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33: Within the Walls

Darcy, Eggerton and Jacklyn follow Blat into Fort Clattering, where sinister forces are gathering.

This week’s recommended podcast: Queer Dungeoneers!

And a big shout out to Waning Gibbous Games (check out our playthrough of their game Larceny), Under Pressure, The Beacon and Boring Books for Bedtime!

The Peeps This Week:

Content Warning: Violence, death, bereavement, bodily harm, child abandonment, kidnapping and hugs.

PREVIOUSLY:

ANNOUNCER

Previously, on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

SEAN

You’re standing in a lush valley leading up to a storybook castle.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Um, I am Phil and this is our ventriloquist troupe.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

They practice dark magic, Your Majesty.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There’s a creepy guy, I think he called himself a chancellor.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

This storyverse is ours!

MARISA

Darcy takes the beetle and clamps it on his arm.

A click, a beep and a magical whoosh.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Aaaagh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ta-da!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And that’s our act ladies and gentlemen!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Moira was tied up very securely! How could she have escaped?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

He untied her.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I untied her! I bet she didn’t see that coming.

SEAN (AS BREE)

Excuse me…

SEAN

She stands tall, but obviously quite young, and it looks like she’s been crying.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What’s your name?

SEAN (AS BREE)

Bree.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So what seems to be the problem?

SEAN (AS BREE)

The knights, they’re taking our parents.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t we just go and offer ourselves as fodder for their army?

SEAN (AS BREE)

You won’t come back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well…

SEAN (AS BREE)

Anyone that turns 18, the knights come and drag them away screaming.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I was hoping I could help you folks out with whatever you’ve got going down here at Fort Clattering. Perhaps something to do with the large dark storm cloud at the top of the mountain there?

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Oh, it’s the ventriloquist.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, son of a Loxsyn.

OUTSIDE FORT CLATTERING

Crickets.

SEAN

Darcy and Jacklyn are perched behind some bushes.

A few hours have passed and dawn is coming, but the light that is coming is very faint because the dark blackness covering the sky coming from Mount Zirma’s peak is blocking out almost all of the sun.

Then the gates to the fort open and Blat walks out.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hellooo?

Hello? Darcy? Jacklyn!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

Blat!

MARISA

And I rustle the bushes a little bit.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

(whispers)

Careful the guards are right there.

MARISA

And I rustle them harder.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(whispers)

Ah yes, subterfuge. Yes, yes. I’m sorry.

All right, here’s the thing—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Get down behind the bush, Blat!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right! I’m sorry. I’m getting down. I’m getting down.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What happened?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Everything’s fine. You saw me, right? I just walked inside.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, and what did you see in there?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m saying it’s safe and you’re able to walk inside too. They’re gathering people together to help fight the giant cloud of Shattering on top of the mountain! They’re just trying to get their forces together.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So there was nothing weird?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I mean, it’s slightly weird. I mean, there are robot soldiers around, but you know, other than that seems to be going fairly well.

MARISA

And I look at Blat’s eyes. Are they black?

SEAN

They are not black.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow. So it’s just… people really fighting the Shattering?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, yes, but they need all the help that they can get. I mean, they’re just peasants and farmers that are in this immediate area. I don’t think they’re going to be able to stand up to the Shattering for very long, if at all. They need all the help we can get. Maybe help from a few people from a future time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Um.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And Jacklyn.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

The guards did look like just walk right in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Admittedly, the guards are a little scary. They’re taller, they’re clad in all black now, but you know… they’re pliable. You just sort of say, howdy do, and you continue on.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Isn’t there black smoke coming off of them? That one there?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, actually, I don’t think that has anything to do with the Shattering. I just think it’s their internal gizmos and what’s it’s churning and whirring.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m sorry, here’s what doesn’t add up. Fine, these people want to fight the Shattering, but they would leave all their children alone in the village for days, maybe even weeks on end if we’re to believe Bree? That doesn’t make any sense.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh. Hello, are you going to bring your eight-year-old with you to fight the Shattering? They’re safer where they are down there. You can’t bring them up to the fort and then bring them to the top of the mountain to fight the Shattering!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, they should leave some adults behind to defend their village.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That’s what the older kids are for, like Bree!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, fine. So what do we do? Do we go back and get Eggerton? If these people have it all in hand, what do they even need us for?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, again, they can need all the help they can get. I mean, sure, the giant, robotic whatsits have some weaponry, but the farmers don’t.

Like, “Oh, Shattering. I’ve got a rake. Ha ha! Ah, time to defeat you!”

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Or a bucket.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Or a bucket, weaponized as it may be.

All right, how about this? One of you come with me, the other one go and get Eggerton, and I’ll meet you here at the top of the fort.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I’ll go with him if you want to get Eggerton.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, fine. Uh… I guess, where should I meet you? Back up in the fort or here?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Just past the gates of the fort. You saw me enter. It’s fine.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, I’ll see you guys in a little bit.

MARISA

And I start running back down the hill.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, Jacklyn, you come with me.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Okay, it’s safe, right?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Absolutely safe.

I mean, for now. We’ll be fighting the Shattering eventually. It might become a little less safe then.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I’m ready for that.

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers: an improvised fantasy role-playing game set in the world of Alba Salix.

Your Game Master is Sean Howard, with players Marisa King, Carter Siddall, and Michael Howie.

Episode 33: Within the Walls.

THE BLATAVAN

SEAN

Darcy pauses and turns back to watch Jacklyn and Blat walk openly past the guard and towards the fort, and then turns, shaking her head, and heads down to the village, where she can hear the sounds of what seems to be laughter coming from the house where she left Eggerton.

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

No, I don’t understand. How come you get to jump my piece?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, you see, I employed the superior strategic role that put three blue gummies in front of your one green gummy, therefore allowing me to jump over the jujubes.

MARISA (AS A CHILD)

But I have 25 jujubes!

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

Yeah, you said the 25 jujubes trumped the three gems.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

In theory they would, if it were not a Thursday.

MARISA (AS A CHILD)

I don’t know what a theory is.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well you see, when someone develops a concept and then—

MARISA (AS A CHILD)

I don’t know what a concept is.

