat smashes to the ground… and does not get back up.

A thud. The music stops.

MIKE AND MARISA (AS EGGERTON AND DARCY)

Blat!

SEAN

Blat. What is the memory that flashes into your brain as you see the ground rising rapidly to meet you?

CARTER

That one file that Blat could never find.

BLAT’S FILING ROOM

The Speechifyer rings. Blat answers

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in his old voice)

Hi-diddly-ho, go for Blat!

SEAN (AS BLAT’S BOSS)

Uh, yeah. Blat? You know, I’m a little confused. I know we’ve requested this file from you. And for some reason I can’t seem to find it on my desk.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh no, sir! I pneumatic-tubed a series of files to you just yesterday. I’m sure you’ll find them within the pile as you always do! This is, let me see, file D47-AF. I’m sure you’ll find it there.

SEAN (AS BLAT’S BOSS)

Yeah, I have I have D47-AE… D47-AB… D47-AG… I have D‑9000—that was personal, you can forgot about that one.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Already forgotten!

SEAN (AS BLAT’S BOSS)

Thank you. But I do not see D47-AF. I just opened the canister. Again, I know you’ve never not sent the file before…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Perfect record, sir, as you know!

SEAN (AS BLAT’S BOSS)

Um… I don’t see it here. You know what, I’m going to send this right back. Just without D‑9000. I’m just gonna send this right back right now. Here it comes.

Blat hangs up as a canister shoots out of a pneumatic tube with a thunk.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(to himself)

All right. I don’t know why this is so complicated. You simply unscrew the top—pull out the rolled up files—and we can simply see… that the file that he cannot find is indeed not here—oh my lord my life is a lie.

The Speechifyer rings again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(shaken)

Hi-diddly ho, go for Blat.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

Uh, yes, Blat. So sorry to bother you. You sent some files to our office yesterday. I’m sorry, this is the Office of the Registry for the Registry of the Registry.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Let me guess. I didn’t send any of the correct files.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

Actually, you you sent three of the correct files. There’s just a file that’s not here. Um, I’m looking for D47-AF?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… Yes! I attempted to said that file to my boss. Was that supposed to go to you?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

Yes. So… fine. Don’t send it to him and just send it to us.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. So I’ll just… find it…

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

Is there a problem?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just a crazy question. If for some reason I “can’t find” file D47-AF, what exactly would happen?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

I’m sorry. I have reached Filing and Records?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes! This is Filing and Records. This is Blat, I’ve been here for nine years.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

And you’re… you’re suggesting that Filing and Records cannot find an official file?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh… just a question off the top of my head, just in case something that would never happen should actually happen. I was just wondering how bad it would get.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

Right. So are you asking about let’s say, a personnel file? Or are you asking about the very secret eyes-only file D47-AF?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhhh, it’s that important, is it?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER BUREAUCRAT)

Yes… just to clarify now—you’re not speaking about what would happen if you lost a file that the Emperor himself was requesting.

Smashing noises.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! My Speechifyer has hit the ground! Oh! I’ve stepped on it a couple of times. Oh, clumsy me! Okay, we’ll have to get back to you. This is Blat from Records, okay, bye-bye.

Ohhhhhh, what have I done? All right. We could try reconstructing it Reconstructing it! So that’s easy, you just get an empty file here, and then you write down D… 4… 7—

A knock at the door.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! Oh lord. Ohhh lord. Uh, all right. All right. D47-AF has been created. The only problem is that there’s nothing in it.

More knocking

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Blat? Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes!

MARISA (AS JANINE)

It’s Janine and Toby!

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Hey Blat!

MARISA (AS JANINE)

And guess what day it is?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uhhhhh…

The door opens and Janine and Toby parade in.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

It is Happy Perfect File Delivery Day! We baked you a cake!

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Woop! Woop!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I was hoping it was my retirement.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

No! We’re just gonna sing you the song! Happy Perfect File Delivery Day!

MIKE (AS TOBY)

(trying to sing along and failing)

Happy Birth—Filing—Delivery Day!

(laughs)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Toby seems off key.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Toby’s always off key.

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Something happened to me when I was a baby.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Hey guys! Sorry I’m late! Did I miss it? Did you sing the song already?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

We already sang the song, you missed it.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Awww. You’re such a legend, Blat! No one has had this long of a run without being murdered and hung up to die!

