Skip to content

17: Return of the Oracle

While Darcy and Eggerton struggle to make sense of their new mission, Blat makes his way back to the Temple of the Oracle for a visit.

Download MP3 (80 MB)

Plus: while we were in Seattle for PodCon, Sean sat down to play some D&D with the Dumbgeons and Dragons crew and Travis from Dark Dice. Check out the video!

Game Master: Sean Howard
Players: Marisa King, Michael Howie and Carter Siddall
Dialogue Editing and Transcription: Michael Howie
Story Consultant: Laura Packer
Game Consultant: Stephen Smith
Sound Design and Music: Eli McIlveen

Content Warning: War and mentions of death, and as always, a whole lot of panic and screaming.

PREVIOUSLY

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Previously on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

SEAN (AS THE HIGH PRIESTESS)

You are Morrigu’s voice. Use your power.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(whining)

I don’t wanna be a Prophet of Morrigu.

SEAN (AS THE HIGH PRIESTESS)

Slaad. Kill the little one.

SEAN (AS A SLAAD)

Lazbo will fight the little one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The little… who’s the little one?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Bazooka!

The bazooka starts to appear, but something’s wrong. The ground rumbles.

SEAN

Lightning races down over all the wood and strikes in at Blat. One of the giant limbs tears off the tree…

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Sanctify this temple again, to the goddess of your choosing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Loxsyn! We choose Loxsyn to be the goddess of—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Are you sure, Blat?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s all drink a toast to Blat, who’s never coming back ever. And is just going to be some moon goddess lover boy for the rest of time.

SEAN

Pair after pair of knights in full plate mail march into the room.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

This is our army.

MICHAEL (AS EGGERTON)

You said I was gonna be a general… and I feel like yeah, I’m up here on the hill but my hat’s not very big.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What I’m trying to do my good man is to try to talk you out of whatever you folks worship in order to get down with the Goddess of the Moon!

MICHAEL (AS A TREVOR)

Here’s a moon for you.

Frat boy hooting and hollering.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I used to like my life.

AFTER THE BATTLE

Moody, plodding orchestral music.

SEAN

We open on a riverbank that is trodden and torn and muddy. Bodies lay strewn about. An eerie silence, a lack of any bird song or any other sounds except for the churning and darkened water.

Eggerton and Darcy are standing beside three large knights in full plate mail, visors down. Eggerton is bloodied, limping slightly, and Darcy looks the worse for wear as well. And they are standing there surveying what is left of the battle.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that didn’t go too well.

So, uh, knights. Um.

SEAN (AS KNIGHT)

(gruff mechanical voice)

Awaiting orders.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes. Orders. And as the general available right now. I will order you to, you know, do knightly things. Uh…

SEAN (AS KNIGHT)

Awaiting orders,

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, I’m getting to it. So we’re going to march henceforth, about face and then um, flank the upper pincher and… fly arrows, that’s a thing…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Didn’t we do what Moira told us to do? We held the riverbank… we’ve done our job. Right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, well, yeah, technically we did.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So maybe we should just report back to her?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Do you think it’s safe?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know. Maybe we should send the knights.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What we should do is send one of the knights and keep the other two here, just in case.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, that’s some good general thinkin’.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right? I have a lot of very positive general thoughts.

Okay, knights! Alpha Blue Trinkle. I am assigning you to return to headquarters and report on the current status of the river bank, which is: all clear, 10–4.

SEAN (AS KNIGHT)

Which of us is Alpha Trinkle?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That is not you, clearly, Ruxpinian.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I… oh. And then the third one’s Beta Red Sprinkle, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s right. I don’t know how that can be in any way confusing to anyone.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know how we forgot about that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Silly knights are all jocks.

(he bangs on one knight’s armour)

So you, you are going to go and provide our reports to Moira. You’re going to ask her if we’re allowed to have a nap. And when the tea will arrive. Then you come back and let us know. Okay? Okay.

Let’s go team. Whooooooa, Eggerton!

SEAN (AS KNIGHT)

Proceeding with orders.

SEAN

And one of them begins to walk away mechanically, towards the sounds of battle in the distance and the hill on which you can sort of through the trees still see Moira’s tent.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You know, I actually thought was going to be a bad idea making you the general, but I kind of like the way you run things.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mmm-hmm. That’s, that’s, you know, the general consensus.

A strange popping sound.

SEAN

There’s a pop sound and Darcy’s head is now a beetle face, and continuing to talk to you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you think it went well, right? And why… why are you looking?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(a stressed-out whine)

Uhhhh…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why are you looking at me like that? I feel like it’s the way you looked at me when I had really black eyes.

Pop.

SEAN

And suddenly, it’s as if for you, Darcy, perspective just changes and he is 500 feet away. But you can still see him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(shouting)

Egg… Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(not shouting)

Why? Why are you yelling?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because you’re so… how did you get so far away?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m right here. I have a question though.

SEAN

And a fish walks past.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay…? So there goes salmon. Uh…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t you come closer to me? Come back!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m only a few feet away from you. But I noticed that your face—I mean, I don’t want to judge your makeup choices. But I feel like the whole beetle thing is a little weird.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you talking about?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, your face is like a beetle. Right now…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s nice. I think it’s been a tough battle. You don’t look so great yourself, you know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We both know I look beautiful. But I think more particularly it’s…

Another pop.

SEAN

Suddenly Eggerton is a plant from the waist down.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, there’s something really bizarre going on here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You have a stem have for legs.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, you know what? I have been doing a lot of cardio lately. And I’m trying to bulk up a little bit. I don’t appreciate that tone—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No. I mean, you literally have a stem. It’s like you’re a plant with an Eggerton bloom on top.

