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52: Sulfur Night

Besieged in Snowball’s cave, Darcy, Eggerton and Reginald look for a way out. Meanwhile, Blat makes himself at home – and receives an unexpected visitor for the holidays.

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

Content warning: war, imprisonment, isolation, bullying, bodily harm, poisoning, vomiting, bugs and dragon butts.

LAST TIME…

Fast-paced music plays.

ANNOUNCER

Last time on The End of Time and Other Bothers:

A laughing Reginald cleaves Eggerton in half with his battle axe.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You died.

Eggerton rematerializes and plummets to the ground again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaaa!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

You died and came back.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Why?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

This is the book that I trained in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, you’re Reginald!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Are we still in the cave with the dragon?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

(on a television)

Snowball got you right where we needed you.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I may have done bad things to Reginald.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

To get answers.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(signing a contract)

“Blathoxil”…

All right! I’m the guardian of the book. Reginald can go topside.

Marzipan wants to come out and play.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

You can have full will right now. All you have to do is say my name.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

The swarm is coming. And I’ve also activated some Centurion friends for you.

CARTER (AS BALGOMARIAN ROBOT CENTURION)

I AM A CLUE!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

They’re not clues. They’re sent here to distract us.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

They’ve been ahead of us every step of the way. Someone is a traitor.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Before, I was homeless, and now I am very respected and looked well upon by others.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

And you have thousands of shoes.

CARTER (AS THE PORTAL SALESMAN)

Ha ha!

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

I trusted them.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. I’ve got a name for you…

Morrigu!

A thunderous explosion.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Finally.

SEAN (AS FROMPTON)

Wait a minute. Where’s the book?

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

There’s no better way to hide something than to put it into the Balgomarian postal system. Goodbye, Blat!

Von Frompton drops the book into a rusty mailbox.

SEAN (AS DEREK VON FROMPTON)

Let’s go buy some shoes, shall we?

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

SEAN

Darcy, Eggerton, and Reginald are standing in the cave. Reginald does not look good. He’s got pierced tails of scorpions sticking out from various parts of his body.

And there is a roar as Snowball shouts,

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

Incoming!

SEAN

…and blasts into the cave entrance, knocking everyone aside.

Snowball hits the ground and slides, starts to stand up, and shakes and almost collapses. But then Snowball manages to stand.

Behind them, in the darkness that is the night, you hear the sound of thousands of buzzing, banshee-screaming, dog-sized, flying scorpions. The sky would be black with them if it wasn’t nighttime.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, okay. Let me talk to them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I… Well, I thought maybe you might want to, Darcy, you’d be like, “Hey, no, no, I’ll do it. I want to do it this—”

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No,

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah. Why don’t you go?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why don’t you do that?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah. Here, I’ll give you a little shove.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aa! Whoa!

Okay, well… what if you tie a rope around me? And then if I get too close, you can pull me back? ‘Cause… no?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Anybody got a rope?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, well…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Snowball, do you have a rope?

Heh. Snowball.

SEAN (AS SNOWBALL)

No, no rope.

Awkward silence.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so I guess I’ll just go up and try talking, because that’s…

It’s fine. No, it’s fine. You guys just stay here. I’m in charge. I’ll take care of this. Everyone, remain calm and stay here.

(whispers)

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Loxsyn, what am I going to do? Okay, okay, okay.

(deep breaths)

Be brave. Be brave. Be the night.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Should we do something? Stop him?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It gets very tiring after a long time. I read somewhere you’ve got to let people make their own mistakes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, stretch it out—a little bit of lat pulls…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay. In the meantime, maybe we should figure out what we can do to block the entrance or slow them down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(high, then low)

Vocal cord warm up… Vocal cord warm up!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, do you have any big rocks?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And shake the tush around, get that loose…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

There’s a lot of boxes here with the word “CLUE” on them.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, maybe we should block it up with that. If you just move Eggerton over there to do his exercises.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay, so just step over here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, sure, okay. I guess yeah, if you guys want to go and talk—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, you keep limbering up, buddy. Keep limbering up.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I’ll… a toe touch and oh, that’s my hips.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And then maybe we can just move all these boxes here in front of the entrance.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay, I got this one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Left side, left side, left side… Other left side.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Do you think we can move these metal centurions?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I guess? You guys are big.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaand… okay, get that stretched out.

A robot centurion turns with a motorized whir.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

CLUE. REMEMBER, I MIGHT BE A CLUE. SEARCH ME FOR CLUES!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, it’d be easier if I could search you right in front of this entryway. Could you stand there, please?

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

I WILL STAND HERE.

The centurion begins walking.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, he’s… wow.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

I WILL STAND HERE AND BLOCK THIS SEVEN-FOOT HOLE AMIDST ALL THE OTHER CLUE BOXES.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Perfect. That’s where—we want all our clues in one place. It really helps us to organize our thoughts.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

REMEMBER, THE CLUES IN THE BOXES ARE PROBABLY NOT AS IMPORTANT AS THE CLUE INSIDE MY PANEL!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

That was impressive, actually.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, and eyeballs. Get those good and open. And closed! And left.. right..

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, if we just let him do that for a while, it keeps him busy and out of our way.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

So—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Gotta do the quick release fairy cake bag grab.

Top left bottom, right. Top left bottom, right. Top left bottom, right. Other side! Top right…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

How are you with poison?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you mean taking it or giving it?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Taking it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why would I take poison?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Well, I’m just checking. As demons, we can handle quite a bit of it, but there’s a lot of those scorpions.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think I do well at all with it.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Good to know. Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wing flap… wing flap…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think it would probably kill me immediately.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Right. Okay. So maybe you should stay at the back.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I’ll go to the back.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Behind Snowball.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, and maybe even behind Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, are you going to stretch with me, Darcy? Come here! Come here! Come on, we’ll do it together.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We’ll just do a little—okay, ready? One, two, three and…

Left stretch side… right stretch side….

