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15: Solstice

It’s a gloomy Winter Festival as Darcy and Eggerton return to the Academy. Blat looks for an escape from Celene’s advances. Ananka confronts Greg about his betrayal.

We’re back from our hiatus, and we’ll resume our regular schedule in the new year — every two weeks starting January 13!

Download MP3 (82 MB)

Game Master: Sean Howard
Players: Marisa King, Michael Howie and Carter Siddall, plus special guests Maggie Makar and Julian Sark.

Dialogue editing and transcription: Michael Howie
Additional material and sound design: Eli McIlveen
Story consultant: Laura Packer
Game consultant: Stephen Smith

Content Warning: Gloom, doom, drunkenness and depression, war, separation, vomiting and whole ton of sexual harassment.

LAST TIME…

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

Fast‐paced music plays.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello, Celene.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(sweetly)

I thought you had left me.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We did leave you. And oh, the things that we saw!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh… Hello! Hello, Giant Eyeball. Nice to meet you. Uh… my name is Dar—

SEAN (AS THE GIANT EYEBALL)

FOOOOOOD.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, that’s not good.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

I know where you can get lots of food! Celene’s castle!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mr. Grim Reaper!

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

You’re calling for Death?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’re kind of old friends.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

WHAT?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I owe him a favour.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

You said I had to save her! I—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And do you know why you had to save her? Because I love Darcy!

SEAN

And you see what looks to be some kind of moving vehicle with wings… and it begins to fire.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy, you’ve got wings!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was a bird. I flew!

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

(shellshocked)

I can’t believe I’m still alive!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re… we’re waiting for you to kill us.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Oh, you won’t get off that easy. I’m making you all full citizens!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What is involved in processing?

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

We’re all going to be Shadowborn!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we’re not going to have a face!

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

Augh!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s been decided. Celene is going to beam you back to the tree.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

That’s great!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Good news!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Great.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But I’m going to be sticking around here for a while.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No!

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

SEAN

We open on a winter scene: a glade amidst the snow-covered trees; freshly fallen snow over a large fae stone in the centre—when suddenly, a light blossoms out, sending all the trees bending backwards as everything whirls around, fairies flying through the air—and then with a pop it’s gone, leaving a small fairy in the air, another fairy on the ground named Eggerton. Darcy and Magnus.

They are back in Paradox.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is Blat gone?

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

Oh yes! He’s gone! Uh, so he sent his best wishes.

(laughs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But—Blat—we’re—no—Blat… it’s a trick! Right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it’s gotta be a trick, I mean, he’s going to appear here any minute, right? That’s what Blat does. He fakes people out, and then he makes us all really mad at him and then he just comes back and it’s all like it used to be and then he just keeps making us mad at him, right? I mean, that’s what’s going on here.

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

I’ll check! Wait!

SEAN

Poof!

The fairy disappears with a plink!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You don’t really get used to that disappearing poofy thing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, not at all.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

(whimpers)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s OK, Magnus. We’re all a little in shock right now, but I’m sure it’ll all work out. We’re—Blat’s going to be back in no time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Maybe you should just sit down for a minute.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. Get your bearings again.

SEAN

Foof!

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

No, Blat’s not coming!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He’s… really not coming?

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

I’ll check!

SEAN

Poof!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I feel like we need to phrase our questions a little more delicately next time, because the fairies, from what I have heard, sometimes don’t listen too well and then just start talking or going and running off and it gets very frustrating for people trying to communicate with them. I can’t imagine what that’s really like.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I imagine you can’t.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

(a strangled noise of distress)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s okay, Magnus. Let it out. Let it out.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

(screams)

SEAN

Poof!

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

Celene said no more questions!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine. We don’t have any more. We’re home and I guess that’s what matters.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, we’re home. But you know, without Blat it doesn’t really feel like home. And I guess this isn’t really home for Magnus either, because, you know, it’s kind of out of time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s true. We should probably get him back to where he’s come from.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

(whimpers)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, your expression says it all, Magnus. I don’t know how we could have done this without you. Thank you, friend.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

Yeah yeah yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

All right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. Thanks Magnus. You were pretty impressive in the end, actually.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I hope you’ll remember us.

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

No one’s going to tip me, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, we need you to take Magnus so—

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

Okay, so—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yup. Yeah, he says he’s going to tip you.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

What?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s very generous of him.

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

What are you talking about—

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

Okay!

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

I just want to—

SEAN (AS THE FAIRY)

Say goodbye, Magnus!

JULIAN (AS MAGNUS)

I want to get out of—

SEAN

Poof!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Bye, Magnus!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sighs)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He was a cute little guy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. Well, I hope he has a relatively dull and uneventful life after this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s the best kind.

I guess we have to go tell Moira.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah it’s going to be hard for you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. Hard for both of us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes. I hope you can find the words.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(stern)

Eggerton, you’re coming with me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’ll come, I’m going to come, of course I’m going to come. I wouldn’t let you go do it yourself. I just, you know, you’re the wordsmith of the group.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Actually… that might have been Blat.

They both sigh.

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

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

Episode 15: Solstice.

RETURN TO THE ACADEMY

An acoustic rendition of the theme music on guitar and recorder.

SEAN

We find Eggerton and Darcy walking slowly through the streets of Paradox, the roar of the waterfall and the light mist coating everything. But the sound seems dampened and a little removed as the two approach the gates of the Academy of the Fallen.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This place just doesn’t seem the same anymore.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t hear you over the sound of the waterfall! It’s very loud!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I said, this…! Oh never mind, let’s just go in.