Pop.

SEAN

And suddenly the world goes back to normal.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now see, now your face is back to normal.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, something was going on. You seemed far away. Did you see the fish walk by? What’s happening?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I did see the fish. I named him Trevor.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, but that’s not normal. I mean, you naming him Trevor and the he walked by; both of those things are not normal.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But I feel like I am pretty consistent.

Pop.

SEAN

And suddenly you have swapped places.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What—?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that, that’s weird.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I was just…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because I was there. And you were here. And now I’m here and you’re there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What is going on?

SEAN

A horn sounds in the distance. And the two knights turn and start to walk away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… Guys, where are you going?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we should follow them. I don’t want to be without the knights.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, let’s, uh… Troop? Onward!

MIKE

And we follow the knights.

The music returns, with the uncanny popping sounds.

SEAN

And everything just keeps changing as you’re following the knights. At one point, you’re following two villagers and then seven knights and then half a walking knight.

And it’s like the world is just fizzing in and out of reality, as you will jump suddenly 100 feet forward and then be 100 feet back from where you were as you’re approaching the hill. And you see all the knights from the battlefield. They’re all marching towards the hill on which Moira’s tent resides.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think I’m having the worst hangover of my life.

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, Michael Howie and Carter Siddall.

Episode 17: Return of the Oracle.

REBOOT

Marching feet and an unearthly buzzing.

SEAN

As you crest the hill, you see all of the knights marching through what appears to be a gateway of just blackness and you see it is made up of beetles that are head to wings, all just floating in the air. And in between them it’s just a void and as each knight steps through two by two, they flash and disappear.

And you hear the trumpet call again. And Moira’s tent flap is open.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That wasn’t there before.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Definitely not.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you know, giant beetle doorways notwithstanding I feel like it’s been a good day. So why don’t we go check in with Moira…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, run to Moira. Run to Moira now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know if we need to run. I said I was doing cardio but—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(interrupting him)

To the tent, to the tent. Eggerton, quickly. Let’s go, let’s go!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay!

SEAN

So in the tent there are servants running in and out, carrying stuff out of Moira’s tent and through the gateway. And Moira is standing at the table rolling up some parchment.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… reporting in, Troop 17 Alpha. Sigma.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Eight?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Are you done, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(Quietly)

Very, very, with berries.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Thank you Eggerton. Darcy. Good. You both made it back. We’re sounding the retreat, as you probably noticed, the storyverse is beginning to collapse. So we will be retreating while it reboots.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… so there was this thing, where Darcy thought she was far away, but she was really close, and a fish named Trevor walked by. I’ve got some questions—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, Eggerton. I just explained that the storyverse is rebooting. It is now unstable. We’re protected here while we’re near the gate, but we only have so much time. So I’m just going to finish packing up. You two will be remaining and you can finish the mission.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Once the storyverse reboots, which it should do, then you can basically continue the mission like a normal mission. most of the Shattering has been eliminated from this world—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Most?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Well, that’s what we were doing, right? All the Shattering that we were fighting…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We were holding the river.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes. And the giant field just beneath the hill where the big battle was happening…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There was a big battle?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay! So, Darcy, you’re going to be holding, staying here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’d like to “holding up” for a minute here. I’m sorry. This is collapsing and you want us to stay? I mean, your big guard, burly people, Beta Trevor Red, are leaving, and we’re stuck here? How can we cope with this? We keep switching places and he’s talking bear, and…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m talking bear?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sometimes!

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

“Collapsing” was a strong choice of words for me, it won’t be that bad. It’s just rebooting. So the storyverse has become unstable, it will reboot, and it will try to recreate itself. And then it’ll be like a normal mission where you’re going to try and find any leftover remnants of the Shattering that you can eliminate. Here, you both need to be wearing—I see you’re not wearing—here.

SEAN

She goes into a box that has servants running by with and she pulls out two ICT medallions. And she hands one to each of you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You both know how to use these.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So this whole rebooting with us still in it thing is a little troublesome to me because I’m doing the math. And it seems that we’re skipping the long division and going straight to the brackets and equations? And from what I remember from my studies, you have to do addition and subtraction first. Then you multiply, then you divide. Then you do brackets and exponents. And it feels like we’re skipping right over—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Leave the calculus to me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

And the two of you are going to be fine. The system will reboot. And you can just go about your life as normal, it’ll be a normal mission, we have taken out most if not all of the Shattering from this world.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But to Eggerton’s point, what is going to happen to us while this storyverse reboots?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

It might be a little disorienting.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mmhmm…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

But it’s in collapse. So it will reboot very quickly. Worst case, you end up in the void and you just use your medallions to teleport back to the Nexus.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’ve done that before. Although I forget how it works.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Right. I don’t have a lot of time—

Excuse me! Yes, no, that dresser’s going…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You brought a dresser to a battlefield?

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I did, Darcy. you can never be too prepared.

Okay, so right here, this is Ccmms. You’ll be able to reach me. This is Transport, you turn it to this and press and it takes care of the rest.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, and then there were sensor detect mode and charge modes.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, that is correct.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, I’m sorry! It’s been a while. See, we were in the void for a bit and it was actually more than a bit. I think it was quite a long time…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Wait. Here, I think I have one here.

SEAN

She pulls out a card from her desk.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Yes, here’s a card that explains all the modes for you Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooo! Sweet.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

I really must go. Good luck to you both. If you have any problems, remember turn it to Talk…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, quick question. Can we talk to Ananka through them this time again? She was quite nice.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(sharply)

No you may not.

