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4: The Academy of the Fallen, Part 3

It’s time for our adventurers to start their training. Darcy, Eggerton and Blat each go on a strange and terrifying journey.

Download MP3 (76 MB)

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

Content Warning: Physical ordeals and bodily harm; drug references; self‐harm(?); disturbingly cheerful music.


Episode Transcript

LAST TIME…

Fast‐paced music.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, just to sum up:

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The world has still ended.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You guys see how pretty it is outside, though?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You give presentations of some kind…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I have a question!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And you, my good lady, ladle cheap foodstuffs out to people.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I can’t believe… that you’ve brought me to your stupid made‐up world to test some sort of, what, strength or something that I have?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Thank heavens we three have been chosen to be the saviours of the entire multiverse.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, Your Evilship! I bow before you!

SEAN

And suddenly the cannon fires an arrow straight at you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(blood‐curdling cry)

CARTER

I unfurl my wings…

SEAN (AS ZIEFFE)

No no, that’s not fair! That’s…! OK. Well, no flying next time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, this is the best classroom ever.

SEAN

On each desk are some books.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s no such thing as a magic word.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ego plebium?

A magical shimmer.

SEAN

Your books both glow.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Magic.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(with distaste)

Ego plebium.

A magical shimmer.

SEAN

And you’re standing on the lost forbidden plains. And you see a full‐fledged demon. And he cleaves you in half.

A bright shing! of a blade and a crackle of energy.

SEAN

And then you feel yourself pulled all the way back together again.

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Oh, this is going to be so much fun.

The music ends.

Soft wind chimes.

ON LEARNING

ANANKA

Almost always the best teachers come in unexpected form.

Some people go to school to be a witch. This is stupid. I was sent to school, but my best teacher there was a spider living in my room.

But there is no teacher like real experience. Try and fail and learn.

Books? Books are good. But books can only teach so much. And this is coming from a librarian.

But what is even better? A book that is an experience. Best of both worlds. Maybe not so good for teaching facts and figures. It is more for… life skills.

Like saving the world.

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

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

Episode 4: The Academy of The Fallen, Part 3.

THE MOUNTAIN

A fierce wind howls.

SEAN

Darcy. You’re on a narrow path against the side of a cliff. The wind is howling, tugging at you. And just inches from your right foot is a drop of at least a thousand feet.

The path widens ahead, but the wind is howling harder, and you see a spire as you reach the top of what appears to be a mountain peak. And some fallen stones mark the beginning of an old temple, now mostly open to the elements, except for the westernmost part of the structure.

You can smell peppermint.

DARCY

So, I make my way carefully along the path towards this… temple, did you say?

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

This is exciting! I’m rolling the dice.

MIKE

Did you just throw them on the floor?

MARISA

Yeah. I’m dropping the dice first. Now I’m rolling the dice…

It’s an 8. Danger defied.

No I don’t.

SEAN

Danger partially defied.

MARISA

Oh darn.

SEAN

So, you’re moving forward on this narrow path. And ahead is safe ground… but it’s not a pure success. And the wind catches you and you start to lose your balance and you’re about to fall and plummet.

Your choices are: drop something so you can grab on… or risk falling.

MARISA

What do I have to drop?

(laughs)

SEAN

I don’t know. What might you be holding?

MARISA

I don’t even know where I am.

SEAN

The book? Your My, whatever, Existential book or…

MARISA

Sure. OK I can be holding the book and drop the book.

SEAN

OK.

MARISA

Very reluctantly.

SEAN

So you drop the My Existential Crisis book, and barely grab onto the ledge and crawl forward to safer ground. And you see what used to be a temple, it looks like, in front of you.

And that’s when you notice on the stone right where your hand landed is a symbol that lights up as your hand touches it. And you instantly recognize it as the symbol of Loxsyn.

MARISA

So, I pick my hand up. Are there any other symbols?

SEAN

You see that symbol in the rock. You see what might be a symbol on what’s sort of left of what might have been the doorway into the the ruins.

MARISA

My hand automatically goes to my neck where I have this stone on this threadbare cord. And I clutch it and it’s feeling a bit warmer, which it hasn’t felt for a while since I came to this place. And I keep moving forward.

SEAN

K. So, tell me what Loxsyn stands for?

MARISA

She was introduced to me as a goddess of healing and restoration.

SEAN

Does she have another side to her?

MARISA

Not that I’ve really learned. I’m just very new to this.

SEAN

OK. So as you come forward, the scent in the wind the scent of peppermint comes and goes, and you sort of step into the ruins, down a bit… and it’s much quieter, sheltered from the wind and you see there’s a small fire in that part of the ruins that still have a roof that are otherwise… One side is open to the elements.

A small fire crackles.

SEAN

And you see a small figure. As in really small—like a foot and a half tall, sort of pottering around around a fire in there. And you see what looks like living quarters of some kind.

So, the figure appears to be pouring tea and the scent of peppermint is much stronger now. And the figure turns and says,

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

(high‐pitched but gruff)

Hmph. About time!

SEAN

And sets one of the cups of tea on the ground right inside their domicile, and steps back and starts pouring another small thimble of tea.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m sorry. Were you waiting for me?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

(grunt)

You can drink the tea or not.

SEAN

So, as you get closer are you notice that this individual, while they’re a foot and a half tall, they look like a full‐fledged troll. Like the colour of their skin and the structure of their face, older sort of greying, and this figure is drinking their thimble of tea.

