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47: Houses In Motion

As demonic forces descend, the party make ready to defend the village – but some of them have trouble staying put.

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

Content warning: Battle, invasion, death, stabbing, gruesome descriptions, extremely devastating explosions.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

CARTER (AS BLAT)

My life has gone perilously downhill since the creation of this magical small town.

SEAN (AS NARF OF NEFARIOUS)

The ship that took them away was purchased by the Dwoven Alliance.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What would they want with such useless characters?

SEAN (AS FAE RESIDENT)

She did something to Motherton!

MIKE (AS FAE RESIDENT)

Something happened to Motherton?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I disappeared.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You disappeared.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then I reappeared here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I guess so.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What do you suggest?

SEAN (AS NARF)

That we combine forces for a brief period to get them back.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Darcy, where are you staying? Can I stay with you?

SEAN (AS NARF)

Centurion!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, if only I was a centurion, sir!

SEAN (AS NARF)

I am promoting you. It is why you are here.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Oh yeah, there’s demons all over the field.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Who’s this?

MIKE (AS GARY)

Hi, I’m Gary!

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

He is one of the demons.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Narf is my uncle!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are we going to do about the demons on your doorstep?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, there’s a veil.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

(echoing)

Hello, little ones.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s a demon face in the sky. Demon face in the sky!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Strike. Now.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

Yes, Lady Veth!

SEAN

Far up on a mountain, Snowball, the ice dragon, sticks their head and neck out of the cave and sniffs.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

(deep, rumbling voice)

Something is wrong with magic.

THE CLEARING

Ominous organ music.

SEAN

We return to the Valley of the Lost Kings, the clearing where the first fae stone has been created. And standing around, looking slightly confused, are phalanx after phalanx of red demons. And the Lady Veth, watching as her shadow warriors disappear into what you would have thought was a small patch of grass. But it bubbles and ripples as the shadow warriors disappear into it.

MIKE (AS GARY)

I’m in line!

CARTER (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Aw, come on, Gary.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yeah, keep it down. You’re gonna get us in trouble!

MIKE (AS GARY)

Sorry, I’m just excited. It’s my first day!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Oh, here comes Lady Veth. Shut up.

CARTER (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Shh!

MIKE (AS GARY)

Everyone be quiet!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

All right. Don’t you have your orders?

CARTER (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Await your orders!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Well, you’re no good out here, are you? You’ve got to go in and help my shadow warriors!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes… right.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Right, right, right in the door there!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes, you will create a circumference around the village that no one can escape as my shadow warriors take out any resistance!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes, ma’am. Right. Your Ladyship. Uh, just one question… What village?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

The village into which my shadow warriors have just disappeared!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Right. That’s clear. Right, gentlemen?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Gary.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Yeah, I’m here! Reporting for duty!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

What did I say about the village? Explain it to them, since this is your first day. Show me that you’ve been listening. Where is the village?

MIKE (AS GARY)

Yes. The village. Well, you see, folks, the village is this little grassy area here.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

That is correct, Gary. Good! This is the village.

MIKE (AS GARY)

The village… is a place where we’re supposed to go in, but I’m not really sure how it’ll work? Because it just looks like some grass, but maybe if we all believe, then we can… all be in the village?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

The only thing you need to do is walk forward and you will be in the village.

MIKE (AS GARY)

If I walk forward, I’m going to be in front of Jeremy.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

That’s fine. Jeremy will then follow you.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Well, okay, I’ll give it a shot.

MIKE

And he takes three steps to the right.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

No, Gary, you have to walk forward. How did you say you’re related to Narf?

MIKE (AS GARY)

Oh, my mom’s his second cousin!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Hmm, I see.

MIKE (AS GARY)

It’s through marriage.

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

All right, Jeremy, why don’t you show him how it’s done?

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Uh, yes, Your Ladyship. Um, what am I showing him again?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

You are moving into the village!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Right. Um, follow me… to that patch of grass, everyone!

MIKE (AS GARY)

O… okay!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Yes, that’s right. Keep going. One more step…

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Okay, just… right here?

Whoaaaaaa…!

The other soldiers follow and shout in surprise, all their voices rising in pitch as they shrink down and pop inside the veil.

MIKE AND CARTER (AS DEMON SOLDIERS)

Whoaaaaa!

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

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

Episode 47: Houses in Motion.

FAETON

Warlike prog rock music.

SEAN

The three adventurers are in mid conversation with the centurion demon soldier when the sky begins to rip and tear, as shadow-like figures of varying sizes begin to appear and disappear, screaming over the village.

And the colour begins to drain from everything and everyone as this starts to happen… until there is no blue left and everything is bathed in this red light.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think we’re under attack.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was gonna say that because of the attacks.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Should I ring the bell?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh, yeah, you know what? Go ahead and ring the bell.

SEAN (AS THE BELL RINGER)

Okay! I’m ringing the bell!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Centurion, I’m disappointed. Were you just here to keep us busy before an attack?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Centurion, centurion, centurion. I am probably here for that purpose, yes. I thought I was here to scout things out, but apparently I am just a clever ruse. Which is the first time I’ve used the word clever in a description of anything that I have done.

Did it work? Was I successful?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I’m still standing here and not, you know, running away in terror or preparing for the attack. So I’d say yeah! And you know what? This is a feather in your cap. You were successful. You set a goal and you achieved that goal. Good for you, centurion!

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Very good. Thank you, talking ant person. So you and the other ant people, you stand here, and get me other ant people if you so wish, and then we will lead you off into…

I’m not aware what the rest of the plan is. I just was told to come in here to get the ant people.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, maybe, maybe, just maybe, what you should do is, um—go with me guys—lead the ant people away so that, uh, Veth can properly storm the village.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ohhhhh! That will be good. Oh, they’re bringing in all of these demons and shadowy folk to get you. But if I were to do it by myself, I could be Head Centurion and I would wear a mighty helmet that fits my entire head.