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, okay.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

If you speak to Ananka, you will tell me at once. Is that clear? She is now an enemy of the Nexus.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That seems kind of extreme, because she always seemed—

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

That is what you will do, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so, Darcy…

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Is there a problem with that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If you hear from Ananka, please let me know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I will, General.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you, Lieutenant.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

(to herself)

What was I thinking…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then I will report in to Moira after I catch up with Ananka. Last time we spoke, we were going to trade some recipes. And she was telling me how to clean up my boots a little bit so they look nicer…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggsy… I don’t think Moira wants us to talk to Ananka at all.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, how are we going to—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

I think they’re having a sisterly fight that we don’t want to get in the middle of.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well you know, I always heard that if you’re having a fight with family, the best thing to do is to sit down and talk it out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right, but but she’s not your family. So maybe we should just do what Moira says and just leave Ananka to her. Also: less trouble for us, don’t you think? We’re already getting rebooted into some storyverse that’s collapsing. So I feel like we have enough to worry about, don’t you?

A pop and a babble of high-pitched voices.

SEAN

There’s a pop sound and a million, it must be a million dwarf-like gnome creatures in red suits with ties all flood through the tent you’re in, just running around. They just swarm around you and keep on going out the other exit.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think that was a dwome convention.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but seriously, she had this really interesting banana pleather recipe that I wanted to try and we never quite got to exchange it. So: you hear from Ananka, you let me know; I sit down with Ananka, we talk about how to talk about difficult things with family; then we pass on the information to Moira. We do it calmly and in a public place. So you know, there’s no craziness, and then they sit down together and we’re all happy family again! It’ll work out fine. Don’t worry, I’m a general.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m 100% going to let you know if Ananka contacts me. 100%.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Perfect. I now have some questions about both the gnomes and the knights…

SEAN

And you are standing alone in the tent. And there’s a single dwarf-gnome down on the ground that’s waving at you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, hi.

SEAN (AS DWARF GNOME)

Hi!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What’s your name?

A huge implosion.

SEAN

And the whole world goes blindingly white.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Not again.

RETURN TO THE TEMPLE

SEAN

We cut to a figure walking on a path—a path that he has walked many times. He is dressed in a dark cloak with frills, and a hood that completely covers his face. But the hood is thrown back at this moment. And we see Blat emerging into a glade and in the distance, rising out of the trees, is a giant tree, mostly destroyed.

It is Temple Idries, except now the stump is covered in flowers and greenery, still split down the centre. And giant flocks of white birds lift up and circle around to settle elsewhere.

The path in front of Blat is lined with flowers. And it is green and it weaves in and around what used to be, he presumes, the giant branches that had fallen, except now they are covered in moss and flowers, and wild animals graze all around the glade.

And in the distance, he sees the entrance to what was Temple Idries.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ooooh, it was all worth it! It looks fantastic.

I’ll won’t be able to visit for very long, I need to convince everyone else on this continent that their religion is wrong and they need to follow the Goddess of the Moon.

(sighs)

I can afford to visit for a minute or two.

SEAN

And a few hundred feet ahead, Blat sees two Slaad workers that are tending some flowers.

We’re going to pause for a second as Marisa and Mike pick their Slaad names from the list there…

MIKE

Ooo hoo!

MARISA

Oh no, I can’t do Slaad. How do I do…?

SEAN

(demonstrates)

Put your tongue on top of your teeth and talk…

MARISA

(in the thick, lisping Slaad voice)

Like this?

SEAN

You got it.

MIKE

On top of your teeth and not the bottom.

MARISA

(in her normal voice)

I just want to read the list: It’s Swoth, Goff, Glom, Belarga and Helen.

CARTER

(laughs)

MIKE

I want to be Helen.

MARISA

Okay, I’m going to be Swoth.

SEAN

Okay, you’re Helen.

MIKE

I’m Helen.

MARISA

Uh-oh.

SEAN

So we come back. Blat, on the beautiful flower-strewn path ahead of you, a few hundred feet up, you see two Slaad busily working and talking about the flowers that they’re attending.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello! Slaad!

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Who’s there?

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Hello.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, do you not recognize me? Sorry, I’m dressed like a vampire. It is I, Blat! I was here a few weeks ago. You know, during the… unfortunateness?

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Ohhh. Remember the Chosen One?

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Yes, the Chosen One! That was my favourite.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I actually was the Chosen One!

MIKE (AS HELEN)

(gasps)

No! Chosen One, Chosen One, come look at my flower!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That is a very attractive flower. So are these new since the new head of your religion has moved in?

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Yes, these we call “Flower of Loxsyn”.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! They are very attractive.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

I call this the Helen strain.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The Helen strain?

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Helen. That’s my name.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Your name is Helen.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Yes.

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

You two! Why have you stopped tending the flowers?

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

No, Helen stopped, I was always doing it.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

I did, yeah.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

I’m tending the flowers.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

It’s my fault. I’m sorry.

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

It is you! Chosen One!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, the ex-Chosen One.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

It is me, Lazbo!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, good old Lazbo!

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Helen, why don’t—it’s such a hard name to say. Helen, why did you not tell us the Chosen One is here?!

MIKE (AS HELEN)

I was showing him the Helen Flower from the Garden of Loxsyn and then he was saying my name was nice.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

The Chosen One has said your name is nice. Then it shall be known… as nice.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

I will rename my children Helen One and Helen Two.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I think that will be needlessly confusing…

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Helen One and Helen Two it shall be.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right then!

