Skip to content

22: Best Laid Plans

Blat, Darcy and Eggerton track the goddess Celene to her new hideout and ready themselves for battle and/or hugs.

We’re going on a short hiatus, but we’ll be back soon with our next episode. Follow us on social media for updates!

This week’s recommended actual play podcast is The Lucky Die!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: This one’s a big ol’ downer. Bodily harm, death and terrible decisions.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Justine! He has taken the bait.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

There is never defeat for Celene, not as long as I am here. I can be anything, anyone!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

You will bring him here to the white palace. And the broken goddess inside him.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

It shall be done.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

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

MARISA (AS DARCY)

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

MARISA (AS DARCY)

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

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This is Hug It Out version 2.0.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So! I guess this is goodbye.

SEAN (AS MOTHER SPECKLEY)

I’m sorry that my plan did not work.

I do have one of these baubles. It will open a portal back to here.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Blat! Great destruction has come to the castle, to Celene’s home! If you came to her side, Blat, you would give her the courage she needs to to revive and to fight back.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in his gruff Blathoxil voice)

Lead the way.

SEAN

Darcy steps through a door. On the other side is a very large fae stone.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I demand entrance.

SEAN (AS THE FAE STONE)

(a low, rumbling laugh)

You need merely have the permission of the fae.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Is that Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat? Blat? Blat!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat!

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!

THE PLAN

Whistling wind.

SEAN

It is the white tundra, and a figure is bundled up against the cold and entering a small hut. In the distance rises a white castle built out of ice that gleams in the late afternoon sun. Beside and around the castle are ice walls that climb hundreds of feet up to icy cliffs.

Blat, Darcy and Eggerton come and go from this hut, and we’re seeing everything sped up. We’re seeing the sun rise and fall, the moon rise and fall. And in and out of this hut these three figures go, some creeping off into the woods, other approaching the castle and watching and then coming back. And we slowly come down towards the hut as time returns to normal.

Coming in the front door and seeing the discarded boots and coats. Darcy and Eggerton are there and they are staring at a table and on this table rolled out is a crazy diorama, a recreation of the castle in the distance. And stepping in the door and taking off his cloak is Blat.

Everything they know about the layout of the palace is on the table in front of Darcy and Eggerton: the security system, the guards, what lies ahead.

What’s not known yet is their plan.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in his gruff Blathoxil voice)

So the plan is simple. We kill Celene. I get rid of this thing that’s inside of me that’s making me talk this way. And things go back to normal.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So X marks the spot. That’s what… that’s… that’s what this thing is, right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well X marks Celene, which is the spot.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Sure… yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So we need to go from here…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And where… which one are we?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, um, it’s not really on the board.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why aren’t we on the… aren’t we like… isn’t this a board of what we’re doing?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, we have to get to this location.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, look… I’ve got three fairy cakes. Here we go. I’ve got a red one. That’s you, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Alright.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And I’ve got one with lots of sprinkles that’s really fun. That’s gonna be me. Then I’ve got this… well, it’s… I’ll be honest, it’s an orange cube. But it’s okay. It’ll be Darcy. We’ll put it there.

And that’s the three of us. And this is the hut. It’s not to scale.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s bigger than the hut. So, no.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, we’re here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Um-hm.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And we need to find the X.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re pretty certain where the X is, which is why we put the X on the diorama.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right! Right, right. Okay, no. Okay, so… so we just need to go to this X!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We get to the X.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

To the X.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And then murdering.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And then out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…I feel like we need to talk about the murdering part.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Are you sure there’s a drawbridge?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I saw a drawbridge. I’m very certain. There was, um, a couple of them sitting around on the bridge.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

A couple drawbridges on the bridge?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, there’s… there’s a couple of the fairies…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ahhhhh…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…who guard the castle on the bridge drawing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hmm. Wait, what?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, so it’s a bridge.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s always down, but sometimes it can go up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think we can know where Celene’s gonna be once we get in there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But… the X.

SEAN

(laughs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I mean, isn’t that the whole point of the map is to have the X so we can be like… “Hey, there it is.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we’re focusing too much on the X. Celene does move around.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, but…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

If we put the X here in the kitchen…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm hm. Yep.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How do we know that she’s not actually up in the bed…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I will investigate the kitchen!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, but what if she’s up in the bedrooms?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Then we move the X.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(gritted teeth)

We can’t move the X once we’re there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why not?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

She is the X!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re not bringing this with us?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! How are we gonna fit it?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How are we gonna know where we are once we get there?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think the fairies are gonna notice us carrying this across the drawbridge.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You don’t think they’re gonna notice us coming in the castle?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, they’re not gonna notice you. You’re already a fae.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, I am. Thank you for noticing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So you’re gonna be the one that gets us inside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I got it, I got it, I got it. This is the best plan ever.

What we’re gonna do… we’re gonna go into town, we’re gonna get a really long coat. Darcy, you’re gonna sit on Blat’s shoulders.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m gonna sit on your shoulders.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I… this isn’t gonna work.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re gonna put the coat on my shoulders and wrap it around all three of us. They’ll never know that the two of you are there. They’re just gonna see me. This is what I look like. Right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A 15-foot fae in a giant coat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is a terrible idea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How… how could it go wrong? Please tell me how this plan would not work.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So many multiple ways it could go wrong.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

“Hey, you’re not a fae.” Stab. That’s how it goes wrong.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Though I would point out that if they do stab, they’ll stab you. Because you’re the lower part of the coat. And don’t you have like superpowers or something now?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m still a mortal being.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, well… I thought there’s… you know, you’re different somehow.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t we make the coat plan Plan C?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How are we actually gonna get inside, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s where it gets interesting.