(laughs)

MIKE (AS TOBY)

We all look up to you!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wait! Is that what happened to the last guy?!

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

(laughing)

Oh yea. That was so long ago. I’m sure they don’t do that any more, do they Janine?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

He mean to say “fired”. He meant to say “fired”.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Ha ha! Yeah! They don’t do that anymore, I’m sure.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

So, perfect record! You’ve never lost a file. That’s incredible, Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well… here’s the thing. I was talking to a friend of mine who worked at another ministry that is in no way this one… and they almost were perfect. They lost one file—

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Yeah, because they don’t have you, right?

Hearty laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Anyhoo. So they lost a file that was marked Top Secret. And what do you think would happen to them?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Ooooo. Wait, wait, wait. How secret?

(laughs nervously)

Like, not Emperor-secret?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Maaaybe Emperor-secret?

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Now, when you say “they”, do you mean like, before they got summarily executed in front of a live audience or after?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, is that what they do now?

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Well, I mean, that’s like Wednesday afternoons.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Ha ha, right.

MIKE (AS TOBY)

They just gather all the people up who lost the important information for the Emperor. And it’s gonna go like one—bang, two—bang…

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

But if it’s a weekend..

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Oh, weekend, no, yeah.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Oh, if it’s a weekend, whoof. They make that a spectacle.

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Yeah, that’s—I mean, have you ever seen someone explode underwater?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Janine, weren’t you like a cousin of a cousin removed from someone that just misplaced like, a toenail clipping of the Emperor?

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Yes, well, that is true. And they did go up in spectacular fashion. I did attend—I felt that was the honourable and proper thing to do.

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Of course, of course.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

The explosion was… epic, really.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Aww.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

But what were you asking about, Blat?

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

We should be eating cake!

MIKE (AS TOBY)

C’mon, eat some cake with us!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes! Let’s eat cake with a large smile on our face.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Look we—it looks like a file!

Laughter.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Yes! I did that!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ha ha, yes, it does look like a file.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

We didn’t know what number to put on it so we just made one up, ha ha.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, really, what number do we have here?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Uh, D47-AF!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ahhh. AF indeed.

SEAN

(laughs)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhhh lordy. So! Uh, look. I’ve cut a large piece and—

(stuffs his face noisily)

I have eaten it…

MIKE (AS TOBY)

I didn’t know your jaw could open that wide.

The damaged Speechifyer begins ringing weakly.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Is that your Speechifyer? Shouldn’t you answer it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! The Speechifyer. Okay, well, you kids have fun—uh, see you in Human Resources.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Where are you going?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, just gotta answer the old Speechifyer!

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

But you’re leaving the room.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right! Well, what I do now is, I put on my coat and my hat, I check the furnace, and then I always answer the Speechifyer.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

Oh, okay…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, uh… see you crazy kids later! And Toby, please accept my apologies, you have a lovely singing voice. Okay, see you kids in a few.

The door slams.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

God, I hope someday I’m as good as Blat.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

That’ll never happen.

MIKE (AS TOBY)

He’s so sexy.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

No one can be as good as Blat.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

I know.

MIKE (AS TOBY)

I mean, he just must pull all the time.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER CO-WORKER)

(sighs)

I don’t know how he does it. He’s like, impeccable.

MARISA (AS JANINE)

Is anyone gonna answer that Speechifyer?

MIKE (AS TOBY)

Naaah, we should probably just let it go.

THE ICE CAVERN

The music resumes.

SEAN

Celene freezes, eyes glowing with such anger and redness. Waiting for Blat’s form to stand back up.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Okay, Blat. A joke’s a joke. Let’s go.

BLAT! I SAID WAKE UP!

SEAN

And the head pivots to target Darcy and Eggerton.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Get—him—up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What have you done to him?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

It’s nothing compared to what I’m gonna do to him!

MARISA

I run across the room and I skid on my knees beside Blat…

SEAN

…your medallion glowing even brighter…

MARISA

And I touch him to feel if there’s any warmth, or I listen for his breath.

SEAN

His form is strangely crumpled. But you get a sense that something inside of him is refusing to let him die. Perhaps a dark, evil source that starts with the word M.

MARISA

So I take my amulet and I press it against his skin and I cast Devoted Healer. Cure Light Wounds with Devoted Healer.

SEAN

What does that do?