MARISA

So, I crouch down, getting very close to the the little figure, but not right in their face, but just so I’m more down to their level and I ask,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(uncertainly)

Excuse me. Who… who are you? Where is this?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Not one for simple questions. One question at a time!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, that’s fair. Who are you?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

The name is Davinn.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hi Davinn, I’m Darcy.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Yeah, I know.

SEAN

Davinn sort of climbs up on the table that is in there and sits down so that Davinn is closer to eye level.

MARISA

So then I go inside this place, and I take the tea that I think has been put out for me.

SEAN

The little thimble?

MARISA

Oh yeah. The little thimble of tea. And I take as sip. And I ask‐.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You… you’re my teacher? My teacher for what?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

You’re in my book. So, I must be your teacher.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

OK. There was a symbol out there—a symbol that I recognized from where I’m from. Do you know anything about that?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

What do you know about it?

SEAN

…says Yoda.

CARTER

(Yoda voice)

Hmmm! Show you book I will!

Laughter.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh… Not a lot. It’s just something that means something to me. It helps me with something… some difficulties I have.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

So Loxsyn is here to help you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Loxsyn, yes. That’s the name… that’s the goddess that brings me comfort.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Oh, that’s lovely. So Loxsyn helps you. Brings you comfort. What do you bring Loxsyn?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I didn’t know I had to bring Loxsyn anything.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Hmm.

Why Loxsyn?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, she’s… supposed to help with healing and, uh, and restoring people to their normal selves and… that’s important to me, because sometimes I really don’t feel like myself. And she came to me at a time when I thought I was really lost and I needed her. And I’m really surprised that she’s still here in your place. I thought she would only be known in Balgomar.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

(sarcastic)

That was great! I wish I’d played some music during that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

Well, why are you here then? What are you supposed to teach me? Are you just supposed to make fun of me?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

(grunt)

You believe in Loxsyn?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I think so.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Well, let’s find out.

So you’re going to climb down this mountain, this path. And then you’re going to climb back up again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

OK…

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Then we’ll see.

SEAN

Davinn stands up and points in the centre of where the ruins are, and you see there’s just like, a black hole in the floor.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m supposed to go down there?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

All the way down, back up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

OK.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Or maybe Loxsyn—not worth it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Fine.

MARISA

So, I walk over, and I look down into this pit, I guess it is. Is there a staircase or a…?

SEAN

You see little handholds in the rock just going down, straight down, as far as you can see.

MARISA

So, I turn to this little troll and I say—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you speak to Loxsyn? Do you believe in Loxsyn?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

I do.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(lets out a breath)

OK.

MARISA

I carefully lower myself into this pit using the handholds.

SEAN

Let’s roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

(gasps)

Roll Defy Danger again.

SEAN

So, when you roll Defy Danger you’re going to pick whatever ability is most pertinent to this, so…

MARISA

Which is Dexterity.

SEAN

It would be Dexterity or Strength because it’s a long way. So… and then you would add that bonus.

MARISA

Okay, so I’m rolling to Defy Danger using my Dexterity score.

That’s a 6+1… that’s a 7.

The wind howls louder.

SEAN

Well, lucky for that 1…

So, you, as you start down, you realize that some of these handholds are weak and loose and stone is crumbling. And then as you go lower, one side opens up to the elements so that you’re literally like, in a U shape, climbing down the mountain and the wind starts to clutch at you and pull at you and at one point it literally blows you off of the handhold and you are literally hanging by one hand on a handhold.

What do you want to try and do? What can you use—I don’t even know what equipment you have—as you feel yourself being pulled off the mountain you’re barely clutching on with one hand…

MARISA

Uh… Is there—I don’t even know what she could do. There’s nothing else around that she can grasp onto or put a foot in? Like maybe anchor her foot in a…

SEAN

I think she could anchor her foot in something, but it might result in an injury. Like, she would have to ram it into the handhold as she’s being ripped away.

MARISA

OK….

SEAN

And she might end up… Right? It’s a desperate move.

MARISA

Okay. I think her best bet is going to be to try to jump down a little further to a more stable handhold.

SEAN

Okay so you’re… So, she starts to be ripped away and she, Darcy screams and lets go—

Small rocks tumble away into the pit.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

And is falling, attempting to grab onto another handhold, not as a professional climber.

MARISA

No. Not a professional climber.

SEAN

Okay, so—

MARISA

But I did take gymnastics.

SEAN

Because you rolled a 7 you are going to slam your head against the rock. Your body, you’re flipping you end up upside down your foot catches on a handhold and your head hits again.

MARISA

Ugh! This isn’t good.

SEAN

You’re going to take 4 hit points of damage and you are now hanging upside down, and it turns out as you’re sort of desperately trying to find another handhold, you realize that it’s the edge of your boot that is just caught on one of the handholds.

MARISA

OK.

SEAN

And you are… Well, you don’t even know your way up the side of this mountain. There’s a long way still to go down.

MARISA

OK. So, I’m upside down at this point.

SEAN

Yup.

MARISA

OK. So, I twist around to try and find my hands—somewhere that my hands can grasp onto, so I can at least have some leverage to release my foot and turn myself the right way round.

SEAN

You’re able to.