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

We shall all name our children Helen from this day forward.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now, that’s really going to be confusing. An entire generation of you Slaad all named Helen?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Come, Chosen One. I will take you to the temple.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve only been here a few seconds and I feel like I’ve destroyed your civilization once again.

All Slaad

(chanting)

Helen, Helen, Helen, Helen!

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Wait. That is blasphemy!

Chosen One!

All Slaad

(chanting)

Chosen One, Chosen One, Chosen One!

MIKE (AS HELEN)

(after the others have stopped)

Chosen…! Oh, we’re not doing that anymore.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

No, sorry, we stopped. It’s just that many times.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Oh sorry. I lost track ’cause I was thinking about all the new Helens that are going to be out there. It makes me happy and a little weepy inside.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

We will talk about this at circle.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Okay, thank you.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Come, Chosen One.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, yes, thank you very much. So, is Loxsyn here?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Loxsyn… is in all of us.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, I understand that we all hold a little bit of Loxsyn in our hearts, but have you physically seen Loxsyn?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Seen the goddess?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They seem to pop up from time to time.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Nobody ever sees a goddess.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. Why would anyone see a goddess. How… ridiculous.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

(laughs)

It’s crazy.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(laughs)

It’s almost like if someone had a job with the goddess…

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Ha!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Wandering around having to do something you don’t want to do in order to keep your friends safe.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

That’s unbelievable.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Yeah, it sounded a little prophetic.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

You like to tell stories, Chosen One. Very fantastical stories.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Tell a story about me.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

No, we must not dally. You already have all the children named after you. I think you’re being a little um, I don’t know, spoiled.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Yeah, we should talk about this in circle. A lot.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Okay, I just want to know if we get also name the sandwich that I like a Helen?

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

No.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Okay, come Chosen One, please, to the temple.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, yes. I’d love to see how things have changed since you got the new goddess!

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

And have you met Mother Speckley yet?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, I have not. I just got here and spoke to Helen and your other gardener.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Swoth! I’m Swoth.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Swoth is right here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, Swoth.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Swoth, is a very good name.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s it’s an excellent name.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

I am the 61st Swoth of my line.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Look, here: the doorway. We have carved the likeness of you into the door itself.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! That’s actually a very good representation of me. And oh look, there’s a little Eggerton and a little… Darcy.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

And that there on the other side—that is the one who tried to attack one of you. Their name will go down for all eternity as evil.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, you have my full agreement there. I haven’t seen her with so much clothing on in quite some time.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Who, Waffles?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… No, I wasn’t referring to Waffles, but that is a very good representation of Waffles as well.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Thank you. I did the work myself.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh that’s very good. Yes.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Thank you. Thank you. But I must not delay. Come—I will leave you here, you know the way.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, yes. Thank you very much.

Oh, this is the first spot where we met Magnum. Oh, good old Magnum. I hope he made it home all right. Poor stupid mail-delivering kid.

SEAN

So inside the temple as you come in, it is rather different, because now instead of everything just made of wood, flowers grow everywhere.

And you see Slaad moving about wearing robes. And where the dias used to be that was sort of destroyed and pushed back with the stairs going down, you now see it’s sort of been made into an altar out of growing boughs and limbs and all kinds of fruiting trees and there’s birds flitting around.

And you see someone that stands out wearing one of the white robes that you had seen on the dead bodies, and she looks younger, fit; frizzled, light-coloured hair. She turns and sees you and you see a flash in her eyes of blue. And just a very sort of hawkish face and very intense. And her eyes narrow as you are approaching.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello! It is I, the one that used to be known as the Chosen One, but now your religion’s changed, so now I’m just Blat!

SEAN

And she doesn’t say a thing, but her eyes dance all over your outfit, the smudges on your face, your torn-up what’s left of your sandals.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I’m sorry, please forgive my appearance. I had to borrow this little outfit from one of the many temples I’ve been visiting over the last few weeks. You see…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

So you are not here with the Temple of the Night.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know what that is…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Vampires.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, oh oh oh, I see the Temple of the Night, I visited them and you’ll be pleased to know I tried to convince them to give up on being Temple of the Nighters.

Didn’t go so well. In fact, so far I’ve already succeeded and convincing one temple to change their religion. But that’s only because they worship peat moss. I mean, come on: peat moss. Pretty much anything’s going to be a step up.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

I do believe peat moss is one of the things that is worshiped here. Flowers, nature, peat moss.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

I like peat moss.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s sort of low, though, on the scale of nature.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Thank you, Swoth. How is everything coming outside?

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

It’s going very well.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Oh, I’m sorry. I confused you. You are Helen, are you not?

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

No, I’m Swoth. That’s Helen.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

I’m Helen.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

I’m sorry. I’m getting so close to getting these right. Thank you for your patience, Swoth. And Helen.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

They’ll worry in a couple of generations, everyone’s just going to be named Helen, so it’s going to be a lot easier.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

It’s the era of Helen.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Great, I will keep that in mind. Thank you all very much. If you would all return to your duties, I will take the Prophet from here.

MIKE (AS HELEN)

Okay, let’s go play with the Helens outside.

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Okay.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

So what brings you back to us, oh Prophet?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I just happened to be in the neighbourhood and I thought I’d stop by for a little visit…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

(over Blat)

Uh huh, yes, right, perfect.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

See, I gave up everything that I ever had to make sure that you folks got ol’ Loxsyn in here to worship, heh heh. So I’ve had to accept a little bit of a career change since then. I’m now completely cut off from everyone that I’ve ever known in a backwards era where I’m now convincing people to join a religion that I don’t believe in so that a woman doesn’t sexually harass me.