SEAN

As the two of you approach the pathway which you’ve travelled a ton of times, and you’re coming up towards the main entrance of the Academy of the Fallen, suddenly something seems different.

And it takes a moment to process that there are two—giant almost, very large—what appear to be knights in full plate armour, slightly rusted, standing unmoving outside the front door, on each side of the doors.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t remember those. Do you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, no… I think there used to be trees there, actually. That’s weird.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, there was that one that Blat took out with his bazooka.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aww.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But you’re right. There definitely weren’t knights, I don’t think. We’re going to have to ask Moira what’s going on here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Let’s just squeeze past these—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah.

SEAN

And immediately as you approach they turn in unison and drop weapons down in front menacingly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Definitely different. Definitely different.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

H‑hello? We are heroes, here to see our handler, Moira? Uh… We don’t have a password but—

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

(voice muffled by a helmet)

You are not authorized.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uhh… Actually, I think you’ll find that we are. If you know, if you just look up the list, under E for Eggerton, Party.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And D for Darcy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, Darcy’s probably just like a sub-list under mine. But if you look at the top of the list you’ll see Eggerton.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think D comes before E. Probably Darcy, Party.

SEAN

They both freeze, lifting weapons. One is lifting a giant war axe and the other is lifting a giant sword. And then they freeze—and then slowly return to standing as they were.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you! That was—

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

Darcy was on the list.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Well.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Boom.

All right! Well, let’s just proceed then. Come through with me, guest.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They probably had the lists upside down, so you know, the VIP at the bottom.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m sure that that’s it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s what it was. Okay, let’s go, let’s go in! Let’s find Moira.

SEAN

As you step in to what used to be an empty, long hall with the doors leading to the Quartermaster and Moira’s office, you stop again because there are four more giant knights in full plate mail standing sort of halfway down the corridor, and then at the far end where the stairs are.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This must be a new security system or something. They’re everywhere.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t remember seeing anything about security systems that involved plate metal. There was the fun one that had the trebuchet. I’m pretty sure we had that at the office.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right. But there are no trebuchets here. This is what we’re facing. I don’t remember any of this! What’s going on here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know! You’re the one who’s on the list.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Fine. I’m on the list. We’re going to find Moira. Let’s just go to her office. We’re going to figure this out.

MARISA

And Eggerton and I march over to Moira’s office and knock on the door.

SEAN

Okay. There’s a pause and then you hear a—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(muffled by the door)

Who is it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s Darcy and Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Eggerton and Darcy, reporting in.

Silence.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Are you alone?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I have Darcy with me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And I have Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, technically I have Darcy with me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s just go in.

MARISA

And I open the door.

SEAN

It’s locked.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why is the door locked? Moira! Moira, it’s Darcy and Eggerton. Can we come in?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Again, that’s Eggerton and Darcy reporting.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, of course, of course.

SEAN

And you hear a bolt turn and the door open.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Please, I’m so sorry. Come in. I was just finishing some paperwork.

MARISA

And I enter ahead of Eggerton and I look around furtively to see if anything is weird in this office.

SEAN

The office looks similar to the last time you were in there trying to file forms against, I think, Blat. And there’s a lot of papers and things that have sort of been shoved under some envelopes on her desk. And she closes the door behind you, doesn’t lock it, and comes around to her desk and sits down and says,

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

So… you two are alone?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes! We’re alone. In fact, we have something really terrible to tell you. Blat didn’t come back with us.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Oh. Oh, I see. And Ananka…?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right. But see, Blat didn’t come back with us. The demon? With the bazooka? We lost him. He’s not here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, yes, yes. And I’ll get the full report. But um, my sister Ananka—did she come back with you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I haven’t seen Ananka forever! I don’t even remember the last time we saw her.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She was in the nice house.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, the weird chicken house, right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It wasn’t weird! It was nice.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It was odd.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If you petted it, it would kind of croon a little bit.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A house on legs, Eggerton? That walk? That’s disturbing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I don’t know that it’s disturbing. I think it’s probably a little unique.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay. Thank you. So. Yes. And Greg. Have you seen the minotaur?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. He was there too. He came in with Ananka.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

He was where?

SEAN

She looks really tense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, uh, they were in the house together and they were going to talk and—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Which house, Eggerton? Slow down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It was the one with the legs.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The chicken house.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And they ran away, right? The house ran away with them in it, I think.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. And then Blat, though. I don’t know if you heard but Blat, he’s in the service of Celene now. I think Darcy has more to tell you about that.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes. Great. We’ll get to that. So… did you have any conversations with…? So what brings you back to—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Listen, Moira. I don’t want to offend you, but our friend Blat, who we’ve been through blood sweat and tears with, might be dead for all we know. He’s under the sway of this moon goddess. We need you to do something! He’s not here with us. Remember, we’re supposed to save the universe and time and everything? You used to care about that.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I do. I do. I’m sorry, Darcy. Please, can I get you all some tea?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I would love a pepperm—uh, no, Blat, though!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. I don’t think we need any refreshments, do we, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No. But, you know, if you’re making tea, maybe peppermint tea would be nice.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes. I’ll get you a peppermint tea. And yourself, Darcy? Nothing?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Nothing for me.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Very well. So why don’t you—well, there’s only one chair.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ll sit in the chair.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine, Eggerton. You’ll need somewhere to sit when you sip your peppermint tea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, it can be kind of hot and I like to balance it on the saucer. Because if you put it down, sometimes you get these little rings. And I think the rings are pretty on the wood. But some people don’t really—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(clears her throat)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Great. So I think what might be best is if you write up a full report that we can understand what happened to Blat. And we can mobilize and figure out what our next step is. I would also like to just make sure you cover everything, and the last time you saw Ananka and Greg. For they—I don’t know how to say this but… they may have moved against the Nexus.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? What now?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Which is why there’s—you may have noticed the new Knights as you entered.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. That was weird.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

By the way, I think they have their lists upside down. I’m pretty sure that—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? No, it’s because the VIP—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is not—no. Forget the list.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Fine. So… Blat, though. We should we should probably try and get Blat back because Blat has the bazooka. And you know, while I take on the leadership role, Blat’s really the one who can help us get out of some sticky spots. I mean, Darcy’s around, but—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton. Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Your tea’s getting cold. You should drink some of that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. Take a sip.