MARISA

OK, so now I’m again in climbing position.

SEAN

Darcy, the rain is starting up. The wind is howling around you. The darkness is closing in reaching for you. I want to know what’s going through your head.

MARISA

I’m really scared. I’ve… I actually think I might die. I’ve, I’ve never been in a position like this in my whole life and I’m terrified. But there’s also this rising determination in me that for the first time in this place I’ve seen something that connects me to home and that’s familiar to me and I feel if I can just get out of this pit that maybe there will be something here that makes sense.

SEAN

So, we leave Darcy huddled against the side of this mountain.

THE KITCHEN

Forest birds chirp. The sound echoes unnaturally.

SEAN

We cut to the fairy circle.

And we are high above Farloria with that same eagle who is banking around, and lets out a screech as she sees something in the forest far, far below and dives, racing down at high speed towards this glade… as there is a pop sound.

A musical pop echoes in the glade.

SEAN

And standing on top of the stone in the centre of this glade… is Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…Oh dear.

SEAN

So Eggerton, the last thing you knew before this was opening that book and feeling your whole body just being ripped apart, and then everything in a flash of light—you’re suddenly standing in a familiar glade. Only now you’re… It feels a little different. It takes you a minute to realize it’s because you are much higher now, in that glade.

MIKE

Much higher… like, up the glade itself?

SEAN

You’re on top of the fae stone.

MIKE

Oh, OK. I just want to make we’re talking about the same kind of high. That would take the story in a different direction.

Laughter.

SEAN

So, you’re standing on the fae stone. Literally, power is roaring out of it and up your legs out of this fae stone and it’s just… it’s like you can feel the forest around you and everything in it through this fae stone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tingly!

I wonder why I can smell like a squirrel right now. And why there’s a bunny rabbit over there and what that flower is looking at. Is it looking at the bunny rabbit or is the… Oh! Oh no. The bunny is coming over to the flower. No, bunny. No! No, I like that flower!

Oh geez.

The faraway sound of a harp.

SEAN

And you hear what sounds like music coming from beneath you, out of the fae stone—like, coming out of the crack in the fae stone.

MIKE

I look down and can I see any kind of separation in the crack, or is it just like a… is there space?

SEAN

Oh yeah.

MIKE

Lots of space? How much space are we talking?

SEAN

Well, it looks like a few inches… but as you bend down and look at it, it’s like it’s widening.

MIKE

Ooo. All right. So, I’m going to go down on my hands and knees and get my eye right up against it.

SEAN

OK. And you see the most unbelievably stupendous kitchen you have ever seen in your life.

MIKE

Ooh.

SEAN

Angels sing. And there’s this cleanliness to everything and everything is ordered and there are big long tables. And it’s been created for someone of a particular height.

MIKE

(softly)

My height?

SEAN

Yup. Your height, Eggerton.

MIKE

Ohhh.

SEAN

And it’s empty. But you hear music coming from it, as if a radio had been left on.

MIKE

Can I get into the kitchen?

SEAN

I don’t know…

MIKE

Can I try and sort of wiggle my way between the cracks?

SEAN

K. So, we cut back to the eagle that’s circling and circling, looking at a tasty rabbit—when the eagle’s gaze snaps over to the top of the fae stone, where it sees half of Eggerton, feet kicking in the air as he manages to squeeze down into a two‐inch crack and pops out of existence.

The music reaches a crescendo and comes to a sharp stop. The forest sounds fade.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh gee.

The harp returns, along with a jaunty, jazzy rhythm on drums and bass.

SEAN

Eggerton. You’re standing before a door that you can see through the glass of the door is that kitchen and, on the door, it says: The Rolling Scones Bake ‘N’ Cake.

MIKE

Sounds yummy!

Can I open the door?

SEAN

I hope so!

MIKE

All right! I’m going to try to open that door!

SEAN

All right. The door swings open and you hear the music and you see this gleaming kitchen with everything marked. You see tiny little drawers all down at your height with every… like, you’re just walking past the craziest ingredients, from chocolate to fairy dust to things you haven’t even heard of.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They have fairy dust? I’ve never even seen fairy dust before. I’d only heard about it. Wonder if I could use it in some cakes? Maybe I’ll just take a little bit, put in my pouch for later.

MIKE

I grab a little handful and shove it into my pouch.

SEAN

Yup! You open the drawer, you see gleaming fairy dust and it goes… It’s like all partying…

SEAN (AS FAIRY DUST)

(squeaky)

Yay! How’s it going, Eggerton?!

SEAN

And you put some of it in your pouch.

MIKE

…Fairy dust can talk.

SEAN

This fairy dust can.

MIKE

All right. It’s that kind of a party.

MARISA

(laughs)

MIKE

I wander around looking at the other drawers, and start plucking out some ingredients that I could maybe use to make—

SEAN

The chrysantheyums are really laid‐back, dude…

You take them and put them on the counter and they’re like,

SEAN (AS CRYSANTHEYUMS)

(a lazy surfer‐like drawl)

Heyyy, Eggerton! What are you going to make with us?

Laughter.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I feel… conflicted about making anything with you now… chrysanthenums!

SEAN (AS CRYSANTHEYUM)

No dude, we’re good with iiit. We want to make somethin’ yummy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(hesitant)

OK, maybe I’ll… make, uh, some fairy cakes.