Silence.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

I’ve never had anyone just put it all out there like that.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t mean to brag, but I don’t think anyone in the history of ever has ever been in this situation before.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Hmm. For many, that would be a ploy, a way to cover up something else.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, I’m not covering up anything. I’m literally moving around this entire continent knocking on doors, asking people to give up their religion, their spiritual way of life, their entire belief system in order to join up with the Goddess of the Moon. Because, well, if I don’t do that, then my oath to Celene has been broken and well… let’s just say I’m worried about a couple of individuals, so I can’t have that happen.

So, here I am. Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time. I gotta dilly daddle there’s a group few hundred miles from here that apparently are really into worshiping puppies?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I gotta convince them to give all that up and just stare at the big orb in the sky that comes out every night.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Oh, just take treats. They’re very easy to manipulate.

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay then! Well…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Before you go…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, yes?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes. Do you have any subtexts you operate on… what was your name…?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Blat.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Blat. Prophet Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… not anymore?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Hmm.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I just sorta hate my life now? Yes, I just sort of trudge on day to day.

Oooh! What’s really interesting is that when I convince everyone on this particular plane of existence to go over to the Goddess of the Moon…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…then I get to use my limbo-jumping abilities to go to a different reality and then convince everyone there to sign up with the Goddess of the Moon. And so on and so on forever until I meet—I don’t know, my future self? Because I come from an era thousands of years of the future.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

I have never had anyone tell me so much truth in one go. It’s almost too easy.

Yes, well, before you go, come with me. I have something to show you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, well, I can’t stay long, the puppy people are waiting.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes, and I’m sure your coming here had no purpose whatsoever.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I just wanted to visit, you know, to see if everything was working out okay.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes, because Celene wouldn’t want this temple.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well no, you see that was the deal that I…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes, yes. Come down these steps here as you talk please.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, okay. Oop! Sorry a bit of a steep step there.

You see, she doesn’t need want this temple but this is the last one that I’m going to give up. I’m going to convince everyone else to change their religion. But I want you folks to keep this one, because this is the decision that I made and everyone in my group was like, “What did you do? You talked back to a goddess!” I thought the goddess was being quite rude to us and I was going to give her a piece of my mind…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Here, put this on.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, okay, very good. Oh, this is quite form-fitting. So, “Blat, you shouldn’t say that to a goddess!” But I said you know what? I’m tired of being treated badly by a goddess—

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

This way.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay. Oh, tight corner.

I don’t want to be treated that way. See, I come from a future time where people treat each other a little bit better and I guess I was just getting a bit egotistical, thinking well, you know, I don’t want this person talking to me this way even though that person wasn’t…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

We’ll just anoint you here…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, very good. Ooo! It tickles on my head.

You know, a goddess shouldn’t talk to me that way. But then again, they are a goddess and I’m just a mere mortal, so… what are we doing exactly?

MIDROLL

ANNOUNCER

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

ELI

Hi, everyone, it’s Eli here with this week’s announcements. Firstly, Podcon 2 was an incredible time. We had such a good time meeting fans and fellow creators. We were moved, we were inspired. We are more excited than ever to bring you more Other Bothers and Alba Salix and Axe & Crown and some new projects too. You can find highlights from our weekend on our Twitter feed as well as Instagram. Find all those at OtherBothers.com.

And another thing that happened was that Sean crawled out of bed at about 6:30 in the morning after a night of partying and crawled down the street to play some D&D with the good people of Dumbgeons and Dragons. We’ve mentioned Dumbgeons and Dragons before: they are a terrific live play podcast. And since the four of them were in town, and so was Sean and Travis from Dark Dice, they all sat down together and played some D&D. If you’ve been missing Snegal, Sean was playing Snegal—a little bit hoarse; as I say: partying. But it was a super good time. And you can find the video for that on our Patreon. I will put a link to it in the show notes, or go to OtherBothers.com and click on the Patreon link.

And that’s about all for now. On with the show!

MIDROLL: YES, AND

SEAN

Okay, sorry. So let’s do it again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Um, alright.

SEAN

Okay, I’ll pick a different offer. From the top… we’re playing a board game,

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Playing a board game.

Aha! I roll the dice and it gives a number and I move this little doohickey around the board.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and I also do that.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I hate board games. It reminds me of that one we always have to play with Eggerton. Do you remember that? You didn’t like that…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, that was a terrible board game.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that was really bad.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What was the name of that game that I hated so much?

SEAN

Okay, okay. Cut, cut. Okay, guys, it was, you know what—that was great. Let’s just do that again.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s like we were playing a board game!

SEAN

It was, it was very real. I really appreciate it. It’s getting really like… Can we just do the same thing? If you could just mention patreon.com/albasalix. I think it’s really important, right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s not even part of the board game.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

Okay. It’s a book. It’s a book called patreon.com/albasalix. Okay, let’s try it one more time.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, the finest work of literature ever written.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and I also like to read.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m also reading over your shoulder, just like we always read books together!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Move over! Can you turn the page?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… Yes, and…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Are you listening, Eggerton? Maybe you should listen to what’s happening.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and I am listening and not talking over my fellow players.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

patreon.com/albasalix ends the way every good story should: with a murder.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and… um…

SEAN

Perfect! You said it! I’ll take that! Cut! Did we get that on tape, Eli? Is that good?