Moira! What are you talking about? Greg and Ananka are acting against us? Ananka was helping us!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes. Well, Ananka is my sister. I am… I’m quite torn up by this. And I’m still trying to process. So any information you have would really help me understand what’s going on. So I would like you both to write a full report, and please—yes, I’m sorry that you may have lost Blat. And hopefully he is fine. But there are risks in this job, as we all know. I may have lost a sister. So why don’t we just get a full report and—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Here’s the problem. Blat did the reports. Blat was really good at doing the reports. He would get all the details just right, and he actually even alphabetized the different people we met by the names we learned.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It was all really pretty. Then he’d collate it all. We don’t do the reports! Eggerton and I aren’t good at the reports. We’re the action people. I can’t…

(she breaks down a little)

Excuse me, can I have some peppermint tea?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, let me make another one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you.

(sips)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I have to say, I did love Blat’s reports.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He always had a way of alphabetizing.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, they also came in triplicate, which no one’s ever done. Here’s your tea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, so please, I’m going to give you some forms. If you can just do your best to fill out the report. It does not have to be done as well as Blat did it. We can figure out what’s going on and we can figure out what we’re going to do next. I’m afraid I have other work right now. So you both know the way to your quarters.

Oh, and tonight is Winter Festival and Snegal is going to try and put on a festive occasion in the dining hall. So, um, be sure you’re there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think I’m going to be up for any winter festival. I’m taking my peppermint—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Do you have any peppermint canes?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I do not. But Snegal tells me he’s preparing quite the feast.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Will there be pleather cakes and roasts?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m not sure, Eggerton. It’s really important that we focus on getting your report.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes. Yes. So for the reports…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

And you write it when you’re not in my office.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I won’t be in your office when I write it. And there’s gonna be like, frozen peppermint tea sticks though, right? Those were always my favourite, and they’re not always easy to come across. But if there’s going to be winter stuff—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Very good. Here, just—here you go, out into the hall. Thank you, Eggerton. Darcy, if you need anything, let me know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(quietly)

I’m going to my room.

WINTER FESTIVAL

SEAN

We cut to the patter of tiny feet as we see Eggerton—well, we see half of Eggerton, as he is carrying an unbelievable assortment of pies and fairy cakes stacked up above his head. And he’s heading down the bottom stairs. It teeters—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaa…

SEAN

And somehow doesn’t fall over…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sigh of relief)

SEAN

…as Eggerton turns and heads towards the dining hall, but pauses, because there are two giant, fully encased in plate armour, knights, one on each side of the dining hall, each brandishing a giant mace.

But you hear the sound of music coming from the dining hall.

Cheerful voices and folk music in the background.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

No, put it over there! Yes, it goes over there. Thank you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I have pies! I have winter festival pies. I spent the last few hours making them. I can… Excuse—excuse me, uh, guards? I’ve got pie. Do you want a pie? Do you like cherry? What about boysenberry?

SEAN

The two guards both turn slowly in unison, on each side of you, and both heads start to angle down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, what about… uh, I’ve got this one, this is a pleather specialty. It’s got a bit of spice in it. I made it for… well, I made it for Blat. But, um, if he’s not here, maybe you two would like to try it? I don’t think the mace—do you have a dagger? You could slice a piece out? The mace might just squish it. But need to get—

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

You are authorized for entry.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know I’m authorized for entry. This is home. So, you know, I’ve got these pies. It’s just you’re kind of in the way, and I want to go through and put the pies down on the table, and then I thought maybe you guys want pie! I mean you work hard, you’ve been here all day, I bet. I don’t know how long your shifts are. I once had to work a 12-hour shift, and that was really tiring. I just couldn’t imagine having to stand there like—

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

We do not need rest.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You don’t—well, that’s kind of sad. Do you get to like, just hang out? And you know, play ping-pong sometimes? Or do you have you have to—

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

You are cleared for entry.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I know I’m cleared for entry! So what I’m wondering though is what you do in your downtime and if you don’t rest means you don’t sleep. Do you eat at all? Because I’ve got pies, I’ve got some cakes here in my pouch too, and then there’s probably a whole bunch of good stuff inside. A lot of peppermint-flavoured things, because peppermint’s always…

MARISA

Twenty minutes later, Darcy stumbles down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, hi Darcy! I was just talking about you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(drunk and slurring her words)

Eggerton, it’s so good to see you! Oh, my friend, it’s so good to see you…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Oh my. You’re being very touchy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, are those pies? Do you have boysenberry?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I do have boysenberry!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ll take five.

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

(desperate)

Please enter.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hello, guards!

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

Please! Enter!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hooray! It’s the Winter Festival! Woo hoo!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, guys, I’m gonna—

SEAN (AS A KNIGHT)

Please, please enter.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I think the guards are getting a little tired of your frivolity here, Darcy, so let’s go inside.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, let’s go in, let’s go in. It’s the Winter Festival! Nobody cares that Blat’s gone. Why should I? This is going to be so much fun! Woo hoo! Let’s go! Snegal! Hi Snegal!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Wha? Oh, Darcyyy!

