Skip to content

Bonus Episode: X Marks The Spot

We’re back with a special adventure we recorded for International Podcast Month. X Marks The Spot probably takes place some time between Other Bothers Episodes 5 and 6.

Game Master: Sean Howard
Players: Carter Siddall, Marisa King and Michael Howie
Additional material and sound design: Eli McIlveen
Story consultant: Laura Packer
Game consultant: Stephen Smith

SEAN

Hey, everyone. Sean here. And I just want to say thank you to all of the people that have stepped up and become a supporter over the last few days. It has truly blown us away. And today, I have something super special to share.

Now, this was something we produced as part of IPM 2018, which was the international podcast month that Tess was putting together. We created a little standalone episode, and we released this on the IPM 2018 feed. But we realized a lot of you may not have heard it.

This is the kind of episode that you would get early access to if you were a Patreon supporter. And once again, just as a reminder, there’s only three days left to get in on the and up deal, where we send you the super special, super awesome sticker that we have commissioned by Catherine Green.

So once again, you can do that at Patreon. And you can become a supporter, as always, at patreon.com/AlbaSalix or by visiting otherbothers.com.

But enough of the sales pitch. Let’s take you to a remote desert isle.

INTRODUCTION

ANNOUNCER

Presenting a special episode for International Podcast Month 2018. The End of Time and Other Bothers: an improvised fantasy role-playing podcast set in the world of Alba Salix.

Fast-paced music plays.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The world has still ended.

ANNOUNCER

Darcy was a cafeteria worker.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Do you see that minotaur sitting out in the food court?

SEAN (AS DARCY’S FRIEND)

What minotaur?

ANNOUNCER

Just an ordinary, everyday human, probably.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, you didn’t even need a fairy cake. Why did you eat a fairy cake?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because I stress eat sometimes!

ANNOUNCER

Eggerton was a PR flak for the imperial government.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

This extremely devastating explosion was, in fact, a celebration.

ANNOUNCER

He’s a flightless fairy with a sweet tooth.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There were some zombies, but Blat blew them up. I climbed a tree—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

And we’re skipping ahead, and we’re skipping ahead…

ANNOUNCER

Blat used to be a filing clerk.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’ll pneumatic tube it up, sir!

ANNOUNCER

Now he’s discovering the secrets of his half-demon heritage, like his ability to summon a soul-bound weapon.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, you’re here to destroy time, eh? Well, eat… bazooka!

ANNOUNCER

Three normal dweebs rescued from the end of the world.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

This is the event that ends everything.

ANNOUNCER

And sent on a last-ditch quest.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

There is a way to stop the Shattering, but we need you three.

ANNOUNCER

To save all of reality.

SEAN (AS MOIRA)

You will be traveling into a storyverse to retrieve something of significance from that story.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

And I’m supposed to defend myself with a picnic basket?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

There’s no evil, so you’re welcome.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Flawless logic.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, boy.

THE ISLAND

SEAN

The three of you are on a boat.

It is on the ocean, not the wide ocean. You are in between a few islands. And you see your destination approaching, because Eggerton is holding up a map and saying…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m pretty sure that this is where we are on this map, because I’ve been judiciously tracking our position as I drive the boat.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think it’s upside down.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I—oh.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Not the boat, the map.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

So, okay, so if I—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Turn the map around.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah. No, there we are. That’s—see where it says X marks the spot? That’s us.

And then this little island over here, that’s the ocean. And if we keep going counterclockwise, we will end up at the 3 o’clock.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, could you take over the map reading?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, the blue here seems unimportant. We want to concentrate on the small circles of brown. So we have one here, one here, and one here.

SEAN

And that’s when the boat grinds up onto the shore, sending everyone flying forward.

The party shout in surprise.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So we’ve hit one of these brown circles. I’m not sure which one, but definitely a brown circle.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

They look a lot more flat on the map.