All right! Here’s what you do. You with the bell! You ring the bell and get all the ant people out there! And we’ll all gather and then we will march out of the village towards Lady Veth, centurion, centurion…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Away from Lady Veth.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

I know, we’re going towards Lady Veth, obviously, because I want to capture you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, but we need you to capture us and present us properly because presentation is what matters, right?

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh, yes, it’s all about the theatre. Yes, presentation is important.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And if you just walked up to Lady Veth, there would be no drama there. There would be no celebration there. But if you walked around and came up behind her with all of the ant people behind you, safely away from the battle, she would be thrilled with your efforts.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Ohh, very good. Okay, everyone get away from the demon folk or the flying shadowy people. We’re all going to meet here outside the village and then forward we go.

What are you doing still standing there, ant person?! Go, collect other ant people. Go! Scurry now with your many legs! Why do you only have two legs? You are an ant person. Show me your other legs and move quickly!

SEAN

The fae that is in the tower with the bell screams as they are carried away by a shadow demon rippling through the sky above.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That’s one of your babies!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s one of my babies!

SEAN

And three shadow demons slam into the ground with enough force that you actually feel it as like a tremor. And they turn, with swords gleaming with blackness, and begin to approach you.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

It’s all right, everyone! I am collecting all the ant folk. So I am taking care of this group.

A dramatic pause in the music.

SEAN

And you see a sword come out of the back of the centurion.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Oh! You seem to have another idea on the subject, then—

SEAN

And then it yanks out and hisses as it turns towards the three of you.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Yes, it’s getting black. Excuse me a moment. I must be unconscious.

Whump.

SEAN (AS SHADOW WARRIOR)

(deep growl)

Lady Veth is waiting for you.

SEAN

And they advance.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

My baby!

MIKE

And I use Blight. “When you call forth a large number of available creatures from your land to swarm or stampede a specified area…”

SEAN

What are you calling forth?

MIKE

I’m calling forth angry fungus.

Laughter.

SEAN

Okay, what does it say we do?

MIKE

“Numbers will be based on their availability in the current location.”

SEAN

Okay! You see Eggerton squeeze up his face like he’s trying to take a giant s—-.

MARISA

(laughing)

You can’t say that!

SEAN

Yes, I can!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yarrghhhaaaagh!

SEAN

And you start to see maybe a slight change in the mushroom houses around you, but hard to really picture it.

What does anybody else do? This shadow demon is now lunging forward towards your party.

MARISA

I touch the shadow demon and cast Harm.

SEAN

Okay, what does that do?

MARISA

“Touch an enemy and strike them with divine wrath. Deal 2d8 damage to them and 1d6 damage to yourself.”

SEAN

Okay, so first I need you to roll 2d6 just to test magic.

MARISA

You said we didn’t have to test magic.

SEAN

I know, but…

MIKE

Do I have to test my Blight?

SEAN

No. Uh, yes you do. Roll 2d6 to see if you get a 2 or a 3.

MARISA

I get a 6.

MIKE

I got 7.

SEAN

Okay, so roll your damage on that.

MARISA

How do I roll my damage?

SEAN

What does it say again?

MARISA

“Touch an enemy and strike them with divine wrath. Deal 2d8 damage.”

SEAN

So roll 2d8.

MARISA

Better be high…

MIKE

For fifteen dollars, I can guarantee it.

MARISA

Yeah, it’s a 14!

MIKE

Oh, wow.

SEAN

So the demon is charging forward, blood dripping off its black sword from the centurion who has slumped to his knees behind them… and the shadow demon screams as its entire being disintegrates in an explosion of blackness. It is gone, and the other two look at each other and then charge forward. Both of them are going for Darcy.

CARTER

Blat swings his bazooka tube.

MARISA

Please! Not in public.

Laughter.

SEAN

Okay, like, to fire it, or using it as a…

CARTER

As a club.

SEAN

As a club. Okay, so roll Kick Some Ass or whatever it’s called. What is it called in this game, anyone remember? Hack and Slash.

MIKE

Hack and Slash. I knew it the whole time.

CARTER

That’s merely a 5.

SEAN

Plus…?

CARTER

Plus my Dex, is a 7.

SEAN

Okay, so partial success. So you hear a clang as it actually impacts the shadow demon—surprisingly, it’s not made just of shadow—but there is black shadow wisping off of them and you see there’s armour underneath.

And I’m going to say the cost is… that you feel a sword enter your side. And it just grins right up against you. It’s like, its face is right in front of yours as it plunges its sword forward.

SEAN (AS SHADOW DEMON)

Nice try.

SEAN

So you get to roll your damage, but you’re also going to take damage. So roll your damage, which is your damage die, which I think is a d8.

CARTER

4.

SEAN

Okay, so you do 4 damage and you take 4 damage.

CARTER

Ohhh.

SEAN

Remember to subtract your Armour if you have any.

CARTER

I never do.

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN

So you all see one of the shadow demons get clubbed upside the head, and then you see that it’s standing very close to Blat. And then you realize there’s a sword sticking out of the back of Blat, a black sword.

And the other one is still charging… Nobody has said anything, so it’s attacking Darcy.

MIKE

I’m waiting for my fungus to do something.

SEAN

Can someone roll a six-sided die for me?

CARTER

6.

MARISA

Oh, come on…

SEAN

Darcy, they come in at you with, like, literally to decapitate Darcy with a giant swing… but for some reason, it cuts into some magical barrier around Darcy and Darcy only takes 3 harm.

MARISA

Except I have armour, so I take no harm.

SEAN

Well, no, I’m saying—I’m subtracting your armour. You take 3 harm after the 6.