Laughter.

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 22: Best Laid Plans.

ON THE BATTLEMENTS

Whistling wind again.

SEAN

The camera moves from the hut towards the ice castle, faster and faster, towards two tiny figures sitting on the top of one of the walls. Until we see that it is Celene, and she is looking through some kind of device at the hut in the distance.

The swirling sound of Justine appearing.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Justine?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, yes. Yes, Your Eminence?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

How long are they gonna continue to flit about and stay in that hut?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Well, I‑I think they’re confused. I think they don’t know what to do. And isn’t that the best behaviour that they could be exhibiting? They’re weak, they’re weak!

SEAN (AS CELENE)

(booming angrily)

I want them in the labyrinth!

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I think if we give them time, they will attempt to get into the labyrinth in their own way. And then they’ll think it was their idea. Yes, yes?

SEAN (AS CELENE)

I want you to give them the idea. I want them there by tomorrow night.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, yes your Eminence… of course. Immediately.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Or we could dine on your essence.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

No! No, no, no, no, that’s not an idea that I enjoy. I will make sure they are in the labyrinth by the time you say.

SEAN (AS CELENE)

Good. Oh look… they’re coming—oh… only one of them’s coming out. You have your work cut out.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes. At once.

EGGERTON

SEAN

We find Eggerton wandering through a small grove on a sunny day not too far from the hut and he’s looking for berries.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Come here, berries! Berry, berry, berry come here!

(sighs)

They’re not talking. It’s so much more work when they don’t just come to me.

A soft swirling

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(in an aged crone voice)

Helloooo? Is someone there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are you a berry?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

A berry? Oh no, no, no. Oh, hello, you… you are a fairy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I am a fairy.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Ooooohhh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who are you?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, oh, well. I am a woman who is in need of assistance…

SEAN

(laughs)

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

…and you are the first one I’ve come upon in this forest. And if you help me I think I can show you where there’s some very good berries.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh yeah, I need some berries. It’s all part of our plan.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Ohhhh… what… what plan?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, Blat wants to murder Celene. But I think we really just need to get in there and give her a good hug.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Uh… oh… Blat? Who is Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh well, he’s going by something else right now. He’s having something of an identity crisis ‘cos I think he has a couple of different goddesses inside him.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oooohhhh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know, it’s a long backstory. You don’t need to worry about it.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, well, I‑I actually might be able to help if you want to get to Celene!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Really!

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know the castle?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I‑I know it very well actually.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know the White Castle?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I do know the White Castle!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And you know an easy way to get inside the White Castle?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Well, it’s funny you should say that. Many, many years ago, I helped Celene when she was in a great deal of trouble and as a reward for that she allowed me to live in the castle… in a tiny room in the castle. But I’m able to come and go as I please.

And… and I could help you to get in there. And then you could help me with my problem!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That sounds absolutely lovely. Now, what’s your problem?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Well, my problem is best explained to you once we go to the castle. It’s easiest when you can see it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That checks out.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Let me go get my friends…

MIKE

(starts giggling)

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, I’m so glad I ran into you instead of one of your friends. That was very fortunate.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, they can be very difficult to get to know.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, they’re very standoffish at times.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh dear.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But under my leadership, I think they’re coming together.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, you look like someone who would be a wonderful leader.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You should see my hat. I don’t have it here. I left it back at the Nexus where everyone might be dead. But it’s a great hat.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, I do like hats. I would love for you to show that to me one day.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’ll have to go together sometime!

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Ohhh, I think that’s a wonderful idea. Now, do you think we can get your friends to come here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sure, sure. Now, how do you feel about kitchens?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I… I feel fine about kitchens.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s great because at the Nexus, we’ve got a great kitchen.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Ohhhh…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So I’ve got all these mixing bowls and fruits and I’ve got lots of different types of pleather and sprinkles and sparkles and different types of icing and different types of filling…

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(pointedly)

So you like to cook.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…and different types of pans in which I cook things. Some of them are bigger, some of them are smaller.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(sharply)

Cooking is fun for you, is it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Each of them has a slightly different shape… some of them are…

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(witheringly)

You enjoy the kitchen environment, yes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

When I bake in them they come out looking a certain way…

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

That is wonderful.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve actually got really rare cube trays too. And I make those here… these are the little orange… here, why don’t you try one of these little orange squares? I’ve got one here.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, no, no…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You try… try. Here you… right in your mouth. Here you go.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I have a very delicate system. Oh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There you go. Okay!

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh!

(swallowing fairy cake)

Um… oh…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tasty, isn’t it?

SEAN

Roll for fairy cakes.

MIKE

That’s a 10.

SEAN

You feel marvellously wonderful.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Ohhh!

SEAN

…Justine.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh my goodness. I’ve never felt something like that. You are a marvellous cook! Oh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know. Isn’t it wonderful? Doesn’t it make you really consider your life choices?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

It… it is marvelous!

MARISA

And just for a moment, this old woman seems to just blur a bit and come back into focus and just look a little off from an outside point of view.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh-oh-oh, well! That is… is fantastic I must say.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um-hmm, I’m still feeling the effects of the last one I ate I think.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I can imagine. I will have to get more of those from you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so do you want to come with me to get my friends or do you want to like meet us somewhere?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I think it would be best if you bring them here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, just right to this spot? Or do you wanna meet somewhere else?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

No, right here would be good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right here. Okay.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Just where you were looking for berries.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And what time do you think we should come back?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

I will meet you here in two hours.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Two hours. Okay. I’m gonna go get them. I’ll bring them here. What was your name again?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, my name. Yeeeesss. My name is…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is it Vamping?