SEAN

Snegal flies through the air and side tackles Darcy, who goes stumbling back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(laughing)

It’s so good to see you, Snegal.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Darcy! Oh good, Darcy, you’re back! I heard you might be back! Oh ho ho ho! Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hi Snegal!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Wait. Where’s Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Um. Here, let me put down all of my pies.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no, it’s fine, Eggerton, I’ll tell him. I mean nobody cares, why should you care? Blat’s just gone, Snegal, he’s never coming back. He’s become the Moon Goddess’s concubine or something like that, and you’re never gonna see him again. I know you really loved him but what does it matter, hearts are only there to be broken.

Oh good! Are these fairy cones?

Silence.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Blat… not coming…?

I made his favourite.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, he—he may not be coming today, but you know I think Moira, she seemed to think that maybe we can go get him. So he had to stay behind with Celene, who’s this… I don’t think you’d like her—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

We’re going to get him?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, not right now, but I think we’re gonna try. Maybe we’ll do a rescue mission?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes! Snegal do rescue mission!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

We rescue Blat!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, we will rescue Blat! Not right now…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Not right now.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

He won’t be coming to the festival.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, but you know, I have a special job for you, Snegal.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is this pleather nog spiked? We need to spike the pleather nog. Snegal.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snegal, where’s where’s the brandy.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’ll get the brandy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Get the brandy. Get the whiskey. Get everything.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Snegal, I’m gonna need you to help me take care of Darcy. She seems a little upset. I mean have you noticed how much she’s talking? It’s so irritating. Maybe, you know, you can help keep an eye on her?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think she’s extra sad about Blat, and she’s not eating any of the fairy cakes I left for her.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I give her food now! I go. She likes toast.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. You go get her some toasts.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And we’ll be over—

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

But you won’t go to get Blat without me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no! We’ll take you for sure.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I can’t imagine going to get Blat without you.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay! I made you a special demon cake!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Is that what you made for Blat, and you’re regifting for me?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

No. This one was for you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s nice of you, Snegal.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You can’t have Blat’s demon cake.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, we’ll save that for later. Here. And why don’t you have a very special red polka dot fairy cake? Just for you for Winter Fest!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You… got me something?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Of course! It’s Winter Fest. Even though it’s a little sad because Blat’s not here.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We still need to honour the tradition set forth by the talking trees.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You’ve—no one’s ever given Snegal a gift before.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, everybody should get a gift!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Thank you!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Snegal. Snegal. Brandy.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh yes, the brandy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Brandy. Whisky. Now.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Snegal get brandy! I’ll be right back!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Don’t eat the demon cake too quickly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(laughing)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How much vanilla is in these fairy cakes, Eggerton. Did you put in a lot of vanilla?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s, there’s lots of vanilla…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A lot of almond extract? Is that in there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. Well, this this one is actually pleather bean extract. But—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ll take it. Just give it to me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, here.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Darcy, can you help me get the brandy bottle out of Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh yeah, what’s Phil…?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Here, look, it’s floating in the Quartermaster, help me. Right there.

The Quartermaster’s sweeping electronic melody.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I, oh…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

It’s right there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. I’m trying. I’m trying. Hold still!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Hold still, Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, Phil the Thicket, hold still! Can you… Oh gosh. Eggerton, can you get the…? Everything’s kind of spinning right now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

It’s right there. See the bottle?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I see them. Okay, I’m going to… Excuse me! Yeah. Yeah. Over here. Could you bring the brandy over for Darcy here? She’s looking for the brandy.

SEAN

And Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt, the giant air jelly quartermaster, floats over towards Eggerton, and lowers down in front of you. And you see the brandy bottle floating there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it okay if I just kind of reach in and grab…?

SEAN

As you reach it reaches towards you with its tendril..

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, that’s nice. It’s a Winter Fest miracle, ha ha ha!

And I’m gonna… I’m gonna just grab it now.

SEAN

You put your hand into the goo.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ugh.

(giggles)

It’s tickly! Uh, okay. There we go. Thank you.

SEAN

And as you grab the bottle you feel the tendrils wrap around your head… and the world disappears.

The music turns dark and menacing.

SEAN

And you are in the hall suddenly, as the world sort of appears but everything’s grey and almost double vision. Like, the lines don’t quite match up. And you see Moira running down the stairs and down the hall towards her office, and you’re slowly following her as she opens the door, and she’s shouting but you can’t make out what she’s saying.

And suddenly the front door is open, and you see these knights marching in two by two: giant, plate mail, and starting to fan out through the whole complex.

SEAN

And then suddenly you’re back in the party, and the singing…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that was unusual. I’ve never drank that much brandy just by touching it.

SEAN

And you’re holding a brandy bottle..

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well here—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, good, you got the brandy. Thanks, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy… I saw something weird from Phil-kaputuh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, Darcy. I made you this special toast. Um. And I tried to make it like Snappies. I put sugar on it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, yeah, thanks, Snegal. That’s great. Because I’m gonna make a few toasts. Ha ha ha.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Ha ha! You can use my toaster.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Here’s to Blat!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, to Blat! Yes, to Blat!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s all drink a toast to Blat, who’s never coming back ever.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And is just going to be some moon goddess lover boy for the rest of time. Okay, Blat, I hope you’re having a good time, wherever you are.

