Skip to content

21: Ice Ice Baby

Blat meets some obstacles on the trail of Celene, while Eggerton and Darcy meet some obstacles on the trail of Blat.

Download MP3 (81 MB)

If you haven’t already, check out the Reckless Play Guild on Facebook: a group built by Dumbgeons and Dragons, Dark Dice, The Lucky Die and The End of Time and Other Bothers!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: One jump scare early on; dubious accents. No babies are harmed, but a ton of references (not graphic) to child abandonment and infanticide.

THE RUINS

SEAN

We open on the moors: the mist and the rolling hills, and the remains of a castle. And as we come down, we see a figure standing in the centre of the ruins. There is very little left of this castle; the moss has become part of the stone, and the air smells of musty dirt and decay, as if this castle has not stood for a thousand years. And yet Blat can see the outline of where the great hall once was. And he can see the outline of the base of what was once the tower that led up to Celene’s chamber. But there is nothing else.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in his gruff, grim Blathoxil voice)

What. I don’t under… what’s happening? Why is there nothing here? Why does everything looks so old? There should be… fairies and bricks that walk like people. It’s only been a few months since I was here last. I don’t understand.

SEAN

You hear the sound of something moving, somewhere beneath, very faint. And you do see what remains of the stairs that led down to the basement.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There we are. Nice try, Celene. You thought this would trick me? You just moved downstairs.

CARTER

And Blat takes the stairs down.

SEAN

And something explodes outwards. And bats swarm past you screaming out into the growing dusk. And ahead of you the stairs hit a dead end.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So… bats.

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN

We are suddenly in a chamber made of ice. It gleams, and reflections bounce off every surface, for everything is made of ice. And it is a large, oval chamber, mostly empty except in the centre—staring into a bowl that’s lifted off the ground by a narrow stem, a bowl of ice—is Celene.

And beside her is a shadowy figure that keeps transforming: coalescing and and recoalescing into different forms—a woman, an imp—constantly changing and somewhat ephemeral, like you could see through them.

And in the bowl, as we get closer, we see that Celene is watching someone that is emerging from the basement of what was once her castle.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes, yes, Justine! He has taken the bait.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(hushed, but eager)

Yes, your plan! Your plan seems to be coming together. I think, I think.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

No thinking! This plan must work, Justine.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes. No thinking, no thinking, Your Eminence. Of course. Of course.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

He believes he will defeat me, he and that… what’s left of that goddess in him.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

No, there will be no defeat. There is never defeat for Celene, not as long as I am here, no, no, no, no, no.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Let us hope that is the case.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Of course. Of course, Your Eminence. How could it not be? I can be anything, anyone. How could anyone conquer me? Because I am never here to be conquered long enough.

(laughs)

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(grim)

And you will not live a day past my demise.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes. Yes, Your Eminence.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Now. He’s searching for me. He must find me, Justine.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, I will guide him. I will bring him to you. Yes, that is what you wish, yes?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes, you will bring him here to the white palace. And the broken goddess inside him. The goddess who no longer has her source of power.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

No. No power can never conquer yours. I will do your bidding. I will go as quickly as smoke, like wists—

SEAN (AS CELENE)

No. You must make him believe he is finding us. Do you understand, Justine?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, yes, Your Eminence, I do, I do.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

It must be difficult or he will not want it.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

It shall be done.

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 Michael Howie, Carter Siddall and Marisa King. Episode 21. Ice Ice Baby.

DEPARTING THE TEMPLE

SEAN

We return to the Temple Idries: the giant tree rising out of the forest. It’s daylight. Birds sing and move about. The storms have cleared.

The tree has seen better days. But flowers grow and Slaad move around the grounds. And inside the tree, in the main chamber, we find Eggerton and Darcy packing their bags to head out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So do you have room in your bag for this mustard?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because it looks like you don’t really have much in your bag yet. And as you can see my bag’s already pretty full—you know, jars of—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You have three varieties of mustard already in your bag. Why do you need that one too?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, well, this one has sprinkles.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It doesn’t matter. We’re not going to win this with mustard. Leave the sprinkle mustard behind!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, that is a very interesting insight and I’ll take it into consideration, Lieutenant Darcy. But I think it’s very important that from a general point of view, we take all the mustards we might think we might need.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think you might need to prioritize. So why don’t you take out the sparkle mustard if you want the sprinkle mustard?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because they are clearly for separate occasions! I mean, how foolish would it look if I were to walk up to someone and say, “Here’s sprinkles!” and they’re like “Oh, I wanted sparkles.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Well, what about this one? What about the stripy mustard? Surely the stripy mustard can go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but you need that because if you’re wearing dots, you need to have stripy mustard—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I give up! I give up. This is not important right now. We have to get going!

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

I bought you the Lazbos. Three each.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, thank you so much! These are delicious sandwiches.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Oh, thank you. Yes. Thank you very much. They look great.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. And—ah! No horseradish. Good job, Lazbo.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

You’re welcome. I did put extra mustard though.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent. Which kind of mustard?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Just mustard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What.. what do you mean “just mustard”?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Just the yellow stuff.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? What? Why is your mustard yellow?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

I don’t know. Is your mustard not yellow?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Some of it has yellow polka dots in it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton. Eggerton, sit down for a minute.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There’s just plain mustard in the world. Nothing else. It’s just plain yellow mustard?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(stammering)

What—what…?