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Oh, no, it’s… it’s Carolinia. That’s right, Carolinia.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Carolinia. It’s a beautiful name, Carolinia.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

Yes, I have a bad memory these days you see.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um-hm. Um-hm. Um-hm. Okay.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

So you come here and see Carolinia.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

And you can bring more of those little cakes if you want.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I’ve got more right here actually.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

No, I’ll wait ’til later.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, it’s okay. Here… try… why don’t you try… this is the classic purple swirly. It’s the most popular one.

MARISA (AS JUSTINE)

(fading out)

Oh no… I couldn’t possibly…

BLAT

Far off in the woods, raven croaks.

SEAN

We find Blat walking along a different section of woods, heading towards an overlook that offers quite the pristine and perfect view of the castle in the distance.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(mutters, imitating the others)

“Celene’ll move around in the castle.” It’s ridiculous… I know exactly the spot that she’s gonna be in the castle and that’s why the X was there in the diorama… but just to be certain… I’ll look again.

(pause)

Yup.

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There she is. I knew it. I knew where she’d be.

A rumbling as Morrigu speaks within Blat’s mind.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(whispering)

Are you sure?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sure.

I don’t need you in my head any longer. I’m gonna need you for the next three, four hours tops. And then out you come. Because Celene’ll be dead and we can finally move on from this.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Give me a god. I will give you so much in return.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Alright. You can have Celene.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

It feels like a trap.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No. You wanted a god, I offer you Celene. Done and done.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You could have given me Brenda.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Brenda? Brenda’s not a god.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Brenda is a god.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhhh, Brenda’s a god.

Well, that’s news to me. Sorry. Didn’t know.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(frustrated sigh)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Celene. We’ll give you Celene.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

She knows. She watches us now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know what you’re talking about. She’s right—

No, she’s looking right at us.

Alright. Moving aside, moving aside, back into the darkness.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Use the power of the tendrils.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Use the power of the ten… I don’t have to use the tendrils just yet. This is still reconnaissance.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

(growls)

You are more of a fool than I thought.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve heard that before.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Don’t let me down.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You want Celene? I want to get rid of Celene. This’ll work out just fine.

THE HUT

A fire crackles in a hearth.

SEAN

So we return to the hut where Darcy is fidgeting. Looking nervous, tending the fire, checking her backpack. But she’s alone. Her companions have headed outside.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers to herself)

Alright, so Blat thinks the X should be here, but I think there should be an X here too. I mean, it really should be here too. And… ohhh… this isn’t gonna work and… and if we let Blat do this, this… this could destroy existence. I think we’re forgetting that Blat isn’t supposed to do this! Blat isn’t supposed to indulge these feelings. Aarrgggh… what are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? What are we gonna do? Come on Darcy… think, think, think.

(sighs)

The soft chiming music of Loxsyn’s theme.

SEAN

And your amulet begins to heat up against your skin.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What… is going on?

Loxsyn? Are you here? Loxsyn… if… if you’re here… if you know how to help me please, please tell me. Please give me a sign.

SEAN

And the door opens and Eggerton walks in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy! I have a great idea—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No wait.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m waiting for a sign. Just be quiet for a minute.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I’m being quiet for you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn… Loxsyn, please I‑I need guidance. Give me a sign!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I‑I actually…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(harshly)

Shhhhh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, sorry….sorry.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Shhhh… just wait… wait.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay… I’m waiting.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Lemme know if you see a sign.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn… I’m really lost. Where do you think the X should be?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I actually found a cool way that we might be able to find the X.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… if you… you just have to… where’s Blat? We need Blat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uhhh… I think he went out to get some air or something. I don’t know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, well, when Blat gets back we’ll go over it. I found a way into the castle.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How did you…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

With my superior reconnaissance skills.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, that can’t be right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What do you mean it can’t be right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that can’t be right. How did you find out?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, because I‑I’m a leader and that’s what I do. It’s my job to find solutions.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no really… how did you find it? Did you stumble into it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I—I…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Did you fall into it? Did you walk into it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Kind of? But I‑I mean it’s still my solution. So you know, it’s good.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, we should get Blat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I found a way. Yeah… okay.

He opens the door and shouts into the whistling wind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat!! Where are you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blaaaat!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blaaaat!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat?

CARTER

And Blat lands in front of the hut.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh! Oh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You fly a lot more than you used to.

They head back inside and close the door.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I was right. X does mark the spot.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Told you so.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How do you know?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Reconnaissance. I saw her.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You two and reconnaissance. Oh boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was doing reconnaissance too! And I found a way into the castle.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I was doing reconnaissance. I never saw you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was reconnaissancing over there. Where were you reconnaissancing?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I was reconnaissancing from up above.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I was… I was off to the flank. On the lateral side.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I was up above; I should have been able to see anything around the castle.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I was… I was in the wooded area though. I had cover. I was undercover.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, it doesn’t matter! Eggerton says he’s found a way into the castle.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, let’s go. Everyone! Follow me!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait… should we prepare? Maybe we should have a plan? Like…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe this is the plan!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How are we getting into the castle though?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The drawbridge. We’re gonna meet two fae by the drawbridge. The other fae’ll get us in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, we’re not doing that plan anymore. I’ve got a new plan to get into the castle. Once we’re in the castle, we go to X marks the spot and then we hug both Celene and Blat at the same time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okaaaaay. How did you come up with this plan?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because I’m the General.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That doesn’t track.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A general what?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I‑I… You know what, let’s just go! I’ll show you when we get there.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, where… what did you see, Blat? How do you know about the X?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Simple. I saw a window and I saw Celene through it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You saw her?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And that’s the exact spot that’s on this map!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

She’s actually here?! This might actually work?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, she’s here but… I’m not so sure that the plan’s going to work.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, we don’t have one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The plan will be just fine. I have a plan! That’s what I’m saying. Let’s go. Let’s go!