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

You know what a concept is, that’s like, uh… our parents are never coming back.

MARISA (AS A CHILD)

(sadly)

Oh yeah, I get that.

CARTER (AS A CHILD)

I shoved a piece up my nose!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, oh, oh.

SEAN (AS BREE)

Oh god. How do we get it out?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, watch, I’ve dealt with this before, candy up a nose is a specialty of mine, watch first we plug one nostril, just put that thing in it, now blow!

CARTER (AS A CHILD)

Oh…

(noisy blow)

THE CAST (AS VARIOUS CHILDREN)

Ughhhh!

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

Ha ha! Look at all the goop!

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh oh, that got over all the other game pieces.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, it used to be red.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I feel faint.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, oh, well maybe we can play a different game for now.

The door opens.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy, what perfect time, we were just about to start playing another game.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow, do you have three boards out for Candy World?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well you see, this is advanced Candy World.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh my gosh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s the third edition, it’s got some increases from the first two.

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

I think it’s because I won the first one and so we put a second board down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I think we decided that it was a draw.

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You may have “in theory” won, but in practice as the Game Candy Master, I get to choose how things end—

SEAN (AS A CHILD)

(blows a raspberry)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Really? Really, Fiona? Are we gonna do this again?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, okay everybody. Okay, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It has been a rough evening, Darcy. Do you see what I’m putting up with? Look at Fiona.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I can tell.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look at Fiona.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s quite heroic what you’ve been doing, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It is.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Can I speak to you outside for a moment?

SEAN (AS FIONA)

I ate three of the gemstones!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I got… okay, well when they come back out, put them in the box.

SEAN (AS FIONA)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ll leave that here for you.

Eggerton and Darcy step outside.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. So Blat actually got into the fort.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, I know. The guards just let him walk right in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Really?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Not very good guards.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I know, I thought the same thing, but Blat says everything’s fine, that it’s really just the townspeople gathering to fight the Shattering and they could really use our help because of course, you know, they’ve got pitchforks and that’s not much good.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And I am a great general.

But here’s the question, Darcy. Why did they leave all of the kids behind?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s what I asked!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You put the kids in front of your army…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And it slows down the advance of the enemy! It’s basic tactics.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, Eggerton, that’s a terrible idea. Where did you get that idea from?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Candy World.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, alright.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s in the Advanced Candy Guide.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, okay, fine.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I had to order it special.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Candy World is a little different from the real world. We’ve talked about this before, remember?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(wistful)

Yeah, in Candy World, things sometimes make sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I guess so.

Now, Blat and Jacklyn are up in the fort right now and Blat told me to come get you and we’re going to meet them there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But don’t you think it’s a little weird that the townspeople just leave their kids not because they want them in the front of their army but because they’d be worried about what’s happening to their kids down here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve been watching the kids all night and I think that, yeah, it would be a real mistake to leave them on their own like we’re doing right now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that’s a good point.

Where’s Bree?

FORT CLATTERING

The ominous grinding bass tone of the Shattering.

SEAN

The gates of Fort Clattering are closing behind where Blat and Jacklyn just entered.

Jacklyn is struggling as a metal-clad hand covers their mouth and pulls them towards the barracks and the gentleman in the robes with too many rings on his delicate fingers steps forward.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Well done, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There you are, your Eminence. They may have a bucket on them with some pointy things coming out of it but other than that, weapon-free.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Beautiful. And the others?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, they’ll be coming up in just a jiff and also weapon-free. Well, one may have some dessert items on them but other than that, nothing to worry about.

I was the one that always provided the weaponry! It was I!

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

What a lovely puppet you are.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Thank you, your Eminence!

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Perhaps you could just stand here where they’ll see you when they enter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Shall I wave enthusiastically?

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

That would be amazing.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Allll righty then!

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

I’m going to enjoy devouring what’s left of your mind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okey-dokey, sounds good, but only after they show up.

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

That’s correct.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right then! Agreed.

OUTSIDE THE BLATAVAN

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so Bree, Eggerton and I have to go now to help your parents but I need you to stay and make sure everything is okay in the village.

SEAN (AS BREE)

Okay, that’s what I’ve been doing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I know, I need you to do it a bit longer and, um, well…

SEAN (AS BREE)

What are you, you’re just, are you going to attack them?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Attack your parents? No, no, they apparently are going to send an army up to the mountain to fight the Shattering and we’re going to help them.

SEAN (AS BREE)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean “what”? The Shattering is bad, your parents are trying to stop the Shattering and we’re going to help them.

SEAN (AS BREE)

First of all… my dad is dead.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS BREE)

He refused. And they struck him down and dragged my mother off, crying.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You mean they came to the village and did that to your parents?

SEAN (AS BREE)

Yes, that’s what I’ve been telling you. Anyone who turns of age, they get dragged away by the knights… and if you don’t go willingly, they cleave you down where you stand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But our friend Blat has been there, he told us everything is fine.

Silence.

SEAN (AS BREE)

I thought you’d be different.

SEAN

And she turns and runs inside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You did not handle that well at all, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, I don’t know what to do. What? Do we not trust Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, we have been told two different things by people.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you.

Would you like to come to a conclusion because of that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That was the conclusion.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

These are two things that have happened.

That’s it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, we’ve known Blat forever. We’re supposed to not trust him over this little kid we just met? I mean, what if this little kid is Moira in some kind of disguise? What if Moira has done some magic stuff we don’t know about and this is all an illusion? I don’t know what’s going on anymore.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, then there’s definitely one thing we should do. Go forward.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And which way is forward?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I’ll point this time when I say go forward. I thought it was obvious. I mean, like the whole thing is we’re going to go get Blat and Jacklyn. And I said, let’s go forward. And you said, which way is forward? So I’m going to point this time. Ready? Are you ready?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You ready? Okay.