THE HEART OF THE TEMPLE

SEAN

You step out of the long walkway—the walkway that Darcy spent quite some time in with Waffles in a previous episode—and you step into a room deep in the heart of the tree. And it is a circular room, and in the centre of the room is just a raised marble dais. It is a circle of marble in the centre of the room and there’s a hole way, way up in the tree lighting in some light, and that’s how the chamber is illuminated. And she says:

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Welcome to the centre, the heart of Temple Idries.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is the finest bathroom I’ve ever seen. Congratulations.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

If you would but step forward.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! All right.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Towards the pool.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh!

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

And all you see is a circular large piece of marble in the centre of the room.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, it has been a while since I’ve given myself a scrub. I’m just wandering around, back and forth, forth and back.

So, certainly! Let’s dip in our tootsies here. Ooo! It’s a little chilly. People of my kind, we don’t do very well with the cold, but… grin and bear it!

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

I must say, your reaction to the stone turning to water is quite impressive. Most people react.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, yeah. They kind of freak out at that sort of thing?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, yeah. Months ago, I probably would have as well. Instead… I once rode on a thing so big we could only see its face. And we went from reality to reality and then these futuristic machines started firing at us. So we just left him there. And he’s probably eaten them all by now. Boy, does that keep me up at night! But I try not to think about it.

(nervous laughter)

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Let’s get our feet out of the pool.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okie dokie.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yeah, let’s just um, maybe you might want to kneel down.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, kneel down? All right. Is there a little towel maybe I should dry my feet off with?

Oh, very good. Okay. And I’m kneeling… and I’m kneeling.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Sure, yes.

This…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Is your scrying pool, prophet.

MARISA

(laughs)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sorry, my what pool?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Your scrying pool.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My “scrying pool”.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know, I really thought I had a good vocabulary, but that’s actually a little bit of a noun I haven’t come across before.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Okay, so what you’re going to do is calm your mind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Take a deep breath…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I see…

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Stop panicking and ranting.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ha ha ha, that’s all I’ve been doing for weeks and weeks. I mean, I have to convince people to stop liking puppies. Puppies! That’s not going to happen!

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

Trust me: treats. Okay, as you stare down at this pool, I want you to clear your mind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh?

SEAN

Okay, here comes a game.

MIKE

Ooooo… I like games.

SEAN

Where’s my piece of paper…

MARISA (AS SWOTH)

Swoth likes games.

SEAN

So we all know what it’s like when you start to meditate or learn how to meditate. Hopefully you’ve had experiences where you’re like, Oh, I’m going to try this meditation thing. And next thing you know, you’re like thinking about whatever.

MARISA

I’m a seventh level vegan.

SEAN

Right. So things pop in your head. Whatever. They just can be random things from your past, movies you’re missing, things you’re sad about, things you’re angry about, random things, happy things. And that’s going to basically be what we’re going to do. So we’re going to go around the table…

MARISA

For Blat.

SEAN

For Blat. So what might pop into Blat’s head when he’s trying to meditate? Michael?

MIKE

A toaster with childlike features.

SEAN

(laughs, writing)

“Toaster with childlike features”… Blat?

CARTER

A coffee table.

SEAN

“Coffee table”…

MARISA

Does it have to be an object?

SEAN

Nope.

MARISA

His declaration of love for Darcy.

SEAN

Right. “Declaration of love, Darcy”…

MARISA

His awkward declaration of love for Darcy.

SEAN

Oh, it’s me. That one file he lost.

Michael?

MIKE

Doing stuff with Snegal.

SEAN

So the moment with Snegal… what was it… the Friend Song. Snegal and the Friend Song.

MIKE

Yes.

SEAN

Carter?

CARTER

A teddy bear.

SEAN

“Teddy bear”. Marisa?

MARISA

How he’d really like to be cuddled by Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt, the big jelly person.

SEAN

“Cuddled by Quartermaster.”

MIKE

Quartermaster.

SEAN

The feel of a perfectly typed piece of paper.

MIKE

Um… The time he tried going on vacation.

CARTER

The first time he got a shirt that hid his wings.

MARISA

He really wants to know how it turned out for that pirate he met.

MIKE

(snorts)

SEAN

“That pirate he met”…

MARISA

That pirate he met and his clumsy… first mate, would it be?

MIKE

Would it be lieutenant?

MARISA

We’re very nautical here.

SEAN

12… Oh, firing a bazooka at the priestess. You have a twelve-sided, right?

MIKE

Yep.

MARISA

Ooo! You get to roll a die! It’s so exciting.

SEAN

Okay.

MIKE

Oooo.

(sings)

I have the power.

MARISA

(at the same time)

…The power!

MIKE

That was my thing. I don’t know why you took it away from me.

SEAN

So…

MARISA

Thinking of He-Man.

SEAN

We come back to…

ELI

(off mic)

Okay, start that again?

There was overtalk.

SEAN

So we…

CARTER

Blah blah blah blah blah…

Laughter.

MARISA

(simultaneous)

Shhhuuuuut uuuuuuup!

CARTER

…blah blah blah blah babadoop!

Silence.

SEAN

(takes a deep breath)

So we…

(stops)

Oh, you guys—I thought you were all going to do it again!

The chaos of noises and giggles resumes.

CARTER

Blah blah blah blah blah…

MARISA

We’re not that rude!

CARTER

Ah bop a dee dah doo dah hoy hee hoo ha…

MARISA

It’s the dwome convention!

MIKE

You need to give us a signal. You need to give us, like, a “be a dick” signal.