MARISA

Oh.

SEAN

Okay. Uh…

MIKE

Nothing happened with my fungus yet. Like I’m still,

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hlllghhhhh!

SEAN

Okay, so Eggerton is still screaming. And Eggerton, everyone else is just in battle. And you notice that off of all of the houses that are made of fungus, they are all melting down into the street. And one of them is ripping itself out of the ground and has legs, one of the houses. But the battle is still going on. And you sense all of the mushroom houses all around you turning towards you as if waiting for your command.

The music gains a weird, rubbery-sounding bassline.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Get the demons!

SEAN

And they charge all the demons.

MIKE

How do ya like me now?

SEAN

You all hear a thundering of all the houses beginning to rush down the lane that you are on. A stampede of mushroom houses.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve changed my mind! I don’t want to die in the fae village today.

SEAN

Okay, someone roll a d6 for me.

MIKE

d6. 1!

SEAN

Okay, Blat, you take 1 damage. Darcy, you take 1 damage. They avoid the Motherton. Marisa, you won’t take any damage. You have 3 armour.

But you notice that a lot of them are charging down the streets. You’ll notice, though, that they are starting to gather around all the demons, including Blat and the shadow demons. And they are trying to stomp down on all the demons. So the demons are also taking that 1 hit point right now.

It’s chaos. There are shadow demons screaming around in the sky. There are fae shouting. And there are all of the mushroom houses attacking, basically, the party.

And Eggerton is no longer taking a dump.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Houses! Focus on the bad demons.

SEAN

All the houses stop.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…Okay, so that’s subjective. Focus on the demons who aren’t part of this little trio, nor are they fae.

Wait, that’s a double negative. Or are fae.

SEAN

It’s hard to say how you can tell that a house is scratching its head, but you get the sense that all the houses are scratching their heads.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, okay, other than this one, look everyone look where I’m pointing.

This one—

MIKE

and I point at Blat—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If they’re red, try and squish them. But not this one.

SEAN

Two more shadow demons hit the street and they snarl.

SEAN (AS SHADOW DEMON)

Get them!

SEAN

And you sense the one who attacked you, Darcy, trying to grapple you.

MARISA

Okay, so I swing my mace. Of Reckoning or whatever it’s called.

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

Brother!

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

I see nothing but fungus-based architecture attacking an army!

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

I have never fought against fungus! It is a good day, brother!

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Is it an evil army of houses or a good army of houses? Whose side are we to be upon?

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

I think by its very nature, if houses are attacking it must be evil, brother!

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Swing! Swing away at the evil buildings of crushing doom!

SEAN (AS THE MACE)

Oh, no, wait, we’re swinging towards the—oh, it’s a demon! It’s Okay, brother!

CARTER (AS THE MACE)

Demons! Did not notice the demons! Demons are far more evil than homes!

MIKE

(laughs)

SEAN

Okay, roll Hack and Slash, Marisa. Uh-oh…

MARISA

It’s a 3.

SEAN

So Darcy turns, drawing the two-headed mace, and goes to strike and basically just goes right into it, the shadow demons embrace. And it, with surprising force, starts racing backwards. Darcy, you just feel like you’re being yanked at high speed out towards the veil.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aahh!

SEAN

And the one that is in grappling with Blat tries to stab Blat again. What do you do?

CARTER

Blat tries to dodge out of the way!

SEAN

Okay, roll Defy Danger.

CARTER

Ooh, that’s very good. That’s an 11 with my Dex. Well, like a 13.

SEAN

And Blat disappears into the void.

Foop!

SEAN

Uh, Eggerton, Blat has disappeared. All of the houses are very confused. One of them swats down one of the shadow demons in the air, but then looks at you like, “Was dat good?”

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Mm! Thumbs up, house!

SEAN

Okay, so all the houses are sort of milling around. The fae are all screaming and running. Nobody knows what’s going on—

SEAN (AS A PANICKING FAE)

My house! My house!

MIKE

(laughs)

I guess that would be a little confusing.

SEAN

Darcy, you’re being dragged at high speed towards the veil. This thing has just got you on a perfect hold and is just running to get you out of there.

MARISA

Uh… so because I’ve been hit a few times, I have enough Rage to transform. So right in the arms of the demon, my body starts to change and grow.

SEAN

Into a…? Let’s roll it.

MARISA

It’s a 4! Oh, so it’s my primary form. So I’m a werecupine.

Okay, so I transform into a very spiky creature that is being held onto by this demon and I’m quite big.

A hint of Darcy’s werecupine theme sneaks into the music.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hrweeek!

SEAN

So you’re not just being held, but this demon had you in like a choke lock, really tight. So I think you just basically see all these spikes just shoot out through this demon that just gasps and slowly falls off of you, dead.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Reeerh!

SEAN

So there is a giant werecupine standing at the edge of the veil on the street. All the houses are now stomping around madly confused…

The music fades into an eerie ambience.

SEAN

Blat, you see all of this from the void. It just all looks a little transparent, but it’s weird because everything is red. Like, everything is red. That’s the only colour.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello? Darcy? Eggerton? Can you hear me?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I’ll always be here for you. Blat, come to me. You can have all the power. You can destroy everything with one gesture.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…Okay, this is a hat on top of a hat. We’re already dealing with evil right now. I can’t go back to Morrigu nonsense.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You will be my first, my only prophet. I am in the place of power. My ultimate power is here. What you had before was only a taste.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ah! But things are going pretty good for me. Darcy has just allowed me to stay with her in her—oh, actually her home is now stomping a shadow demon to bits. All right, so we’ll have to look for a new place. But other than that, I’m in a very good spot in my life right now. So I’m going to have to turn down your offer to be the ultimate tool of evil.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You will succumb. I know it. It is written.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well… how about this? Is this written?