The fort.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s forward.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re going to go in that direction. I am pointing at the fort and saying let’s go forward.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I see that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Forward.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I see that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

To the fort.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All I’m saying is that we need to be prepared because I’m not sure what we’re going to find in the fort. I’m not sure that Blat is Blat. I’m not sure that Bree is Bree. And Jacklyn’s up there too!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did you lick the whisk before you threw it out?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

Let’s just head towards the fort. Do you have a supply of fairy cakes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I do.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. I think we’re going to need them.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You want one?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No. No, I don’t want one right now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Should we pre-fairy cake?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, and don’t have one. I need you in your right mind.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m always in my right mind.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

In fact, I think your bowl is already a little too tight.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s a little tight. No, no. That feels loose. It’s a little askew though? But I think the feather is kind of pushing it a little one way… There we go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, let’s go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Forward!

SEAN

Darcy and Eggerton march up the path from the village, cresting the rise, and they pause.

There’s enough light now to see the two knights clearly, clad in black metal. It’s impossible to see if there’s anyone inside. They’re about eight feet tall, and there is a strange, wispy black smoke coming out from the seams of the suits. And they are immobile, and they stand in the way of the path to the fort.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

H… hello?

SEAN

One of the heads turns in the general direction of you, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We are friends of Blat.

We come to enter the fort.

SEAN

And both knights—very slowly, but you sense just how heavy they are—slowly step aside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That was pretty easy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It just all seems a little suspicious to me, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Everything seems suspicious to you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that’s what keeps us alive.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sometimes things just work out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We need to go in the fort. They’re letting us in the fort!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It just seems too easy. Why would you need such big hulking creatures to just, you know, rouse some townspeople to defend their village?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sometimes you don’t have a great orator like me on your side to really just get the rabble-rousers going and get everyone pumped up. And you just need a giant mechanical evil black tendrilly knight.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aha! You said evil. You said evil.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

To be fair, they look a little evil.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Exactly.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know it’s not a good thing to say. I know I need to check myself and I think we’re going to have to talk about this later, but they do look a little evil.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Exactly! I don’t think this fort is everything it’s cracked up to be. Or everything Blat cracks it up to be anyway.

So maybe, maybe we shouldn’t go in the front. Maybe we should look for another entrance.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You want to go looking for another entrance?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We can run… run reconnat, reconnats, reconnitser…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, your bowl is definitely too tight.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We can recon it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let me just, let me just adjust. Oh yeah. See, there you go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s better.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You had a stone stuck in there and it was just tightening it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know where those keep coming from.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know either.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s ridiculous, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It really is.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So let’s do some reconnaissance and find another entryway.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. All right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’ll, we’ll, we’ll cut left, dart right, go up above and then down below. We’ll come out on the right. We’ll go left, start, select. We’ll be good to go.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m just going to follow you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Go!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Forward!

MIKE

And Eggerton runs towards the gate.

MARISA

(laughs)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, Eggerton! Argh!

MARISA

And Darcy, veers left.

SEAN

Eggerton runs between the two guards with no problem.

The second Darcy turns and moves a foot as if coming off the path, the two knights reach for their weapons.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aaand I’m back on the path!

SEAN

And the knights release their grip and step aside.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

Eggerton, this has evil written all over it! They won’t let us go off the path now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, they just know that I’m the general and that I said to go forward. So they’re just, they’re just making sure you follow orders. It’s fine.

Everything’s fine. It’s fine. It’s good.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I miss Jacklyn.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s sweet.

SEAN

Eggerton and Darcy are standing before the gates that are closed for the first time. Then the gates begin to open. And as they open, you see an empty courtyard inside with what looks to be maybe a small barracks building and a keep in the distance.

The light’s a little dim, but you see a figure standing in the centre of the courtyard waiting for you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Is that Blat?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, that’s—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat? Hey Blat, is that you Blat? Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Howdly-do, my friends! Come on inside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Everything’s fine! Blat’s just waiting out in the open with nothing near him like he always does.

MARISA

And I hang back a bit as Eggerton wanders over to Blat.

SEAN

Blat, I’m going to give you a roll, a chance to Defy Danger.

CARTER

All right.

SEAN

Roll 2d6 + Wisdom.

MARISA

Oh God.

CARTER

Oh, my plus Wisdom, which is, let’s just check… ah, nothing.

Laughter.

MARISA

A zero.

CARTER

That would be a 4.

SEAN

Okay. Mark XP.

And you can return to your greeting your visitors as Eggerton steps forward.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy, come on down! Jacklyn is already inside.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s nice. What are they doing this morning? Are they serving breakfast to everybody?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I don’t know. I think we might be able to rustle you up some grub, but right now we’re just trying to put our plan into action!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Excellent. And what are the details of this plan?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, the first thing I have to ask you is while you were there with the kiddies, did you get a weapon of any kind?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I feel that my mind is my greatest weapon.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I agree.

But that’s it? Just the old brain case and nothing else?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, yeah, I think so.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excellent!

MARISA

And while this conversation is going on, I’m trying to sidle around—I’m not sure of the architecture of this place, but sort of move around them.

SEAN

Yep. As you just peek forward, you notice that it looks like there are, to your left, three frozen large knights, and to your right there are two more, and they’re just staring at Blat and Eggsy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s not good.

MARISA

So I just stay where I am, just watching what’s going on.

SEAN

In the doorway?

MARISA

In the doorway, yeah.

SEAN

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now, Eggsy, you’re going to like this. We have been talking about having a hugging contest!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So just walk up to one of those old robotic guards, stick your hands up in the air, and they’ll give you the best grip you’ve ever felt.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, shouldn’t I hug them first?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You know what? I think you’re both going to hug at the same time, and then we’ll determine who gives the best hug.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, you guys better watch out! Here I come!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Take your pick, Eggsy!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton! Eggerton!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s okay! I’m going to win!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m going to win!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think you should do this!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s great!

(to a knight)

Okay, and you… big hug!

SEAN

Eggsy, you are experiencing the most intense hug of your life, and it’s growing more intense by the second.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This is so wonderful!

I finally feel…

(cracking sound)

I finally feel…

(crack)

Okay, I don’t really feel my toes! But I feel lots of love, and that’s nice and—urk!