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Right stretch side….

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And toe touch—oh! You can actually touch your toes.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And ceiling touch…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Let’s go.

SEAN

And there is an explosion as body after body, scorpion after scorpion, slams into the boxes and the wall that’s been constructed. And it’s all starting to budge and move. And it’s a high—it’s like a staccato drum roll. They are striking and striking. They seem limitless.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Doesn’t any good cave have a back exit? Isn’t there another way out of here?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I do recall watching a spelunking special at one point and there’s very frequently another exit deeper in the crevasse of the cave.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think that might be our only option.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We got to go out the small back hole.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Um, well, Snowball would know…

SEAN

And you all turn and look at Snowball, the dragon has collapsed to the ground and is not moving.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Snowball?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What… Well, we can’t leave Snowball here, but how do we move him?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

He looks like he took a lot of stingers.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, Eggerton? Start sucking out the poison.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aww, again?

Theme music plays—a variation for Christmassy brass quartet and punk rock band.

ANNOUNCER

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

Episode 52: Sulfur Night.

ONCE UPON A TIME…

SEAN

We appear to be in Balgomar—a part of the city that has seen better days.

A small demon child is kicking a can… and then freezes as a group of teenagers down the street turn and shout at them.

The small child runs and the demon teenagers laugh and begin to chase. The young demon child dashes under a fence and crawls through rancid, awful smelling water, trying not to gag… a mountain of refuse piling up ahead of them.

The small child freezes as the teenagers run up outside the fence, and their feet stop. And then they laugh.

SEAN (AS A TEENAGER)

I’m not going in there! It’s the dump.

We’ll get him later, don’t worry.

SEAN

And they move on. The boy waits, shivering in the water as long as he can and then he turns and vomits from the stench.

And as he stands up, he bumps the pile of trash, which begins to shift, sending refuse falling down all over him. And as he shakes it off, his foot hits something.

And there’s a book, a battered book, lying at his feet.

With a shimmer of magic, the boy disappears.

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Wha—I’m—falling! Falling! Aaaa! Aaa…

Whump.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Oof. Oh… what the…? What is… Where am I?

All that smoke…. At least it’s warm.

(shouts)

Hello?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Greetings, little one.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

(startled)

Oh! Where are you?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I am here.

I am everywhere.

I am the darkness.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Is that you crouching down behind that table?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I am also crouching down behind a table.

I was… enjoying some crumpets when you arrived. I didn’t have much time to prepare.

So. You wish to become a demon warrior.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

What?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

And in order to do so…

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

No—I would like some crumpets!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You must defeat… oh well, we have crumpets. Yes, we can do that instead.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Oh, oh, okay.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Just take them off this plate. Every one you take, another one shall appear.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Oh, wow. It’s okay if I take one?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, go ahead and take one. Just don’t ask for anything else. It’s just tea and crumpets in here. That’s it.

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Tea?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Do you like tea?

SEAN (AS THE YOUNG DEMON)

Well, yeah, I haven’t had tea very often. I like tea.

My name’s Reginald, by the way. What’s your name?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Your name is… Reginald.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah.

This is sort of nice! I was thinking what I was going to do for Night of the Sulfur. And I thought, you know, I didn’t expect to be having tea and crumpets.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Sulfur Night.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah, it’s tonight.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

That’s the demonic holiday—I remember that from the textbooks.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah! Once a year, right? Everyone gets together and burns things.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Reginald, real quick, just one question.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

(mouth full)

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

This is a really good crumpet.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, yes, thank you.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

(still muffled)

You’re right! Another one appeared!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

It’s magical, I know, but again, there’s nothing else. Tea and crumpets.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

That’s enough.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

The demons in your family, how old do you think they live?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

My family?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Just on average.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

…I’m the last one.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You’re the last one?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah.

I didn’t have anywhere to go tonight.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

No other family.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Well, I have a sister. I haven’t seen her in a while.

I’ll have another crumpet.

(muffled)

It appeared again!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

(whispers)

It could be him.

Then the trainer will… train the trainer, who will then later on… train the trainer who trained the trainer—ohhhh, my head hurts.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Are you okay? Would you like some tea? There’s two cups here.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

(sighs)

There’s always two cups here. Watch.

Oopsie, I dropped one.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

No, no, careful! Oh, wow.

Another teacup appears.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

There we go.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Uh. Can I pour you a tea?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, we’re starting already. Yes, you can pour me a tea.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay, uh… I’ve never seen anyone with all this blackness coming off them before. Is it like a cloak or something?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

No, it’s, um… It’s badness.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, wow.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

If anyone asks you to become the talking head for a demonic force as part of a new religion, you say—

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yes!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

—no.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh. No. Right. No. No. Right. I say no.

Okay. Thanks.

Well, you seem really nice for a… head of a talking mouth of a religion of badness.

Crumpet? Look, there’s another one!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

So, how long have I been in here? I’ve chosen to stay inside the book so that…

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Wait, what do you mean inside a book? What?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You’re inside a book right now.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

(laughs)

But… I can see flames. And the planes—look, they go on for…

A book? I found a book! I found a book in the dump!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

The dump?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah, I was hiding from the bullies and then I touched the book.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I have no idea how long I’ve been in here.

So somehow the book got away from Darcy and… all right, it got away from Eggerton. That’s not much of a surprise, but it got away from Darcy.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

You okay?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Probably not.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

So, why are you in the book?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, I chose to stay in the book so that the, um… force in the back of my head wouldn’t get out into the world and force me to do its evil bidding.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, the thing I’m supposed to say no to.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Yes, exactly.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay.