SEAN

You are standing on a beach, the ocean lapping at the shore. And it’s a beautiful white sand that goes up to cliff walls that climb hundreds of feet into the sky.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, here we are! Just as I predicted.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

That we would eventually hit land?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, yes. You see, when we departed, I was very specific about where we would end up and when. And here we are.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. We’re here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You’re welcome.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Where are we?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well! The… map shows that we are here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so I suggest we just start walking. Let’s head towards those cliffs.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The sand acts as an exfoliant!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes, that’s great, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Mmm… pleasant.

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, Marisa King, and Carter Siddall.

This episode: X Marks the Spot.

SEAN

Now, Eggerton, on your map, you see that there is an X on one of the islands on what might be a cliff or might be some squiggly lines.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, look, there’s an X. And you know what they say about an X? It marks… spots.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But what does “spot” convey?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, really, “spot” means something to everybody individually. I mean, if we really want to get down to what “spot” may mean for you, we should start in childhood. Tell us more about your—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Give me the map.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aww.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, so… looks like we need to walk this way. We’re going to head east.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That’s exactly what I thought.

SEAN

Okay, so you’re heading east on this beach. It’s a beautiful day. The sound of seagulls, the lapping of the ocean, and Darcy approaching, you do see what appears to be a large cave mouth opening that may or may not be the X on the map, depending on which island you are on.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, if we’re on the right island, it’s possible this cave here is something we should be interested in. Maybe we should check it out. Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So we’ve successfully found a cave on an island. Congratulations, everyone!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We did it!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

So, homeward bound on the incredible journey?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No. I don’t think the X is the cave. I think there’s something in the cave that we have to find.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We should probably go check that out, Darcy.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, I was thinking Blat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, Blat, yeah, you should go check that out, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But caves contain possible danger!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, it’s sort of our life now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello?

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Hello?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Danger?

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Danger?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Danger never usually answers back. I don’t know if you’ve learned that by now.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I thought it was just an echo.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, no, that’s an echo. I’m just saying that you yelling “danger” to check for it, it’s not very effective.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, they might say something like, “Do not enter or I’ll murderize you,” or something like that. “I’m very protective of my cave, which is the only home I’ve ever known.”

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Do not enter or I’ll murderize you! I’m very protective of my cave, which I call my home!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eerie.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I’m not sure if that was the echo or a warning.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I don’t see any signs up or anything saying “go away” or “no trespassing”.

I say we go in.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, why? Why was I chosen to be a hero and grand adventurer?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Because I needed a sidekick, Blat. Now lead us forward!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

But if I’m the sidekick, then why am I—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Lead us forward, Blat! Into the cave.

SEAN

So you enter this—it starts as just a wide opening in the rock, where you see the water has worn at the sides, and the floor is quite smooth. And the walls slowly narrow and start to become a little less random, until you see that you’re a hall stretching off into the distance at the back of the cave, all out of the rock—dug out of the rock, it looks like.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What do you see, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Man-made cave. This is a man-made cave.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hmm. All right.

MARISA

So I go in after Blat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I will guard the mouth of the cave from the sand and let you two explore further into the very, very dark and kind of creepy cave with the weird echo that may or may not be sentient.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

…But I’m just the sidekick, right?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

You got it, buddy!

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Son of a—all right.

You see, Darcy, it looks like an actual hallway that was made on purpose. This is not simple water erosion.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hmm. Yeah, kind of does. Do you see any doorways or tunnels off of that main tunnel?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Yeah, it looks like it’s just this one that goes straight.

SEAN

So the light is diminishing as you go further and further, and Blat, you can see in the darkness, I believe, and see that it continues quite a way ahead.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

All right. Well, there’s only one direction to go. My only concern is if we get there, there’s only one possible way to get out.

But hey! This is where X marks the… whatever. So, let us continue.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right. You go ahead, and I’ll be a few steps behind.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(muttering to himself)

Terrible idea. I don’t know why we decided to get on a boat just to find an X. I’ve got plenty of Xs…

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

It’s a terrible idea. I don’t know why we decided to get on a boat just to find—

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Plenty of Xs in my books at home.

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Plenty of Xs in my books at home.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Don’t need to get into a boat because a map says so…

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Don’t need to—well, a boat can be sort of nice.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wait… did you say that?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

What?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It was like you said something, but then the echo didn’t sound like what you said.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I’m sure it was close enough.