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Well, we’re still pretty proud of it, I want to say.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it’s fine. It’s fine, Lazbo. You’re good.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But… what… I… what?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So! I guess this is goodbye.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Oh, very well. Oh, Mother Speckley is coming. I’ll go tell her you’re leaving.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. Yeah, we need to hurry. So if you could bring her quickly.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Okay. I’ll go get her. Oh, also I forgot to give you the napkins.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Thank you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thanks.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy, you’re probably gonna need these.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(deadpan)

Yes, I’m sure I will. Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ll take most of them.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. You’ll be the napkin holder.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s fine.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

(aside, to Lazbo, as she enters)

Yes. Very well. Right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Oh, Darcy. Eggerton. Is there anything I can do at the last minute? Anything I can…?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve gotsome questions about this yellow mustard.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, we have no questions about mustard. It’s fine. The mustard is all good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sighs)

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Great. I wish there was more I could do. I’m sorry that my plan did not work.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, it kind of worked. I mean, Blat did come down and we did hug him. I feel like the power of, uh… oh, what’s her name again?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, the other one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey. No. We don’t say that word.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Thank you, Darcy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, Celene. Celene.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, that one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think the power of Celene might be might be too much for him, though.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m afraid it might be as well… I wish there was more I could do.

I do have one of these baubles—do you know how to use it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, yeah, I think I remember.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Just smash it on the ground.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, one of those baubles. Yes.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

Right. It will open a portal back to here, should that be useful.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excellent. So, General Eggerton, what what was your plan again for getting Blat back?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right, we’re… we’re going to continue the Hug It Out plan. This is Hug It Out version 2.0. This time, we’re going to hug him hard… and that will make the difference.

(starts to laugh)

This time, for reasons… that the Slaad that have just entered the room will now espouse.

Silence.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Uh… The Super Hug!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(laughing)

Yes, the Super Hug! I’ve got diagrams here, flowcharts…

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Hey, wait, let’s show the alternative Super Hug 7A. We’ve been working on it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, ready? One! Two! Three!

They hug, straining loudly.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(over their groans)

So let me get this straight. We’re travelling to Celene’s—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I can’t breathe! It’s too much!

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

I can’t hear you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasping)

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Oh! Abort, everyone, abort!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(out of breath)

Okay, so we need to do that again. This is why we train.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

I know, sorry.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So these mistakes don’t happen out there in the field when lives are on the line.

SEAN (AS LAZBO)

Yes, sir.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Alright.

(exhales)

Whoo, okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So we’re travelling to Celene’s castle to hug Blat. Is that the plan?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

SEAN

(laughs)

A NEW ARRIVAL

SEAN

We’re over a village, pre-dawn. And in the early morning light, we see a group gathered outside a house, and on the door is painted the symbol of Celene, the moon.

The crowd outside appears uneasy, but trying to be supportive of one individual who keeps looking towards the house. And inside we hear the cries of a woman in labour. And the man steps forward, but is grabbed by the group and pulled back. And they are handing around glasses of a steaming liquid. And on the outskirts of this, in the shadows across the street, we see a figure watching.

Silence.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

(gruff voice)

I hope Stephanie’s doing okay in there.

Laughter.

MARISA

(laughing, whispers)

You’re not the figure!

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

It’s okay—you shouldn’t go in there. The midwife’s in there. She’ll be fine.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Yeah, yeah, ’cause screaming’s always fine.

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

Well, it does happen in labour. Celene will watch over the baby.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Well, I hope so.

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

I’m sure the baby will be healthy.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

I mean, we sacrificed the first two to Celene so this one would be okay.

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

You… you what?

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Well, that’s what we do, is, you have two babies. You sacrifice them, the third one works out fine.

MARISA (AS ANOTHER VILLAGER)

No, I sacrificed my first five.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Oh, well I guess if you’re if you’re really pious like that, but not all of us can afford five—

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

You only sacrificed five?

MARISA (AS ANOTHER VILLAGER)

Yes, well… I thought that was enough.

MIKE (AS YET ANOTHER VILLAGER)

We sacrificed six!

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

(inexplicably Irish accent)

All right, everyone. All right. So I’ve tried to do the official census now. So we’re up one—so that’s in the plus column, but you say you sacrificed three of your children?

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

That’s right. That’s right.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

So now we’re negative three—so really, that’s just negative two…

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

Negative seven.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Negative seven.

MARISA (AS ANOTHER VILLAGER)

Five, remember, five.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

You’re at negative five…

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

Oh, but I did have Roger, that’s a plus one.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh that’s a plus one, so really the last one’s a negative four. All right, so from what I can tell, everyone in the village is just outside of this house right now because we’re no longer propagating.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I guess if you put it that way, yeah. But I mean, there are the raccoon families.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, the raccoons aren’t capable of voting, so I don’t believe we can count them as true citizens.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Well! I’m offended by that. Raccoons have just as much right to vote.

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

Roberto! The door’s opening!

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

(gasps)

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

It’s your child!

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

My child’s walking?!

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

Well—no, your child’s being carried by the midwife, Roberto!