How do we leave the book?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, I can’t leave the book. But, well, frankly, I don’t know what could possibly stop you from leaving the book. All you have to do is…

Well, maybe we can make this simple.

Pick up your teacup.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay, uh…

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Now…

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Pinky up or pinky down?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Doesn’t matter. Throw it at me.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

What if I, um…

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Throw it at me!

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

But it’s, like, a—

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Throw it at me!

Smash.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Dah!

Well, you’ve defeated me in combat. You’re free to go.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, okay. Okay. Can I take a crumpet?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

No, you can take as many as you want. It doesn’t matter.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay, I’m just going to load up with a bunch of these.

Okay. All right, I’m ready!

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

All right, so, uh…

GO.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay. Goodbye.

I’m just going to start walking?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I just… thought that you would just vanish or something. Uh. You defeated me in combat.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I have to defeat you in combat?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I thought the teacup would work. Maybe we’re going to have to try something a little bit more violent.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Well, I’m really not, you know, violent. I actually was thinking of doing theatre. But then, you know, I dropped out of school. But, you know, I sort of liked it. I had some friends. You know, it was pretty good. I didn’t get any major parts or anything. But, you know, I… Yeah, I’ll stop talking now.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

A lot of people who like the theatre dropped out of school.

All right, we may have to try something a little bit more violent. But the, uh, goddess in the back of my head kind of prevents that from happening. But we can give it a whirl.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Bazooka.

Blat’s bazooka materializes.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Whoa! Oh! Wow! That looks like a Centurion weapon!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, it kind of is. Now, you take this.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You see this?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I’ve got to say, this is the best Sulfur Night ever.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Consider this your Sulfur Night present.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, wow.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

All right, now…

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Ha ha, those boys, they’re not going to mess with me with this.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, they’re definitely not going to mess with you with this.

All right, now just look through that.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

All right.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

And then when I get far enough away, you’re going to pull this thing, push it down, and then I’m not going to be around for a second or two.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

No, I can’t do that. I…

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

No, you can do that.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

No, I would be firing this at you—that would kill you.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Only temporarily.

All right. Here I am.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

(whispers)

Am I dreaming? This has got to be a dream. Limitless crumpets and a bazooka?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

So just pull it and then you can get out of here.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

(whispering)

Okay, so the bazooka is really just my self-esteem and my desire to overcome the bullies of my life and to be something and to one day be on stage so I can sing!

I’m going to do it! I’m pulling the trigger!

A rocket launches from the bazooka with a hiss and detonates. Blathoxil respawns a moment later with a whoosh.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Okay, I’m back.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Wow, you are back!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

No! Why are you still here?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I don’t know.

Um. So did you have any plans for Sulfur Night?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, I didn’t know it was Sulfur Night. I’ve been in here for I don’t know how long.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

We could build a fort out of crumpets!

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

SEAN

We’re in the cave.

Snowball the dragon is not moving. Darcy and Eggerton and Reginald are staring at the wall as it begins to break and buckle, boxes starting to pull apart, and two centurions sitting there talking about clues as scorpions are scurrying everywhere, pounding against the wall and trying to break through their tails, stabbing into the area any place they can find.

SEAN (AS GROWN-UP REGINALD)

It’s not going to hold, Darcy. We need to have another plan. It’s coming down. I’ll hold them back as long as I can.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How are we supposed to move a huge dragon?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And I’m having a little bit of trouble stretching out my lower back right now.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think that plan, we’re going to move on from that plan, Eggerton. You can stop stretching.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We need to be limber. I don’t want to pull something.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, we might have to pull this dragon, so maybe your stretching will help.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. Okay, so just here, if I just lean over and then if you just gently press on my back, don’t push, just like put your hands on my back for just a little bit of gravity.

SEAN

Reginald unsheathes his giant battle axe.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, I don’t think you need that. That’s not going to help with this.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, we’re going to need this.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, we need to reconnoiter at the back of the cave and find a way out of here. Let’s go.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right, let’s go, team!

SEAN

And suddenly, all the scorpions stop.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It got real quiet. Maybe that recon-touring was all we needed.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It might be a trap.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s always a trap.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You know what I like to say about traps? They might have a treat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You never say that. What are you talking about?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, no, I’m just saying that like in most circumstances, there’s the possibility of a treat. And if we look at everything, it sounds like you’re both looking at this as a totally negative situation.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, the treat’s usually death in a trap, Eggerton. When have we ever had a treat in a trap?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, I have treats all the time. I mean, I’ve got these fairy cakes. You want one?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, and don’t they usually explode or something?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, some of them explode. But like I came up with these new ones when I was just wandering around the cave a bit.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What? You just wandered around the cave and came up with some new fairy cakes?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things that you’re kind of always thinking about. And sometimes you just let the subconscious flow and you end up with something.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Look, there’s light outside. It must be dawn.

I’m going to—I’m going to—can you get that centurion to move a little?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, hey, centurion, really want to find a clue. The light wasn’t good over there. It’s better over here.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

PANEL! IT IS IN MY PANEL. YOU CAN JUST OPEN MY PANEL TO GET SAID CLUE.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, got to get the right tools to do that. Just, uh, just give us—

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

IT UNSCREWS EASILY. NO TOOL IS NEEDED. COME, OPEN MY PANEL FOR CLUE!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I like to take a lot of time before I open strange people’s panels. So why don’t you come over here? We’ll get to know each other better. And, uh, then who knows?

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

WE ARE WASTING A LOT OF TIME, WHICH I WAS TOLD IS A GOOD THING. PLEASE SEARCH FOR A TOOL THAT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR OPENING MY PANEL!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excellent. All right, so move on over here.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

LET US WASTE AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE RETRIEVING THE CLUE!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It’s really uncanny how you get them to move.