MARISA

“When you heal someone else of damage, add your level to the amount of damage healed.”

SEAN

Okay, so roll 1d8.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

Plus your levels.

MARISA

Okay, that’s a 5, so 9. He gets 9 hit points—well…

SEAN

Carter, you’re actually at 1, believe it or not. Morrigu is refusing to let you die. So you’re at 10 now.

Celine is slowly bending down, her head getting closer and closer.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Well, Darcy? I don’t see him standing up…

I need that vessel!

MIKE

And from behind, Eggerton, in a rage, flaps his wings at the bent-over butt of the goddess.

This is Gust of Wind.

SEAN

(laughs)

Would you like to read Gust of Wind for us?

MIKE

“Gust of Wind: When you create a powerful gust of wind with your wings, that creates a 20-foot cone that knocks down human-sized or smaller creatures not braced or protected. Take +Shaky until you get to rest next.”

SEAN

Right. So, just a quick question… Would you say that Celene is currently human-size or lesser?

MIKE

Are you really trying to apply logic to this situation?

MARISA

I think it would tickle her at the very least.

MIKE

It would maybe distract her. I mean, the idea is to push her but…

SEAN

Okay, I’ll give it to you.

Okay, so suddenly Celene—her eyes go wide, she flails her arms and lands on her knees with her hands right over you, the ground resounding as it shakes, and you now are directly beneath her giant bosom.

MIKE

(snickers)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(gasps dramatically)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! You’re alive!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mother?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No!

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN

And Celene reaches down a giant hand to grab Blat.

MARISA

And I just revolve around to face upwards towards Celene. And I’m absolutely enraged, thus I gain 2 Rage because she’s almost killed Blat—and I transform.

MIKE

Woop!

SEAN

Into?

MARISA

Into… I have to roll a d12 to know. Just so everyone knows, I only transform into my primary form if I roll a 1 to 6. I then have other forms I transform into.

MIKE

What? I didn’t know that.

MARISA

Yep. That’s why I was a bear once. It’s an 11! So that’s a player and/or GM choice.

SEAN

What do you want to be?

MARISA

(whispers)

Oh no. I have to think!

SEAN

You are a giant, pissed-off…

MARISA

Kangaroo!

MIKE

Ooo!

MARISA

(whooshing noise)

MIKE

(laughs)

MARISA

And suddenly this big foot comes up to right under Celene’s chin, and the kangaroo hits her right under with her big foot.

SEAN

Okay, so let’s do that as an attack roll.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

So you’re gonna roll to Hack and Slash, so it’s 2d6.

MARISA

(hums)

2d6…

SEAN

Do you have a +Strength or +Dex in your your current form?

MARISA

I have plus—oh, in my current…? Now wait a minute, I do gain 2 Armor, let’s remember that.

SEAN

Your attack die changes.

MARISA

“Player and GM”—okay, we have to choose the damage die for our kangaroo.

SEAN

Well, kangaroos are nasty. d12. Sure.

MARISA

Ha!

MIKE

Sure. I can get behind that.

SEAN

Okay, so a couple things here to keep in mind. “When you become frustrated, angry or take damage, gain 1 Rage.” So if you take any damage. “When you roll a miss, your actions harm or endanger an ally and you gain 2 Rage. When you make a 10+—this is the key one—successful attack, you overwhelm your enemy with a flurry of attacks. They take +Disoriented, +Frightened or other appropriate tag.”

MARISA

Mm hmm.

SEAN

Okay, and you have some things where you are Unkillable Beast. Okay: “Whenever you gain Rage, heal 2 hit points of damage per point of Rage that you take.” So you just took 2, so you get 4 hit points.

MARISA

Which is nice.

SEAN

So you gain 4 hit points right away. Not over your max, but up to your max.

MARISA

Yup. Yup. Okay, I’m at 15. But what you were asking is, do I get different dice? And I don’t think I do.

SEAN

No. So 2d6, roll to hit, +Strength or Dex, whichever you want.

MARISA

Yeah, I have… hmm, Dex.

SEAN

Well, I think it’d be Strength. So no plus.

MARISA

No plus.

(rolls)

It’s a 7, so that’s a…

SEAN

Mixed success. Okay, so you catch her under her chin. Roll damage.

MARISA

Which is a d12… That’s an 11.

SEAN

Whoa.