He opens the door again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, I guess this is our best shot. This… this might actually be the sign… the sign that Loxsyn is giving me! It might actually be to follow Eggerton!

Pause.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, I don’t think that can be right.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You’re right. No.

Well, maybe we’ll see the sign as we follow him.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He came up with this idea?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Apparently.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

We’re gonna die before we even hit Celene.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, guys, come on. I already went out the door and I went for like 30 seconds there and realized you weren’t there. So let’s go for real now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right. All right. I’m behind you.

SEAN

So Eggerton heads out again from the house, checking back periodically to ensure he’s being followed. Darcy, with a perplexed look on her face, looking around. And Blat, with an even more perplexed look on his face, following, pausing and following.

THE CLEARING

SEAN

Eggerton enters a familiar clearing in the woods. And it is empty.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, she’ll be here soon. Don’t worry, guys. Come on.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

She. She?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I made a new friend!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This sweet old lady.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What sweet old lady?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… Cindy Lou-who or something like that? I don’t know.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You don’t know her name?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, I didn’t think to write it down at the time because I didn’t know she’d be coming back. But…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The person that you were going to meet here… you didn’t think that they were going to come back? Then why are we meeting them here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, and she should be coming back soon.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What did she look like?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, she looked like a sweet old lady. Sweet old ladies in the woods are always trustworthy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s a sweet old lady doing in the woods this close to Celene’s castle? Did you ask yourself that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I was looking for berries. And she answered my call for berries. And, um, she needs some help. And she said she’d help us too.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She… she said she’d help us get us in the castle.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is she a fairy?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, no, she’s just a sweet old lady.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This is… this is way too coincidental. What’s going on here? Is this Celene? Is Celene playing some kind of game? It sounds like her.

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And so we wait.

For Cindy… Lou-who.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh… I have a bad feeling about this. Oh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(starting to break character and laugh)

Me too. Copyright infringement’s nothing to joke about.

Loxsyn’s music returns briefly.

SEAN

Darcy, your amulet begins to heat up against your skin. And the rest of you start to see a white light starting to filter through her garments.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… um, Darcy?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Do you have a lantern inside your shirt?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no. It’s… it’s my amulet. It’s doing it again. It did this back in the little cottage. It must be Loxsyn trying to reach me, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe… or did you like leave it on the fire and forget?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then put it back on?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! It’s Loxsyn. It must be Loxsyn.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. What does Loxsyn have to say?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know. It’s like I can’t connect with her. I’m trying.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How are you trying?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I’m trying to focus. It’s hard with you around. Just… just… just a minute.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn, I feel your presence. I know you want to communicate with us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispering under Darcy)

Blat, be quiet. Darcy’s trying to concentrate. It’s very important that she be able to focus…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton!!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? I’m helping.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Stop it! I can hear you!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well… Blat… quiet!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn. What is it… what do you want to tell us?

MARISA

And I concentrate so hard to try and communicate with my goddess.

A swirling sound.

SEAN

And that’s when the snow begins to melt beneath your feet, moving at a very rapid rate and pulling back to reveal stairs and a door.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look at that!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But—what’s going on?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That must be Loxsyn’s doing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But I thought you said it was some old woman?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, maybe that was Loxsyn appearing to me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(gasps, whispers)

Maybe it was.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Maybe Loxsyn’s communicating to you through me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why? Why would she do that to me?

Laughter.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? What do you mean why would she do that you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I mean… I mean I’m sure she moves in mysterious ways and uses all sorts of, uh, intermediaries. That’s true; I’m sure it could have been you, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right. So, anyway, I guess like, they’re stairs so we might as well take ’em.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that’s always a good idea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. Go deeper into it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you think, Blat? Is it a trap?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s more than likely a trap. But I feel better knowing that this strange old lady that he met isn’t here yet. So let’s go down the stairs before she comes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know. The strange old lady might already be with me if it’s Loxsyn.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I feel safe. I feel like this is the right path.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… ‘kay. That’s, that’s good. But she’s not here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Alright… so you go first. No, no she’s inside us I think Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why is she inside you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, because she wasn’t really an old woman.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She was.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

She was the embodiment of Loxsyn.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, there was an old woman.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, that was just what she wanted you to see. Oh, you’re not a believer. You don’t understand.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Alright. I’m gonna go down the stairs. You guys hash this out.

He goes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Alright, you go ahead.

(whispering)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Are you a little worried? Remember what we were told? That if Blat goes down this path, it could be the end of existence! I don’t know if we’re doing the right thing. Should we be helping him?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You think this is literally the path?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! I think this is the path to Celene, but I don’t know if we should be encouraging Blat to take it! Maybe you and I need to take on Celene.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What if we trap Blat on the way in and then you and me take down Celene on our own for Blat so he doesn’t have to do it? And time can end but existence won’t.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow, that’s a terrifying thought. But we might have to do it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, ready? On three. One, two, three—whoaaaa team Eggerton!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uhh… yay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Alright… let’s go!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE

So Eggerton follows Blat down the stairs.

MARISA

And Darcy follows Eggerton down the stairs.

Loxsyn’s music returns but takes on a darker tone.

SEAN

As Darcy takes her first step the medallion burns even hotter. Almost. Almost hurting.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ahh. Ahh! Wait! Wait, m‑my amulet… it burns! Maybe… maybe this isn’t right!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s probably just like, “Yeah! Go team!”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know but I don’t think this is how it works.

Blat! Blat? What do you see down there?

Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat!

We better go and find him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know… what if we get trapped in here?