Bazooka.

SEAN

A bazooka appears in your arms. You are inside the void. What do you want to do?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, sweet mother of Loxsyn, I didn’t think I’d get my mojo back. You say a word, you get the thing you were thinking about.

So! I’m not sure how the void works but, uh, oopsie doodle! Here we go!

CARTER

And Blat fires.

The music resumes, this time a full-on reprise of the werecupine theme.

SEAN

Okay. Darcy, in your werecupine form, what are you doing next?

MARISA

I’m charging towards any shadow demons in my path.

SEAN

There are two that are advancing on Eggerton who appears to be trying to orchestrate all the houses going very badly. Sort of like, uh…

MARISA

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice?

SEAN

I was going to say, Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice—now we’re going to be sued by Disney—

MIKE

(laughs)

CARTER

Who hasn’t been sued by Disney?

SEAN

And… roll it! Roll your Hack and Slash. 2d6. You have plus 1, they are not looking at you. Plus any other pluses. Here we go.

MARISA

It’s a 3.

SEAN

Okay, so the werecupine is charging forward, but the shadow demons feel the earth, and feel the tremor happening. And they both spin, swords flashing, and they cut into you. Someone roll 1d6 for me, please. Twice.

CARTER

3. 1.

SEAN

The werecupine takes 4 damage from two swords, so you would subtract—that’s separate, though. So you would subtract three Armour from each. So you take nothing. But you lose some of your… It hurts because—

MARISA

So I lose some of my Rage.

SEAN

Yeah, it hurts bad. But you don’t actually take any physical damage.

And all of a sudden, as Darcy, you’re in a bit of a fog, right? You’re enraged. But you suddenly see a tube pop out right in front of you. And it looks like the end of a bazooka tube that’s aimed right at you.

MARISA

So I duck.

SEAN

Okay, roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

A 9.

SEAN

Plus Dex?

MARISA

It would be a 10.

SEAN

Awesome. So Darcy’s werecupine hits the ground as a bazooka shell fires past you, hitting the two shadow demons at the ground, sending them flying.

Roll your damage, Blat?

CARTER

8.

SEAN

One of them just explodes into blackness and the other one looks hurt, but is picking itself up.

Eggerton, you’re still just conducting the houses?

MIKE

I guess. I mean, that’s got to be overwhelming, right? Trying to focus on getting houses to march and stomp on the right thing, but not that thing, and then trying to wave the little fae around and get them out of the way.

SEAN

And there’s more shadow demons circling in the sky and they’re dropping down into the streets.

CARTER (AS A PANICKING FAE)

My property values! My property values!

SEAN (AS ANOTHER PANICKING FAE)

Can I give you my realty card? Aaaa, look out!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wish I had some kind of mortgage right now I could reverse. Maybe when I’m dead.

SEAN

Okay… Darcy, there are more shadow demons, but all of a sudden you sense a tear of the veil around you, the reality. And you see a giant foot come in, like a soldier’s red-clad foot, and slam down, obliterating three houses, fae popping out of existence and screaming and running…

And suddenly the veil is ripped and everything goes chaos. The whole world turns red. The redness just rockets out in every direction.

And you are now all suddenly, in the blink of an eye, full size, standing quite near the fae stone as a very surprised looking phalanx of red demons are just blinking and start to reach for their weapons. And fae and giant mushrooms are just everywhere. But the mushrooms now fall over at this size, unable to hold themselves up.

The music ends.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Well, that was unexpected!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Uh… Lady Veth, which ones? What are we here to get?

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

I told you which ones. That one over there, the little one who seems to be waving his arms around like some kind of conductor… and I don’t see the beastie.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

I see a beast! It’s the very, very large—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well kill it! Kill it!

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

What? I don’t know! It’s got spikes everywhere!

MIKE (AS GARY)

I’ll get it!

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Gary, prove yourself! Bring me the head of that strange spiky creature!

MIKE (AS GARY)

You got it, boss!

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

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

Hey gang! It’s Eli here with the announcements this week. We’ve been in the studio here recording and we currently have episodes through to the beginning of December, so that means our next session we’ll be doing a holiday special. Don’t know yet if that’s going to be a one-off or whether it’ll just fit in with the ongoing continuity. What is continuity anyway?

In other news, we’re going to get back to our Patreon shout-outs soon. Thank you so much to the folks who have stuck with us through the long, long break and no worries if you haven’t. We completely understand. But we are starting to record bonuses again and I’ve got a couple music breakdowns on the way as well. One in particular that looks at the music of Faeton from the previous couple of episodes, and that’s going to be fun. Watch for that on Patreon in the next few weeks.

Anyhow, back to the hat on top of a hat-stravaganza that is Episode 47—right after this.

MIDROLL: STELLARDEER

MIKE (AS A BARISTA)

(slow, lackadaisical voice)

Thanks for coming to Stellardeer. Can I take your order?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I just want a coffee, black.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Um, what size?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Small.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

We don’t do small. We do miniature, miniature plus, miniature plus plus—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t want anything with the word “miniature” in it.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Oh, then you want the plus minus miniature?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t want miniature.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Okay, but all of our sizes have miniature in them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How can that be? Aren’t some of them bigger?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Yes, those are the miniature plus sizes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t they, why aren’t they just plus then or medium? Could I have a medium?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

They are. They’re medium minus miniature. So that way you know they don’t… they aren’t small.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, you know what? I’m just going to let Blat go next. Blat, why don’t you tell them what you want?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Sir?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ve noticed that all these glass cabinets of food, there isn’t a single donut.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Yeah… we found that our demographic doesn’t really like donuts, but you’re going to see some kind of dried out sandwiches and celery. We’ve got lots of celery.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

But I thought—

SEAN (AS THE MANAGER)

Sorry, sorry. Samantha?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Yah.