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Oh, that makes more sense.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

All right, so that’s officially a plus one then. We’re keeping this one and not sacrificing. Very good, very good.

Shouts of jubilation from the crowd.

MIKE (AS EXPECTANT FATHER)

Wonderful, wonderful.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

I’ll change the side outside of town then. All right, very good.

SEAN (AS FEMALE VILLAGER)

Cheers!

SEAN

And as we pull back… on the top of a building across the street, we see a figure with wings tucked against his body, watching this whole scene play out. And unbeknownst to Blat, out of the darkness, tendrils of blackness are creeping and merging together into a female form, but six paces behind him.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I thought maybe Celene might show up in one of these places that agreed to worship her. But still no sign. Why did these idiots decide to follow Celene? I couldn’t get anyone to worship the moon. Why are these people moonites?

THE PALACE

SEAN

We cut back to the ice palace. And Celene is pacing so rapidly the ice on the floor is growing slick and glistening in the light. And she is shouting:

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Justine! Jinn!

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, Yes, Your Majesty. Your Eminence. Yes, here I am!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes, there you are. Why have you not spoken to him?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I… I was following him! I was watching what he did. I wondered if he might find his way here on his own.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Let me be really clear, Justine!

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes?

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Before I drink your soul.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(inhales sharply)

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You must play the game. He believes he is in control. You must set up a challenge for him. You must taunt him. Do you understand?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I think—I think so, Your Majesty. But—but you do want him to come here. You want to face him? Yes? Yes?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes. Here to the labyrinth.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

The labyrinth. Yes. I will I will bring him to the labyrinth. I will go now and bring him to the labyrinth!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Yes.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I understand.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You’d better.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I will find him in the next village. In the next village, I will find him!

ON THE TRAIL

SEAN

We hear the sound that comes with the heat right at the peak of midday. When the sun is burning so hot and the canteens are running low, and the forest seems unending in every direction, and the path just keeps meandering… and Darcy is leading as Eggerton follows behind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but this time I actually have something in my shoe.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, you always have something in your shoe.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, they just didn’t make them wide enough for my feet. And things, you know, end up getting in and they hurt and… let’s hold the party for a second while I sit down and…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait. Wait. Eggerton—did you put the mustard in your shoe? Because it wouldn’t fit in your satchel? Is that where you put it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just—I need to have the selection, just in case.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because it is very uncouth to show up without appropriate condiments.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s also uncouth not be able to walk. That’s why you’re sore. Take the mustard out of your shoe!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sighs)

Okay. Well, it’s a little warm now anyway.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t you just leave it here on the side of the road.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’m not gonna litter. That’s rude.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, do you realize we’re going to possibly face the goddess of the moon to save our friend Blat? And he’s possibly gone all evil so he might kill us all anyway, Do you realize that there’s more important things going on than mustard?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but not more important than littering.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so what solution do you propose?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’m still pretty sure you’ve got like, two things in your bag.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Very good.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

If this will end this, give me the mustard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Here you go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right.

MARISA

And I take the mustard and I place it in my bag.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent! Shoe back on… and party forward!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. Forward. How long do you think this is going to take?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, according to my calculations… when we divide the Y axis by the longitude of the latitude—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Never mind. We’ll just keep walking.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If only we had a Gnomish Place…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Finder?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Seeker.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re right, Seeker. Good. Good. Yep. All right. Let’s just keep going.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Ah, you’re coming into the village now, are ya? It looks like I’ll have to change the sign. Are you permanent residents or just visiting?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that depends. What kind of restaurants do you have here?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, we have one.

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, we’re not permanent residents.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

All right, just visitors then.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

So just underneath the large number here, I’ll just put in brackets “+ possible 2”. There you are then!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I feel like we—we are two. That’s not a possible,that’s—

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

But you said you weren’t interested in being a permanent resident. You’re just visiting then. So I’ve just put this here, just in case you might be changing your mind then.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, that’s positive thinking. I like that.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

No, you’ll like our one restaurant. It’s only one but it serves food.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ah! Well, I do like restaurants that serve food.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Ah! then you’re in luck then.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What kind of foods do they serve?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, there’s hot…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yep.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

And then there’s cold.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay? Okay.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

But in the middle, you have tepid.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve always liked tepid.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Ah, yes. You don’t burn yourself, nor is it too crunchy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. Because when things get cold, they get crunchy.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Exactly! Like ice. Which we also be having in our village.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

SEAN (AS A VILLAGER)

Excuse me. Sorry—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, hello!

SEAN (AS A VILLAGER)

(laughs nervously)

Hi. Don’t mind me, just—sorry, Peter.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Are you leavin’ then?

SEAN (AS A VILLAGER)

We are.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Awww.

SEAN (AS A VILLAGER)

I’m so sorry. I can’t—

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

I’m running out of paint, Gladys!

SEAN (AS GLADYS)

I know. I just—I can’t do it again. I can’t sacrifice another child. I’m so sorry.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh, I’m sorry that the one rule of our village is against your morals. “I don’t want to to be sacrificing any of my children to the Goddess of the Moon.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? What? What did you say?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(stammering)

Did—what? You said s‑sacrifice?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You said Goddess of the Moon?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh, yes. Celene, Goddess of the Moon. We all worship her here in this village.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you see her? Is she ever around here?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, you know what the moon is, do you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes. We know what the moon is. But what about the actual embodiment of the moon, Celene? Does she come here?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, some believe that Celene watches everything that we do and judges us on whether we’re good and bad.