(sobs)

I’m just going to be over here now.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Darcy? Blat’s not coming?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, Blat’ll come back. You know, it’s sad and it’s scary, but I’m sure it’ll be okay. Because it’s Winter Fest, Snegal! And that’s when wondrous things happen, at Winter Fest! Look! Look. It is so happy in here…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You’re just trying to make me feel better, aren’t you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, yeah, maybe a little, but look! Darcy’s feeling better, see? She’s, she’s throwing up in the corner! That means she’s feeling better.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(retching)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

See? Everything’s gonna be okay.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’m gonna go wrap up my present for Blat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

And put it in the freezer.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh that’s a good idea. Now, does it need to be in the freezer? Or are you just putting it in the freezer.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’m going to probably go in the freezer too for a little bit.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh that’s that’s sad.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’ll see you later.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, okay. I’ll come visit you soon, okay?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And we’ll have a fairy cake together. One of the peppercorn ones that Blat would always like.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yeah, okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I should go check on Darcy and find out why Moira was yelling at the weird loopy door.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(gagging and coughing)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Okay. Let it all out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh God.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I’ve got you. Here, I’ve got just the thing for you. This is a rice fairy cake. This is what we would have when we had upset tummies. And a little bit of ale ginger.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think I want anything else.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh no don’t worry about it. This will be good. Just put this in your mouth. It’s very light. See, there you go. There you go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(gags)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And it’ll make you feel better. It’ll be all good. It’ll be all good. ‘Cause you know he it’s not like you’re the strong one who holds the group together. That’s my job. Because I’m the leader, so I‑I can make sure everyone’s OK. Everyone’s going to be fine. Nothing’s going to go bad.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank goodness you’re the leader, Eggerton. Thank goodness you’re going to make everything better.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I am. No pressure at all. I will fix it all.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Good. Um…

SEAN

A hush falls over the room… and Moira walks in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispering)

There’s Moira.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Moira!!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You came to the party!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy, no, I—I saw Moira, when I when I touched Pha-thil-kapth.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I’m really sorry, everyone, to do this during Winter Festival, as this is a happy time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s so happy!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, here, why don’t you sit down here, Darcy.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

But we are at war. The Shattering has moved against us, as has my sister.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps softly)

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You should all get some rest tonight. We begin tomorrow.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait. Uh, question! Are you taking questions? I have a question. Question over here.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excuse me, Moira—question? Can I ask a question?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. When you say “we begin tomorrow,” could you define what you mean by “begin”?

Pause.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

We take this battle to the Shattering tomorrow.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… So we’ve already kind of tried that?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Thank you, Eggerton. That will be all.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But I have a follow-up question. It’s a kind of Question 1A? I don’t know that it’s really another question. Um, it just that, you know, I don’t exactly—I mean, I had a toy boat but I don’t really have any weapons or anything.

SEAN

She steps, aside and you hear metal ringing out on stone as pair after pair of knights in full plate mail march into the room, shaking the walls, until fifty of them line the walls, all marching, pivoting and turning.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, hi. Hi guys. I’m Eggerton. This is Darcy.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

This is our army.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s only fifty.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

This is but the first battalion. We begin tomorrow, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ok. So question 1B—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

There will be no more questions.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because I’m just—

SEAN

And she turns and leaves the room.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is so great, Eggerton. Do you know why this is so great?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because you’re the new leader!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I am!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re their general. You’re General Eggerton and this is your army and that’s why it’s all going to be different now! You’re going to fix everything. The Shattering is just gonna become the Splattering and it won’t matter anymore! Nothing matters anymore, Eggerton. Hello, soldiers!

Ugh, I don’t feel so good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh geez.

MIDROLL

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER

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

SEAN

Hey everyone. Sean here. Happy holidays! I have a few brief announcements and some special announcements about when End of Time is back. So hold onto your seats, here we go. First of all, I want to announce that we’re gonna be at PodCon in Seattle on January 18th through the 20th. Eli and I will both be there. We’re gonna be doing a meetup for Alba Salix and End of Time. So if you are coming, be sure to give us a shout out on Twitter: @AlbaSalix or @OtherBothers or on our Facebook pages.

I wanted to start by talking, because it’s sort of the end of the year, about why we started this show. We started this show because we wanted more laughter in the world and a space that was inclusive and welcoming. What we didn’t expect when we started the show was to have such a powerful and loving community around and behind this show. To each and every one of you that are interacting with us on Twitter and Facebook or in our Discord: thank you so much. It truly means the world to us to know that we are reaching other creators across mediums, and also people who just love comedy, improvisation and roleplay, and we can never thank you all enough.

Okay, so let’s get to the great news. We recently commissioned Katherine Green to create an epic new piece of art of the three adventurers: Blat, Eggerton and Darcy. And it is so awesome—I have it right now, and it’s now available on shirts in our store. You can find that by going to albasalix.com and just clicking on the Shop or Store, I forget what it’s called. But I have a special announcement. You can also get a special sticker of this same image, and to do that you need to sign up as a or higher supporter on Patreon by January 1st. Everyone who is at the level by January 1st is going to get one of these stickers. And I’m super excited to get those out the door and get them to you. They are so awesome—I’m holding one right now.

And finally: when is The End of Time and Other Bothers back? Well, starting on January 13th, we are back every two weeks on our normal schedule and we can’t wait for you to hear these next three episodes. We’ve already got them in the can and Episode 18 is probably my favourite episode we’ve ever recorded.

So that’s it. A final thank you from myself and from Eli and from the whole table. And we’re gonna get you back to the episode.

MIDROLL: NEW IDEAS

Music sting.