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

…I was close enough.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Hello?

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Hello?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

End of hallway?

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

End of hallway…

CARTER

And Blat continues forward.

SEAN

Eggerton, you’re staying at the beach? They’re disappearing off into this and shouting down this—

MIKE

Is it still nice and sunny outside?

SEAN

Yes, very nice, sunny, and beautiful. And seagulls are circling, eyeing you out to see if you have any food.

MIKE

I’ll keep an eye on the seagulls.

SEAN

Uh huh.They’re eyeing your pouch.

MIKE

They’re eyeing my pouch?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Seagulls, they’re the ones that say “Mine”, aren’t they?

SEAN (AS A SEAGULL)

Mine!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(gasps)

Okay! Wait! Wait for me! I’m coming!

SEAN (AS A SEAGULL)

Mine!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m coming in the cave! I’m coming in the—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Ow! Slow down, Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s okay. It’s okay. There’s no seagulls. The seagulls are not scary. I’m not scared of seagulls.

Oh, hi, Darcy. How are you? It’s nice to see you here.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Why are you scared of seagulls?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t say—I’m not scared of seagulls.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, well, Blat’s checking out the end of the hallway.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay. How’s the end of the hallway?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

How’s the end of the hallway, Blat?

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

How’s the end of the hallway, Blat?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Well, I haven’t quite reached it yet. Nothing so far.

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

I haven’t reached it yet. Nothing so far…

MARISA

Okay, so I pick up a stick on the ground, and I cast Light on it, which is one of my rotes, so that Eggerton and I have light.

SEAN

So suddenly you are blinded, Blat, as light explodes off the glistening rock down in this hall.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Dahhh! My eyeballs!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Sorry!

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Sorry…

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I didn’t need any help, please and thank you.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, I wasn’t trying to help you. I was trying to help us.

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

I was trying to help us…

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We can’t really see that well back here. I’ll just hold it over behind me a bit. Oh, back up, Eggerton.

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

I’ll just hold it over behind me a bit…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, okay.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah. And then it should be dimmer.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Ehhh…

CARTER

Blat stumbles forward, reaching around with his hands, see if he could find the end of this hall, a door or something.

SEAN

And you emerge out of the hall into a massive, somewhat circular cavern and… roll Defy Danger, Blat.

CARTER

Oh, no. Something’s definitely here.

2d6. That’s a 3.

Laughter.

SEAN

And Blat goes off the edge of the path.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

(screams)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat? Blat, is that you?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Blat, where’d you go?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Quick, let’s go.

SEAN

Blat, you are tumbling head over heels into darkness. And your head hits on the side, and you bounce off, and you’re continuing to fall.

Oh, you take 5 hit points from hitting.

CARTER

Oh…

Blat just struggles to get his shirt off.

SEAN

(laughing)

Roll Defy Danger. Defy Danger Dex.

MARISA

Ooh, that’s good.

CARTER

11.

SEAN

What happens as you’re plummeting down towards jagged rocks hundreds of feet below, madly trying to get your shirt off?

CARTER

Well, Blat is tumbling a very great distance. So he has more than enough time to carefully unbutton his shirt, fold it, put it down the back of his pants, unfurl his wings, and then begin flying upward.

SEAN

You guys hear the sound of a whoosh as you’re approaching the end of the hall with your light, and you see a large opening ahead of you. And out of the blackness comes Blat, lifting up ahead of you.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Daahh! My eyeballs again!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, all right.

MARISA

I put out the torch. Put it down.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I was blinded before, and I couldn’t see this here. It just drops off. There should be a sign or railing or something.

SEAN

Eggerton, you see a sign as you come to the edge of the hall as you enter out, and it says, “BEWARE OF FALL”.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m pretty sure there is a sign here. It says “BEWARE OF FALL”, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There should be two signs—that one there, and one where I was walking.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

It’s—I don’t think you kind of have to go past this one to get to where you were. It’s almost—I don’t know. Like, you were too confident.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

There should be a railing.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, yes. We will contact the committee of the X on the Map Block Community Committee, and we will insist that they put forward a railing motion.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right, you’re fine.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

No, I’ve sustained a head injury.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh, that’s not good.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

If I begin babbling nonsense or, you know, start talking like Eggerton, make sure I don’t have a concussion.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Sounds like it wouldn’t be very much fun, but I think you could probably have a concussion and still have fun—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay.