SEAN

Eggerton is being lifted in the air, and one of the knights is carrying Eggerton towards the barracks.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, we’re going somewhere now too! We’re going to show everyone our hug!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s good, we’re in a contest! I think we’re going to the second stage of the contest. Everything’s fi…

(gasps)

Okay, it’s a little hard to breathe, but it’s okay! I’m gonna win! I’m gonna hug harder than you!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy, the problem is they’re a little worried that you might have some weapons on you. They don’t entirely trust newcomers yet, even though I vouched for you. So Darcy, you didn’t pick up any weapons when you were down with the kids, right?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You mean like this one?

MARISA

And I pull out my mace.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ohhh, right, the mace, the mace.

Does it count as a weapon? It didn’t work so good last time.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Just give me a minute, Blat!

(lowers her voice)

Hey mace, I know you can talk, and I know that you’re all about people who are worthy of being smited… smote? I’m not sure.

But tell me something, is Blat worthy of smiting right now?

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Let us gaze upon this new assailant!

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Hmmm, let us inspect him carefully, brother!

MARISA

And because I don’t quite know how the mace works, I sort of hold it forward and almost sort of make it do a wand-like motion towards Blat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Can you get a sense of him? Is that helping?

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Brother, this does seem a bit like a trap!

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Red! Demonic red! Which is always questionable, but we cannot assume simply because someone has a demonic shade that they are demonic in heart and soul.

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

So well spoken, brother! So speak to us, O carrier!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Here’s the skinny.

Blat’s my friend, so you’re probably sensing some goodness. But he seems to be acting really weird, and my friend just got taken away—my other friend—by a huge giant, uh, knight thing, who seemed to be gripping him very tightly, and now Blat doesn’t want me to have a weapon.

So I’m asking you… if I try and smite him, would you say it was okay?

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Of course, brother, let us not hold her choice of friends against her!

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

But! Surely the best way to determine one’s personality is the company that one keeps.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(groans)

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Well put, brother!

I’m afraid we must see his actions. So far, they seem quite pleasant!

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Almost welcoming! Friendly!

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

A hugging contest!

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

What is to fear from that?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, Blat!

So, I have the mace. I’m sure you won’t try and take that away from me, since we’re here to form an army to go against the Shattering.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy, I did not say I was going to take your weapon away from you. I’m just saying it might make these people that were just meeting for the first time a little nervous. You’re not one to just wave a mace around as soon as you come into a new area!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, that’s true, but you’re not one to just have Eggerton taken away by a huge knight without his say-so.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

He’s being hugged harder than he’s ever been hugged before.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You and I both know there’s no hugging contest!

Spill it, Blat, what’s going on?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s a hugging contest! He’s never been happier in his life!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasping)

I can’t feel my hands! My lips are… blue…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And that’s never happened to him before. This is a new experience. We’re all about new experiences.

SEAN

And you hear Jacklyn shout from the barracks,

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

It’s a trap! Darcy, it’s a trap!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I knew it!

MARISA

And I immediately step back towards the gate.

SEAN

And you bump into something standing behind you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(laughing)

And I take my mace, and I sort of try and hit behind me with the mace, but without even turning around, almost like feeling out what’s there.

SEAN

Roll to hit.

MARISA

I haven’t done this for so long. Hug and slash!

It’s a 9! Oh, and I probably have a plus something, right?

SEAN

Strength?

MARISA

Strength? That’s probably a no.

No, I have no plus, so it’s a 9.

SEAN

Okay, so you feel the mace make contact.

And at the same moment, you feel another mace connecting with you in your side.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ow!

SEAN

And so roll your damage.

MARISA

Okay, so again what’s that? Remember I get +2 bludgeoning damage with the mace. Oh—“if they feel the target is worthy of smiting”. So I have a d6, I think?

SEAN

Yeah, unless you are going ranged.

MARISA

No, I’m not—my whatever.

SEAN

Okay, +2.

MARISA

6!

SEAN

Wow.

MARISA

That’s pretty good.

Now, is my mace not going to talk about this?

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Brother, what have we done?

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Trying to prevent a woman from leaving! This cannot stand!

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

No, we must strike with all our might!

SEAN

And you—you get hit in the side with the mace.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ugh!

SEAN

Can someone roll a 1d6 for me, please?

MARISA

(to Carter)

Oh. No, you roll it.

Carter rolls.

MARISA

Come on, Carter!

CARTER

5!

SEAN

Okay, you take—do you have any armour right now?

MARISA

No.

SEAN

It’s a devastating blow from a mace, but you deal it in kind, and you actually entirely crush the head of one of these knights, and you just—you’re not looking, so you actually feel and hear it hit the ground on its knees and fall backwards.

MARISA

Okay. Do I take any damage?

SEAN

Oh yeah, you took 5 damage.

MARISA

Oh, okay, I do, okay.

SEAN

Upon seeing that, Carter, you get one more roll. Defy Danger.

CARTER

6!

SEAN

Mark another…

MARISA

(laughs)

Mark your fails!

SEAN

Mark another fail. You are happily continuing to try and get Darcy into the thing…

MARISA

Sorry, we have to talk about my rage. If I took 5 hit points of damage—

SEAN

Yep, that is a major hit.

MARISA

Yeah.

SEAN

I think you are now gaining Rage. You gained a Rage, for sure. I believe this would have pissed Darcy off.

MARISA

I agree.

SEAN

But you sensed the other guard that was out front is also moving behind you.

And we return to the centre. Eggerton, you can also act.

MIKE

Yeah?

MARISA

Can he?

SEAN

You are, you see that inside the barracks, there is basically a cell, and you are being carried towards the cell, and you see Jacklyn in there, like, crouched, ready to do something. And you are being carried towards that cell. And you’re standing in the centre with the other knights that are all starting to move.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(strangled)

Jacklyn…

I think I’m winning still.

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Yeah, you’re doing great, Eggsy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m gonna win.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Yeah, you got this.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Look, keep it distracted when it opens the door.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasping)

Yes, that’s what I’m doing… gonna win…

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Do something, kiss it or something.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(choking noises)

Laughter.

SEAN

Okay, I need you to roll a Defy Danger, Eggsy.

MIKE

Defying Danger… That is a 7.

SEAN

Plus Dex… or Charisma here, you’re trying to kiss it. You did pour all of your things into Charisma for some strange reason.

MIKE

Yeah. That’s 10.

MARISA

(laughs)

There you go.