They’ve all backed off. Look.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, how can that be? Are they allergic to daylight or something?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I don’t know. They’re still circling.

SEAN

And you see a wall of moving, flying dog-sized scorpions.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Huh.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

But they’re not attacking.

Wait, here comes one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, he’s looking a little wobbly flying in.

A scorpion buzzes in and lands.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

(excitable buzzing)

Zzzzllllzzz!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh! Hi! Hi.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Take me to your leader!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s me.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Oh! Zzzzzz!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, you’re so dog-like in your size.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

You trying to be funny or is that a slur?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, no, that’s a compliment. I mean, I was told you’re dog-sized scorpions and sure enough, here you are in front of me—

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

We call ourselves scorpion-sized scorpions!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that makes sense because you’re a scorpion and you’re sized… This is your normal size. You were not magicked in any way?

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Ehhhh.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So you’re just a scorpion. You’re a flying scorpion.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Really, you’re in charge?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

This is you? You’re in charge?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, yeah, it’s cool.

So just so everyone else knows, I know you don’t all have the same like abilities to hear things. So this is one of the dog… or sorry, scorpion-sized scorpions.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Thank you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They have come to speak with me and conference.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

I’m not so sure about that part any more—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s fine. It’s fine. About how we’re going to move forward. So I’ll just, you know, can we just like open up this a little bit more for a doorway for them to come… What’s your name?

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Ziggzawul.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ziggz…

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Ziggzawul!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ziggzawooo!

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

It’s close enough.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

All right. So Ziggzuzawun here wants to come in and talk.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

No, it’s not coming in.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, you’re not coming. Why? No, I invited you in.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s polite.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

No, no. It is the Sulfur Night! Zzzzz!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What?

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Sulfur Night. It is the day of Sulfur Night!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s the day of the night?

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

We will not attack on this day.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What… You’re not going to attack on the day because it’s night?

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Sulfur Night is tonight.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So, “so far tonight is tonight”.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Is there anyone else we can talk to?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I know. I feel like I’m the, you know, everyone looks to me for my leadership skills, so—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton. He’s saying it’s Sulfur Night.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, you can understand him?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. We can all hear what he’s saying.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. So it’s… everyone, it’s Sulfur Night.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And they’re not attacking because of the day.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So what’s Sulfur Night exactly?

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Once a year, it is a holy day for all of us to celebrate, bring coals on flame to our friends and our enemies to lay down arms. Sulfur Night.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, so it’s like Solstice or something like that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We get it. This is actually really coincidental and helpful to us that it happens to be today!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

We will be setting up the drinks, food right out here. You are welcome to come. We do have to keep our flying patrols, keeping you trapped here, of course…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah. Union regulation. You can’t just, you can take time off, but you can’t stop the work. Yeah, no, I get you.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Zzzzz. But we will not attack this day.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, that’s nice of you.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Or night.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Or night. But what, where’s the line? Is it with the moon? Is it with the sun? Is there a specific time piece that we all need to connect to?

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

It is the day. It is the morning.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so when the sun’s gone, you’re going to attack.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

No, that is Sulfur Night proper. A Night of Sulfur when the sun goes down. But tomorrow at dawn…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, tomorrow at dawn.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

We must eradicate you, all of you.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so it’s less about today and more about tomorrow.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Is there anyone…? You’re welcome to come and have a treat. Bring something—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Let me get my appointment book out here…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Excuse me, since it is Sulfur Night.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Day of Sulfur Night.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sorry, Sulfur Day before the night. I would think that you want to extend what we call an olive branch to your enemies. You know, no one gets hurt. You say you’re offering us food. Do you have any antidotes for your poison that maybe we could share with our friends?

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Sure, of course. Okay.

SEAN

And he signals and you see a bunch of them come flying down and they drop some vials.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oooh!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Thank you very much!

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

There you go! But—tomorrow morning, zzz!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. Tomorrow morning we all die. We’re gone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Tomorrow morning. We’re good.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

(buzzing and chuckling)

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

But it’s tomorrow at dawn. We’re all clear. So when the sun peeks above the horizon.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Dawn. Yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just want to make sure. There could be translation issues—

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Is there anyone else we can speak to? Zzzz!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I just met this one fairy named Dawn and she was always late. So I want to make sure we’re all on the same page.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’ll come and get some food in a little bit. We appreciate the offer, thank you. We just need a bit of time.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Happy Sulfur Night.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, thank you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Happy Sulfur Day!

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Oh, wait, wait! Here!

SEAN

And he dumps some burning hot coals on the ground.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh my!

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

For you! Ha ha.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Thank you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow, those are great.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

And you could…? You’re not going to reciprocate. Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, no—uh, uh, and also with you!

MIKE

And I pick up a rock and like—huff, huff, huff—to heat it, and hand it over.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

For you. From all of us.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

Um.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We all signed it.

SEAN (AS ZIGGZAWUL)

(grumbles)

SEAN

And he flies away.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Look, he flew away without any stretching or warm up.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you see what’s just happened?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, he’s gonna cramp later!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We’ve been given a reprieve here. We can use this antidote to get Snowball on their feet and then we can find a way out of here! We have a whole day and night.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Nice. All right. Okay. So how do we use this? Like, we’ve got 18 tiny vials and one giant dragon.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t know. Do you see any instructions on them? Just read this vial. What does it say? How do you administer it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um, it says something…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It’s not rectally, is it?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Um. No, no…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

It’s really small print. I don’t know what they’re…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s not… no, it’s definitely not rectal. It says “Through the bum”.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uhhh, yeah, that’s rectal.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh my.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

So you should get on that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, okay. Can you lift the tail for me maybe?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know if I can. That’s a very heavy tail.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I can lift the tail.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You can lift the tail? All right. You lift the tail.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Reginald’s going to lift the tail.