SEAN (AS CRYSANTHEYUM)

Yeah dude! That’d be amaaazing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Most… tubular, I hear.

So, I… I’ll just go over here and look for some Impescor sugar while you hang out over there, chrysantheyums.

SEAN (AS CRYSANTHEYUM)

Yeah, this is good here.

SEAN

OK, so you find like, there are literally a hundred and three types of sugar.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

103 types of sugar! Which one is Impescor?

SEAN

You don’t see Impescor.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s very strange.

SEAN

You see flavored sugars, you see different versions of fairy sugars based on clan. You see sugars based on like sweetness tables. You just see… It’s a pretty impressive list of like… sugars.

MIKE

All right, well, I’m going to just sort of randomly grab one because there’s too many to make an actual decision.

SEAN

Oh yeah.

MIKE

And put it on the counter and I’m going to go and… is the music still playing?

SEAN

Oh yeah.

MIKE

All right, I’m going to kind of boogie along then, ‘cause you can’t help but dance to some good music in the kitchen. And I am going to go over and find other ingredients for fairy cakes like flour and Purple Swirlys.

SEAN

Oh, they have many Purple Swirlys.

MIKE

Excellent. Can’t have too many of those. Couple of sprinkles, and I’ve got the fairy dust in my pouch.

The music begins to waver, growing more and more disorienting.

SEAN

There’s like a party happening on the counter. Like, some of them are dancing and there’s rocking out, and some of them are starting to like, put themselves in the bowl… The bowl is talking to you like—

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

(deep, and a little sinister)

Oh yeah! This is gonna be good. Mix me baby, mix me!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, I don’t mean to be rude, Mixing Bowl, but is it perhaps possible that I had some bad fairy cakes prior to this little adventure, and that is why you and the Chrysantheyum and the apple—the one apple, he looks kind of angry but he’s an apple—why they’re talking, because I don’t ever remember these things talking before but…

SEAN (AS APPLE)

(shrill and furious)

Natural sugar is the best! Why are you using the other? You should be using natural sugar, like an apple! Me!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

OK, Apple, just, you know. That’s OK. I’ll consider that for next time, but I’m, uh wondering why, perhaps, anyone can tell me why all of you are talking, because I don’t remember foods talking before and it’s kind of neat, it’s nice, it’s like hey, we’re having a kitchen party, but at the same time I need to chop you up and mix you, and I’m having mixed feelings about that. You say you’re okay with it—

SEAN (AS RANDOM INGREDIENTS)

Hey, we’ll chop ourselves!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um…

SEAN

You see like a bunch of the ingredients jump into… The knife is like dancing through them, and they’re laughing and then the little pieces are running and jumping into the bowl.

SEAN (AS RANDOM INGREDIENTS)

There’s more of us now! Yaaay!

MIKE

I’m going to have nightmares about this. I just want everyone to know.

The music ends.

SEAN

Now we cut away…

Hysterical laughter.

MIKE

What in the f***.

SEAN

Everyone has a green card. You might have some questions for the End Notes!

MARISA

I thought he was being mean to me, but he was really mean to you.

MIKE

I’m writing “What the…”

MARISA

I don’t know what I have in mine. I don’t know where I am…

MIKE

(off mic)

“What the flup.”

CARTER

I’m sorry. I’m battling a giant demon alone. You’re in a kitchen!

MARISA

At least you know why and where you are!

CARTER

Not really!

MARISA

Yeah, you do. You’re battling a demon.

THE FORGOTTEN PLAINS

A pounding drumbeat begins.

SEAN

So, with that… we are blasted down into the earth, leaving the kitchen and the dancing and the singing, down and down and down. We’re passing layer after layer, past the magma, past the centre of the earth into other realms.

And then we slow down as we come zooming in on the forgotten plains and everything is grey and red and there’s smoke, there’s magma bursting up into flame out of little holes. And we see Blat flying up as a full‐fledged ten‐foot demon with an eight‐foot battle axe comes storming forward going,

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Oh, this is going to be fun.

The music ends on a heavy guitar chord.

CARTER

I rip off my shirt and I fly upwards to try to avoid the next hit.

SEAN

So that would be a Defy Danger roll.

CARTER

Ooh, of course.

SEAN

And I assume that… So that could be basically Strength or Dex.

CARTER

Uh… it’s going to be Dex so I’ll get a +1 bonus from that…

That would be a 7.

SEAN

With the bonus?

CARTER

With the bonus.

MARISA

I’m familiar with that roll.

SEAN

(laughs)

So that’s a mixed success. So, you are going to… You roar up into the air going away when you feel him latch onto your leg with one hand and start to pull you back down, but you’re able to break free… But you leave half your leg behind.

CARTER

Ohh!

SEAN

You take 6 hit points of damage—

CARTER

6 hit points of damage!

SEAN

As he laughs—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

HA HA HA HA!

SEAN

And throws it over his shoulder into a magma pit and he’s like—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Come on down, flappy‐flap. Let’s do this.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(strained)

All right. I have 30 credits on me… I’m just gonna take my wallet. And I’m dropping it down.

I don’t know if you use that in this realm. But I’m hoping we can call it square.

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Is it possible my leg could grow back? I was cleaved in half before and reassembled. So… 30 credits for a leg? Is that fair?