SEAN

Darcy, your light lights up a cavern that is 200… 300 feet across.

Literally a foot ahead of where you’re standing, the walkway just drops away down into nothingness. And that walkway basically circles the outside edge of this massive chamber. So there’s a little narrow pathway that goes all the way around and back to where you are.

And after that, where Blat is hovering, is just nothing. You basically would plummet hundreds of feet to your death. But behind Blat, in the centre of this nothingness, appears to be a pedestal rising up in the darkness, but it must be a hundred feet away.

And you see there are a couple other places where it branches off into the darkness, but basically this chamber.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat, did you get a chance to look at that pedestal when you were falling or coming back up again?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Oh, yes. When I fell quite unexpectedly and was tumbling to my doom, trying to protect my shirt and my noggin, I was able to scan for treasure, yes. No, I did no such thing!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Okay, so could you check it out now, please?

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Eggsy, are we looking for something on a pedestal?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

We are looking for the X. And as is true in algebra, X can represent really anything. It could be a treasure, it could be a letter, it could be a numeral, it could be a recipe. It could be a toy—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It could be a pedestal.

SEAN

Or it could be the thing that you were instructed to get on this mission, which was…?

MIKE

It was… the Book of Tombs.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

The what? The Book of Tombs?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was instructed—I can’t believe I forgot about this until just now, after this long voyage we’ve been on together and all the time we would have had to discuss this mission—that I am supposed to get the Book of Tombs.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

It’s a book about tombs?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

A book about where dead people are buried?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yes.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

Why do we need a book about that?!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t know, Moira told me that it was very important to get though, so we’re gonna get it. So, Blat, if you would not mind, please turn around in the air and flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap… flap, over to the pedestal, pick up the book and flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, back to us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, get on it, sidekick.

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

Yes, Blat, if you wouldn’t mind, go flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, flap…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Has anyone else noticed that the echo in here sounds the same for everybody no matter who talks?

SEAN (AS AN ECHO)

S✱✱t.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I noticed that.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What part?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No one said that word.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What word?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The echo just said a word.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I didn’t hear that word, what was it?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

…I didn’t quite catch it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that’s too bad.

CARTER

And Blat flaps—not quite as many flaps because his wings are quite large—over to the pedestal to see if someone has carved out a giant hole into a cave, placing a pedestal within it, just to hide a book that talks about burial places.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh wait, Blat, come back! You should take this bag of dust just in case you need something to replace.

SEAN

As you arrive at the pedestal, you see rising up out of the darkness, this narrow pedestal and on it is a red cushion at the top and on that lies a book.

CARTER (AS BLAT)

I don’t believe it. Out of all the possible books in the universe, they want to protect one that says, “King Frinozipax is buried in a room of gold where all of his servants were murdered along with him and stuffed inside.”

All right, so… I’m going to grab the book then.

Here we go.

CARTER

Blat waves his arms around the book to make sure there aren’t any apparent booby traps.

SEAN

Okay.

CARTER

And then picks up the book.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

CARTER

Of course.

6!

SEAN

What’s your Wisdom? Do you get a bonus?

CARTER

No!

SEAN

Okay.

So Blat picks up the book of deadly tomb magics…

CARTER

No, that’s not what I thought that was at all.

SEAN

And Blat, you are suddenly overtaken by one of the denizens of the ancient tombs…

Ghostly whispers, followed by an ominous BOOM.

SEAN

So I’ll let you figure out who that would be. And while you’re figuring that out, Blat, you all hear this machinery, like this grinding of stone and chain, and you hear a portcullis slam shut behind you in the passage when he just came through. Eggerton.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Did you hear that? It sounded like a portcullis slamming shut behind us in the anteroom from which we came.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I believe you’re correct, we’re trapped.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh no, what are we gonna do? Blat, Blat, hurry back! A portcullis has slammed shut and now we’re trapped, Blat.