MIKE

That’s because in the other game I’ve played…

MARISA

This is a hugging contest, I think Charisma is totally appropriate.

MIKE

10. It’s a 10.

SEAN

I will buy that, it’s a 10. So just how distracted does this knight get?

MIKE

This knight, for the first time in its existence… starts to feel.

SEAN (AS THE KNIGHT)

(with great emotion)

Oh. Oh.

Oh, little one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Urk… the power of a hug…

SEAN

And Jacklyn jams a piece of their bucket into one of the joints…

Can someone—can you roll attack for me for Jacklyn?

MIKE

For Jacklyn, that is an 11.

MARISA

Wow.

SEAN

Jacklyn will take the plus 1d6, so can you roll a 1d10 plus a 1d6?

MIKE

d10 plus a d6, that’s too many D’s.

SEAN

Yeah.

MIKE

That is a 7.

SEAN

…and plunges it right through its back in a joint, like right where its heart might have been. And it gasps,

SEAN (AS THE KNIGHT)

Oh, I knew you such a short time, little one…

MARISA

(rueful laugh)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Nooo!

OUTSIDE THE BARRACKS

SEAN

Darcy, you sense behind you another knight starting to move, you hear it moving faster behind you, and you see the four that are inside the, around Blat are starting to move and draw their weapons.

MARISA

So I run full on towards Blat, and I go behind him and grab him around the waist, and I have my mace raised, and I say,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Somehow, Blat, I think you’re the key to this, and I’m not sure they’re gonna hurt you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Careful! She has an argumentative mace!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So why don’t you just get us out of this?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’d… like to, but I’m supposed to stand here and wave enthusiastically until you arrive.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And who told you to do that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah! My lord and master!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who’s that?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My lord and master.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, why don’t you take me to your lord and master?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, nooo. That’s not supposed to happen.

I’m supposed to stand here and wave enthusiastically, you come in, we determine if you have weapons, and then the big robotic guards take you all.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, we’re just gonna head in the same direction that Eggerton went.

MARISA

And I start pulling Blat back towards the barracks, and I’m wielding my mace at any knight who comes near me.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, this is good! You’re being very cooperative! This is the direction we’re supposed to be heading in!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excellent. That’s good, Blat. That’s really good. Stay back! Stay back…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t know if this counts as a weapon, because it sometimes works against her!

SEAN

And Darcy, you manage to open the door behind you and glance quickly in the barracks, it looks clear, and you pull Blat in, kicking the door closed, and you hear someone sobbing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sobbing)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton! Eggerton, are you hurt? What’s wrong?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Darcy… I taught him how to love and then he died. Right away. It’s so tragic.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you talking about?!

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I’m sorry, Eggerton, I didn’t know.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But… we had something special.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Will you pull yourself together? We’re about to be killed by all these knights, and Blat’s been possessed or something!

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I’m gonna bar the door.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes! Excellent idea.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(singing weakly)

Amazing grace… how sweet the…

(he breaks down sobbing)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton!

MARISA

And I slap him across the face.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, you’re in shock!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Now I hurt on the outside and the inside.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Maybe you should slap Blat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, fine!

MARISA

And I slap Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Daaah!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, wait! Maybe I should slap Blat!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Go ahead!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No! No one should be—Daaaah!

SEAN

(laughing)

Roll 2d6, Blat.

MARISA

Ooh!

CARTER

10!

SEAN

A cloud lifts off your brain. You feel someone—you feel their anger as they’re ripped away from your demon mind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Why are people hitting me?! Where the hell are we?!

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

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

SEAN

Hey everyone, Sean here, and I just want to say, wow, what a journey this has been, and it’s not over. I can’t wait for you all to finish this episode.

But first, it’s time to give some shout-outs to some amazing new patrons!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

So let’s all give a warm welcome to Krishna Mahadevan, I hope I said that right, Leprejuan, Ascetic Raven, that’s a really cool name, Bethany Puleo, hope I said that right, and Boring Books for Bedtime. And on that last one, it is a great way to fall asleep and get some culture at night. I really enjoy it, and I met them at Podcast Movement, really lovely folks.

Now before I get to the oldies and goodies, I have some sad news: we’re going to be going on a short hiatus. It’s not long, I promise, we’re coming back in December, we have dates, I just don’t have them in front of me, but we’re coming back, and it’s already locked, it’s in stone, blah blah blah, and we’ll have those dates posted everywhere. And it’s not going to be that long, it’s going to be a month and a half, and I have a special announcement today, I have another show you can listen that’s also Dungeon World and funny that you can fill that time with. So be sure to listen till the end of the episode today because there’s a teaser at the end.

But before we get to that, it’s time for the oldies but the goodies, the people who have been here since the beginning. I’m turning 50 this month and I just can’t stop thinking about that. Let’s give a recognition to these amazing people and thank you all for being with us for all this time.

So first on the list, Stephanie Henrichs Welch. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And Marie Belanger, we finally get to shout you out. Marie, you are so delightful and I love how active you are in commenting on everything. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Next up is Waning Gibbous Games, a lovely, lovely outfit. Check them out, Waning Gibbous Games. They sent us a game, we played it in one of the bonus episodes, super fun.

Phoebe Seiders—Phoebe Light Sabers? I’m not sure how to pronounce your last name, Phoebe. But I want to say thank you and I want to give a shout out to your show, Under Pressure. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

And finally, the last shout out for this episode of the oldies and goodies—The Beacon. I love The Beacon. I can’t get enough of Bee. Bee resonates with me and I need to know Bee is safe. Check out The Beacon, you won’t regret it.

And now it’s time to shout out a show. This show actually reached out to me, I started listening and I just couldn’t stop. It’s called Queer Dungeoneers. It’s an actual play, Dungeon World—hello, that’s what we’re playing! But I think they’re actually playing it with rules and things. But it’s super fun, it’s an actual play, Dungeon World podcast about being who you are by being someone different. Wow, I can totally resonate with that. And they have Australian accents, come on.

So stay tuned to the very end today and you’ll get to hear a teaser of them. And check out their show, and it’s a perfect thing to follow up from this and fill the gap until we’re back in December.