SEAN (AS GLADYS)

(suddenly nervous)

Uh, I mean, I’m just… heading out to go into the forest… shopping.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh! Good. Winky-wink-wink. That’s right. Not really moving out permanent like.

SEAN (AS GLADYS)

Oh, no! No, no.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

All right, so I’ll just alter the sign here to say “Possibly 3”—

SEAN (AS GLADYS)

Definitely!

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh. “Definitely 3 coming back”. All right! Off you go then. Good luck with your shopping.

SEAN (AS GLADYS)

Thank you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So this is an interesting town. Um… Our…

(he stammers and draws a blank)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He’s very hungry.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I am so hungry. It was half an hour since we stopped for our last snack.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Really. Because you reek of mustard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, there’s a funny story about that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s not that funny.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So. There we were getting ready for an adventure—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So, excuse me—you need to tell us more about your goddess. Do you have ceremonies where you summon her here? Have you seen a winged demon-type creature around here?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh, that’s ridiculous question there, isn’t it? “Winged demons.” Demons! Just flying about, visiting people, getting involved in adventures. Ha ha! Pull the other one then, young lady.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But you sacrifice your children to a goddess you never see.

Silence.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, yes, that tracks. It’s our religion, you see. We’ll not be worshipping demons, young lady!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That would be a little weird if they were worshipping demons.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Thank you. You see? Finally, someone that talks good sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you’ve seen no strange creature, that made you feel a little scared? Who talks in a really gravelly voice?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh, well now, our local schoolteacher is a very large man and he does have a bit of a speech impediment.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is he red?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Only when he drinks.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I don’t think we’re going to get much more out of this.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, if you were to want to, perhaps pay homage to Celene in person… would she have a, I don’t know, lair nearby somewhere? Like a castle?

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Well, I don’t know if our village would be the one to be asking that question. Now there is a village just a little wee ways down the road—they also worship Celene. But they also, rumour has it, have a wee spot where the Celene powers are, well, emanating from. If you believe that sort of thing. Also, they have two restaurants!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay! Party forward.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, let’s go.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

All right. So you’re just continuing on, then? You’re not stopping at all? Because I’ll just have to alter the sign again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, we can send back some paint for you.

CARTER (AS CENSUS TAKER)

Oh! Excellent. Then I can start from scratch!

All right. So who lives in house number 1? That would be Aaron Abrams and his wife Betty, and they sacrificed five children…

His voice fades out.

MIDROLL

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER

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

SEAN

Hey, everyone, Sean here, and a few announcements are going to get you right back into the storey because man, we were having fun with the format on this one, just totally rolling by the seat of our pants, a lot of changeups. I loved how everyone was playing different characters. Super fun, hoping to do that again.

Okay, first of all, just a reminder about the Reckless Play Guild on Facebook. It’s an open group, you are encouraged to come and hang with us. There are four shows and they’re all amazing live-plays, we’ve got Dark Dice, Dumbgeons and Dragons, and The Lucky Die. And us all in there. And it’s a super fun time. So check that out. You can search for the Reckless Play Guild on Facebook.

And now it’s time to call out some awesome new peeps! And man, we got a lot of new supporters this last two weeks, stepping up and joining our Patreon, and we just can never thank you enough. But what we can do is thank you on the air! And that’s what I’m going to do now.

So big thanks to Joseph Fox. Jack McNamee—I hope I pronounce all these right—Tracy Thompson, Saad Hussain, Nathan Howe, Alicia Hall, Jack Pevyhouse, Rob Wilson and Elise Dukart. And now, roll of drums… roll the drums—I’m doing really good with my English today—for some of our amazing old-timers. And this is a special group of three names I’m gonna read off. These people have been with us for a very long time.

First, I have Aaron Lane. Thank you so much, Aaron. Next, I have Karim Kronfli. You may know this gentleman because he’s been in our show. And he’s an amazing actor, voice actor, just all around great person. And man can he play dark characters.

And you might have heard of this third name: Michael Howie. He’s been a Patreon supporter of us, even before we started End of Time and Other Bothers and we can’t thank him enough for that and for being a great friend. And thank you all for being great friends and for spreading the word about this show.

And now I got some bad news. It’s not my fault, I swear! Okay, it’s totally my fault. There’s going to be a short break after Episode 22. The table’s back together, we’re recording, but we sort of missed a couple of weeks. And so we’re going to be regrouping, getting some more episodes under our belt and then relaunching with Episode 23.

So follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Discord. We’ll be putting announcements out when we know our new launch date. But that said, you still have an episode and a half left before the break! Anyways, thanks all so much. Let’s get you back to the show.