SEAN

OK. This giant demon, who’s like just gleaming red, is just staring down at this thing on the ground—your wallet that you dropped—and he’s looking a little perplexed and he looks up to you and in the sky and he’s like—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

DRAW YOUR WEAPON! WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET YOU TO FIGHT ME?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Money can be a weapon!

SEAN

And he throws his battleaxe as hard as he can. You see it flipping end over end. It is heading right towards you.

CARTER

I will certainly fly to get out of the way of that!

SEAN

Okay, Defy Danger.

CARTER

Defy Danger again. There’s less of me to avoid it so maybe that’ll be easier.

That’s an 11.

SEAN

What happens?

CARTER

I flap out of the way and the axe just sticks into a stalagmite that’s hanging down off of the wall. And then I attempt to pull the axe free so that I can have a weapon for myself.

SEAN

Okay. He’s watching you pull this axe free, and then you get it and he’s just staring at you. He’s like—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

(to himself)

Oh man, this is gonna be a good.

SEAN

And he raises his hand and the axe appears in it…

A metallic shing!

SEAN

…and you’re suddenly holding nothing. And he’s like—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

CALL YOUR WEAPON!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Call my… weap… you didn’t call your weapon! I…

SEAN

Uh… And he roars, and he bends down and he leaps. Like, you’ve never seen anything like it. He’s… You’re pretty high up and you see him just… He launches toward you like the Hulk, a red Hulk flying at you.

Your move.

CARTER

So Blat closes his eyes, and thinks really really hard: weapon, weapon, weapon, weapon… and just yells at the top of his lungs—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

BAZOOKA!

Tense silence.

SEAN

And you feel something happen. Opening your eyes and you see he’s just about to impact you and you feel this surge of energy and what appears in your hand, Blat?

CARTER

I’m hoping… instead of say, a Dalmatian… it’s a bazooka.

Laughter.

SEAN

Never give pimping power to an improvver!

MARISA

Do we even know what bazookas are?

SEAN

Well, we do now!

A clattering as metal parts magically slide and click together.

SEAN

Blat, you feel—it literally materializes out of the air, like, in pieces. And you see the tube, you feel it. It pops right into your hand as if it’s always been there, the trigger, you see the eyepiece pop up right in front of your face.

The final piece snaps into place.

SEAN

And he is almost—like, you don’t even see anything to target because there is just red in your viewfinder, because he is like six feet away coming at a crazy speed right at you.

CARTER

I’m hoping that any bazooka that I come up with is easy to operate. Perhaps a one‐button bazooka…

SEAN

There’s a trigger under your finger…

CARTER

I’ll squeeze that trigger as hard as I can.

SEAN

Let’s roll Attack.

CARTER

All right, Attack! So that’s…

MIKE

Is that Volley?

SEAN

In this case I guess it would be Volley.

CARTER

All right. Just going to roll a number here.

SEAN

It’s plus Dex.

CARTER

4+1. That’s a 5.

SEAN

So, you see a look of glee when the weapon starts to appear and it’s quite large, coming right into your face and then you see a moment of sort of confusion and the bazooka, you feel it kick—and you fly back a little bit, which saves you a little. And it sends this projectile, missile, firing out with gas streaming off it, it hits him right dead on, but the explosion is massive…

The rocket hisses out from the bazooka and detonates. Everything goes quiet.

SEAN

…and you don’t really see it. You just feel yourself—whoosh—reassembling…

Rushing energy as Blat is reassembled.

SEAN

And you’re standing on the lost plains. And you see a very large—and laughing—full-fledged demon, coming towards you and raising his hand and having an axe appear in it, and he’s like—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Now that’s more like it!

CARTER

I reach down, grab my wallet, throw it at him as hard as I can…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I have a dry cleaner coupon in there!

CARTER

And then I attempt to run off again. Running start, so I can fly to see if there’s any exit at all in this place.

SEAN

So everywhere you look there is bizarreness. Like, there’ll suddenly be a wall with a stalactite on it. Then there’ll just be nothing. And then there’ll be something like… a tea set. And you see this beautiful tea set that’s fully set with the… What do they call that large thing they bring the tea cakes out on?

MARISA

It’s a tray?

SEAN

A tray. A stacked series of trays, and there’s two teacups and there’s two chairs. And you hear this beep‐beep‐beep‐beep—and you hear from behind, as you are launching off, like—

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Oh, time for tea. Let’s take a break, Blat.

SEAN

And you see this hulking 10‐foot demon go stomping—POW, POW—over to the tea place. Pull out a chair, throw it away because he’ll never fit in it, and then just hunker down in front of the tea set and start pouring tea into two cups.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…I’m sorry, what?

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Um, it’s break time. You know, there’s rules. Come have a cup of tea. Do you like sugar? Milk? Are you one of those lemon people?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh… Just the sugar is fine… uh…

SEAN (AS DEMON)

One or two?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh, two is good…

SEAN

He’s like trying to… With his big hands he tries to get and he just smashes the tea thing and just pulls out two and drops it in yours. And then he starts sipping his tea. With his pinky up.

CARTER

I sit down in the chair across from him.

Silence.

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Don’t forget to get your wallet after, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do I get to keep my wallet?

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Oh yes. Anything you bring in you want to take back out. Unless you want to leave it with me. It gets pretty boring in here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Are you going to let me out?

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Yeah, I’m just here to teach you. Didn’t you know that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No! Why would I know that?