MIKE

Mm hmm!

MARISA

That is one kangaroo kick.

SEAN

So this kangaroo connects—her whole body arching up from the ground at the slumped-over Celene, catches Celene right in the chin, snapping her head back with an audible snap, as Celene, in reaction, swipes her giant hand across the ground, sending Darcy in her current form spiralling towards a wall where she impacts and takes 1d4 damage. Roll 1d4?

MARISA

That’s 1 but I have Armor, so nothing.

SEAN

Nothing. And she snarls and reaches back to grab Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mother is angry…

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh, you have no idea how much.

SEAN

And she grabs Blat in a crushing grip—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Grk!

SEAN

And lifts him up as she sits back on her haunches.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You know what? Maybe I’ll just devour you, vessel, Morrigu and all.

SEAN

And she begins to open her mouth—and it opens frighteningly wide, the bones snapping in her face as it continues to widen and widen until all you can see, Blat, is a gaping mouth.

And she goes to thrust you in… when Darcy, your amulet explodes in light across the cavern. Blat, the symbol on your chest burns as if someone is pressing a torch against your skin… and you feel it suddenly release Morrigu from deep inside you who emerges with a scream, a deep dark, horrible scream.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(a deep, distorted roar)

Rrraaaah! Finally!

MIDROLL

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER

It’s the beginning of the middle of The End of Time and Other Bothers.

SEAN

Hey everyone, Sean here. And I want to thank you all so much for listening and sharing and reviews and everything you’ve all been doing to spread the word.

We are going to be forgoing the thanks to sponsors because I’ve been travelling and I haven’t been able to pull that data together. So that is coming very soon in our next episode. But in the meantime, I want to give a shout out to a couple places where you can come and say hi to me, and to Eli in some cases.

So we are going to be at PodTales on October 20 in Boston. PodTales is super amazing, it’s gonna be super fun. It’s one day, October 20. Also, I’m going to be speaking at Podcast Movement, that’s August 14, 15 and 16 in Orlando, Florida. I’m speaking Wednesday AM at 9 AM and I’m talking about Patreon. If you’re going to be at either of those two events, please stop and say hi.

And I want to give a shout out to a show that I have been loving so much so if you haven’t heard of it, go and subscribe to it now and give it a listen. If you like sci-fi you’re going to love it. It is ARCA-45672. It’s really cool—it is basically about exploring an alien world, and it’s really well done, and I recommend it highly. And that’s it! Let’s get you back to the show.

Music sting.

MIKE

Okay, okay okay—here, I’ll record a midroll for us. Go to OtherBothers.com. Follow the links to iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you listen, rate and review my travel mug.

MARISA

No!

MIKE

Yeah, that’s what we want, right?

SEAN

No! We don’t want reviews of your travel mug—

MIKE

Okay, we want to rate and review…

SEAN

Okay, but if you’re going to review his travel mug, mention the pen.

MIKE

No, okay, you know what? The pen can’t even write on my travel mug. The travel mug wins in a fight.

SEAN

Yes, it can, watch. No, no you’re right, it doesn’t write on the plastic.

MIKE

Yeah.

Silence.

CARTER

But why do we care about that?!

MIKE

OtherBothers.com!

MARISA

Brought to you by low blood sugar.

MIKE

(snickers)

THE ICE CAVERN

A fierce wind whistles.

SEAN

We return to the chamber deep beneath the ice. Celene rises forward with a horrific rage-filled scream, to be matched and met with a dark force of Morrigu, clashing in the centre, as Blat is dropped, unthought-of, from Celene’s grasp. And Darcy and Eggerton watch from the floor far below.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh geez.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(finally back to his normal voice)

Ohhhh! My throat feels so much better!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

Blat?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No time for congratulations yet, friend. Because we’re going to be killed by not one but two goddesses!

Giant, thundering blasts of energy.

SEAN

It is the sound of worlds being torn apart far above you as two goddesses collide with elemental force, sending you all careening back against the walls of this giant chamber.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooooog…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(shouts)

Well, you ladies look like you’ve got a whole lot going on… so we can just get out of your hair for now! We’ll show ourselves out!

MARISA

And I hop back over to where I originally transformed, near where Blat’s body was. And I take my paws and I thump them down on the book that dropped to the ground, looking towards Eggerton. Thump thump thump!