MIDROLL: THE CAFÉ

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, I was very clear about this. I don’t just want this place to be about desserts. We need more than just fairy cakes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We need sandwiches, we need some snacking. We need veggies, we need plates of veggies.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What are veggies?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Vegetables.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That grow out of the ground.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, you know you can actually if you if you put those in water and soak them for a while, then you cook them up, they can actually make a really nice creamy topping to a fairy cake!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No. No more fairy cakes. Look! You have 400 fairy cakes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, That’s exactly how many fairy cakes I need.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Not everyone wants… Blat. Blat, how are you doing with the drinks? We got to get the drinks going.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I knew that he was going to have a little bit of pushback against the whole protein thing. So I’m adding it to the drinks!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Tea with protein! Coffee with protein! Soda with protein! It’s actually not bad.

(tastes some and smacks his lips)

No, I’m wrong. It’s actually pretty terrible.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You know, I’m the only one with experience in this sort of entrepreneurial business. Why don’t any of you listen to me?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Didn’t you work for like, a big government office building with a cafeteria?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, okay, you’re right, I don’t mean entrepreneurial, I mean experience in a cafeteria, right? That was me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’ve got the kitchen at the Nexus, and my fairy pouch…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think that really went well.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(over an intercom)

Is this thing on? Hello! Drive-through! Hello!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, yes, yes. Can we help you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh! Yes! I would like three coffees. extra hot, extra protein. One skim protein. And hold the foam on the second.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait—where did that menu come from? Blat, you put up the protein menu without asking me?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, we sell it. Why can’t we have the menu up?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

Fine. Just get these drinks ready. Snegal will take anything that you give him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did you ask him if he wants fairy cakes?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I did not.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How many fairy cakes?

(shouts)

Snegal! Can you hear me?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Hello? Yes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay! Do you want any fairy cakes?

A long silence.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent! I will get 200 prepared for you.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right. Well, that’ll be 50 sovereigns, then.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Well, when you said you wanted me to be the first customer, I didn’t know I had to have money. I thought it was just gonna, you know, say what I wanted. It was like a game.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But that’s how we run our business… through money. That helps us to buy all the ingredients and supplies.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. So here’s what we’re going to do. I’m just going to write down here that you owe me 50 sovereigns.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, yes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And I’m gonna write down otherbothers.com Okay, okay. And you’re just going to go there and when you have your 50 sovereigns you can make sure that you note that down and you bring them back to me, okay?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I bet though, he could go to that otherbothers dot thingy that you talked about? And he could probably, I don’t know, like be a patron of the cafeteria or something. That would be cool.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That would be an excellent idea. That’s a good idea, Eggerton.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Can I hear Blat talk like Blatman if I do that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. For—you know what? a month, Blatman will come to your funeral.

Silence.

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay! I’m gonna sign up right now! Bye everyone!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

His funeral?! Then how will he know if I’m actually there?

Music sting.

LESSONS

SEAN

We’re standing on a parapet in a slightly larger town. And the parapet is attached to a gothic building that appears to be some kind of school or library or monastery or study. And on the cobblestones beneath we see some hooded figures running. And we see flashes of smiles, and we catch whispers. And the hooded figure is watching as they all move into a room lit by torches.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

(Russian accent)

Yes, children, come in. Come in. It’s time for lessons.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Oh, yes. Sorry, father.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

(quickly drops the accent)

You’re all wearing your hoods up again? I thought we talked about this in last week’s class on fashion.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Yes, Father, we’ll take them down. We just… we just like them up.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

I’ve messed my hair up.

SEAN

(laughs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now, now, now. That’s not what the Goddess of the Moon teaches us. The Goddess of the Moon teaches us that looks are more important than anything else.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(laughing)

He doesn’t have any hair.

The students laugh.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Hey, hey, I shaved my head by choice.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Mm hmm.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

To show solidarity with the moon.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Mm hmm, mm hmm.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Who is representative of our goddess, Celene.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Not a sign of stubble, but sure, we believe you.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Okay, now the both of you together are going to recite the prayer to Celene.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(whines)

Ohhh…

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

That’s what you get when you make fun of the teacher.

The students groan.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

So together. Same time.

(laughing, out of character)

I want to hear the rhyming prayer to Celene from the two of you. Same time, no mistakes.

Laughter.

SEAN AND CARTER (AS THE STUDENTS)

(singing)

Oh Celene…

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

You are the moon—

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

(simultaneously)

You are the best—

SEAN AND CARTER (AS THE STUDENTS)

(struggling to get in sync again)

—best, best moon, best Moon Goddess.

Silence.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

And the second verse!

SEAN AND CARTER (AS THE STUDENTS)

(singing)

Oh Celene… you are the greatest Moon Goddess.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

And forevermore.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Amen.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Okay, okay. You’ve been practicing, I can see that, and I appreciate the effort. Now take your seats while we prepare for today’s lesson on… taxes!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Oh, I hate tax class…

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Everyone hates tax class until it’s time to collect taxes and then they go, “I wish someone had taught me how to do this when I was in school, and now I’m an adult and I don’t know what I’m doing…”

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Professor? Professor?

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Yes?

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

I just get really confused on how we divide the babies and the children by trimester on tax. I just… it really confuses me.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Well… you divide by three.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Right.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Trimester. Three.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Yeah, I know. But then, if it’s two babies and it’s tax season in May…?