SEAN (AS DEMON)

Eh. This school’s gone to hell. They used to explain this stuff. Name’s Reginald by the way.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Your name’s Reginald?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(in the same tone of disbelief)

…Hello Reginald.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Hey Blat.

So, you waited a long time to call your weapon. What was up with that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I… I didn’t know I could call a weapon!

Where I come from I just work in a place with papers that I organize, and then I go home… I donate the occasional bit of money to the local theatre… I don’t know anything about any of this!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(sighs)

I miss the theatre.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I too miss the theatre. The upcoming season sounded like it was going to be really good.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

What were they doing?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t know if you’re aware of the shows, they probably haven’t been written yet—there was this lovely one where this woman has to choose between three different suitors, but it turns out that the one that she chooses is actually dying.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh. Ohhh, that sounds wonderful.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, it’s very sad, but it’s also quite lovely because he has a son who she eventually adopts, and together they live happily with memories of the love that they once held—

WHAT IS THIS PLACE?!

SEAN

He laughs.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, we’re almost out of tea time, so I’m going to give you a couple minutes to go get your wallet. And we’re going to pick it up again. We have one more round and then I’m going to, yeah, send you back to school.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do I get to keep all of my body parts?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Heh, not if I have any say in it.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(groans)

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

All right. Go get your wallet, and we’re going to get started again.

SEAN

And he stands up and starts doing some stretches.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(grunts)

Remember to stretch, Blat. Don’t want to pull anything, heh heh… when I kill you.

CARTER

I bend forward and try to make a popping sound happen in the small of my back. I hear something give. I wince… and then I take my teacup throw it at his face and try to fly towards the ceiling.

The pounding drums begin again.

SEAN

And he roars—

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

YEAAAH!

SEAN

And the battle ax appears in his hand and he charges after you.

MIDROLL: THE GREEN ROOM

A brief music sting.

ANNOUNCER

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

SEAN

(shouts off mic)

Yeah. Five minutes! I’m just going to be in the green room.

Oh man, they never stop! Hey Carter.

CARTER

Hey how’s it going?

SEAN

Good just to get some—oh man, there’s no coffee.

CARTER

Well there’s an empty pot if that helps you out at all.

SEAN

There’s no food, no coffee…

CARTER

No, it’s just a room that’s green. That’s all that we really promise you here.

SEAN

All right. Can you help me get into this…? This is ridiculous. Look at the size of this Snegal costume.

CARTER

Well, again, I don’t see why it’s so necessary for you to wear a Snegal costume. This is a podcast. No one can actually see anything.

SEAN

(sigh)

I have to be in character.

CARTER

You have to be in character? It’s just a goofy voice that you’re doing. There’s no point to this.

SEAN

People aren’t going to tell a friend, or rate and review if I’m not really in it, Carter.

CARTER

I don’t think that’s necessary. Like we could just say “Hi! We’re the people that perform on the show and use hashtag #OtherBothers if you want to tell other people that they should listen to the show.” Like it’s not really necessary for you to be in the Snegal character.

SEAN

I don’t have to squeeze into this costume every time?

CARTER

Well I really don’t want to help you anymore Sne… squeeze into this costume. So…

SEAN

You were going to call me Snegal, weren’t you? Oh my God.

CARTER

(fed up, running with it)

Yeah. Yeah, I was going to call you Snegal because you’re so deep into the character despite not being in the costume. So, it totally works! You’ve done it! You’re in the zone! You are the greatest actor I have ever worked with!

SEAN

(in Snegal’s voice)

Oh my God! I love you. Oh, I worship you! All the time, Evilship! I give you kisses!

(kisses and gleeful laughter)

CARTER

Okay, that’s great. Except—except Snegal does that to Blat—I’m just Carter.

Silence.

SEAN

(breathless)

Go to patreon.com/albasalix.

CARTER

Please let go of me. Please just let go.

SEAN

OK.

Music sting.

THE MOUNTAIN

The howling wind returns.

SEAN

And we cut back to a forlorn mountain. We hear the cries of an eagle in the distance, as the wind raises, and the sun is setting. And we see a young and beleaguered Darcy Kimble climbing back up the mountain face. She’s got a long, long way to go. And the camera comes in closer and closer… and Darcy you are maybe a third of the way, working your way back up the hill—the mountain.

MARISA

Huzzah! So, I made it to the bottom. That’s good news…

All right, so I’m obviously exhausted, and I’m climbing back up, trying to find the safest way to the surface.

SEAN

And it took you hours. Your your arms are trembling as you’re going, and it’s really much harder than you ever imagined. And so, part of you… there’s some voice that’s saying, why? Why do this? Just forget it. Stop.

MARISA

And I’m inclined to listen to that voice. Except there’s a tiny part of me that says, if I listen to that voice I’ll never get out of this pit. So, I shut off the voice and I just keep moving upwards.

SEAN

The wind is whipping at you and it’s… You’re entering that stage again where you’re fully exposed to the elements and you feel the wind tugging at you and we’re going to do another—we’re going to do another Defy Danger roll.

MARISA

Uh oh.

Oo! It’s an 11. Really, it’s 12 if I add my Dexterity.