(she drums on the table)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

She’s saying that she wants to communicate with us. Hold on… Okay, now go.

MARISA

And I keep thumping at the book, looking at Eggerton—holding up my paws, thumping on the book, looking at Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She needs a bathroom break, and then wants to talk to you about that book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve just taken a bathroom break right now!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, now you can go check out the book then. I think that’s what she’s—she’s either saying “come look at this book,” or “do I look better with a hook?”

MARISA

So then I start kicking the book with my feet towards the door, towards the exit that Blat is backing towards. As I scooch across the floor with the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(shouting)

I’m surprised the kangaroo didn’t use her claws to pick up the book, which she’s quite capable of doing, and putting it in the convenient pouch on the front of her!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(shouting)

Do kangaroos have claws? I thought they had people-like hands!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, they don’t have opposable thumbs, but they’re kind of claw-like.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Can you pick up a book if you don’t have opposable thumbs?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you can pick up a baby kangaroo, so I think you could probably find a way to pick up a book.

SEAN

Celene, in the middle of her battle, with a roar, turns her head slightly and gestures. Ice rolls down, covering every exit.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You will not leave, vessel! I am going to put Morrigu back in you—forever!

SEAN

And the battle continues far overhead.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(shouting)

All right! I’ve got 30 People’s Credits on me, on Morrigu. Are you interested in betting on the other side?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(shouting)

I only have two credits. But I do have this new mixing bowl helmet that I’d say is probably worth a good 35 credits. So how about I say… Celene takes it but with damage.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. Sure. Okay…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right? And then you’re just saying Morrigu outright.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Morrigu outright, yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So we’re doing like—we’re not doing over-under.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, this is a TKO.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Decisive victory.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I’m—yeah, I’m Team Celene on this one.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Fair enough!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, shake on it?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(still shouting)

I’m a little far from you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I feel like maybe we’ve been speaking too long, and we should see about were-kangaroo.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know what? Why don’t you pick up that book that she just kicked towards you, and write down the bet just in case someone—not looking at you—decides to change their mind if the battle starts to go in a different direction.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Fair enough. I don’t remember you getting the new helmet. It’s quite becoming!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you! I’m so happy you’re back!

SEAN

Darcy the kangaroo has a very sad expression on her face…

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN

While a battle to end everything takes place above them.

The crashing stops abruptly.

SEAN

And suddenly everything freezes in the room, as if time has halted. And Darcy, you sense that you are not alone. In fact, you hear a voice and it says…

MIKE (AS A PIRATE)

(booming and godlike)

Yarrr! This is gettin’ some attention upstairs!

What’s a wee lass like you doing in the middle of a goddess battle?

Silence.

MIKE (AS A PIRATE)

Really? Nothing?

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

(Scottish accent)

No, you see! She canna talk. She’s a wee kangaroo!

MIKE (AS A PIRATE)

No, there’s more to this one, I say. Or my name’s not Captain Blackheart!

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

I know your name is Captain—why are you telling me your name?! I know you’re Captain Blackheart!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART THE PIRATE)

Look, all us gods have to have a schtick and that’s mine.

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

I don’t understand—you’re the god of pirates!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

More specifically, the god of beards, gold bullion, and being stranded on a desert island—which is sometimes associated with pirates, but not always.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Gentlemen. I don’t know if this is the appropriate time for this argument.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

That’s what you always say! You never want to have a discussion and find resolution. And I’ve had it up here with ya.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

And you never once bring pastries to our meetings as you say you will.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

That’s not my job. My job is to make sure that other pirates just don’t become gods.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

We all take turns bringing pastries except you.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Well, if you can figure out how to knead dough with a hook for a hand, I’d love to hear it.

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

You buy them! You just go somewhere where they can be purchased. Or you politely ask the god of pastries and dessert items to make something for you!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

But she’s never around when I need her.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Thank you.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Oh, super! You’re all here, excellent. Look what I brought from the goddess of pastries and tarts.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Brenda!