Ohhhh! The amulet… it burns!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

See, it’s telling you to stop doubting yourself!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, I don’t know about that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That can only be what it means. It’s burning to say, “Yeah, you got this, girl.”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we gotta find Blat. Let’s go. Let’s go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, let’s go get Blat.

SEAN

So Eggerton… you head down further?

MIKE

I do.

The music reaches a crescendo.

SEAN

Darcy, as you go to take your next step, it starts to burn the skin. You feel the skin pulling off your body.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

AAAAHHHH!!!

MARISA

And I run back up the stairs and throw myself on the ground.

SEAN

And with that, the door disappears.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! No! Eggerton!!

MIDROLL

Music sting.

ANNOUNCER

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

SEAN

Hey, everyone, it’s Seanw as you probably know. Thanks so much for being with us. I want to give some shout outs. Apologies if I get any of these names wrong—I’m trying really hard.

So first of all to our new patrons—woo-hoo! Raise the roof! Ann Sloan, sayaks, Carlötta Beautox, Coral, Toni and Christian Vikjær Bote. Thank you all so much. Your support means everything and it allows us to continue to create more shows and more episodes.

And now it’s time to shout out some of our oldies but goodies, our old timers. I don’t know what to call all of you except to say you’re all amazing for having been with us since the beginning. So let’s give a shout out to Benjamin Epstein, Kathleen Werry and Hannah Reicks. Thank you three so much from everyone at the table.

Now, I mentioned a few times before, but I want to let everyone know there is a really cool Facebook group called the Reckless Play Guild. That’s us, Dumbgeons and Dragons, The Lucky Die and Dark Dice, all in one place. Super fun. Come on and join in. There’s some interviews happening of all the cast now—gonna be a lot of fun.

But I wanna talk to you a little bit more about The Lucky Die Podcast. It’s a D&D 5e actual play of four friends, basically dealing with the end of the world. If you like The End of Time, you’re gonna love the setup for this show. “Demons and celestials have started stalking the lands. Tensions between the factions leave death in their wake and blood red clouds boil across the sky.” Eh? Eh? Check it out. It’s called The Lucky Die Podcast. You can find it everywhere you find podcasts, and we’ll put a link in our show notes.

Alright, as I mentioned last time, there’s gonna be a short gap before we’re back and running again. That’s because we had some scheduling issues. We’ve resolved those but until we can catch up, there’s gonna be a bit of a delay before the next episode.

Now, that said, there is a bonus coming soon! A lot of you wanted to know what happened to Scribbles. So that is coming. As to when we’re gonna be back, we promise it won’t be that long. And we’re gonna let you know on Twitter, on Facebook, on our Discord, on Patreon—so be sure to follow us in one of those places. And we can’t wait to be back and going again.

And until then… here’s the end of Episode 22.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: ARTS AND CRAFTS

SEAN

Oh, Marisa, I’m glad I caught you here in the green room. Um… look, we’ve got a problem with these dice boxes that Michael’s making.

MARISA

What’s wrong?

SEAN

He won’t stop.

MARISA

Oh no.

SEAN

They’re everywhere. I’m not sure what to do… I need you to talk to him.

MARISA

Okay, so wait a minute… first of all, he was knitting dice boxes.

SEAN

Yeah.

MARISA

And now he’s carving the dice boxes.

SEAN

Yes.

MARISA

And he won’t stop?

SEAN

And now he’s moved past that; he’s making them out of food, he’s 3D printing them, like…

MARISA

Oh no.

SEAN

Like, they’re everywh… like you can’t open any closet here and now they’re filling up the recording… like how are we going to get in and record?

MARISA

He’s obsessed.

CARTER

Hey, guys? I don’t have a chair anymore. Mike says that I’m just gonna balance myself on about fifty different dice boxes. I can’t do this anymore.

SEAN

I know… I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Carter. It’s because he took the chair apart to make dice boxes.

CARTER

(sighs)

SEAN

I’m gonna get you another chair. But I need somewhere to put these. Does anybody have any…? Come on, just take a few more home, guys… come on.

MARISA

What?! No, no, no, I don’t want any more of those things. I have enough of Mike’s junk that I’ve taken to my place to clear this place out. I can’t work like this anymore, Sean.

CARTER

Oooo!! Ooooo! I know!

We make money by getting rid of the dice boxes to people who are really into the show.

SEAN

Oh my God, that’s brilliant.

CARTER

Will Mike let us do that?

SEAN

Okay, alright. We’re gonna pitch Mike.

So people will go to otherbothers.com. They can join our Patreon and maybe get a dice box.

CARTER

Get a fairy dice box…

MARISA

I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to sell the eggplant dice boxes that way though.

SEAN

Yeah, I think we’ll just throw those out.

MARISA

Compost.

MIKE

Oh, there you guys are! I’m looking for some toothpaste. Do any of you have toothpaste?

SEAN

Oh God.

Music sting.

THE TUNNELS

Eggerton and Blat’s voices echo down a long tunnel.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat. Where are you? Blat. Darcy? Darcy? Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m further ahead.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? Oh. I can’t see… it’s too dark.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s just I’m ahead of you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, is that you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That… that is not me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

‘kay… is that you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(startled)

Aaarggh! That is me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh… okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s just one long corridor.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohhh.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s fine. Where’s Darcy?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, well she was behind me and then she screamed and ran away.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

She screamed and ran away?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

She screamed and ran away. And then the door closed.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhh, great. Separated again.

She’s not turning into some sort of like, anthropic animal, is she?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I dunno.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Great. Alright, well, let’s just keep moving forward.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OK. Which way?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, not the way we came where there’s no door.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I can’t see. It’s too dark in here!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just forward, in the direction you were heading.