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN

I didn’t think I had to cue that, to be honest.

Laughter.

MARISA

You don’t have to give it to Mike.

MIKE

Yeah. You’re welcome, by the way.

SEAN

Thank you. So we come back to…

CARTER

(even louder)

Bah bop a dee dah doo dah…!

SEAN

There we go! All right.

We come back to Blat and he is kneeling in front of what used to be a circular dias made of stone and is now a pool of water slowly rippling in front of him. And the woman beside him has stood up and is slowly stepping away… and she’s speaking softly but quickly.

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

It’s important that you clear your mind…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh huh?

SEAN (AS HAWKISH WOMAN)

And you channel the goddess Loxsyn and then the visions will appear before you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, visions. Okay, but remember I haven’t got too much time here, so I’ve just gotta hurry up and relax!

SEAN

And the first thing that pops into Blat’s head—Michael is rolling a…?

MIKE

8!

SEAN

You are kneeling there, breathing deeply.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(breathes in)

SEAN

And you remember what it feels like to hold that freshly typed perfectly line spaced piece of paper.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhhhh! That was the first thing I ever filed at my job nine years ago. Wait, it wasn’t nine years ago! It’s thousands of years the future! That piece of paper doesn’t exist yet—oh I’ve broken my brain.

SEAN

And a darkness comes over the room and you hear the distant sound of thunder and you hear Mother Speckley take a sharp intake of breath like,

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

(inhales)

Blat! What is happening? You must focus. Focus. Calm your mind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Focus. Calm my mind.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Think good thoughts! It’s as if you’re still connected to Morrigu.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m absolutely still connected to Morrigu.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

You’re what?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m never going to be able to rid of Morrigu!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Okay, quick, calm your mind! You must calm your mind!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

You must choose Loxsyn, not Morrigu!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I want to choose Loxsyn! I don’t know how to choose Loxsyn!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Think calm thoughts!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay! I’ll think calm thoughts!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Sorry, calm thoughts. No pressure.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just the first, random thing that pops into the old noodle. No pressure!

(hyperventilating)

SEAN

You can tell him what he’s doing…

MIKE

I have rolled a 4.

SEAN

You have rolled a 4.

MIKE

I have rolled a 4.

SEAN

The next thought that pops into your head is that one file you lost.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(screaming)

Nooooo! I would have had a perfect record! A perfect record! But then my boss’s boss’s assistant contacted me and asked what about that file and I couldn’t find it! I couldn’t find it at all!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Blat! Deep breaths! Breathe! Prophet!

SEAN

Lightning strikes down out of the sky! The room is dark, almost pitch black.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I had to miss lunch that day… I still couldn’t find it!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Are there any good thought,s good things you can remember?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t remember anything good. I’m just wandering around alone, dressed like an emo vampire!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

A moment… no, that you felt calm, that you felt like life had meaning?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Life had meaning? When my life had meaning, oooohhh…

MIKE

I have rolled a 6.

SEAN

You remember a teddy bear.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(gasps)

The bear I had as a child! My father gave it to me! Oh my father…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

That! Think calm, calm, deep, breathe…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My father.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I love my father.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My father was human…

But he raised me as a human.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Calm… yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My father. He hasn’t even been born yet.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

No, stay with the teddy bear.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My father doesn’t exist.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

The teddy bear?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The teddy bear… hasn’t been made yet.

SEAN

The room is getting darker… and darker…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The teddy bear doesn’t exist… I’m having memories of a thing that hasn’t happened! Oh! Oh!

MIKE

I rolled a 1.

SEAN

The next thing that pops into your head is a toaster with childlike features.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

There must be something, something from your… from this time that doesn’t exist that brings you joy!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Toast! Toast! You can’t get upset about toast.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Toast. What’s it taste like?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s just toast.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

No, but what does it feel like?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s warm bread. Warm bread in my mouth.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And how does it make you feel?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Less hungry. Toast…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Toast, yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Toast… everything’s fine.

SEAN

The light is starting to fill the chamber, you’re starting to hear the sounds of birds outside.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you people have toast in this era?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

No, no I’ve never…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?

(screaming)

There’s no toast? It’s just warm bread! How can you people not have warm bread? Blat’s freaking out again, Blat is freaking out!

MIKE

I rolled a 6.

SEAN

You remember your teddy bear.

Thunder and lightning.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The teddy bear again!

SEAN

Roll again!

MIKE

9!

SEAN

You remember your first attempt at a vacation.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, right. People kept telling me, Blat you’ve got 36 weeks of vacation time, get out of the office. And I was like No, I can’t leave! I still haven’t found that one file from three years ago. They were like, “We don’t care! You’ve gotta get out.”

SEAN

It’s getting dark…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So I did. I left town… I left town…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes, and?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I just went back home, I applied for my job under a different name, worked it for those weeks, then, abruptly and dramatically quit and then came back the next day as myself.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And how did that make you feel?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I was relaxed I no longer had to go by that other name again because…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes! Stick with that.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I didn’t want to be Barbara anymore!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Stick with what that felt like! That calm, relaxed…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in a trance)

I’m not Barbara.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Say it again!

CARTER AND SEAN (AS BLAT AND MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m not Barbara.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

One more time.

CARTER AND SEAN (AS BLAT AND MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m not Barbara…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m Blat.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes, look… the water is clearing. Look! I think I see two figures in it…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Huh?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is one of them Barbara? Because Barbara’s just me in a dress!

MIKE

I rolled a 10.