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Oh, you know, I’m never gonna disappoint you, now!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

And they call you a lesser god. It’s not fair.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Oh, they do that? I…

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

I would stand up for you if someone called you a lesser god in front of me.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Well, I appreciate that, Cap’n.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Mm hmm.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Mm hmm.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I didn’t mean to—

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

You see, it’s not that difficult, is it? Just a little bit o’ thinking about other people.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

I think about other people all the time and where they’ve hidden their treasure.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Now, perhaps we should bring our attention to Celene and her… clear plan, that I’ve laid out for you all, to usurp us all by eating Morrigu the Ancient One.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

She should have a croissant instead.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I don’t believe she would agree with that. I do believe, Captain Blackheart, that she wants more than all the pastries in the world. I believe she’s trying to become the only goddess.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Again, I thought we went through this before with that orange god and we just kicked ’em out.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

We did. This is perhaps a time for us to listen to the little ones who have fought so hard against her as mortals.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Which little ones? This kangaroo?

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Well, she’s currently a kangaroo, yes. I will give—

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

(of the party)

Frozen—frozen—kangaroo. You’ve frozen the only ones that are capable to speak.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I will grant her the ability to speak. Listen.

A shimmer of magic.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(breathless)

What—who? Who are you?!

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

You see, this is the problem—they’re all like, oh, I’m talking to gods! And they got all upset and quivery-like.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re gods?!

(gasps)

Loxsyn!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Darcy… Yes.

We have come because you have brought to our attention what Celene is attempting to do. The gods need to hear it. They won’t believe it if just I, mere Loxsyn, a minor god, tell them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(gasps)

You think Loxsyn is a minor god?

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

Well, on the list, sort of at the top end of the minors—so like, the top of the minors or like the bottom of the majors.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And if you think you’re so major, who are you?

CARTER (AS ANOTHER GODLY VOICE)

Why, I’m Dialogus! I’m the god of improvisation and questionable accents.

MIKE

(snickers)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, well, that doesn’t sound very major to me. I mean, Loxsyn has helped me countless times.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

(his accent has by now drifted to Irish)

Oh no, I never said that. I was major. You see, I’m actually what you would call a triple‑A god, really down on the list. But happy to attend the meetings!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

It’s really important that we get up and, you know, take a few swings now and then. Even if we’re not in the show, it’s important to stretch it out and make sure we’re staying in shape.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Both of you, with your names, come before me on the roster call, right?

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Well that’s kind of a given, yeah.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

C… D… L.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I feel like this whole thing is really making me question spirituality in general, but I will say that Celene has really overstepped her bounds and almost killed my friend Blat and I think wants to take over the universe, the world, everything. I mean she’s trying to battle that other god!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Did you say “Blat”?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

What kind of a silly name is that?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, it’s a demon name.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Ohhh, demons.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Short for Blathoxil.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Oh! I knew a Blathoxil once. Washed up on shore on a beach and complained about his companions for hours.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Well, he did give me the place of power, so if we can ever approve that motion in circle, I believe I would be moving up to the next tier—

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Ohhh, that’s what this is about! Another place of power for Loxsyn!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

You see, I only have places of power in pretentious little theatres that no one goes to, where they all wear black and people think, “Am I gonna see a real show?” No! They’re just making it up once again.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

I—

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

And stick to an accent! It just comes and goes.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

By the way, if I bring three friends, do I get to go up next time?

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

You do! And that shouldn’t count! Real theatre, you should just pay a fee and watch professionals.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Okay, but—

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I really enjoyed that last amateur night you did. I had a great—the pastries were amazing.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

But you use the A‑word, and that just sticks in my craw.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Oh yes, sorry.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excuse me! Excuse me, I thought we were focusing on this Celene-Morrigu battle.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Oh, well—you know, there is a small problem. Darcy, I know you see me as a very generous and you know, all-encompassing goddess but—

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Yeah, but you haven’t seen her when the dinner bell comes! All of a sudden Loxsyn is—

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

(clears her throat)

I believe we were talking about Celene, Captain Blackheart.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Oh yes.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

So the small problem is that Celene is quite powerful as, you know, the moon and well, Morrigu is an Ancient One, sort of undefeatable. And… I summoned all the gods and these three are, well… this is what we have to work with.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that’s got to be more than what I have. I’m a kangaroo!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

It is a good point. Yes, well…

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

A mortal that can turn into a kangaroo, though, is pretty impressive.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Well, you know, this mortal kangaroo, and this somewhat mortal fae, and this demon with a horrible name of Blat are attempting to stand up against Celene herself.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

That’s pretty stupid. I mean, why would a mortal go, hey, here’s a major goddess. She controls the moon. I use the moon to get around. Like just to put it in context as a minor god, I need the moon. And these three little squishy ones, especially that very handsome, charming one—

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Yes, he’s quite handsome.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

—are like, we’re gonna take on a goddess? I feel like they kind of brought this on themselves.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

He makes very good pastries.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Now that’s a super good point.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Ah, Brenda, yes.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

But I have to bring up that this demon over here, he has come to my place twice. And he was actually able to withstand the might of Morrigu!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Really!