Creaking sounds.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ll just get all of these clunked together in one. So they’re kind of…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. Well,

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

I don’t want to watch.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No. And then, okay. Now if you just kind of like lift the tail.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And then I’m just going to…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uhhh…

FOOMP. Gurgle.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Was he supposed to go in with it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He likes to commit.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay.

Indistinct gurgling sounds.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

CLUE! EVERYONE HERE NEEDS TO GET A CLUE! CLUE!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, hold on. I’m going to shut this thing off.

A yank and a shower of sparks.

CARTER (AS ROBOT CENTURION)

(powering down)

CLUE. CLUUUUUE.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(sighs)

There’s a package here in the back of it if you want.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

There actually was something inside it?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah. Well, it’s gift wrapped. It might be a trap.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, here, Eggerton. You should open it. Oh, what am I saying? He’s not out yet. Okay. Sorry.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

(shouts)

Eggerton, are you in there?

Muffled shouting and gurgling sounds from inside Snowball.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, I think he’s okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. All right. Well… come out any time!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(muffled)

Okay, okay. I can get out…

Gurgling, farting and rude squelching sounds.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Nnngthhhh!

(emerges, gasping)

Whoo!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay. And then you might need to just wipe yourself off.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh. Oh, boy.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Smells like sulfur for sure now!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Ooh, yeah. Sulfur Night for sure.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s better.

MIDROLL ANNOUNCEMENTS

Music sting.

ELI

(sings)

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

ELI

Hey, it’s Eli.

SEAN

And it’s Sean.

ELI

And yeah, this is our holiday special, unexpected.

SEAN

And it’s in story. Like, it’s in the timeline.

ELI

Yeah, I tossed out the idea to Sean, “Yeah, we should do something for the holiday. And do we set it outside the timeline?” “Nope.”

SEAN

Nope.

ELI

Sean just jumped in.

SEAN

I was like, I was actually on the toilet and I was like, “Oh, oh, yes! The book! The mail!” I won’t say any more. Yeah.

ELI

Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, we had that thread dangling from last session and it just played in perfectly.

SEAN

So we just want to wish each and every one of you an amazing… is it Solstice? Solstice, holiday, everything. Thank you all so much. And we hope you were able to spend time with loved ones.

ELI

Yeah. The right amount of time with everybody you love.

SEAN

(laughs)

With family, yes. And we’ll be back soon. Thank you, everyone.

ELI

Yeah, thanks. We’re taking a break from the main story for a couple of weeks, but we have a couple of Nexus Files episodes in the can. So that’s going to be coming to you in January. And then we’re going to be reconvening the table.

SEAN

And we’ll be back soon!

ELI

Yeah. Thanks, everyone. Happy Sulfur Night.

Music sting.

MIDROLL: SPECIAL DUTY

Sounds of battle. Demonic shouts and clanging of swords.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Sally.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

I’m not happy with this placement where we have to watch this imbecile.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Well, it’s what we’ve been told to do, and I’m not going to go against the queen.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Of course not. But maybe you shouldn’t have been first to volunteer us for special duty.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

What, someone says special and then duty? I either think that it’s going to be something incredibly exciting or…

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Poop.

They both chortle.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

A special poop!

MIKE (AS GARY)

Hey, guys. What are you talking about? You telling jokes? I like jokes.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

(sighs)

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Hi, Gary.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Hi. I just heard you laughing over here and thought I’d check it out.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

How’s it going in the battle?

MIKE (AS GARY)

Oh, well, you know, battles, how they go. I was on the front lines, you know. And then I had to, you know… I led the withdrawal of our support.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes. We helped stop you from dying while doing that.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Well, I don’t know that I was going to die.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Oh, look at this sword that was going to go in your back.

MIKE (AS GARY)

What? Where did you get that?

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Hey, hey, hey, hey. She wants him alive.

MIKE (AS GARY)

I want me alive, too.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes. So… what are you up to now, Gary?

MIKE (AS GARY)

Oh, well, you know, I’m thinking about next steps. I was thinking about, you know, going into school to learn about stage makeup. The coliseum’s always looking for new people to come up with ways of challenging and debates. And I thought learning how to apply the mysterious smokey eye would be…

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Maybe we should follow Lady Veth’s orders and round up the stragglers!

MIKE (AS GARY)

Which… the stragglers? Yes. Yes! The stragglers, because they can forage for the components we need in order to get the proper rouge. You see, you need the proper rouge to make the cheeks pop.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Sally is talking about stage again.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

I know. Why don’t we just put him on one and let him talk himself to death?

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Wait, wait, you’ve got something there. You have always been brilliant, if not too brilliant, to get us on bad duties.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Oh, stop.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

I said “doodies”.

They chortle.

MIKE (AS GARY)

You know I can hear you. Like, I’m right here.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

You did not know this, but Lady Veth has a special mission for you.

MIKE (AS GARY)

She does?

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

She needs you to pretend.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Pretend?

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

To become, sorry, to be the actor, as you said, of the General leading the retreat!

MIKE (AS GARY)

The General! The greatest role. And I know just the inspiration. I know exactly what General to base this great character off of.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Oh god.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Are you ready?

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

I don’t think so.

KRISTI (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

Yes, who?

MIKE (AS GARY AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so who’s got a pot for my head? Because that’s how you really rate yourself as a great General.

SEAN (AS DEMON SOLDIER)

That’s it, I’m killing him with the sword.

Oh, go ahead.

MIKE (AS GARY)

Hlgk!