SEAN (AS THE MANAGER)

What did we talk about in the room, in the meeting room? Push the pops.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Push the pops. I forgot.

SEAN (AS THE MANAGER)

Okay, it’s okay. I was just overhearing. You go back.

Sorry, she’s in training.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I just thought that donuts and coffee went together—

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Would you like a pop? We’re selling pop now because people want pop…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But you’re a coffee shop, so why are you selling pop? That doesn’t make any sense.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um. That’s above my pay grade, but if you’d like to get a triple crappy foamer, I can get one of those going for you. They’re seasonal right now and come with a sprinkling.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Of what?

SEAN (AS THE MANAGER)

(whispers)

Ask if they want whip.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Oh, it comes with a whip too. Do you want the whip or do you want the sprinkles?

Laughter.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It comes with a whip?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Yes. It comes with a whip.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I’ll take one of your sodas.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

What size do you want?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

Be careful.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Whatever’s in the middle. Like, what’s in the middle in between the smallest and the biggest?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Well, it’s actually an even number, so there isn’t a true middle? But if you want, I could give you a miniature true as well as a minus miniature positive. And then you can just kind of pour what you want from the larger one into the smaller one.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, okay. I have an idea. I think we need someone who speaks her language. Eggerton, Eggerton, can you tell this person what you want?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah! I’d really love to get something with mustard on it.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

Um. We don’t serve just mustard.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s okay. You can put mustard on top of the whip.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Do you notice that everyone sitting here is trying to write a screenplay?

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

So if you can just go to patreon.com/albasalix or otherbothers.com, you can really get behind this effort to streamline the number of sizes we sell? And support all of us through these troubled times.

Okay, thanks.

SEAN (AS THE MANAGER)

You’re fired.

MIKE (AS THE BARISTA)

What? No…

MARISA

Samantha is my new favourite character.

Laughter.

THE CLEARING

SEAN

Eggerton, you are standing on fields bled blue, and all of your fungal houses have collapsed.

And you suddenly realize that your small party is completely surrounded as all the other fae begin to blink out and disappear, running away. You are surrounded by at least twenty or thirty fully outfitted demon soldiers. There are shadow demons now screaming back to normal size and landing in the ranks. And you see Darcy, nostrils flared as the werecupine prepares for whatever she can do in this situation.

And I want you to tell me—in this moment, who do you think of?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Karen.

SEAN

Who’s Karen…?

MARISA

Remember his old boss?

SEAN

Okay. And in that moment, Eggerton disappears.

Pop!

SEAN

We’re in that awkward moment of the battle where all the demons surrounding this group aren’t really sure what’s happening and no one’s sure who should act first.

And then you see the demons all sort of realize that there’s only two—wait, one of them blinks out of existence. There’s just this giant werecupine. And they all reach for their swords.

MARISA

So I’m facing them down with my tail switching back and forth.

SEAN

Yeah.

MARISA

And I’m pacing back and forth in front of them. And then I just turn and I run at high porcupine speed.

SEAN

Okay. So—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(frantic chittering)

MIKE

Can I get that as a ringtone, Eli?

SEAN

That is a great ringtone. Okay. So I need you to roll… I’m going to call it Defy Danger because you’re going to go right through their ranks. 2d6.

MARISA

Oh. But I said I would—I turned and ran.

SEAN

Yeah, that’s fine. But you’re surrounded.

MARISA

Oh, I see.

SEAN

There’s a weak… there’s like, where they’re the weakest.

Okay. So we’re going to say Darcy turns, sees this one centurion who looks a little awkward and hasn’t figured out what sword—it’s like they’re trying to decide which weapon to pull. Name’s Gary.

And Darcy charges right for that one weak point in the line. Roll Defy Danger. 2d6 plus your Dex.

MARISA

10… 11. Plus Dex. So it’s an 11.

SEAN

Gary…

MARISA

(laughs)

SEAN

You see a giant werecupine spin around, spin around and suddenly target you—and start racing towards you.

MIKE (AS GARY)

(panicking)

Uhh, this is fine, uh… yup, okay—weapons, I have weapons and I’m going to use a weapon and then I’m gonna—

Whang!

SEAN

And Gary goes flying through the air as Darcy, in werecupine form, breaks the line.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(triumphant screeching)

SEAN

And you hear Lady Veth screaming…

MARISA (AS LADY VETH)

Gary!

MIKE (AS GARY)

(sailing through the air)

Sorryyyy!

A distant crash of metal armour.

SEAN

Blat. You realize after a second that no one can see you and yet you see them all around you in a world gone completely and pleasingly red.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I’m not going to take her up on her job offer… but that doesn’t mean I can’t name drop.

CARTER

And Blat sticks his arm, with the bazooka, out of the void one more time and screams,

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I am a minion of Morrigu!

CARTER

…and fires.

SEAN

(whispers)

Awesome.

FAR ABOVE…

Eerie mood music.

SEAN

Snowball, the giant ice dragon is circling far, far up, even above the clouds.

But with their infrared vision, they are watching this battle unfold—and their whole body tenses when they hear Blat’s voice shout…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(echoing)

I am a minion of Morrigu!

SEAN

And they break into an immediate dive at high speed, down towards the gathering.

BALGOMAR?

Pop!

SEAN (AS KAREN’S ASSISTANT)

(startled)

Oh! I, uh didn’t see you there.

Oh… Eggerton. Um…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS KAREN’S ASSISTANT)

What do you have an appointment to see Karen?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

An appoin—wait. What? What? Where’s—Karen’s here?

SEAN (AS KAREN’S ASSISTANT)

Well, yes. This is Karen’s office—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Karen…

SEAN (AS KAREN’S ASSISTANT)

Well, you know, it’s just right outside her office. It’s my job to screen her, bring her coffee—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right!