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Yes! You’d think anyone else, it would have torn them apart. But he turned up, tried to eat me and destroy me. I mean, that took some, you know, cojones, and it was quite impressive. So I think there might be something to them.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

So your defence of him. just—I appreciate it—but it’s basically that he came to eat you.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Well, yes, but that he was able to withstand the power of Morrigu!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Hmm, okay.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Demons, though.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Yeah, they show up from time to time and I’m never a fan.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

They don’t worship any of us.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

They don’t worship…? What—what are we even doing? Where’s my agent? I was told that this was a worship-paying event and that’s why I’m here and you’re telling me—I came all the way here from the sea and they’re not even gonna worship us?!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Let’s keep this civil. Let’s not bring the agents in.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So is there anything you can do to help us?

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Well… we could probably do something if we wanted too, but…

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Well, do we have anything to lock up both Celene and Morrigu?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, that sounds good, locking up. That’s excellent.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Well, we could have used Celene’s crystal but the demon one destroyed it.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Now why in the world would you do something like that?!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

It seems as though someone put him in a position where he thought that was the best idea possible, despite the fact that that would not eventually assist in anything.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I thought maybe we could nominate one of us to speak to Celene. Or Morrigu.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

You… want to try and talk it out with two warring goddesses.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Might as well just try hugging it out then.

MIKE

(laughs)

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Ooo, touchy-feely crappity-do.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

That’s enough of that.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

It seems, Darcy, that we we’re short of ideas for for how to assist.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But Loxsyn, I’ve always relied on you for the answers. I don’t understand this at all. You should be powerful enough to confront Celene and—and fix all this!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Yeah, Loxsyn! Why don’t you confront Celene? Why’d you bring us here?

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I’m not really the goddess of answers. I I’m the goddess of pleasure and, and baked goods and…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(softly)

But you’re the goddess of my answers.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Oh. Well.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

GUILT. GUILT.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Shame!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

GUILT.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

For shame!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

It’s not really a fair card to play, Darcy, but I understand you’re desperate.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A little bit, yes. My friends are still frozen.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Well, perhaps we could just, you know… we could let the goddesses battle it out and maybe in the end rule us all and make us lesser gods in the middle of nowhere—

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You’re talking about double‑A? I’m not going back there!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Ohhh, that’s terrible. No, I canna do that. Double‑A! The crowds are terrible.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

They expect you to bring your own beverages!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

(groans)

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Well, actually, I’m afraid you’d have to try out for double‑A.

MIKE AND CARTER (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART AND DIALOGUS)

WHAT?!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Okay, bring about the cannons! Port, rear, aft firing lines!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

Do you not know who I am?! Pretentious, dark-clothing-wearing students from all over the world worship the likes of me. True, after a few years they grow out of it when they realize that studying me isn’t going to get them steady work. But still, for a couple of years. I’m important.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Yes. I hear that. I hear Celene… doesn’t believe in theatre.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

WHAT! Okay.

I can’t even. I can’t even right now. With you. Or him. Or the kangaroo.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I know. And I hear Morrigu doesn’t care for stew.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

(gasps)

That is a low blow. I just don’t believe that.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I believe she was there, and chose to try and eat you instead.

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Well, now, that is true, but you know Morrigu, she is very changeable. I’ve never liked her. Never liked her.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

So perhaps we should come up with some scheme to stop these two warring goddesses before we end up in the minor leagues?

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

(gasps)

Okay, here’s a plan. Here’s a plan.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Ah, yes, Captain Blackheart.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

We give them… a treasure map. We put an X on it.

MARISA

(laughs)

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

But we don’t give them any indication what the X is for, why they have a treasure map, or where they’re going. And we just see what happens.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

And we put them on a boat.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Yes. A boat in an ocean that’s never been described!

Silence.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

I don’t think it’ll work.

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

No, that’s just cruel. Just cruel.