THE FORBIDDEN PLANES

SEAN

We return to the Forbidden Plains, the smoke billowing off into the distance, and there are two demons sitting at a table having tea and crumpets: a large one with wispy blackness flowing off of them and a smaller demon child.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Now what I’m saying is, it’s perfectly fine if you have an interest in theatre. It’s just that you’ll need a backup plan, as any adult will tell you. Now your backup plan might be learning how to murder things and one day being guardian of a book.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I’m really not good with those kind of things. I thought I could be a shopkeeper or something, you know, or an accountant. I was thinking maybe I’m okay with numbers. I’m just not very strong. I’m like a little demon. I’m not as big as the other demons.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

But here’s the thing. If you’re adept at a weapon, you don’t need to be very big. Plus, you’re little. You’ll get bigger as you get older.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, like a bazooka weapon?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, you might want to try something a bit more remedial at first, like something with a sharp edge that you can cleave people in half with.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, okay. I don’t know. I just… urgh! I don’t know if I can cut anyone in half. That’s just… I’m going to think I’m going to be… Excuse me. I think I’m going to…

(retches)

Sorry.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

It’s a shame that that doesn’t disappear.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah. At least you can’t smell it over all the sulfur.

Well, I just want to say it’s one of the best Sulfur Nights I’ve ever had. You know, it’s been really good.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

This is absolutely the best Sulfur Night that I’ve ever had.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Aww. It’s too bad we couldn’t go see the show. But, you know, aside from that, I think it’s a pretty good time.

Where do you sleep?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, I’m not even aware of the passage of time. I usually just…

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Crouch behind the table?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, I sit at the chair at the table. I only crouched when I heard you appear because I was worried that something violent was going to happen to me.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, right. Well, there’s nothing wrong with hiding. I hide all the time. There’s bullies in my neighbourhood. They’re really mean. I have to hide all the time from them.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, it’s a shame you can’t get out of here because that bazooka would certainly teach those neighbourhood bullies a lesson.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I didn’t think I was going to get to keep it. I thought you were just letting me use it once to murder you.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

It’s all right. I can just call them up just like the tea and the crumpets keep appearing. Watch.

Bazooka.

Another bazooka appears.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Wow. Can you create like, a Projectatron?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

If I could create a Projectatron, don’t you think I’d be watching a Projectatron right now?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah, I see what you mean…

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I’m just eating tea and crumpets. That’s it. I would like to eat something else, but that’s all I’ve got. If I could eat a bazooka…

Another bazooka appears.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

…I’d eat it, but I can’t.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I’ll just set this one over here.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Yeah, see, it doesn’t matter. We could literally create these things for days.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

You know, I don’t know if I want to leave the book or whatever it is.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, you don’t want to leave?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I don’t know. I was just thinking, you know, it’s pretty good in here.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You think maybe you’d like to become the guardian of the demon book?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh, no, I was told to say no to that. By you!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, that would just be for, you know, becoming the voice of an evil spirit. No, no, no. What I’m talking about is working inside this book and training any demons who wish to become demonic warriors. Totally different thing.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I would have to know how to be a warrior. I wouldn’t know how to train anyone. Except how to hide! I’m good at hiding.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Again, it’s just cutting people in half. It’s really not that difficult.

Lord, I wish I knew more about your past so I could figure this out.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I’d have to have a weapon, I guess. Start practicing with it. It’s not like I can just make a weapon—

A battle axe appears in Reginald’s hands.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Whoa! Look at that. Whoa, this is heavy. Ow, that’s sharp.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

That’s your axe.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Ow, I think I cut myself.

Oh. Well, I have the weapon! I can’t quite lift it.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Hmm. So you don’t think you could maybe cleave me in half with it?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Not unless you fell on it.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Hmm.

Well, let’s try that.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

What? No, no, don’t, don’t, don’t—aah!

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Ugh!

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

(whimpering)

Aaa! What did—where’d he go?

Blathoxil rematerializes.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

All right, so that sort of worked.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay, please don’t do that again.

I don’t understand why you keep reappearing.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, in here, you can’t actually die. Every time you do, you just sort of drop out of the sky and land on the plains again.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Well, how do you leave?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, the guardian of the book can’t leave.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Oh.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

And the only way for someone else to leave is to defeat the guardian of the book in mortal combat.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Are you the guardian of the book?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Temporarily.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

No, he’s not.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay, who was that?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

That’s weird. I thought only I could hear her.

All right. Reginald, Morrigu. Morrigu, Reginald.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

H‑hello?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

Why are you doing this?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Why am I doing this? I’m having someone over for Sulfur Night!

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

It’s a day of power. We could be doing anything. You can leave at any time.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

But if I leave, you’d want me to do something, you know, bad in your name.

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

What can I do to explain to you? You are my defender now. I don’t control you. You can choose to not be whatever it is you call this again, fat man or whatever.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Hmm. And where are you exactly? Are you literally just in the back of my head?

SEAN (AS MORRIGU)

We are one.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Are you talking to me, or…?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

So now you can’t hear her?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

No. You’re sort of talking to me.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Ah, it comes and goes. That’s weird.

(sighs)

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

So… are you the defender of the book?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I am the defender of the book.

Would you like to be the defender of the book?

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

I don’t know. I certainly don’t want to go back out there. So… maybe?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

There are no bullies in here.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah, I noticed.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You seem to like the tea and crumpets.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah, a lot.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I just didn’t think that you came here as such a small little bitty, bitty thing.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Hey! I’m still… I’m grown, growing, um…

Yeah, I’m pretty small.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Let me see if I can find the remains of that contract.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

You mean this one here under the crumpets?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh, that’s it. Yeah, yeah. So…

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

It’s really long.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Uh… can you make out my signature there at the bottom? A lot of it’s been burned away.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Yeah, no, I don’t really see a signature.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Try putting your name down at the bottom of it.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Should I read it first?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Well, if you want, if that’s important to you.