SEAN

(yawning)

Okay, who brought the coffee.

MIKE

I got the pot right here.

SEAN

All right.

MARISA

I don’t like coffee.

SEAN

I know. Yeah.

MIKE

Yeah, we’ll get some tea.

SEAN

We’ll get some tea. I’ll get some tea in a second. Sorry, Mees, you have said that before. OK. So we’re here to talk about the next arc because you guys have broken the first arc?

MIKE

Mm hmm.

SEAN

So who’s got some ideas?

CARTER

We play the game separately.

SEAN

Like, split the party?

CARTER

Yeah. So Blat’s got a plot and then Darcy and Eggerton have a plot.

SEAN

Okay, I’m seeing this.

CARTER

Okay. And then, eventually they get back together? I don’t know how.

SEAN

Okay, okay, I like that. That’s a good start.

MIKE

Yeah, we can see how that works.

MARISA

No.

SEAN

What?

MARISA

Bzzzt. Don’t like it.

SEAN

Okay. All right. What else you got?

MARISA

I might feel better once I’ve had some tea.

SEAN

It is a little silly to break the party. Come on.

MIKE

Yeah. What if we bring the tea into it? And they have to get some kind of special tea for Moira?

SEAN

(gasps)

Oh maybe—Moira.

MIKE

Yeah.

CARTER

Moira.

SEAN

She’s changing things and she brings in these knights? And we’re not really sure what she’s up to, there’s all this espionage…

MARISA

Moira? You can’t even say her name. I don’t think we should give her more stuff to do. You know if I were to rate and review you on iTunes, you wouldn’t be getting a very high rating, guys. Come on. Raise the bar. Raise the bar.

(imitates squeaking of a crank)

Raise the bar.

CARTER

Okay. We do an episode. It’s just the Quartermaster.

SEAN

(gasps)

Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt?

MIKE

Ohhh.

CARTER

Yeah it’s just him, and if he’s ever in a jam, he just pulls out an object.

SEAN

I think it might be a “they”.

CARTER

They—just pulls out object out from inside of them…

MIKE

That’s so cool.

CARTER

And then that gets them out of whatever jam they’re in.

MARISA

I do like the Quartermaster.

SEAN

(enthusiastically)

Huh? Huh?

MARISA

They’re kind of adorable.

SEAN

Huh??

CARTER

All right. Well let’s cue the Quartermaster vocal sound effects! Bloop-bloop-bloop!

The Quartermaster’s synthesizer music.

SEAN

(slurping noises)

MARISA

No, you’re right, it’s not going to work. Forget it.

Groans.

MARISA

So close. So close.

MIKE

Well, you know what we can always do, is just go to patreon.com/albasalix, and you know, engage with the people on our Discord and try to come up with some ideas, or you know, offer them some cool other perks, like early access to episodes and things like that.

MARISA

Or T‑shirts.

MIKE

Or T‑shirts. Maybe we can do a special contest at some point for Patreon subscribers.

SEAN

(gasps)

That’s a great idea.

MARISA

That’s actually a good idea, Mike.

MIKE

What?!

MARISA

I think you win the prize.

MIKE

I win! Yeah!

SEAN

Yay! Meeting’s over!

MIKE

What do I win?

MARISA

Tea?

Music sting.

BLAT’S REPORT

SEAN

We cut to high above Celene’s fortress. But on this evening, it is shining blue. It is formed out of ice and the light shifts across it as the moon strikes it and radiates off in every direction.

And we come down into the biggest tower, where Celene is laying in a bed, as a certain individual gives his report.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hi-diddly-ho, Celene. It’s time for report number 12FG-dash‑X!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(purring seductively)

Oh, I love your reports so much, Blat! Please… talk to me about progress and, mmmm, the accomplishments and… all the little bylines in your report.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So! As you can see on this map here we have 47 different locations for prospective Goddess of the Moon Temples, supplanting three different religions or/and cults that were in that area. Now, what I find particularly interesting is that this one here you see—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Come. Keep talking, but sit right here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(laughing nervously)

Oh, right. That’s not… strange at all. Um, the northernmost one here, you can see the drawing of it—I saw a drawing of this as a child, I seem to recall! So it seems that I’ve actually altered time. And, uh, I remember witnessing this as an old temple from a history book, and—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes, yes, yes. How many of these temples now have you put in place.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, 47 are, I think good choices. I’m about to go to the first one now. I thought it would be best if I just tried to convince them to turn over to your religion instead of whatever silly current religion that they have going now, blah blah blah, god or goddess, blah blah.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(laughs)

Yes, and no, we don’t need this report. Tell me, Blat…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s why I was supposed to come in here.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Mmm hmm? Tell me, when you go and talk to them, what are you going to say about little old Celene?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! That’s simple. I’m just going to try to convince them, without much difficulty, that your religion is the absolute best religion. And if they try to fight back I’ll say, well, I tried to resist, but that turned out… so very badly.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Did it? Did it, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Well, not badly, perhaps that’s a poor choice of words, but it’s just that, uh… I am now in your employ for, uh… the rest of time.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So why fight it? Just come on over to the Moony side and forget about your past life and whatever else you may have believed in.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

So, it’s Festival in so many of my kingdoms today.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I can’t tell, we’re so high up. They’re like ants down there! Look at them.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes, aren’t they? Come. Come to the window. Yes. Look out across what is our kingdom, is it not, Blat? Our growing kingdom?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I know I’ve been given a file room. I wasn’t told that I was getting a kingdom at all. There is a bit of a problem with the heat in the file room, I was meaning to tell you about that.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Is there?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s a wee bit chilly, and for some reason you won’t let me wear clothing. Heh.