MIKE

And I burst through the door.

SEAN (AS KAREN’S ASSISTANT)

No—you can’t go in there!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Karen!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Um…

SEAN

Different voice.

MARISA

(laughing)

It’s the same voice.

SEAN

It’s the same voice.

Laughter.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

What? I’m on the phone. Excuse me!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Karen! Karen! Karen! Karennnnn!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

George, can I call you back?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hi, George!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

I’ll call you back.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Karen. Karen. Karen, you’re not going to believe it.

Karen hangs up.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I had the craziest dream! I ate the fairy cakes before my presentation—

SEAN (AS KAREN)

What are you wearing? Why…?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Is that a giant acorn on your head?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(to himself)

Oh, no… it’s real.

(aloud)

Yes. Okay. So—

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Why are you wearing a leaf?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Here’s the thing. I’m a general—

SEAN (AS KAREN)

That is not appropriate attire.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve been through time. I’m the mother. I’m the mother, Karen. It all starts with me! Don’t you see now?

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yeah, just hold for a second.

(picks up the phone again)

Hello? Can you get me HR at once?

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

(over the phone, slightly muffled)

HR at once, yes.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

(whispers)

Thank you. Oh, and Security would be good.

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Security. Are you in danger right now?

SEAN (AS KAREN)

I think so.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I can see out the window! There’s a sky! We did it! Obviously, we did it and it’s all done now!

Karen hangs up.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

That is your name, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I’m Eggerton! Don’t you remember me?

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yes… You work in Associated PR for extreme events. Is that correct?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, more or less, but I’ve been doing a lot more lately. I’ve taken on so much responsibility in different areas. You won’t believe what I can do now.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yes. Okay. If you would just maybe have a seat right over there.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. I’ll go sit over there. But here, okay. I’m going to go sit there—

SEAN (AS KAREN)

That would be great. Some gentlemen are going to come in a second.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, really?

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Just to, um…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hey, Karen, do you have any snacks?

SEAN (AS KAREN)

No, but the commissary is open.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The commissary? That seems kind of far.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

The gentlemen are going to take you to the commissary.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

As I recall it, you used to have a candy drawer.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Okay, I do have a candy drawer.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to switch you onto one of these really old fairy cakes. I know you’ve always liked my fairy cakes.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Just don’t—go slow. Whatever you’re reaching for, please—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, no, it’s just a fairy cake.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

No, please! Go slow! Don’t—aaa!

Silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s just a fairy cake!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Oh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, I’m going to give you one of those and if I can just have some of your candy, I can really use a refresher.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Okay, here, why don’t you take all of this?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, nice! Okay, here’s a fairy cake for you.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Great, perfect. Just leave it right there. Oh, look, here come the gentlemen.

The door opens and the security guard enters, talking in the same half-muffled voice as he did on the phone.

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Hello, this is Security, unless you’re in danger, in which case I should not say “Security” and I should say I’m with, um, Janitorial!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yes, thank you, Janitorial staff. If you could please escort… Eggerton?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah! It’s Eggerton.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

To the commissary?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’re going to get some food!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

(lowers her voice)

And then maybe the front door?

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Front door after commissary.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yeah, and you know, just take his badge and maybe escort him out.

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Sir, do you have an ID badge on you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohhh, I lost that like eighteen thousand years ago, I think?

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

So, you’re not employed here and possibly drunk and/or crazy. All right.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I was an employee here, but it was before I was an empl…

Okay, so here’s the thing. I went back in time a couple of times, then I saved time, then I saved everything. Now I’m back and we’re just going to hang out! It’s going to be awesome. Everything’s good now!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Yes, well, we thank you for your service, Eggerton. I think this gentleman’s just going to see you to the commissary—

(whispers)

—the front door.

Okay! Thank you for this lovely treat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, no problem! I hope you enjoy. Hey, I wonder how the battle’s going. What’s up with Blat?

Pop!

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Commissary has been moved to the front door, so we’re just going to head towards the front door. I assure you that’s where the commissary is. Please come with me.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Well, that was fast! Where did he go? Did you take him already?

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

No, I… we were just establishing the lie about the commissary. The commissary has not moved. It’s not in the front lobby.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

We really need to work on a code or something I can use in the future to let you know I have a person to get out of here.

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

If you just fire someone, that is security. But if they have a weapon and they’re screaming, then that’s janitorial.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Oh.

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Unless you need something clean, in which case you really call janitorial.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Okay, just write it down and send it to me, okay? Thank you… Johnson, was it?

CARTER (AS SECURITY GUARD)

Johnson, yes, Johnson.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Thank you.

DARCY

SEAN

We return to the Valley of the Kings.

Darcy, you are leaping with giant bounds through a world turned red when you reach the trees at the edge, and you realize you’re not being followed.

MARISA

So I stop and I turn around to see if anyone’s behind me or even in the distance behind me.

SEAN

You see way in the distance, you see—well I don’t know how far you ran, but you see all of the demons all gathered and moving around a little, but they seem to be doing something else. They’re not following you.

MARISA

So I have exhausted myself by this point and I just turn back into Darcy. And then I hide deeper into the trees.

SEAN

Okay.

MARISA

And then I start saying,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(whispers)

Blat? Eggerton? Is anyone around? Blat? Eggerton?!

EGGERTON

SEAN

We return to the centre as Lady Veth has just shouted at Gary and all of a sudden a tube appears in the air and someone shouts this strange phrase, which was,

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(echoing)

I am a minion of Morrigu!

SEAN

And the shell fires and there is an explosion that sends—it’s far larger than anything that has ever come out of this bazooka, and it sends the entire lines, including the Shadow Warriors, all flinging backwards, leaving a smoking crater as people are screaming. Lady Veth barely escapes being completely obliterated.