SEAN

(laughs)

And you are reminded of that time, the first time a shirt hid your wings.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(calming)

Oh! Oh. That the was first shirt I got, and it hid my wings. I could wear a suit just like everybody else.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes. A suit.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Not like Barbara. A suit.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Not like Barbara.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Barbara wore an ill-fitting dress.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

No, stick with you.

CARTER AND SEAN (AS BLAT AND MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m not Barbara… Blat

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Blat wears a suit that hides his wings.

SEAN

And in front of you, the water flashes and fills with a scene. And in it, you see Darcy and Eggerton and they are on a battlefield and they are being rushed and attacked. And then it flashes to these giant knights marching two by two across this muddy field with bodies and you see Darcy and Eggerton trudging along behind them. As all the knights march up and through a dark portal.

You cut to scenes from the Academy of the Fallen: you see Snegal, sad in the kitchen. And you see strange knights in gleaming full plate mail with the visors down, standing everywhere, all around the room.

And you cut to more scenes of Eggerton alone in the room, no Darcy, the room that you all shared. And he’s just rocking back and forth on a cot in the night.

And then the pool clears.

Mother Speckley unclenches her hands from the side of the pool.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

There, that wasn’t so bad, Prophet. Very well done for your first try.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, thank you very much. I saw my friends!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Oh good.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

How are they?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I think they’re doing stuff… right now, there seems to be sadness running from portals, but… well, they’re in our reality, I think? And they’re all still alive. So my grand sacrifice was worth it.

(he stretches)

Ahhh! Well, gotta get on that old dusty road. They’re not going to stop believing in puppies without my help. Thank you for the bath. Thank you for reminding me about everything that happened to me or will happen to me before I come to this backward era. Thank you very much. You’re welcome for the flowers. I gotta be going. Well, so long!

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes. Just leave the robe on the hook…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, oh. I’m sorry. Right. I have to dress like a vampiric idiot.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And remember that while you’re in service to Celene, you will live forever and… you will never stop on this mission.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well. At least I got that going for me… which is horrible.

Can I get sick?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m not sure.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Huh. So I can possibly get sick; my body will weaken; but I won’t die. And still, I’ll be wandering around the multiverse trying to get people to join Celene.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes. Oh, and I placed a small scroll in your…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Vampire pants?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Vampire pants.

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah. Okay.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

It’s from the last prophet. I figure you should carry it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! There’s a last prophet. Well, okay, then. Ah, thank you very much. Glad this is all working out for you. Big raves on the pool. Five stars.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And remember…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hah?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

You can give this temple to whoever you wish.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right. Right. Because I’m apparently important.

No, don’t worry. You guys can… keep what you’re doing with your Helens and your flowers and your sandwiches named after people.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And maybe practice some meditation, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Meditation! Yes, I should do that.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Calm your mind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Calm the mind. Yeah. Right.

Awkward silence.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m here if you ever need to speak.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gotcha. Okie dokie, very good. Glad I stopped in.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I think this is one of those awkward goodbyes and never really ends.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just sort of hanging out by the doorway talking about leaving.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Don’t want to be rude.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right… You got you got a lot of stuff going on.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

We’re pretty much in service to you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right! No… Loxsyn. You serve Loxsyn. Just worry about Loxsyn. You shouldn’t say serve me. I’m dressed like an idiot. A very pretentious one and I’m…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

My order serves you, prophet.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Nooo, I’m sure that’s not right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Not this temple.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, no. I made the choice I said this was for Loxsyn. And then people got upset and then my life went into the crapper.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

You can give this temple to whomever you want. My order serves you, Prophet, just as we served the last prophet, and we died to protect him. There were some… friends of mine here wearing robes such as you are now wearing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Just remember, leave the robe here. I don’t…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I’m sorry. Right. On this hook, is this fine?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yep, that’s great.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, I’m just going to put that there…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Make sure you take the vampire pants…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, the vampire pants, I’m sorry.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

And the cloak.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The cloak. Yeah, yeah. Big pretentious medallion…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

So, um, after puppies where might you be heading? Just so…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, then I’m probably going to sleep in the forest around that area. Then I go northwest? And there’s a group there that’s really into shelving units. I don’t know…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Oh, the Ikeans!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, thank you. I’m gonna tell them, “Hey, why not just keep all of your books on the floor and maybe worship the moon?”

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Good luck with that. Oh, and don’t forget these treats for the…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, that’s right. For the puppy people.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Yes. So, Blat, remember um… there’s really no way for you to reach us…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

If I’m not here one of my sisters will be.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gotcha, right.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Are you sure there’s nothing we can do for you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah, um… uh…

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Sandwich for the road?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(inhale through his teeth)

Are you folks possibly more powerful than Selene…?

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Oh, dear god, no. Not a goddess.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! Not at all, no no… ha ha, stupid question. Just thought that I would ask that but… nooo. So that’s a big old nooo…

(silence)

Okay! So off to puppy people I go. All right. Thanks a lot. Talk soon. Love you lots. Buh-bye.

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 players Carter Siddall, Michael Howie and Marisa King.

Dialogue editing and transcription by Michael Howie.

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 early access to episodes, weekly bonus content, and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord. Look for the Patreon link at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE

SEAN

And the whole world goes blindingly white.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Not again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Just like Oakville.

Silence.

MIKE

That was an out of character moment. Sorry. You can edit that out Eli, f—me. I dunno, trying to be funny.

Laughter.

CARTER

(calmly)

You cannot impose humour on to the situation.

MIKE

Yes I can!

Laughter.

CARTER

The humour must come from the situation.