SEAN (AS A GRUFF VOICE)

Towards me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, thank you. That’s very helpful.

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat? Blat? Why’d you stop talking?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I thought maybe if I stopped talking I could engage in the element of SURPRISE!

SEAN (AS GRUFF VOICE)

No, I pretty much know you’re here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

And who might you be?

Silence.

SEAN (AS GRUFF VOICE)

Oh, are we doing names?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m Eggerton! I can’t see anything ‘cos it’s very dark in here, but it’s nice to meet you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And I’m Blathoxil.

SEAN (AS GRUFF VOICE)

Well, that sounds like a demon name.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Actually it is a demonic name, yes.

SEAN (AS GRUFF VOICE)

Oh! Huh. I haven’t dealt with a demon in a long time. Umm… I’m Beehox.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Beehox?

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And pardon the rude question since I can’t see, but what are you, Beehox? You don’t sound like a fairy.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

(guffawing)

Oh, nooooo, nooooooooo. Ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

I’m, I’m… you probably know me as a troll. I’m gonna kill you both.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I see.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Very good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, I have a question re: killing… of the two of us.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Oh, can I ask a question first?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, does it have to do with my question?

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Hmm… I’m not sure.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Why don’t I ask my question? And then if you think your question supercedes it in the order of logical, like movement, then you ask your question.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, ready?

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Yup.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Can you not kill us?

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Can either of you see in the dark?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I can’t.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s a narrow hallway. All I have to do is aim straight. Bazooka.

Blat’s bazooka assembles. Rhythmic music begins.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

I don’t know what that is. I’m gonna assume the answers are no. So yeah, I gotta kill you both.

CARTER

And Blat pulls the trigger.

SEAN

Okay, roll volley. Uh, this will be at a negative because it is dark.

CARTER

That’s a 7.

SEAN

Okay. Uh, so that is a partial success. Uh, so I will say that it hits—but far faster and closer than you expected.

CARTER

Ahhhhh.

SEAN

Uh, so what is your damage on that?

CARTER

I think it’s an 8?

(rolls)

3!

SEAN

Okay, so you’re gonna take half of that, so 1 damage. Do you have armour?

CARTER

Uh, I do not.

SEAN

So you hear the sound of a bazooka. You hear a roar from Beehox. And then silence.

The music ceases.

CARTER

Blat sticks his necrotic tendrils out in front of him, feeling around to see if he can find Beehox.

SEAN

Doesn’t seem to be anything there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Alright, I don’t think he was as tough as we thought.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t think he was as tough as we thought!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(shouting)

I can’t hear you! My ears are ringing!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?!

CARTER

Blat grabs Eggerton…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ooop!

CARTER

…by the scruff of the neck, and they start slowly moving forward.

SEAN

Okay, so they’re moving forward down the passage. And you come across a form on the ground. Quite large.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

How are your ears?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think they’re getting better.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Good. Search him.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh. Search who?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This figure on the ground.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I can’t see anything.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s because it’s dark. Use your hands.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, here… I’m using my hands.

The music resumes.

SEAN

And that’s when the troll roars alive and goes to bite Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

MIKE

So I try and pull back.

SEAN

Okay, roll Defy Danger.

MIKE

That’s a 6.

SEAN

So you are going to… will you roll for me damage of d8?

MIKE

d8.

SEAN

Plus 3.

MIKE

5.

SEAN

8. Do you have any armour?

MIKE

I have 1.

SEAN

Okay, so you take 8 minus 1.

MIKE

(laughing)

7!

SEAN

(laughing)

There you go. We’re doing math. So you hear a horrible crunching sound…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

My arm!

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

(guttural laughing; then, with his mouth full)

Oldest trick in the book!

CARTER

And Blat sends his tendrils down onto the floor towards the figure.

SEAN

Okay, so read us the tendrils; this is the first time they’re being used.

CARTER

“As you move, you leave behind small wisps of black, swirling smoke. These form into tendrils at your beckoning and strike out at up to three creatures within 30 feet of you. Roll +Wisdom. On a 10+ your tendrils connect with their prey, who takes 1d8 necrotic damage. On 7–9 your tendrils connect and do 1d8 damage, but you take damage for their attacks on your necrotic limbs.”

SEAN

‘kay.

CARTER

Well, this is a terrible idea.

Laughter. Carter begins rolling.

SEAN

Plus Wisdom.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Plus Wisdom, which…

MARISA

I don’t think you have any.

CARTER

…if I remember… yes, is a zero.

MARISA

(off Carter’s roll)

Oh wow.

CARTER

11!

MARISA

Wow.

SEAN

Roll 1d8 +Wisdom is a 0. So roll 1d8.

CARTER

(rolling)

A 2.

MARISA

Oh, that’s a waste.

SEAN

So you feel the tendrils connect and you get half of that back.

CARTER

Ohh!

SEAN

So you get 1 hit point back by stealing the life force from this troll, who scrambles back when he’s pierced by one of these tendrils, but he’s still holding on to Eggerton with his mouth.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

AAAAAAaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

SEAN

Okay, so Eggerton’s just gonna scream this round. So the troll… you feel a whoosh of air.

CARTER

And Blat steps aside to try to avoid it.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

CARTER

7.

SEAN

Okay, so you have a choice here. You can completely dodge this by just backpedalling really fast and just leave Eggerton to his fate. He’ll be out of range of your necrotic tendrils. Or you can sort of sidestep it trying to miss most of it, but stay close.

CARTER

I’ll try to stay close.

SEAN

Okay, so would you roll the damage for me? It’s a d10 on the club.

CARTER

d10 on the club?!