CARTER (AS BLAT POSSESSED BY THE SPIRIT OF KING FRINOZIPAX)

Hello! I am King Frinozipax!

Hello! My plan worked! I am back to life now!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Oh no, he does have a concussion.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, that’s okay. When… I had a concussion once as a kid, and what you have to do is hit your head against something really hard.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

What?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yeah, that’s how you fix a concussion.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

If you’ve been doing that, it explains a lot. Hey, Blat! Blat, you’re not Frinozi-whatever. You’re Blat, the half demon….

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I’m flying! It’s most exciting. I could not do this in my previous form.

Hello! Hello, peoples! Hello!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Maybe you should try giving him a fairy cake.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Uh… Mr. Blat, I think—

SEAN (AS A MENACING VOICE)

Give us the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ohh. Um. Darcy, was that you?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

It was not.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Are you sure?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I’m positive.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Okay, so… neither of us said that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And Blat didn’t say that.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

And neither did Blat’s new friend, King Flubluvlublu. So, who do you think said that?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know, maybe we should look behind us.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(inhales)

MARISA

And we turn around.

SEAN

And you don’t see anyone behind you, but you hear the voice echoing through the chamber again.

SEAN (AS THE VOICE)

I said it! I told them to give us the book!

SEAN (AS A SECOND VOICE)

(older, more distinguished)

Say it again.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VOICE)

Give us the book!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, it’s just our imagination, Darcy, don’t worry about it.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, I think it’s the cave.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The cave?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yep, it’s coming from the cave.

SEAN (AS THE FIRST VOICE)

They think it’s the cave.

SEAN (AS THE SECOND VOICE)

Oh, dear, I’ve got to do everything myself. Right!

SEAN

And a gentleman steps out of one of the side entrances, just ahead of where you are, Darcy, around the side. And he has a cane and he’s wearing a tweed suit made out of a rough woolen material. He has a pipe in his mouth and a twinkle in his eyes.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

What my compatriot meant to say was, you’ll give us the book now and we’ll be on our way.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Uh, I’m sorry, who are you?

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

I believe I’m the one asking the questions here. If you could just get your flappy-flap friend over here and we’ll just take the book and you can all just live a little bit longer.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I would like to live a little bit, little bit more than a little bit longer.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Hm hm hm. Ha ha ha.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Ha ha ha!

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

We’ll take the book now.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t think you’ll take the book.

Blat, don’t give him the book!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Are you my former subjects?

It is I, King Frinozipax! Hello? Hello!

SEAN (AS A BRIGAND)

Fire.

SEAN

And I need a Defy Danger from King Frinozipax.

CARTER

Frinozipax… rolls a 6.

SEAN

And King Frinozipax is struck in the back by a bolt that appears to have been fired from a crossbow from one of the openings on the far side.

And King Frinozipax takes another 3 hit points of damage.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I’m feeling pain for the first time in centuries! Ahhh, it’s awful, but again, it’s going to feel something!

So you’re not my former subjects?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

He seems very positive. I like this fellow. Much nicer than Blat normally is. I don’t know what the book did to him, but it seems to have given him a new grasp on life—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton, he just got hit in the back with a bolt.

What is this book about? What does it do?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Well, according to my briefing, it is a book that contains the tomb details of past kings and could potentially have also contained their souls, some of which may or may not have been consumed by the Shattering. And I really, you know, I don’t think those details were that important, but it was a book and it was at the X and that’s what mattered.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Blat’s been possessed! It doesn’t matter if he’s a better person or not!

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Excuse me, heh. If I might just bump in for just a second. You can please continue this conversation, we just, uh…

King Frinozipax, I am indeed your loyal servant! Come—

SEAN

And he does an elaborate bow.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

—to worship at your feet if you would but come, so I may anoint thee.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, King Frinozipax, he’s not your subject. He’s a traitor! A traitor to your kingdom.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Does he follow Lord Bootoo? Lord Bootoo was the next county over. The Bootooians, ah, they cause such problems for us.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

He was Lord Bootoo’s right hand man! That’s right.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Who defected to serve you in the afterlife—the true emperor.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Oh, that’s pretty good, aha, all right. Oh, and ex-Bootooian is certainly number one in my book.