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Well, that really depends on the height of the grass outside of the parapet.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Right. Right.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

If it has extended beyond the first stone, then it’s an integer of 4.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Right.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

If it is below the first stone, it is the circumference of the moon when it is waxing in retrograde.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(groans)

I’m never going to get this.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

You see, now, I heard a rumour that when we collect all the babies and we stick them in the field for a Celene to collect, that Celene doesn’t collect them, and the babies just crawl away and eventually get raised by wolves.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

That’s just a rumour. Now go back to using your baby bone pencils and take down the information I have put up on the board.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Yes, Professor.

(whispering)

Hey. Hey, did you see something out the window?

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

(whispering)

What, out there? You mean the moon? Oh God, she’s watching us!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

No, no, it’s not full moon. Don’t you know? You have to know the order of the moon.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

I’ve gotta admit, I’m terrible at that.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Are you cheating off me again?

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Well, yeah, you’re sitting right beside me.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(sighs)

Look. No. Up there on the parapet. I swear I saw somebody standing there.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Who could be standing top of the parapet? You’d have to be able to fly to get on top of the parapet.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

I know!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Oh, that’s your point! That’s weird!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Yeah!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Who can fly?!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

I know!

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Eyes forward, please!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

(aloud)

Oh, sorry. Sorry. Uh, carry the 2, and… baby.

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Mmm hmm. Mm hmm. I’ll just eat this apple while you continue to work.

(chomps noisily)

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(whispers)

Meritt.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

(whispers)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Look. Let’s distract the professor and go outside and see if we can see what that was.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Ohhhh. Maybe we can worship a flying being rather than Celene, the Goddess of the Moon!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Are you crazy? You can’t say that!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Well, no one can fly! I don’t think Celene can fly, so maybe we should be worshipping the new thing!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

You are such a bad boy! I love it!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

I’m not going to wear the hood any more! I’ve decided!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Oh my god!

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Boys! Hands to yourselves!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Plan Beta! Distract!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Oh no! I’ve… thrown something to the other side of the room!

He throws a pencil, which clinks into a corner.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Could you please collect that for me?

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Fine. I will go and collect it for you. But this is really irresponsible.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Oh look! Your apple is rolling out the door!

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

What? How…?

(sighs)

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Two different directions! Whatever will you do?!

MIKE (AS THE TEACHER)

Okay, class. You go collect that apple outside while I try and find this pencil under all of these desks.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Yes, professor!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Go, go, go, go, go, go, go!

They make their escape.

THE PARAPET

SEAN

We cut to the parapet where Blat stands. And the darkness is swirling around him as tendrils reach out in every direction. But out of the darkness, rising up—this time beside him—is another form, also formed out of mist.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Blat! Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, this is new.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Do you recognise me?

MARISA

And this fairy appears: a small fairy that would be very reminiscent of all the fairies that Blat has seen around Celene, and attending to Celene.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Blat! Blat! It is I, Tinkleberry!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh… Tinkleberry.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, yes! I know, there were so many of us, but I was one of Celene’s attendants, and I know that you are loyal servant of Celene. And—and I don’t know if you’ve heard but, but great destruction has come to the castle, to Celene’s home! The sun people, the sun people came to us, Blat, and you weren’t there to help! Have you heard?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve actually been to the castle.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes! So you’ve seen it? The destruction?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It seems pretty bad. Yes,

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I was one of the few to survive it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I’m so happy that you survived… Tinkleberry.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, thank you. Thank you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Of course I remember you. It would be quite rude for me not to remember one… moon fairy, out of the thousands that I passed on a single day.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I’m so flattered, because you were one of Celene’s favourites. Well, to be truthful, you are Celene’s favourite. And I’m so glad I found you, because she needs your help, Blat! She needs you. You are one of her last loyal subjects who will protect her!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh. She’s alive.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, oh yes! Yes, the sun people wanted it otherwise, but she is alive. She survived.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is she injured or perhaps sick?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

She is shaken. There is no doubt she is shaken, but I think if you came to her side, Blat, you would give her the courage she needs to to revive and to fight back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ll give her something.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Okay, that sounds like it could be positive.

I will show you the way. Are you ready to follow me?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes. Fine. Lead the way.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Let’s go.

MARISA

And Tinkleberry takes off from the parapet, very rapidly, watching Blat follow behind her.

CARTER

And Blat does follow.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(furtive)

No, just push up! Push up! I’m almost to the top!

The two students strain and grunt as they climb up onto the parapet. The first finally manages to clamber up.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(gasping for breath)

Oh, here, let me help you. Come on!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Grab my hand!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

No, no, I got you! Whoa!

More straining. Finally, they both make it up to the top and sit, panting.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

There’s nothing here. Why did you pull me up?

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

I don’t know. I just—I swear I heard talking. Did you hear them talking? Something? Talking?

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Talking to themselves? So the flying thing talks to itself? I don’t want to worship it anymore.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

(laughing)

Hey, look! Look! You can see the professor down there!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

(laughs)

Talk about—

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Wait! We can spit on him!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Oh! Wait! Aim for the moon! And by that, I mean his head!

They both start spitting noisily.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Uh, Meritt?

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Yeah?

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

How we gonna get down?

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Oh, simple! We’re just…

(realizes)

Ohhhh.

Quick! Pray to the winged thing to rescue us!

Dear wingèd thing, whose identity we do not know.

SEAN AND CARTER (AS THE STUDENTS)

Come. Come and collect us and land us in safety.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

And consume our souls.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

What?