And with that, I think we have a midroll for you.

MIDROLL: THE HOTEL

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello, I’m Jeff Sanderson. I believe I have a room in this, um…

Wait a second, this isn’t a hotel.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Welcome, welcome. Wait, wait, wait, wait, don’t move. I’m going to put the hotel outfit on. Be right back!

Pop! Hi! Look, I got the hat. Can I take your bag, sir?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yes, yes, here’s my bag. Do I sign in somewhere?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, no, you just show me your reservation on your little device.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, here you go.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Perfect, sir!

Now, we may be a little overbooked, but do not worry. Here at Snegal’s AirBnB, we never run out of rooms.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But how’s that possible if you’re overbooked?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, no, no, no, come on, just to the end of the hall. Ten steps. Today the door is purple!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Today the door is purple?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh yes, it changes. Here, look at… oh, look in there.

I see gold, and oh, is that dancing ladies, and oh, dancing men? And oh, look—there’s a party going on!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh my god, I just wanted to get a bed for the night. See, I’m on a business trip. I sell styrofoam for a living.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh great, you just tell me how I’m going to put your bag in there. I’m not going to come in with you, because, you know, that’s not appropriate, ha ha, you can just tip me right here.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, here’s four credits.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, thank you!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, will they stop dancing at some point? I need to get some sleep before the big styrofoam meeting tomorrow.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, yes, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

You might want to think about branching out from styrofoam.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh…

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, have a nice day! I’m gonna—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Mr. Snegal? Mr. Snegal!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Wait, I just have to close this door.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I… I… remember me? Rita.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes, Miss Fengelstyn, yes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, Rita Fengelstyn, that’s right. Well, honey, remember you put me here in what you call the Golden Griffin Room?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It sounded very exotic.

(tearful)

The Golden Griffin won’t stop staring at me.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh, yes, he has a tendency to do that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I ordered room service and he ate it, including the tray!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

I’m so sorry, Miss Fengelstyn. Let me get right on that.

Here, you just stay here in the hall. I’m going to have a little chat with the Griffin, ha ha. Right back in a second.

Snegal shuts the door.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(muffled)

Okay, no, I told you we had to talk about the… ow! No, we talked about this, right? I’m giving you… ow! Okay, 50 percent! I’ll give you 60! 60 percent of the—ah ha ha! No tickles! No tickles! Okay, 70 percent! Okay, okay, you get 70 percent and you face the wall!

Snegal steps back out of the room.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

There you go, Miss Fengelstyn!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you can’t give me a new room? Maybe with… petite Griffin or no creature at all, perhaps?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Um, I have a closet with a lot of clothing in it, if you prefer.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’ll take it.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, just come on right over here, ha ha. Here you go. Please don’t touch the pants on this side or these shirts or those five shoes. Okay…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

May I huddle in the corner?

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Yes!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, that’s fine, thank you.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Have a nice day! Breakfast at six!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you.

The front door opens.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hi, I just came from Roxflop.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Oh! Yes! I’m sorry though, you need to have a reservation that you have to get at OtherBothers.com in order to have a room.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t have time for… I need someone to… What if I just give you, like… here, I’ve got like 4,000 Roxfloppian dollars.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Okay, I generally prefer you make a reservation at OtherBothers.com, but I have a room for you. Here you go!

He opens another door. We hear the dreamy synthesizer melody of Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt the psychic, jellyfish-like Quartermaster.

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Now, he’s a little touchy, but I’m sure you’ll get along just fine. Thank you, Pfillllll-thi-tckkkkt!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

A few musical notes echo.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

My childhood…

INSIDE FORT CLATTERING

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You don’t know where you are?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No! My job was to go up to the gate and see what was going on, and now I’m being held by you while Eggerton beats me!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat! This is very important! You said to me that you were working for your Lord and Master.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who did you meet when you came up to the fort?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mr. Simmons? But he’s from the future! Oh, he loved my filing!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Are you saying that Mr. Simmons is here?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mr. Simmons? No, Mr. Simmons’s great-great-grandparents haven’t even been born yet. Mr. Simmons can’t be here!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, who was here in the fort when you got here the first time?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s simple. I went up to the fort, and then the gate opened, and then I walked inside, and then, ah, blah blah blah blah Eggerton hits me!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy. Well, someone is controlling your mind, Blat, and you just lured us all here to a trap!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?!

SEAN

Darcy, roll 2d6 to Defy Danger. You feel something pummeling into your brain.

MARISA

I would get a plus Wisdom, though, or something, wouldn’t I?

SEAN

Yes, you would.

MARISA

I’m very wise. Yes, that’s a 13.

MIKE

Ooh.

SEAN

You feel someone or something punching into your thoughts and brain, and then your amulet lights up, and you feel them pushed out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton! Protect your brain! Protect your brain! Someone’s coming for it!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay!

MIKE

And I slam my hands on my helmet.

SEAN

Your bowl.

MIKE

It’s implied.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We have to get out of here. There’s something or someone trying to get into my brain, and they’re probably going to try someone else. How do we get out of here, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Uh, well, I don’t remember coming in this far. Are we by the gate?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We have to go back through the gate we just came through, and there’s all sorts of knights out there. We’ve got to find another way out.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I am of no use to you!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, okay, there’s usually always a way out if we can find the kitchen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The kitchen?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s a kitchen?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I bet you can sense it. Where’s the kitchen, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sniffling)

Maybe it’s behind Timothy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think he would have loved to cook.

SEAN

There is a door at the end of the room that you feel might lead to some kind of mess hall.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s that way. I know it. Timothy’s guiding me from beyond.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, lead us away. Lead us away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(whispers)

I’m so sorry, Timothy.

Okay, let’s go.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

He really is kissing that guard, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, Jacklyn, we have to move. I don’t know what happened here. I don’t want to know.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is the door. I need help opening it, because my hands are still trying to protect me from whatever you told me to protect my brain…

SEAN

Roll 2d6 to Defy Danger. You feel a force trying to enter your mind, and you just rolled double aught ones.

MARISA

Ohhh.

MIKE

+1 for Wisdom.