Oh! Book! I am holding a book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Wait, wait, wait, wait—

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

If you could just please bring the book over here, I will take it for you so you may be unencumbered, Lord.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I was supposed to take the book, and you know what they say about Bootooians, they’re all Boo-hooians. So quick, give me the book and I’ll go back to—

SEAN (AS A BRIGAND)

Fire!

SEAN

And another roll Defy Danger, Eggerton.

MIKE

…5.

SEAN

And Eggerton, you are struck by a bolt that spins you around…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Aaaoww!

SEAN

And gives you 3 hit points of damage and sends you tumbling off the edge of the narrow passage.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(groans)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Eggerton!

MARISA

And I run to grab his arm.

SEAN

Roll Defy Danger.

MARISA

Son of a…

SEAN

Strength or Dex.

MARISA

It’s a 10.

SEAN

So tell me how Darcy, who is at least 12 to 15 feet away on this path, manages to reach Eggerton as he grasps at his side and plummets… admirably off the edge.

MARISA

Okay, so Darcy runs up the side of the cave and flips over, and then as she comes down—

SEAN

Like, parkour style.

MARISA

Yeah, parkour style. And then as she comes down, she’s able to hook her feet onto a little root or something that’s coming up out of the cave on the edge, and she’s able to put out the full extension of her body to grab Eggerton as he’s going over the side.

SEAN

Love it. So Eggerton, you hit the side, and you realize you’re being held by Darcy, who is fully extended, hanging off the edge of the precipice.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Ah, my lord, they are now out of the way. You may come and be worshipped fully.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

The Bootooians are in danger! We should not endanger anyone, even though they are Bootooians!

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

No, no, they want your death, my lord. Please come, give me the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I’ve already been dead, did not enjoy it. I do not wish the same fate for others. Just a moment!

CARTER

And King Frinozipax, despite having only known he could fly for the last minute and a half, flies down to help up these two strange beings hanging off the side of this cliff.

SEAN

And how does he do that while holding a book?

CARTER

He just uses one arm to grab a hold of the smaller male one and begins pulling him up as he flaps.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m flying, I’m flying!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Wow, thanks, King Frinozi-whatever!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, yeah, thank you.

SEAN

And you are both deposited onto the lip of the walkway.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, that was close.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

That was very close.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Now you are ready to be Frinozipaxians, eh?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Absolutely!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Yay, Frinozipaxians.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

We might just need to swear on your book to become a Frinozipaxian.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

I need your book, lord.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Oh, they raise a good point. We swear on the book in full legal style!

All right, hands on book. “I—” State your name…

SEAN

(laughs)

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I…

SEAN

And both of you need to roll a Defy Danger Wisdom as you touch the book.

MARISA

Uh-oh.

(laughing)

Oh, no, I just see what happened here.

MIKE

8.

Laughter.

MARISA

I have a 5, but it’s a 7 with my Wisdom bonus.

SEAN

You are both now spending 50% of your time as one of the ancient lords trapped in this book, and 50% of the time as yourselves, Eggerton and Darcy.

And you may continue, Frinozipax.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

“I—” State your name…

Ghostly whispers. BOOM.

MARISA (AS DARCY POSSESSED BY THE SPIRIT OF HELETHORKITHA)

I, Helethorkitha…

MIKE (AS EGGERTON POSSESSED BY SALTY THE PIRATE)

Salty the Pirate swears for no one!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Wait, swears for no one? I thought you wanted to be a Frinozipaxian.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

I’ll be a Frinozipaxian if I get all your treasure!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I have no treasure. I have wings. I am a winged being now. You, would you like to plains a Frinozipaxian?

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

(Spanish accent)

I would love to be a Frinozipaxian if you have many diamond tiaras that you would be willing to give me.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Wait! I have a shirt down the back of my pants…

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

Oh, no, I’ve got so many of those already.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

I’m here for gold and fights, and I’m all out of gold.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Excuse me, Lord Frinozipax, if I could just borrow that book for a second, it doesn’t look like you need it.