So, I was just wondering, you know, either/or: heat? clothing? both would be best, but I realize that that might not be a possibility.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You are such a strange one. So, Blat. What should we do in this Winter Festival to celebrate? What decree would you make.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I actually wasn’t going to stay for the festival. Like I said, I was going to go and try to convince one of these 47 locations that you should get over to the Goddess of the Moon side! And I was going to start with this furthest one on the map, all the way over here!

(stretches and grunts)

So I’m going to have to go do that right now if I’m going to make it in time.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So! If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to pack some bags—with what, I don’t know, since I’m not allowed clothing. But… yup! Gonna have to head on out and make sure that I get there as quickly as possible, and—oh! The door seems to be locked. I don’t know how that happened, ha ha ha.

Perhaps you could just, uh, jingle jangle this lock and I’ll be on my way.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

I asked you for a decree, Blat. You could do create anything. Anything in these lands of mine, you could decree on this Festival day.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

An open door!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(pouting)

Very well. All doors shall be open to you on Festival day.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, that hopefully is not a euphemism—I’m just going to try this lock one more time. That still seems to be stuck! I don’t know what the problem is.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(dangerous)

I could take what I wanted Blat. I could make it happen. But no. No.

I am going to break you. It may take years. It might take decades. But you will crawl to me, Blat. You will crawl to me one day.

Oh look, the door is unstuck.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! Good. Well, heh, once again, it’s been a very awkward meeting, so I’ll just continue traveling the land, and try to convince everyone that you’re the ultimate leader of everything—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

In this report, Blat, I don’t want 47 possibles. I don’t want this far northern kingdom.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You don’t want the far northern kingdom? But I told you, I saw this in a—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(booming)

I want Oracle Idris. Show me a plan that gives me Oracle Idris, Blat. The one you gave away.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, right. The reason why I’m here. Um, that might be a—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

That might be what, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…a definite possibility for the next report! Absolutely!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Perfect.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ll get these pesky first 47 out of the way, and then we’ll circle on back to… the one thing that I did as a free demon. Okay! Good meeting. So… uh, next time, if you could have something else on, other that the see-through gown, that would be appreciated, and—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

I got you something, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it clothing?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

No.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Not really.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(laughs)

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Here. Open it when you’re alone.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. It’s not a very large package, but… well, like I said, pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er. I gotta—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Happy Festival, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, Happy Festival to you too, Celene. I’ll just, uh… do you want the door open or closed? I’ll just close it. That’s—that’s fine. All right! Ta ta for now!

SEAN

As Blat steps out into the hall, and the door closes behind, and everything dematerializes—and you’re suddenly standing in your filing room, which you’re getting used to now, this constant transformation of movement.

And you see Vardia, the book, who is assisting you, scurrying around, clasping papers between its little tiny hands that stick out of the leaves of the book. And it’s attempting to file, badly.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(mumbling)

Hum, hum, goes in 3, goes in 4… this is an A. Is that a B? Okay—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh, Vardia—

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(startled)

Oh! Aaaa!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(just as startled)

Aaaaa! Don’t do that!

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(gruff and befuddled)

Sorry, Blat! I’ve got, uh—I think I’ve filed all of two thousand one hundred and seventy three, and the year of the Goddess’s birth, but I think I got it done.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, let’s just do a double check here. Let’s see.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

All right. Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, so… A. Good.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Yeah?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

B. Good. And… R. How—you’re a book! How is this hard?! There’s letters inside of you! Why is this so confusing?

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Well, R comes after B!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s a bunch of stuff in between!

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Oh, I know, but I had an R and I needed to file it! I didn’t have the other stuff yet, see. Maybe I should go back to collating. I’m really good at collating.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. All right, go back to collating.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Oh yes. Thank you. Oh, thank you, Blat. I’ll just collate. Do you need anything? Can I collate your shoes?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, uh…

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Oh! You got a package! Should I collate that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I… God in heaven, yes. Collate this and be sure to lose it. I don’t even want to open it to know what’s inside it. It’s probably something that’s studded, or…

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

I’ll file it! I’ll file it now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Good. Very good. Make sure not to find it again.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

And the report? How did the report go, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t think she’s actually that interested in me spreading the word of the Goddess of the Moon, but she’d like me to spread something else—we’re not going to get into that because I don’t want that to happen! If we just concentrate on filing and collating and asking people to supplant all of their beliefs, we’ll be able to hopefully delay the last thing as long as possible.

Now! I’m going to remove these bedsheets from my bed… and then, if I just cut a couple of slits here and here, this could possibly pass as clothing.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Yes, it’s quite striking, quite striking.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Maybe I could just say that this is what the Moon people wear. Which is more than what their goddess wears. Ugh, why does everything have to be see-through on her.

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(alarmed)

You met with Celene?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, I—

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

Herself?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, up close and in person and in the flesh and all of that. Have you never met Celene?

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(screams in terror)

Aaaagh!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Aaa! All right, all right!

SEAN

He slams closed and hits the floor.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

I wish I had your relationship with her.

CARTER

And Blat picks him up, files him on a shelf…

SEAN

(laughs)

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(muffled)

Oh, thank you!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Good night…

SEAN (AS VARDIA)

(muffled)

Good night, Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ll see you when I get back.

CARTER

Blat opens the window in his filing room tower, looks out on the cold winter Festival night, spreads his wings and flies off to the northernmost part of the map, to reach the first temple, to do his job.