MARISA

(laughs)

3.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, this isn’t the right way. We should go back out the front of the barracks.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no, the brain. The brain’s been taken over.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, how can you tell?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Because he wants to go back to danger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s not danger. That’s salvation!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, sure it is.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Wait, wait, we can test. Who is your most recent love?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who is my most recent love? Clearly myself.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aha!

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

It’s not him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Didn’t even remember Timothy!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who’s Timothy?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t even know who Timothy is!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

C’mon! Let’s go! Out the front door.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Timothy’s right there, the dead knight.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The dead knight?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, hold Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? Aack!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right!

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I’ll open this door.

Okay, there is a mess hall here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s go through.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Come on, Eggerton. How bad could it be? We’re gonna eat something!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, we need to eat, but I’m pretty sure there’s a great big meal happening out in the courtyard. We should all just put down our weapons and check it out.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s definitely not Eggerton. He would eat food no matter what!

Okay, Jacklyn, what do you see? Is there another exit through here?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Yeah, there’s a door, but I hear knights moving around outside. Like, it’s not that big of a building.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You’re right. We should probably just go back out the front door.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you have anything to gag him with, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, here.

CARTER

And Blat tears off the bottom of his shirt and shoves it into Eggerton’s mouth.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mfff mmf mnngg!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Here’s what we’re going to do! It’s a tried and true method….

Bazooka.

The bazooka assembles.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Now, I’m gonna aim this at the door. If any of the guards show up, we fire a projectile.

You, figure out how else we can get out of this room.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

When I was brought in, Darcy, there were five, I think, in the main courtyard, and then there were the two outside when we walked in. There might be more.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, we don’t know. The bazooka’s a pretty good method of figuring it out.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I agree.

Okay, I’m gonna open the door. Ready?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I’m gonna swing it open and stand back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, stand way back.

SEAN

And Jacklyn reaches over one hand and swings open the door, and outside you see, just on the other side of the door, you see standing a giant knight, most of it seen through the door.

CARTER

And Blat fires.

SEAN

Okay, roll it.

CARTER

Ooh, I get a plus because of my Dexterity, which puts us up… to an 8.

SEAN

So an 8 on Volley, partial success.

Okay, you have a choice. Let’s do it by the rules for once. You have to move to get the shot, placing you in danger of the GM’s choice; you have to take what you can get, minus 1d6 damage or you have to take several shots. Oh, that one doesn’t count. So of those two…?

CARTER

I’ll place myself in greater danger.

SEAN

Okay, so Blat steps forward into the doorway, has a total clear shot, fires… roll your damage.

CARTER

d8. A 6!

SEAN

An explosion sends a fireball up into the air, and as the fireball clears, you see the knight in a charred metal melting, but it’s limping forward still, but it looks really hurt.

And it shoves a massive sword forward right into Blat’s chest. Can someone roll a 1d6 for me?

MARISA

It’s a 6. I never roll well.

SEAN

Blat, you take 6 damage.

You see inside, you all see a fireball go up, and you see Blat like, nodding, and then a sword comes out his back and then is pulled back as you see what remains of a giant knight standing right in front of him. Looks pretty damaged.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat!

MARISA

And then I come running forward with my mace and just take this running swing at the knight’s head.

SEAN

Okay, let’s roll it.

MARISA

That is 2d6, was it?

SEAN

Now we’ll say there’s not a lot of room, so if you roll badly, you may be hitting Blat. Like, he’s in the doorway.

MARISA

(laughs)

No, but it’s the Mace of Smiting, so it won’t hit Blat.

SEAN

Let’s see.

MARISA

7, so that’s a partial success.

SEAN

Okay. So you manage to shove Blat aside, and the mace shouts,

CARTER (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Victory is ours!

SEAN (AS A VOICE OF THE MACE)

Finally, brother!

SEAN

And it collides. Can you roll your damage? If you roll more than a 1, it’s…

MARISA

It’s a 1!

SEAN

Plus the 2. So the mace goes right through its skull and down into its chest. You almost have a little trouble yanking it out and coming back, and you see Blat gathering his breath and looking down at a gaping hole in his chest.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(gasps)

MARISA

And I do this fluid motion of pulling the mace out, and I turn to Blat and I just put my left hand on his chest, and I cast my Cure Light Wounds.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(gasps)

SEAN

So “rote” means it goes off without having to roll.

MARISA

Yeah… touch wounds. “Heal an ally you touch of 1d8 damage.”

SEAN

Okay, roll a 1d8.

MARISA

Oh, and I think I’m a Devoted Healer too, so I have even more. “When you heal someone else, add your level to the amount of damage healed.”

So I heal you of 8 damage.

SEAN

As you place your hand upon Chet’s…

MARISA

On Chet!

MIKE

Good ol’ Chet! That was the name of the knight you missed.

SEAN

Old Chet! Timmy and Chet!

As you place your hand on Blat’s red chest, blood oozing between your fingers, as you pull it away, your amulet glows and the wound is completely closed.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ugh, I couldn’t tell if I was bleeding or if that was just my skin colour.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You were bleeding, Blat. Can you get up?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I can get up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, let’s go.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh no, wait, I gotta sit down again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(mumbles)

SEAN

You hear other knights stomping towards where that one knight and the fireball went up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m just saying, this all could have been avoided if we went out the front door.

And I slap Eggerton.

SEAN

Roll 2d6 for me, Eggerton.

MIKE

That’s a 4.

MARISA

(laughs)

Oh no.

SEAN

You feel a presence in your brain say,

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Oh, lines of power. What is this?

MARISA

Nooo!

Um, okay, wait. I know we’re in mortal danger here.

But we can’t leave all those townspeople.

Jacklyn, did you see anyone else? Where are the townspeople being kept?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

There are no people.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

There aren’t. Unless they’re in the keep. But that keep… There’s no people here in the barracks. And there were none in the yard.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, we’re gonna have to regroup. We have to get out of here. Keep running through the mess hall towards that far door over there.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Okay, I’m on it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m still pretty sure we should go out the front door.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, grab Eggerton!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Come on, Eggsy, you little evil SOB.

SEAN

(laughs)

Okay, Jacklyn makes the door.

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

I don’t hear any knights. They seem to be running around to where the fireball was.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, let’s open it!