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

What?

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Why would you want that?!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

I thought that was the prayer.

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

What? “Consume our souls”? Yeah, we gotta stop worshipping Celene.

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

Yeah.

ARRIVING AT THE MONASTERY

SEAN

Entering the larger village is Eggerton and Darcy. They look weary from the road. And this village spreads out before them: probably 30 or 40 buildings, except this village has what appears to be a gothic monastery rising out of the centre, that the village is built around and in service to.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m so weary from that road.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it was a long road. But—but look, that building over there. That seems to be a place of worship, wouldn’t you say?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, yeah, you could probably worship something there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we should go check it out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Check—why?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because! This is probably that holy emanation place that that other person was referring to.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right. Right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Maybe we can find something about Celene.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, let’s… let’s go knock on the strange gothic building’s door and see what happens.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, look up there. It looks like two kids are looking down at us.

SEAN AND CARTER (AS THE STUDENTS)

(in the distance)

Help! Help! Help!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, it must be their greeting.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh.

(shouts)

Help!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(shouts)

Hello! We also worship the moon!

CARTER (AS SECOND STUDENT)

Ohh… they’re so dumb. And I think one of them is a fairy!

SEAN (AS FIRST STUDENT)

What? No!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, you knock on the door.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Hello.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Ha ha, you’re a tall one, aren’t you? We’re here because we don’t want Celene to die.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Hello.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh. Are you—okay, here. Okay. Ready? Ready? Um…

Hello! My name is Eggerton. I come from a faraway land, here to bring you goodwill and cheer!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Also, we have mustard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We have four types of—

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

You may come in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! That’s all it took. They didn’t even want to know about the different types of mustard.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You know what? You’re right. It’s just good currency in these parts.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Can I see the mustard?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, you can.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Which kind of mustard are you interested in?

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

There’s… more than one kind?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

My friend! Let me tell you about the wonderful world of mustard.

(whispers)

Darcy, you go investigate while I talk with this guy about mustard.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Whoa, I had no idea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, let’s start with… Well, okay, there’s this plain yellow stuff. I mean, we have it, but…

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

What do you mean? That’s—that’s all we cherish.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, here you hold on to that. But how do you feel like about sprinkles versus sparkles?

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

(a revelation)

Oh my God.

MARISA

And I move around behind the lunar monk to sneak into one of the first classrooms on the left.

SEAN

And you see the back of Father Ricardo, who is busily eating an apple.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

(smacking lips)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Um…

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

(screams)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

(with a trace of an Irish accent)

Ohhh! You’re not one of my students!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You sound really familiar!

MIKE

(laughs uncontrollably)

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well, I have a lot of family in these parts.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That would make sense.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

But that’s not… the point of my being frightened. You’re an adult and you’ve come in here to the place where we teach children and murder babies!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excuse me?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

What?

SEAN

(laughs)

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

You didn’t know about the—don’t you worship Celene?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, oh. You mean the sacrifices. Yes—

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

That’s right!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

In my village we don’t use the M word. That’s not how we see it.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well, call it what it is. We murder babies!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sacrifice!

SEAN (AS ANOTHER MONK)

Excuse me, Father. Have you seen Meritt and Johnson?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Oh, the two small boys?

SEAN (AS ANOTHER MONK)

Yes.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

They ran out and they never came back.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER MONK)

Ah. Very good. I’ll keep looking. Thank you.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

I’m upset ’cause I was hoping we could murder them later!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(to herself)

Oh. There’s a lot of that going on.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER MONK)

Oh, you mean sacrifice.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Right. Let’s call it what it is. We murder small people.

SEAN (AS ANOTHER MONK)

Let’s bring this up at circle. We’ve had this conversation many times.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

All right, semantics.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So, uh, Father, if I may call you that…

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Yes?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I, as you noted, am an adult, but I felt like my childhood education really suffered because I was not able to attend one of these lunar monasteries.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Oh! Tragic.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And I have come here as a supplicant to to learn more about Celene and how I can bring her closer to my heart. And I think the best way for me to achieve that is to get as close to Celene as I possibly can.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Ah!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And you, being as aged as you are—

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Ohh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

—surely must know where Celene’s holy castle or… house might be?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well… you know that she has a large castle, where she lives?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

But in times of great strife and trouble, she hides in a large building—

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Sorry, just coming in. Lunch… lunch here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, we don’t need—there’s no lunch needed here!

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

We always have lunch this time. Ricardo! Here, I got your sandwich.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Ah! Thank you!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is that sparkly mustard on that?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Oh! It’s so pretty!

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Yeah! Ha ha, we’ve come across some amazing mustard recently.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right. Right. Anyway, Father, you were saying about a large—

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

I’m sorry, no work during lunch.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

What I like is that this part sparkles… but this part is more sprinkly!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You should eat that. You should eat that really quickly.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

All right!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We don’t want it to get cold.

MIKE

Cut to 25 minutes later.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(keeping polite, with difficulty)

Mmm. Father, surely you could continue the sentence you were doing earlier about where Celene might be in times of strife? Is this a time of strife?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Wait! I’m almost at the part of the sandwich that’s not sprinkly but sparkly!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mmm, sparkly, sparkly, ha ha. Just like the sky over Celene’s…

MIKE

Cut to 25 minutes later.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(groans)

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Those were good sandwiches, Ricardo.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Look! My napkin has sprinkles and sparkles and some of the regular yellow.