SEAN

So, we cut back to the top, and we see Davinn sort of puttering around muttering,

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Well, that’s one less I have to deal with…

SEAN

(dramatic)

We see an arm come up over the lip… and then we see another arm… and then we see a not‐too‐happy‐looking, drenched‐from‐sweat Darcy come over the lip.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(grunts of exertion, then panting breaths)

I’m back.

I thought that there was something at the bottom, and that’s why you sent me down there.

I thought perhaps I was going to meet the all‐holy, all‐knowing, all‐seeing Loxsyn, and all would be revealed to me.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Yeah, no.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But at the bottom, there was just a pool of muddy, disgusting water that was really cold. And then I just had to start climbing back up again.

What kind of ridiculous test is this?!

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

(grunts)

Well. Would you like some tea?

Silence.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

(growing angry)

No. I’m tired of all the tea in this place. I’ve had enough tea, thank you.

MARISA

And I get up and I drag myself over and I wring out my extra centaur pant leg over their head, and I say—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I want some answers. What is going on here?!

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

What does Loxsyn mean to you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What does Loxsyn mean to you? What kind of question is that?

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

You agreed to climb down a mountain face, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because I thought I was going to meet her. I thought it was going to mean something.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

And then you climbed back up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah? Or I would have died down there, probably.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Why didn’t you give up?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because… that just wasn’t an option! It’s not an option!

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

Why?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…Because I need to know. I need to know what’s going on and who Loxsyn is and what’s going on with me and I need to know what you know!

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

That’s a better answer, Darcy.

Pull up… I’d say a chair, but you’ll break it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(weary)

Yeah. Probably.

MARISA

So then I just collapse on the ground.

SEAN

Okay. And so, we cut to a little bit later and we don’t really hear what’s being said but the camera is moving around this little living space that Davinn has. And we see that Davinn and Darcy are talking, and even laughing once in a while. And Davinn is talking for long periods of time, and at the end of it, Davinn reaches forward and says—

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

So no one will ever answer all your questions, Darcy. It’s about belief. And there’s something in you that believes.

There’s not a lot that believe in Loxsyn anymore. So when you come back I’ll teach you some things. But, I mean… you’ve done enough today.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

OK.

Thanks, I guess.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

And remember to do what I said with the prayer.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

OK. Yeah. I think I will.

SEAN (AS DAVINN)

I got to get you back.

SEAN

And Davinn snaps their fingers and you slowly this time, but peacefully fade out and you come back and you’re in the classroom.

The wind and campfire fade.

THE KITCHEN

SEAN

OK… and we’re back to…

MIKE

My acid dream?

MARISA

(laughing)

Yes!

SEAN

Yeah.

MIKE

All right.

MARISA

(cheerful singing)

Doo doo, do doot doot dah, dah doot dah deet dah deeee!

CARTER

If you don’t eat me, my life holds no meaning!

The kitchen music returns, this time with a chorus of happy little voices singing: “La la la la la…”

SEAN

We cut suddenly to an insane party. There are cakes dancing, Eggerton is spinning and he’s covered in flour and sugar and he’s wearing like… what would you say is one of those things you wear to not get dirty?

MIKE

An apron?

SEAN

An apron.

Laughter.

MARISA

Please remember this.

What are those things that you wear to not get dirty? An apron.

CARTER

Seven minutes of sleep. We’ve established that aprons are worn in the kitchen, and that eagles come in male and female.

SEAN

Sean didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.

And it is a crazy party. Like on the tops of all the cabinets are all other little ingredients, they’re all out. Everything’s out.

MARISA (AS RANDOM INGREDIENTS)

Waow!

SEAN

Every door is open. Everyone’s dancing. There’s apples—maybe not happy. But they’re also moving around. And we’re back with Eggerton and there are massive cakes everywhere.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This is a lot of fun, everybody! Thanks for helping me out… But I was wondering if perhaps one of you wanted to elect maybe, you know, a leader among you who could guide me spiritually through this process, like I’m sure in other processes happens that are less confusing.

SEAN (AS RANDOM INGREDIENTS)

Yay! Whoo!

SEAN

So, all the little sugar cakes are all shouting—

SEAN (AS LITTLE SUGAR CAKES)

Yeah, we’ll be the leader! Elect a leader!

SEAN

And one of the big cakes is like—

SEAN (AS ONE OF THE BIG CAKES)

Oh, that’s a great idea Eggerton.

Pause.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, so that was… fun.

Maybe you know I should go though and have a nap and try and recover, because you knowthis … it’s been a lot of baking. We’ve had a lot of dancing, it’s been a lot of fun. But you know, you need to take a break, so you know when you’re having fun.

SEAN

And the mixing bowl is like—

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

Maybe you should just lay down in here! Just put your head down while we sing and dance!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That sounds lovely, but I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get too much sleep with everyone singing and dancing.

MARISA

(singing along)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why is that carrot so noisy? It keeps coming in.

MARISA (AS CARROT)

Yaaaa!

SEAN

So, one of the little cakes jumps right in your mouth.

MIKE

(spit take)

SEAN

It’s like—

MARISA (AS A LITTLE CAKE)

Cowabunga!

SEAN

They’re all running around and screaming and yelling and that’s when you suddenly… wake up.

The singing stops abruptly, leaving only the drums.

SEAN

And you’re in the kitchen and everything is back where it belongs and it’s clean and empty. But you hear that music playing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think… there might be something wrong with this kitchen.

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

Nah, dude.