SEAN (AS YOUNG REGINALD)

Okay, no, okay. All right, I’m gonna sign. I don’t have a… Oh, there’s a pen suddenly.

Okay. Whoof. Here we go!

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

Raucous dance-punk music and a cheering crowd.

SEAN

There’s the sound of partying and the buzzing and the skittering of very large scorpions, uh, moving to and from the punch bowl, and Eggerton is standing near a rack of cakes that are about, go up about eight feet tall.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so these are the special sulfur cakes. Personally, not a big fan of the smell, but I’ve been told that scorpions of all sizes love them. So, Darcy, Darcy, do you want to try a scorpion cake? They’re not made with scorpions, they’re made with love for scorpions.

SEAN (AS A PARTY SCORPION)

Oh, I’ll try one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, okay, it’s you again, Zzzzuzzz! Oh, no, no, sorry. I’m sorry, you look so much like your brother. It’s Zzuzz.

SEAN (AS ZZUZZ)

Oh, yes, yes, very good, yes.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m getting better at it. I’m getting better. Okay, here you go. Try this one.

SEAN (AS ZZUZZ)

Oh, thanks.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, there you go. It’s a little yellow.

SEAN (AS ZZUZZ)

I’ll have the whole one.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You have to have it all in one bite if you can. That’s how you get the full effect.

Zzuzz the scorpion begins to transform.

SEAN (AS ZZUZZ)

Ho! Wow! Zzzzz… Whoa!

There’s a squelch and a popping sound.

SEAN (AS ZZUZZ)

(giggling happily)

That is amazing!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right? And now you look like a golden retriever!

SEAN (AS ZZUZZ)

Oh, wheeow! I’m going to tell everyone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so there’s a lot of things we can all be doing to celebrate sulfur, but it seems like you’re mostly focused on like a hole in the back of the cave and why Snowball’s not really woken up yet, even though he’s very clearly just sleeping off the medication we gave him.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You know, tomorrow that scorpion who you just gave the cake to is going to kill you if we don’t get out of here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, tomorrow at dawn.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…Yes. But maybe—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes, so we’ve got time!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Maybe we should be putting plans in place, because how much time do you think we have once you’ve gone through all your cakes and your carousing and your telling all your many, many stories? Don’t you think you’re going to suddenly go, “Oops, it’s dawn! Let me go talk to them! I can do it!” And then you’re going to limber up for 15 minutes and we’re not going to get anywhere. Ever think of that?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

…No.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, you never do.

SEAN (AS GROWN-UP REGINALD)

There you are. It just feels really strange hanging out with these scorpions after they’ve attacked me so much.

Um. No luck at the back of the cave yet.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

There are a couple other passages I’m going to check next.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, maybe Snowball could tell us where the exits are.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Why don’t you ask him? We’re not on good terms and he seems to be sleeping.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

(sighs)

Fine. Report back soon.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay. I’m just going to… Should I grab a cake?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh yeah. You want—these were actually made for the scorpions, but I think…

I think…

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Wait, wait. You made them?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Of course I made them.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Then I’ll go check the caves.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What…? Aww. I made these special for Sulfur too.

SOMEWHERE IN THE BACK OF THE CAVE…

MIKE

Somewhere in the back of the cave…

Silence.

Laughter.

MIKE

I just saw everyone looking at everyone and thought I’d throw something in there.

SEAN

Okay, let’s do it. Somewhere in the back of the cave.

CARTER

(laughing)

I just love—“I’m going to set up a scene… I’m done.”

MIKE

I set it up! Go ahead and improvise, improvisers!

SEAN

Set it up again.

MIKE

Somewhere in the back of the cave…

We hear the party music echoing in the caves above.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

All right, I just squeezed in through the hole in the back of the cave.

Laughter.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

I heard that there’s a crazy party here, but I don’t know if they’re inviting mice.

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

Well, we never get invited, but we just gotta get close enough to get some crumbs.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

I know it’s Sulfur Day and they never, never…

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

Sulfur what?

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

Sulfur Night. I get them confused because I’m a mouse. But they never think to invite us even though we need all of this food. We have stomachs too.

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

Mom told us not to go too close.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

No, she said, “Not too close! There’s a dragon in there!” I don’t see a dragon.

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

But there is the big sleeping one right there.

Low snoring sounds.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

Well, yeah, but I mean, what’s going to happen? He’s going to wake up and eat us?

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

…Maybe.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

Oh, good point. Why didn’t you think of that before we came in here?

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

Why don’t you go first and I’ll see how far you make it.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

No, I think, you know, maybe I’ll just go back to where the hole was and…

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

No, stop. Stop. You stay out. You’re out.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

No, I’m just gonna…

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

No! Out of the way.

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

We gotta run!

SEAN (AS A MOUSE)

Run! Aaaaa!

MIKE (AS A MOUSE)

Run away!

Snowball goes on snoring.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Hey, did anyone see those little mice running towards the back?

Snickering.

CARTER

(dramatic announcer voice)

“From the show that brought you flying alligators…”

Laughter.

CARTER

“Comes Sulfur Night Mice.

“Does it make sense?”

SEAN

All through the cave, not a soul was…

MARISA

Sulfuring.

SEAN

…alave.

Laughter.

MIKE

Alave.

“No one was working on their lathe. And although I wanted a bowl, I guess I’d have to go home and not have one.”

MARISA

And bathe.

SEAN

Nice.

MIKE

Oh, nice. I was going to just really end on the not-rhyme.

THE FORGOTTEN PLANES

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Hey, so, uh… feels like it’s been years we’ve been in here.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

It could be. I honestly don’t know.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Thanks for helping me learn to use this, uh…

I’ve grown up quite a bit, huh?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh yeah, you’ve certainly got a lot, uh… taller.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Who knew those crumpets had so much, uh, nutritional value, I guess?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Crumpets. They were the perfect food all along.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

You know, um…

I know you’re hiding from something.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh yes, very much so.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Yeah.