MARISA

(laughs)

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

That’s what you come up with every time!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

We’ve all got our “things”, Mr. Yes And.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

They love attention! What if we put them on the stage?

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

Yes! I was just about to say. You’re the god of theatre. Why can’t you create the greatest theatre of all where they think they’re still locked in battle, but they’re not really—we send them to a different plane!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

Yes! And we can use the ghost of all the dead sailors I’ve collected as the audience.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

This is interesting, this is interesting.

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

Give them the attention Celene craves.

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

All right, so what we do is… we alter it slightly make it sort of a sporting event and that one night only, Celene versus Morrigu…

MARISA (AS BRENDA)

On the moon!

MIKE (AS CAPTAIN BLACKHEART)

(gasps)

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

On the moon.

All right, just a moment. I’ll just alter my accent slightly.

(clears his throat)

Thunder booms. A grinding guitar theme tune starts up. Rowdy sailors shout in the background

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

(bellowing American wrestling announcer)

Ladies aaaaand gentlemen! In this corner, weighing an incredible amount, it’s Celene, Goddess of the Moon!

SEAN (AS LOXSYN)

(gasps)

What?

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

And in this corner, the Queen of Darkness herself—you hate to love her, you love to hate her—Morrigu!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(sinister laugh)

It is I!

MIKE (AS A DEAD PIRATE)

Morrigu! Morrigu!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

This fight is scheduled for an infinite number of rounds!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You will be mine, Celene!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

First to fall gets to own the dark side of the Moon!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

The moon is mine! Ha ha ha!

CARTER (AS DIALOGUS)

All right, ladies! I want an unfair fight. If you feel like punching each other under the belt, I say you can do it. Punching in the face also allowed—also, we enjoy a nice amount of trash talk. The audience loves it.

A bell rings.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh isn’t this going to be lovely?

(laughs)

Take that! And this!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I will suck the life from your very marrow!

(growls)

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh, weren’t you looking behind you, Morrigu?

(laughs)

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Take this!

Great clashing blows and hearty cheers from the crowd, fading slowly away.

THE ICE CAVERN

SEAN

We return to the giant cavern, where time resumes—but suddenly the goddesses are gone. The echoes of a battle and a crowd of drunken dead sailors laughing slowly fading as darkness falls on the cavern… except for a slight illumination coming from the kangaroo’s necklace.

MARISA

And I hop over to Blat and Eggerton and I tap them both gently with my tail.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaa!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Aaa! Who the—?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispers)

Darcy, is that you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(ostensible kangaroo chatter)

Rr rr!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She says it is.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I think I could have figured that out. Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You are welcome.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now my question is… where are the two goddesses that were fighting each other just a moment ago?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Rr rr mm rr mm!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy says that she thinks I won the bet.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mm mm mmm.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She says yes, definitely.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(contradicting him)

Mm mm!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yup, she will not shut up about me definitely winning the bet, and you owing me some credits.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Fine. Here you are.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooo. Thank you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

30 credits.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’ll find that these aren’t legal tender for another several centuries. But here you go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Perfect. Thank you. She also says the goddesses were tricked by a series of other gods to go to the moon and battle it out for infinity.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Rrr!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You won the bet. You don’t need to keep making up stuff.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, that’s what she said! She said that! And look! Look, she found a treasure map!

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but she’s got it!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My question is… now that this is all over, could we please for the love of Pete simply go back to the Academy of the Fallen and start working on solving the end of time?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh-oh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Funny story!

SEAN

SCENE!

MARISA

(exhausted)

Oh my God!

Laughter.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers, with your Game Master Sean Howard, and players Marisa King, Carter Siddall and Michael Howie.

Dialogue editing and transcription by Michael Howie.

Additional material and sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Story consultant: Laura Packer.

Game consultant: Stephen Smith.

Supporting producers: Ryan Cushman, Evelyn Jones and Kim Bellinger.

Check us out on Patreon. Supporters get early access to episodes, weekly bonus content, and an invite to our fabulous fan community on Discord. Look for the Patreon link at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay… I’m gonna stop you… now!

MIKE

And Eggerton, like, slaps…

No, I…

I dunno!

Laughter.

MIKE

My brain stopped working! I think I’m having a stroke!

The entire table in fits of scatterbrained laughter.

SEAN

Eggerton or Michael?

MIKE

(gasping for breath)

Both.

This is too much!