And Eggerton pops into existence.

Pop!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Karen?

What’s going on—aww, nuts! I thought it was a dream and it turns out…

This is… ya know, have you ever had one of those days?

DARCY

SEAN

Darcy, in the forest, you’re hiding, you’re calling out for everyone and you hear an explosion. You see a giant fireball rolling up into the sky, back from the clearing where you escaped from.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(softly)

Blat? Eggerton…?

SEAN

You hear screams on the wind, you hear shouts and confusion.

MARISA

So I slowly start to make my way back towards the clearing, but using shrubbery to hide me and trees and such, just to see if I can pick out anyone, even some fairies who might have been affected by the explosion.

SEAN

I can’t have anybody say shrubbery and not hear, “Shrubbery!”

CARTER

(in the same Monty Python falsetto)

Shrubbery!

MARISA

That’s why I say it!

SEAN

Okay, so you start working your way back and you get the sense that you’re not alone, but you don’t see or hear any fae. You definitely get the sense that you’re not alone as you’re working your way back.

BLAT

SEAN

Blat, you have never seen your weapon do this. It was like some of the weaponry that you’d seen on vids in the future, like, that could decimate an entire army.

You see all around, you see demons helping those who are wounded, you see them picking themselves up, some are limping. Lady Veth has retreated but is shouting at some of them.

And then you see Eggerton appear in the centre right beneath you, that’s all still smoky and on fire.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, so much for firing twice.

Oh! Eggerton! Can you see me? I’m in some sort of a pocket dimension or something.

SEAN

He does not seem to respond.

CARTER

I stick the bazooka tube out of the void and just start waving it around frantically.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled and distant)

Well, that’s unusual. Blat, are you around?

SEAN

You can hear him, it’s just everything’s a little muffled. So he’s looking around, he’s looking at the tube, but he doesn’t appear to see you. But you can hear him talking about you.

CARTER

Blat sticks the bazooka through the void as far as he can, drops it, and just holds his open hand out towards Eggerton.

SEAN

Eggerton, you see the bazooka come fully out of the void and drop to the ground, smoking, and the hand is there waiting for you and everything’s red, except there’s an inky blackness all around this hand. It looks maybe like Blat’s hand, but it has this black aura all around it, like flowing over it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so Blat, if that’s you, and I’m not saying it is or is not, there may be a bit of black licorice going on. Right, you remember that? Remember? Remember? That was the thing that we said, to talk about the M‑word? Anyway, I think some of that’s going on. So instead of taking your creepy hand, I’m going to take the bazooka!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What’s he saying? I can’t…

Eggsy. Eggsy. Just take my hand. Maybe if you grab it you can yank me out of this—oh, don’t take the weapon…

You shouldn’t take the weapon! Don’t take the weapon. That is very dangerous! You don’t know how to use… oh, you simpleton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ve seen Blat use this so many times, I’m sure I can do it myself!

DARCY

Soft chattering of what might be fae hiding nearby.

SEAN

Darcy, you have caught glimpses of creatures popping in and out of your peripheral vision, as if a whole bunch of them are following you as you move your way back through the forest and shrubbery. And in the field ahead of you that’s smoking, by the fae stone, you see one person. You see Eggerton standing in the smoking remains, holding the bazooka and you see all around, all of the warriors trying to get away.

MARISA

So I start running toward Eggerton.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton! Eggerton, what are you doing?!

MIKE

And I swing around pointing the bazooka at Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What are you—!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, hey Darcy, look what I found!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Will you put that down?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well no, I’m going to use it. Blat gave it to me.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hold on, hold on, okay—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

12 degrees starboard!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

14 degrees upward!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

18 on the juke—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Stop it!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And… fire!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aughh!

Click.

SEAN

And nothing happens.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs with relief)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that was a little disappointing.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Will you put that down!

MARISA

And I reach Eggerton by this point and I just almost slap the bazooka out of his hand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ow!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why do you have that bazooka? Where’s Blat?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, I don’t know where Blat is, but I saw a potential Blat hand but it was all spooky.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you mean spooky?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, remember back in the M days, um, there was sometimes that like black-licorice smell and there was things going on and… there would be bad things.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There was some of that going on.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well what would the M‑word be doing here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I dunno, what are any of us doing here? By the way, Karen got the corner office. Can you believe it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who’s Karen.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

After I saved all of time, she gets the corner office.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, did someone hit you on the head again? Have you had a fairy cake?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, but I did give one to Karen.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Who is Karen? Where is Blat? What is going on?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, I’m just gonna… just snapping fingers now. Just… hi-diddly-ho! Hello! Just… you see a hand! Come on, Darcy. Unlike our other friend, you have an IQ higher than your shoe size. Hello!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Would you like to be out of the void and back with your friends?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, this feels like a trick question.

Um, I’ve got part of myself out of the void. I just need to get the—oh, if I could just reach a pebble or something to throw at her…

Darcy!

SEAN

You see a pebble fly out and strike Darcy in the head.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Is that what you’re looking for?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ow!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, I didn’t ask for that! You did that on your own, so that’s fine.

Okay, all right. Look at the hand. Look at the hand. Look at the hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, did you see that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, someone’s waving real excitedly and it’s kinda spooky.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? Blat? Blat, is that you?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Finger point, finger point, finger point, finger point.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I think they’re angry at you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that’s definitely a Blat. He loves to point the finger.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He does love to point the finger.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, now I’m simply going to reach my head out with an open palm… just grab my wrist and yank.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Aagh! What did they do to his hand?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s what I’m saying!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, what’s wrong with your hand?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Why is everyone afraid of my hand all of a sudden? I’m not even holding anything!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, all right, so here’s what we’re going to do.