You know, I have to stay here now, but… Part of me wishes that I’d gone out and faced those bullies just once.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

You slew the ultimate bully. The bully within—

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

(simultaneously)

Don’t say “inside”—okay.

But you know, like, uh… You still can.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

If I see any demonic bully kids when I leave, I’ll, uh… I’ll fire my bazooka at them for you.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Sometimes at night when you’re asleep under the table, you sound different.

You talk about… Darvin and… someone named Eggerton, but you seem to get angry.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Hopefully I’ll be able to get angry at them soon.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Well I don’t think I, uh… I know time’s different in here, but I… I think it’s been a long time. I can lift this thing now! Spin it. Cut you in half.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Just remember what we agreed on.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

When I come back… you gotta pretend that you don’t know me.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Right. You know, we bring that up a lot, like you know you’re coming back.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I’ll sound different.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Okay.

Look, you, uh… You changed my life, so… I just, um…

Totally cool if you wanna stay here. You know, limitless crumpets, ha ha. But, uh…

You know, I feel like at some point I’m gonna be training real knights, and… I think you’re meant to do something more than just, uh… hide in here with me.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Maybe I did the thing that I was meant to do. Maybe I was…

(suddenly choked with emotion)

…meant to raise a son.

Silence.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

So…

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Sorry…

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Yeah—

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

That’s enough of that.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Okay.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Ugh.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

So I was thinking that you, uh… here. Pick up this bazooka and you, you kill me.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Right.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

It’s like a coming of age thing, you know?

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Yeah, yeah. There comes a time when every father has to blow up his son.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Yeah.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Okay.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

And I’m… gonna see you again, I guess.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Eventually.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

But not gonna say I know you.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Good. Good.

I’ll sound different, and… I want you to remember me.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Like this.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Just like this.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Yeah.

Though I won’t miss the… that weird voice. Like the… the whispery… everywhere-voice once in a while.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh yeah, between you and me… your grandmother is the absolute worst.

SEAN (AS TEENAGE REGINALD)

Heh. All right, well… good luck on the outside.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

I love you, Reginald.

Bazooka.

The bazooka assembles.

SNOWBALL’S CAVE

Mellow dub reggae plays. The crowd sounds more subdued.

SEAN

The party is winding down.

Darcy is actually getting another glass from the punch bowl. Eggerton is having a grand old time. And there is a whole cadre of scorpions scuttling along behind them. All in different shapes and sizes, and changing as they eat his special cakes, laughing.

Distant barking.

SEAN

And Reginald is approaching from the back of the cake.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, did anyone see my… my… my creatine sulfur crumpets that I made? Anyone?

Barking.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What… you threw them out?

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Oh, I may have eaten them. Hee hee hee!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, if you see any more, let me know. I was saving those for a friend, but I don’t think he’s going to get to try them.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Oh, okay.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He always liked crumpets for some reason.

SEAN (AS GROWN-UP REGINALD)

Darcy. I found… are you okay?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I think I just had too much of this punch. I have no idea what’s in it.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay, um… I found a small shaft where I feel cold air.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, that’s great!

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, it’s just… it’s a really small shaft.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, can’t we widen it with something?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Yeah, if we have, like, dynamite.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, can’t we put these centurions to work? Don’t they have strength?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Maybe. I’ll show it to you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, let’s go.

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Oh, you’re swaying a little there. Okay, here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, we’re going this way, right?

SEAN (AS REGINALD)

Okay, yes, but not sideways. Okay, yeah, okay, here we go.

Whistling wind and an ominous rumble.

SEAN

And with a pop… someone appears in the centre of the party, and there’s an explosion out from the centre of it. Black tendrils arching out into the night in every direction. And for a moment, all of the scorpions freeze…

The party music returns.

SEAN

And then they start to scream and laugh and dance around as the darkness flies out into the night from… Blat.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

So… this is different.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Happy Sulfur Night, Blat! Welcome back! We’re having a great party. I’ve got some new fairy cakes, we’ve got a sleepy dragon, I saw some real good-looking mice earlier…

What’s been new with you? Where have you been?

Do you have any coal? Oh, here, have a coal. That’s for you.

What’s with the black? Is that for Sulfur Night? Is that a representation… Oh, everybody! Blat came in costume for Sulfur Night!

Some of the scorpions cheer.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, isn’t it great? What a great first impression on all these scorpions you’ve made.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

There’s… a lot of dog-sized scorpions here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They actually prefer “scorpion-sized”… You see, we call them “dog-sized” because we’re not used to scorpions. But these scorpions are actually scorpion-sized for these types of scorpions.

SEAN (AS A SCORPION)

Oh, “dog-sized” is okay now because you’ve made a bunch of us into Labradors with your cakes!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yeah, I mean, look at the tails, right? The tails are actually the stingers. So they’re cute and knock things over and then kill them painfully.

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

So, uh… I raised Reginald and ultimately killed him.

SEAN (AS GROWN-UP REGINALD)

Um, hi Blat.

CARTER (AS BLATHOXIL)

Oh.

Hi Reginald.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

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

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: Steven Smith. Supporting producers: Lilianne Johnston, Ren, and Becky Arenivar.

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: THE END

Laughter.

MIKE

That’s the Hallmark Gold right there.

“Do you remember raising and murdering your son? Well, here he is at a cockroach party! Or scorpion party.”

MARISA

What is happening?!

MIKE

It all makes sense.

MARISA

I just want to get out of the cave!

CARTER

Okay, I’m sorry, but I don’t know if that episode’s any good or not, but that ending is the best ending we’ve ever had.

SEAN

(laughing)

“Hi Reginald.”