SEAN

And Jacklyn opens the door… and you see a robed figure standing in front of the door in the dim light.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(gasps)

It’s… It’s him!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My Lord and Excellency, I’ve gathered them all together. Isn’t that right, Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh hey, boss, how’s it going?

SEAN (AS THE CHANCELLOR)

Ah, beautiful. You two may step out.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Awesome, thanks!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My Lord, my Excellency!

SEAN (AS CHANCELLOR)

Shh! Stand over there.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All righty, I’ll stand over here. But perhaps you need me to point my weapon at them in case they do anything too tricksy?

SEAN (AS CHANCELLOR)

Yes, fine.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Bazooka!

The bazooka reappears.

SEAN

You see an old friend, the Chancellor, for the first time, Darcy, stepping forward. Voluptuous black—the robes are different colour now. The robes are multilayered black and silver. And you see so many rings on the fingers. A rather slim-built man underneath it all, but a very dark voice.

SEAN (AS CHANCELLOR)

Ah, we finally meet again.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you doing here?

SEAN (AS CHANCELLOR)

I might ask the same of you, but I expect I know the answer.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

H‑how is this possible? How… we got rid of you! How did you get here?

SEAN (AS CHANCELLOR)

Oh child, how little you know. To be the three to save the world!

(laughs)

SEAN

And his hand shoots forward. Darcy, what do you do?

MARISA

I raise the mace!

SEAN

Okay.

MARISA

Almost to block the hand and take it off.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

Love that. There we go.

MARISA

Okay, that’s an 8, but if I got a plus on, say, Dex or something, I’d have a 9.

SEAN

Sure. Okay, mixed success. You manage to raise the mace and strike his arm.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

And he screams and you hear a snap, a snapping sound of a bone on his arm. So can you roll your damage, please?

MARISA

Yeah. That’s a 5, plus 2 is 7.

SEAN

Okay. As your mace hits and you hear the snap, you see this glow all around his body. It seems your mace has to fight its way through.

Okay, so you did 7?

MARISA

Yeah.

SEAN

Okay. And at the same time, even as his hand is lifting up, this dark matter, almost like a psychic energy, comes out and strikes you right between the eyes.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

I need someone to roll 2d6 and tell me which is the higher number.

MARISA

Oh, God…

CARTER

2!

SEAN

Darcy, you feel a piercing, sharp pain, almost like behind your eyes, you take 2 damage. And he snarls,

SEAN (AS CHANCELLOR)

Oh, you will break.

SEAN

And steps forward as if going into the doorway. He’s about to step in, trying to make you back up.

MARISA

Okay.

SEAN

Pushing you back into the barracks.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy, get Jacklyn on the floor.

MARISA

And I dive to the side as quickly as I can.

SEAN

Okay.

MARISA

As he’s backing me up.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Here’s your shell order, Your Excellency.

CARTER

And Blat fires.

SEAN

He spins around towards Blat, realizing too late what’s happening.

Darcy, I need you to roll for you and Jacklyn—just do it once. Let’s roll Defy Danger to see if you can get out of the way as the missile streams in.

MARISA

That’s a 9, plus 1 is 10.

MIKE

Whew.

SEAN

You tell me what happens. How do you get you and Jacklyn out of the way?

MARISA

So as I’m diving to the side, to the one side, I just take my hand behind me where Jacklyn is, and I just grab them as well and just drag them with me, and they almost go flying farther than I do.

SEAN

So from outside, Blat, you see Darcy grab Jacklyn and just disappear as your missile zeroes in and hits square. Let’s see what happens. Well, let’s see if it hits. Roll 2d6, as your missile is incoming. This is Volley, so you get plus Dex.

CARTER

10!

MIKE

Nice.

SEAN

Roll me damage.

CARTER

A 7.

SEAN

There is a fireball that goes all the way—like, it just shakes the building. Part of the roof starts to cave in. Inside, timber is falling from above. The flames are spreading quickly, and you see a charred body just hit face forward in the dirt with a resounding thud.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Jacklyn, we have to get out of here! This whole place could start coming down. Can you get up? Let’s go!

SEAN (AS JACKLYN)

Front door. Front door.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, let’s go, Blat! Eggerton!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy, you wanted to go out the front door?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yep!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Let’s head there now.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okey dokey!

SEAN

You see three knights out in the main area near the front door, but you hear other movement on the other side of the barracks that you can’t see, Blat. But you are running towards three knights that are sort of in the main central area where the front door is going to open on two. They’re not too close together, sadly.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There’s something wrong with His Excellency! You need to go inside and check! The whole place is on fire!

SEAN

One of them, its head turns and then immediately starts moving past you, just goes right past you towards where you were.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And there’s one that was killed by love! I’m not sure how that happened either! Quick! This is an emergency!

SEAN

Another one goes running past you, so there’s one left out in front.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Timothy! Did you know one named Timothy? They’re just randomly naming you guys in there! Quick! Get in before you get a stupid name, like Schmendrick or something!

SEAN

Darcy, you just reach the front door when it explodes off its hinges, wood fragments flying past you. You take 1 hit point of damage, a sharp bit, and something pounds right past you, shoving you aside in a rush to get deeper to find Timothy, as one of the giant knights goes right past you, leaving a gaping hole where the door was.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ugh. Okay, well, I think we’re clear!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Quick! Go to the kiddies! We might have to take them with us!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

KIDDIES IN THE BLATAVAN! KIDDIES IN THE BLATAVAN!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, Loxsyn!

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

The End of Time and Other Bothers, with your Game Master Sean Howard and players Michael Howie, Carter Siddall, and Marisa King.

Dialogue editing by Michael Howie. Transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King. Additional material and sound design by Eli McIlveen. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Stephen Smith. Supporting producers: Ryan Cushman, Evelyn Jones, David Friedenberg, and Kim Bellinger.

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

OUTTAKE: GRIFFIN ATTACK

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

(incoherent screaming)

Stop it! Stop! No! Down!

CARTER (AS THE GRIFFIN)

Aaaarh! Blaaarh! Blaah!

SEAN (AS SNEGAL)

Sit! Sit!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(calming down)

Rrh.