MARISA

And I walk over to where I assume there’s a lot of mushroom stalks everywhere and everything.

SEAN

There’s like half cooked houses. It smells quite good, like a giant roasted portobello.

MARISA

But as long as there’s some kind of stalk that’s intact, I grab that and I bring it back over and I put it into Blat’s hand and I’m like,

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Can you feel that, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Great, so we’re playing Pass the Mushroom.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Here, I’m just going to yank a bit.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right, you’re… oh lord, why can’t they just do this properly?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

What? I don’t understand.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, I don’t need you breathing down my neck right now, okay? We’re trying to figure this out. I don’t need your help. I don’t need any of your “be a god assistant” nonsense. My friends, I know are smart enough to get me out of a pocket dimension.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

I’m just here to assist my minion. Did I not do as you wished with the weapon?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, no, I did not agree to be your minion. I did not. I just thought because there were thirty giant demons around, they might be spooked.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Wait, let’s replay that. Here’s what I heard.

CARTER (AS BLAT’S VOICE REPLAYED)

I am a minion of Morrigu!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Okay, ha ha, again, I was saying that for a fact. I was just saying that because I thought it might spook them. Frankly, I don’t even know if demons in this era have even heard of you.

It didn’t work. There was a big kaboom. And now they’ve run away.

So now all I need my friends to do is to grab me by the old wrist-a-doodle, yank me out of the pocket dimension, and we can go about trying to reconstruct a mushroom city.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

That’s what you want.

SEAN

Darcy, you feel compelled. Like, your hand starts to move, as if to grab Lat’s hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no… I think something’s forcing me to touch his hand!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What? Something’s grabbing—what’s forcing you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know, but I can’t stop it!

SEAN

Your amulet begins to glow and it gives you a little bit of respite, but it’s still something is forcing your hand towards his hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Urgh—nghh! He’s so icy cold!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I didn’t realize that I was so hideous that none of my friends over the last two years, through everything we’ve been through, would be unwilling to just grab my hand!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Loxsyn is fighting me. I will destroy her later. Here, let’s do it with the little one.

SEAN

Eggerton, you feel suddenly doubled over, compelled to grab Lat’s hand.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I gotta do it. I need his hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? No!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

If I don’t grab his hand, something bad’s gonna happen. I don’t know what it is, but it’s gonna be bad. So I’m just gonna grab his hand.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Something bad is gonna happen if you—no!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, it’s okay. It’s fine. Just move out of the way. I’m gonna grab his hand. And…

SEAN

And you are pulled out.

Foop!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ugh!

(catches his breath)

What the heck is wrong with you two? This is obviously my arm. Just grab it! Why did it… It’s like five minutes, arguing over who’s gonna come into physical contact with Blat! Am I really that hideous?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

This… What’s all this, all around you? Do you see that? There. No. There it is again. See?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m sure my ensemble has taken a bit of damage. I’m sorry, but a standard work shirt isn’t used in this sort of abuse.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, it’s the black swirly misty stuff wreathing around your limbs. What is that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(looks, then shouts)

Okay, that was not the deal. I did not make a deal.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Who are you talking to, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m talking to… ohhhh, not gonna say it. We’ve learned that lesson. Not gonna say it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What aren’t you gonna say?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Not gonna say the M‑word.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Morrigu?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Nooo!

SEAN

There’s an explosion of lightning and all the demons scramble back even further away—and Blat’s back arches as he lifts into the air.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Gack!

SEAN

And you hear a familiar voice we call Blatman, who begins to repeat something you may recognize.

Churning guitars.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

(deep, husky voice)

When the three stand on fields bled blue / And heaven splits the sky in two / One shall rise to claim his throne / And the earth shall be overthrown.

Blat out.

BALGOMAR

MIKE

Cut to modern-day Balgomar. An office building in the government district.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

(sighs)

What a day. Jessica, hold all my future calls. I’m done for the day.

SEAN (AS KAREN’S ASSISTANT JESSICA)

Yes, Karen!

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Oh, I’ve got such a headache. I just need some candy. Oh, I gave that fool all my candy.

Karen opens a desk drawer.

SEAN (AS KAREN)

Well there is… I really shouldn’t. Who knows where he got this but…

Oh. Smells like cherry.

I’ll… just try a little piece.

Boom!

MIKE (AS NEWSCASTER)

This just in: Extremely devastating explosion downtown! Stay tuned for more at 7.

Balgomarian network music sting.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

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

Dialogue editing by Michael Howie. Transcription by Michael Howie and Marisa King. Music and sound design by Eli Hamada McIlveen. Story consultant: Laura Packer. Game consultant: Stephen Smith. Supporting producers: Becky Arenivar, Kona, Lillianne Johnston, Amber Kabbes and Ren.

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

OUTTAKE: R.I.P. THE CENTURION

SEAN

Okay.

MARISA

So dramatic. Did you kill the centurion?!

SEAN

(laughing)

I really don’t want the centurion back, but okay! I’m sure you guys will find a way to bring the centurion back. I’m without doubt.

Laughter.

MARISA

Sean doesn’t like him! That’s so sad.

CARTER

I think he’s served his purpose and Sean is trying to make that point known.

MARISA

(laughs)

MIKE (AS GARY)

He’s my mentor! I have to keep him alive!

SEAN

I’m sure you’ll all find a way to keep him alive.

MARISA

No, no, Darcy was gonna heal him and then I thought it wouldn’t follow my character.

MIKE

And that starts the spinoff of Gary travelling around with, um…

MARISA

The centurion?

MIKE

The centurion strapped to his back, like Chewbacca and C‑3PO.

Laughter.

CARTER (AS THE CENTURION)

Centurion, centurion, centurion. I need you to turn around so I can see where we’re walking!

MIKE (AS GARY)

But then I can’t see where we’re walking!