SEAN

You see this bowl poke out of one of the cabinets.

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

Nah, we’re good here. Really good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you Mr. Mixing Bowl. It’s nice to see you again. When did I fall asleep?

Their voices begin to echo, and the distant harp returns.

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

Ohh… that party, man. We cleaned up for ya. It was good. Don’t forget what you learned!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(deeply confused)

I will never… forget what I learned here today, let me be certain of that in my telling you things.

Now, if I were to try and leave this place where might I go?

SEAN (AS MIXING BOWL)

You’re going back to the classroom, dude.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s nice. But, I’d like to go there. I’m just wondering because I was outside and then I looked into the crack and then I was in here and then there was the dancing and the carrot and the apple and one of them jumped in my mouth and I don’t know how I feel about that. But you know it was good I guess, so…

His voice fades.

THE CLASSROOM

SEAN

Darcy you’re in the classroom again suddenly, a lot in your head, a lot to think about and you hear—picking that up again—you basically slowly hear a voice, going on and on as Eggerton fades into one of the chairs.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…I don’t know where I’m supposed to go now, but the cupcake, I think it was sweet, I don’t know if it’s still going to be OK—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s OK, Bowl—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m just trying to figure this out, Bowl, why do you sound like—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, I’m not a bowl.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why aren’t you a bowl—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sharply)

Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wha—What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What happened? Why are you calling me a bowl?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh I—there was this—I—you… No, it’s OK. I’m gonna. I’m…

(a small, strangled noise of confusion)

I’m gonna just… sit…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You look like you might have had too many mushrooms or something.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispering)

I don’t know if the mushrooms can hear us. So, let’s try to keep it down, okay?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispering)

Okay.

SEAN

And that’s when Blat explodes into the room, rebounds off the ceiling…

A crackling noise, then the sounds of furniture crashing to the floor.

SEAN

…hits the chalkboard, sends everything flying… His wings are out, and he looks up and he looks a little harried.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(frantic)

I FOUGHT A BIG DEMON!

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

THERE WAS A BIG DEMON AND I FOUGHT HIM AND HE SAID CALL YOUR WEAPON AND I DIDN’T HAVE A WEAPON AND I THREW MONEY AND HE SAID YOU CAN MAKE A WEAPON AND I MADE A BAZOOKA AND I KEPT BLOWING HIM UP OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND HE WOULDN’T STOP AND HE TOLD ME WE COULD HAVE TEA AND AFTER TEA I BLEW HIM UP AGAIN AND AGAIN. OH GOD I CAN’T STOP SCREAMING.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did the teacup talk to you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No. What? A teacup?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He’s been talking to things like bowls and teacups and he thinks the mushrooms are talking to him.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, I’m sorry! Are mushrooms talking to you? I was literally in hell! He cleaved me in half! See this leg? Blown off! Blown completely off! Blood flying everywhere! But I’m sorry, the kitchenware had a conversation with you!

SEAN

There is a knocking at your open door.

SEAN (AS CYRUS)

Uh… sorry if I’m interrupting anything, everyone.

Moira would like to see you all in the briefing room.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I feel like whenever we see Moira, bad things happen.

SEAN (AS CYRUS)

Maybe this isn’t a good time?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, perfect time. I’ve learned I can create a bazooka out of thin air. So please, let’s have more exposition as to how we’re all going to die soon.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is there any carrots in that room?

SEAN (AS CYRUS)

I’m not sure.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

How about apples? The apples were pretty mean.

SEAN (AS CYRUS)

I don’t think there’s any apples in the briefing room.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are there any bowls?

SEAN (AS CYRUS)

…Nope. No bowls.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did you look in the drawers, because they can open the drawers themselves…

SEAN (AS CYRUS)

I gotta go. I gotta think about my job.

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 Michael Howie as Eggerton, Marisa King as Darcy, and Carter Siddall as Blat. You also heard Maggie Makar as Ananka.

Dialogue editing and transcription by Michael Howie.

Additional material and sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Story consultant: Laura Packer.

Game consultant: Stephen Smith.

Join us on Patreon for early access to episodes, behind‐the‐scenes information and lots more. Find out how at OtherBothers.com.

OUTTAKE: WARMUP

SEAN

Baa.

MIKE

Baaaaa.

CARTER

Baaaaaaa.

MARISA

Baaaa.

CARTER

Balalala.

SEAN

Balalala.

MIKE

Barararar.

SEAN

Barararara.

MIKE

Barararara.

MARISA

Bararararar.

SEAN

Bararararar.

CARTER

Ahahahaha!

MIKE

Wahahahaha!

SEAN

Woohahahaha!

MARISA

Woohahahaha!

SEAN

Woohoohoo!

CARTER

Woohoohooheehee!

MARISA

Woohoohoohee!

MIKE

Wheeheeheeheehee!

SEAN

Oohoohooheeha!

CARTER

Oohooheehaha!

MARISA

Woohooheeheeha!

SEAN

And we’ll end it there. Beautiful! Nice, guys, well done. That was good.

Laughter.

CARTER

I’m so glad we recorded that.

MIKE

That was deeply upsetting.

SEAN

(laughing)

I’ve never seen Eli laugh so hard! Our engineer is crying.

MARISA

Oh lord.

CARTER

And that was Episode 4.

Laughter.

SEAN

(spluttering)

Not when I’m drinking!