MARISA

Yikes.

SEAN

Uh, that’s 12-sided. You might want a 10-sided die… as much as I’d love to see you roll that.

MIKE

Just roll d20. Worst case.

SEAN

(off Carter’s roll)

Oh god. So you take 9 damage.

CARTER

Ohhhh.

MARISA

Oh my god. Everyone’s dying here.

MIKE

Why are you so melancholy right now?

SEAN

Oh wait, but you’re gonna take partial because I said… you’re gonna take partial so you’re gonna take half of that so that’s gonna be 5. Well, we round down, 4… so take 4. So you’re at 15.

So the club sorta comes off your shoulder and you hear the troll sort of laughing… muffled ‘cos he still has Eggerton in his mouth.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

(muffled laughing)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

AAAAAAaaaaarrrghh!

CARTER

Blat listens carefully for Eggerton’s screams…

SEAN

Yup.

CARTER

…and aims slightly higher from that.

SEAN

With what?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Bazooka.

A new bazooka appears.

MARISA

Oh no.

MIKE

S——t.

SEAN

Okay, so I want you to roll Volley and I want… Eggerton, I want you to roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

Oh my gosh.

SEAN

(laughs)

Precision bazookaing… it’s a Blat special.

MIKE

One, two, three.

CARTER

(rolling)

4.

MIKE

(rolling)

5.

SEAN

So luckily… uh Blat you just… you hear the shell go all the way down this hall so you can tell the hall is quite long and you hear it explode and you hear a cave-in further down. And all kinds of commotion further down the hall.

And you hear the troll laughing as he goes to bite down harder on Eggerton, who still has done nothing to try and get free… so Eggerton is just gonna take damage. So Eggerton, I need you to roll 1d8.

MIKE

1d8.

SEAN

He’s just chewing.

MIKE

(rolling)

1. And I’ve got 1 Armor.

SEAN

Okay, so he’s basically chewing.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

(chewing)

This is a tough one. A lot of gristle.

MIKE

Rude. I’m gonna smack him with my other hand on the nose.

SEAN

Do you want to look at your character sheet at some point during this whole thing and like some of your powers? Like, you actually have an attack when you do your Druid thing?

MIKE

Oh, yeah.

MARISA

(laughs)

MIKE

Forgot about that. I’m going to… turn into a mouse.

SEAN

(laughing)

Okay.

MARISA

No, that’s smart.

MIKE

Mm-hm.

SEAN

Okay, so… well it’s dark so, so no one will know… still nobody understands your powers. Okay. So go ahead, act this out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(voice rising to a squeak)

It hurts so much. I just gotta get away. I gotta get away—!

(devolves into mouse scurrying sounds)

SEAN

Okay, so roll your Strength.

MIKE

2d6?

SEAN

Yup, 2d6 + Strength.

MIKE

10.

SEAN

So, in your mind, you become as small as a mouse. And you manage to free your arm and scurry away. Where are you running?

MIKE

I’m just running.

SEAN

Okay.

MIKE

Full speed.

SEAN

So you hear the pitter patter of… Blat, you hear the pitter patter of what sounds like normal sounding feet of Eggerton.

And the troll roars in rage and you sorta feel the troll moving. Uh, roll Defy Danger for me, Blat… assuming you’re gonna try and defend yourself.

CARTER

9.

SEAN

Do you have a plus on Dex?

CARTER

Uh, I do! 10.

SEAN

Okay, so you manage to step right in close to the troll and his swing just goes right over your shoulder and you hear the rock rip apart where his club hits the ground. But he is now right up in your face. His breath is… not good.

CARTER

I aim the tendrils for the not-good breath.

SEAN

Roll for tendrils!

CARTER

4.

MIKE AND MARISA

Ugh.

SEAN

Uh, so he bites off one of your tendrils and you take 2 damage.

CARTER

Aaarrrghhhh!

SEAN

You feel one of the tendrils just get ripped right off.

Eggerton, you are running down the hall.

MIKE

Mm-hm.

SEAN

Yeah, you are free. You hear the sound behind you, craziness. It’s dark, you’re bouncing off of each wall back and forth and blind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ow!

Laughter.

SEAN

And back to you. You feel the arms of the troll. He drops the club, and you feel him grabbing you in a wrestler hold, and trying to like lift and snap your back—almost like your training scenario.

CARTER

Ahhh! I will attempt to avoid the bear hug.

SEAN

Okay. Roll Defy Danger.

CARTER

That would be a 10.

MARISA

Wow.

SEAN

Okay. Tell me how you—in the dark, blind—avoid this bear hug.

CARTER

The tendrils that I have left snake up and smash him under the chin.

SEAN

Alright, roll 1d8.

CARTER

3.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

Grrrrrrr! Would you just die already?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I could ask you the same thing.

Silence.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

What?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, did I not mention?

Bazooka.

Another bazooka appears.

SEAN (AS BEEHOX)

What?! No, we’re right next to… we’re point blank!

CARTER

4.

SEAN

Luckily for Blat he misses. And Eggerton, I need you to roll a Defy Danger…

MARISA

(laughing)

Oh no.

SEAN

…down the hall as a shell comes careening down, bouncing off each wall.

MIKE

7.

SEAN

So it narrowly misses Eggerton, goes just past his left ear… strikes the far wall and detonates, sending a rain of stones and shards out in every direction.

DARCY

SEAN

We return to above ground, where the snow is reforming, until there is no sign… even no footsteps to show where the hole, let alone Blat and Eggerton once walked.

And Darcy is kneeling in the centre of this clearing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No! No! Blat! Eggerton!