NOCTURNE

A melancholy rendition of the theme on electric guitar and glockenspiel.

SEAN

We cut to another individual looking out a window, across the winter grounds—and it is a flightless fairy.

He has the window cracked half open and behind him, half in her bed and half on the floor, Darcy is snoring. And he’s looking out over the festivities and the people in the town that are partying.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, Blat.

(sighs)

It’s so quiet without you. So used to sitting and listening to you talk and explain things and file things and explain filing and alphabetizing and itemizing and prioritizing and all the other zings. Then explaining what each one of them means, and getting frustrated with poor Snegal when he tries to help.

It’s gonna be weird here without you, Blat. I’m trying to keep the team together. Moira’s having a hard time. She seems to have brought on a whole bunch of helpers. I don’t know if she forgot that I’m here. But I’ll try and be their leader too, and get them out into the field, doing calisthenics and stretching out before we go to war with the Shattering.

Darcy’s just all over the place. I guess her overwhelming love for me has gotten too intense without you here to ground her. Snegal got into the fairy wine. I won’t touch the stuff—it really messes with your head, and I would never want to do anything like that. But tomorrow we go to war, I’ve been told, and I’ve never been in a fight. Except for that time with the zombies, and that other time with a slot and the whole thing in the void with…

SEAN

And we pull away from the window, up into the sky, as we leave Eggerton as he continues to build up his resolve into the night air.

And we see a shadow flit through the air, as a large man-sized creature with wings circles the school twice before flying off to the north.

ANANKA’S HUT

Soft wind chimes. We are picking up where we left Greg and Ananka in Episode 9.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

(furious)

I came back for this? I thought you were helping! I thought you and me were on the same page!

(growls)

SEAN (AS GREG)

Ananka—at least put down the sword.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Hmmm.

SEAN (AS GREG)

At least for a moment. I’m not armed.

She drops the sword with a clank.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

And always remember. I can still hurt you, weapon or not.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I know. Ananka, I… I still don’t know if you’re in on this.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You don’t know if I’m in on this?! What the hell does that mean?

SEAN (AS GREG)

Moira is building another bomb.

Silence.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

What? No.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Yes. I’ve seen it. In Steadfast, when I went to get Darcy. She’s rebuilding the Hall of Wonders.

I should back up. I helped to build the first bomb. I didn’t know it’s what I was doing. It’s why I crossed over and told the Shattering. The Nexus was building a bomb. you’ve seen it—the Event. That wasn’t the Shattering, Ananka. That was the Nexus.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

I don’t even…

SEAN (AS GREG)

Maybe you should sit down. Maybe I should sit down.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

What are we supposed to do now? I can’t even trust my sister. Is this what you are telling me?

SEAN (AS GREG)

That’s what I was hoping to hear. I know that’s awful.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

And I’m supposed to trust you now?

SEAN (AS GREG)

I didn’t tell you, so I can understand if you don’t trust me. After… after the Event I told Moira what I’d done. And I told her everything I knew about the bomb that was being built, the genocide the Nexus was planning, to eliminate the Shattering forever. And I told her that this was against my vow, as a hunter, for balance. And she swore me to silence. She thanked me. But Ananka—she’s using the three that you had me get to build the bomb again.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

And I’ve been helping her this entire time train these people for…

SEAN (AS GREG)

It gets worse.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

How can how can I be so blind?

SEAN (AS GREG)

I don’t know.

I was caught just as off guard as you were. I trusted her. I trusted you and both your sisters.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

And my sight was wrong—what if she had something to do with that?

SEAN (AS GREG)

I don’t know. I think she sent you on this errand at this time on purpose. She wanted you away for whatever she’s planning right now.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

And she came for me. I think she expected me to die—needed me to die. I don’t think she expected you to come and rescue me on that one-way mission.

(sighs)

Well, I suppose the one thing that she did not know is that… I love you, Grishka. and I never will stop loving you.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I’ve never stopped loving you, Ananka. Don’t put your sword away. I think we’re going to need it.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Let’s fight together.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Thank you. We can’t go back though, right now. She is raising new warriors. The dead. The Knights walk again. I barely escaped. You can’t just walk back in there. We need allies.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

The three.

SEAN (AS GREG)

I hope your trust in them is not misplaced, Ananka.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

You know, I know I haven’t been spot-on with a lot of the visions. But if there is one thing I can always sense, it’s a good heart. And I know their intentions are pure and I have faith. Who else can we trust? There’s no one but you and me and…

SEAN (AS GREG)

And your other sister.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

Of course.

SEAN (AS GREG)

Maybe it’s time we bridge that separation.

MAGGIE (AS ANANKA)

No better time than now.

CREDITS

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 Marisa King as Darcy, Carter Siddall as Blat, Michael Howie as Eggerton, and special guest Maggie Makar as Ananka.

Additional material and sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Story consultant: Laura Packer.

Game consultant: Stephen Smith.

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon. Supporters get weekly bonus material, access to our Discord server, and lots more. You’ll find it all at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE

SEAN

Okay, so we’ll call it the Winter Special.

(he accidentally pronounces it “win-der”)

MARISA

Not the winder.

Laughter.

SEAN

Winter Special. The Winter Festival?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, the Winder!

MARISA

I think Celene has a Winter Festival.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The day of winding things!

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(grunts with effort as he winds a toy)

Hngh! Hngh! And then we let it go!

MIKE

Did you just invent the Farlorian dreidel?

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sings, to the tune of “I Have A Little Dreidel”)

Winder, winder, winder, I made it out of twine

Winder, winder, winder, the winder I will wind—

Augh! It cut me!