Silence.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Father, I have three children I’m willing to sacrifice if you just talk to me.

MIKE

(laughs)

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Now you’re speaking my kind of language.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Continue.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

So! In times of great strife, what Celene does is hide under the ground, in a very large building.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. And where would this building be?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Under the ground!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where would the ground under which it is be?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Soil!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What region, Father? How far from here? In which direction?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Oh, it’s not far at all. And that—here’s the tricky part. It’s in the back of the building, underneath a bathroom that says it’s under repair!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You mean it’s here?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

(conspiratorial)

This is a clever ruse. The bathroom always seems to be “under repair”.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I understand. Are you saying that it’s here at the back of this building?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, hi everybody! I brought dessert!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton. No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, hi Darcy! Here. Do you want some dessert? These aren’t fairy cakes, but they’re a nice loaf.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I want no dessert.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You want no dessert? That’s not like you. Normally you like—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton. I’m busy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? Yeah. Okay.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Ricardo, you should tell them that you can’t get in unless given permission by the fae.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well, certainly, but she seemed very interested in it getting Celened up. Hers was a childhood bereft of Celene-raising.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, very—

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

I’m so sorry. So little tragedy in your life.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you. Yes, yes. Very lunar-lacking.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Oh. Bless. Bless you. Bless you with tragedy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you. Thank you.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

So, look! This one here, delivering us the dessert. Perhaps this fae could then give permission for this one to go into the broken bathroom!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That would be really convenient for us.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Well… Sure, if you want to leave those desserts here, you know…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I was gonna sit with you and enjoy—

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Yeah, that’s great. Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well—

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Oh! They have sparkles?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well, is it mustard sparkles or just sparkles?

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

I don’t know.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, thank you! So which direction is the bathroom that needs repair?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well, it smells like a bathroom that’s in disrepair, so just follow your nose to find the moon.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’ll ask along the way, thank you.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Oh my, no. Mustard on this is not good at all.

Silence.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

I’ll finish it though.

Laughter.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

You know, I never saw that particular fae before. I wonder if I did the correct thing?

Ah well!

Silence.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

No, I’ve changed my mind. Mustard on this grows on you after a while.

Oh! Aftertaste. Ugh.

Where’s my water? Someone took my—wait! I think those two took my water! Guards! After them!

MIKE (AS YET ANOTHER MONK)

Uh… We fired the guards last week.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Whaaat?

MIKE (AS YET ANOTHER MONK)

Yeah, they tried some kind of protest against child murdering.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

They’re against that?!

MIKE (AS YET ANOTHER MONK)

I know. They got fired—

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Someone stole my water and is heading towards the secret Celene area!

MARISA (AS NUN)

Father! Father! I have shocking news, shocking news! It’s about the children! The children!

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Yes?

MARISA (AS NUN)

They haven’t been murdered at all!

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Whaaaat?

MARISA (AS NUN)

No! They were never murdered! Celene has simply taken them and used them in her servitude! But Father, this is one of your closest held beliefs. They’ve never died, any of them!

Silence.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Well, that’s it. If you need me, I’m going to be in Classroom 3, bashing my head against the chalkboard.

SEAN (AS THE MONK)

Do you want to take one of the desserts with you?

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

Oh, please. It really does grow on you after a while

MARISA (AS NUN)

I’ll reword the scriptures for you, Father. I’ll make sure it’s now corrected.

CARTER (AS FATHER RICARDO)

My life is a hollow lie.

THE FAE STONE

SEAN

Darcy steps through a door—a door marked “DO NOT ENTER—CALL JANITOR”.

But on the other side is the sound of birds. And there’s green grass and sun, and there is a grove that is a perfect circle. And in the centre of that grove is a very large fae stone and standing at that fae stone, arguing with it… is Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I demand entrance.

SEAN (AS THE FAE STONE)

(a low, rumbling laugh)

You can demand whatever you want.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You’re just a fae stone. Let me pass.

SEAN (AS THE FAE STONE)

Gladly. You need merely have the permission of the fae. Which you no longer have.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Coward. So you expect me to simply stand here on the off chance that a fairy should just walk up and grant permission for me to enter?

Eggerton walks up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look, Darcy! It’s one of those female eagles.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait, is that Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat? Blat? Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Blat! We found you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How you doing, buddy?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re gonna hug it out, aren’t we.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We are so gonna hug it out! Come here!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Absolutely!

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 Marisa King, Carter Siddall and Michael Howie.

Dialogue editing and transcription by Michael Howie.

Sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Story consultant: Laura Packer.

Game consultant: Stephen Smith.

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

If you enjoy the show, check out our Patreon. Supporters get weekly bonus content, and an invite to our wonderful fan community on Discord. Look for the Patreon link at otherbothers.com.

OUTTAKE: OVER A VILLAGE

SEAN

We’re over a village—a rather nondescript village. It’s pre-dawn and there’s the sun just starting to rise above…

Sorry.

We’re over a village. A rather unusual…

Silence.

MARISA

I’m so over this village.

Laughter.

SEAN

We’re over this village. Scene.