(gasping)

MARISA

And Darcy starts rolling around in the snow and grabbing the snow and putting it against her chest and trying to soothe the burning and the…

SEAN

Yeah.

MARISA

Has it stopped burning?

SEAN

Yes. It has stopped burning. I mean there is a mark… you now have the symbol sort of burned into your skin.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! Eggerton! No, no, this can’t be happening. What… what do I do? What do I do? I‑I don’t know what to do… I can’t…

MARISA

And I start scrabbling through the snow and trying to dig through the snow and I’m digging and digging. Am I even coming close to any kind of hatch or door?

SEAN

No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, no. Oh, no, Loxsyn. Loxsyn, help me. What do I do? What do I do?

MARISA

And I get up and I start looking around and I’m panicking and I’m pacing back and forth.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! Eggerton! Blat! Eggerton!

Oh, no. But… wait, wait.

MARISA

And I reach into my satchel and I just start pulling out everything in my satchel.

SEAN

Yup.

MARISA

And I pull out the little apple I was given.

SEAN

Yup.

MARISA

And I pull out the ICE‑T. And I pull out the smash bauble that I was given.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait, what does? What does? What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? Uh… wait. Didn’t they say that this would get me back? This would get me back… I can’t remember, I can’t remember.

MARISA

And I take the, um, the smashy smash bauble and I just throw it on the ground.

SEAN

And nothing happens for a couple seconds.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait—

MARISA

And I pick it up again.

SEAN

(laughing)

In pieces.

MARISA

And I throw it on the ground again. Oh yeah, if it’s in pieces, now I’m like “No, No!” And I try… but I just sort of scatter them on the ground again.

A roaring sound, soft but growing louder.

SEAN

And then slowly you see a darkness forming. And as if you were seeing the world bending a little and then it starts to flow outwards. And you start to see this blackness popping larger and larger. And this growing sphere that starts to look like a portal.

MARISA

And I stand in front of the portal and.. I am truly conflicted. I feel like I can’t go through it, I can’t stay. But I’m completely at my wit’s end. And I start to move towards the portal.

And finally I just go through it.

The roaring sound grows, then stops abruptly. The winter wind is replaced by birdsong.

SEAN

Okay. And you step out into a beautiful sunny day. And there is a path leading up to Temple Idries. And one of the Slaad is a little surprised.

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

Ohhh! Ohhh! Oh, it’s you!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(frantic)

Yeah, yes, it’s me. Where’s, where’s the Sister? Where’s the… where’s Mother Speckley?! Where’s Mother Speckley?!

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

Slow down. Slow down.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I can’t, I can’t. It’s Blat and Eggerton.

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

What? Blat?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The plan! The plan’s gone all wrong. I mean there was no plan. It was a terrible plan, really. But any plan that we had has gone completely wrong!

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

The Prophet? Is something wrong with the Prophet?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, yes! The Prophet, the Chosen One who you serve.

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

The Chosen One?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…is in trouble!

SEAN (AS SLAAD)

Then, come we must go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, let’s go, let’s go!

SEAN

And we leave the two of them running towards the tree in high speed.

THE TUNNELS

SEAN

We return to darkness and the sound of blood dripping and heavy breathing, as Blat finally lowers his bazooka and leans against a wall, the troll not moving before him.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(winded)

Alright, you better not be fooling me again.

CARTER

And Blat starts smashing the figure before him with his tendrils, seeing if he’ll get up.

SEAN

He doesn’t move.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(breathing heavily)

Alright, that wasn’t so bad. We’re still alive. I’m sure Celene’s only 200 times this powerful.

Eggerton! Eggerton, where are you?

Soft harp music.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(weakly)

Blat! Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggerton, c’mere.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I‑I don’t think I can, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What are you talking about? It’s safe now. We gotta get to the end of the hallway and start digging our way through rubble. I hit it with the bazooka a couple of times. I think I caused a cave-in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I‑I think you… might need to do that on your own.

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

C’mon Eggerton. I don’t have Darcy. I’m gonna need your help. C’mon.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I, um… it’s gotten cold below my waist.

CARTER

And Blat feels down with his tendrils to see if he can find Eggerton.

SEAN

Half of Eggerton is beneath the roof that caved in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhhh, Eggsy.

CARTER

Blat carefully begins picking up rocks and throwing them away from the cave-in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(straining)

Come on, Eggerton… get up. When you feel the weight shift off you, move away, move back.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I‑I’ll try.

But before you do that Blat, can… can you do me a favour?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What’s that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um… can you just be Blat again?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(sighs softly)

I can’t, Eggerton. I’ve got… the M‑word inside me. That’s why I sound this way.

Come on. Get your pouch open. It’s nothing that a fairy cake can’t fix.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I‑I can’t find it. I think it might have fallen off. Umm…

But I‑I just… it’s kind of scary and dark in here. Um, so if you could just, you know, be Blat again for a few minutes?

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(voice still husky)

Man, I do love filing.

And shirts.

MIKE

(laughs)

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And I’m in love with Darcy. But I don’t think she loves me.

Probably because she’s in love with you. Because you’re a general.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That checks out.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All we gotta do is find you a nice big hat.

But first, we’re gonna find that fairy cake satchel.

SEAN

After a few minutes, Blat realizes that it must be on the other side of the rubble.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t know if this jar of mustard’s gonna help. It’s all I could find. I think it’s got sparkles in it.

Come on, Eggsy. Just take a little bit from the jar.

Eggsy?

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, what have I done?

CREDITS

Theme music plays: a sombre arrangement for horns and strings.

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.

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

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

MARISA

That was very emotional, boys.

(sniffs)

Look at that, they accessed their emotions.

MIKE

Mm hmm! I’ve been practicing.

CARTER

(laughs)