CARTER

Frinozipax throws his shirt at the old man.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Here, drink upon the riches of the mortals! Shirts for everyone!

SEAN (AS A BRIGAND)

(grunting)

Fire!

SEAN

And Defy Danger… roll for Lord Frinozipax.

CARTER

6.

SEAN

Another bolt strikes Lord Frinozipax, and this time in the leg for 2 hit points of damage.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Gahhh! Sweet pain again! Why can’t I experience a new sensation such as eating or sexual congress?

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

Oh, no, you have been hit by the bolt. That is terrible—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

—oh, whoa, whoa. Hey, stop firing at my friend!

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Then give us the book.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The book is ours! Hey, pirate man! These guys have lots of gold and treasure. Why don’t you go after them?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

To the booty!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

To the booty.

MIKE

And Salty runs forward at the old man.

SEAN

And what are you doing?

MIKE

Swinging out with fists to clock ‘im.

SEAN

All right, roll Hack and Slash.

MIKE

7.

SEAN

Okay, so you connect, snapping him around. He has this look of surprise on his face as he spins around, but you keep going and basically go head first, sliding right into the brick wall behind the passageway he stepped out of. So you’re sort of sliding out of the way for 2 hit points of damage. So you—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

King Frinozipax! As you can see, this man is trying to hurt us and take our lives. I know you’re against that. Maybe you could help us out here.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I have identified myself as King Frinozipax, and yet you still attack me! You are not a true Frinozipaxian believer. The book shall remain with me!

SEAN

Okay, and the tweed-suited man turns and just gasps, staring at you, Eggerton Pirate Man, and starts backing away.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

You will pay for that! No, get away, stay away, stay away!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What—I’m sorry—why is my hand hurt?

SEAN

And he turns and runs down into the darkness.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh.

SEAN (AS THE MAN IN TWEED)

Good luck getting out of here.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

That… might hurt too, eventually, I guess.

Wait, can someone drop a rock and we will time it and see how long it takes? And if we then gauge that, we can determine the depth of this cavern. Oh, my head hurts. Why am I talking so weird?

Oh, well. Darcy, what’s going on? Where, why is—

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You think you’re a pirate?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

No, I don’t.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You did, and we just got rid of the—

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’m pretty sure I’m not a pirate. I don’t have a peg leg and I can see out of both my eyes. My hand hurts a bit, and so does my head though.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think you might’ve got possessed by the book, just like Blat is.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

What book?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

The book that he’s holding.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Right, the Book of the Tombs! We need to take that back to the Nexus. Let’s go, guys!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

So! Frinozipaxians! We shall follow the tweed-suited gentleman. Onward to victory!

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

Oh! Why would I ever follow anyone who wears tweed? That’s such a lowbrow material. Ho ho.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I don’t think we can follow him. He looks like he went down, and although I am winged as well, they’re more decorative, and I’m a little concerned that if we try to follow, we may not be successful.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

…I have but two arms. Thus, I can only carry both of you without the book.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

I’ll hold the book.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Excellent!

CARTER

Frinozipax throws the book down at Eggerton, and then attempts to lift both of them up.

SEAN

So, Eggerton, you catch the book?

And roll Defy Danger Wisdom again for me. Just Eggerton.

MIKE

7.

SEAN

Okay, so you are now spending 25 per… a third of your time as the pirate, a third of your time as another, and then a third of your time as Eggerton. But you have the book.

And Frinozipax is coming down to lift both of them?

CARTER

Yes.

SEAN

And do what?

CARTER

To try to carry them as he flaps after the tweed-suited gentleman.

SEAN

Down the passageway.

CARTER

Yes.

SEAN

Okay.

Ghostly whispers, and yet another BOOM.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON POSSESSED BY THE SPIRIT OF A NOBLEWOMAN)

(Southern belle voice)

Oh my, aren’t you strong?

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

He is very strong, my goodness.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-NOBLEWOMAN)

Why, old sister, is that you? I never thought we’d see each other again. What, after we murdered each other?

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

Oh, that was a dark day, wasn’t it, Lorifleega?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-LORIFLEEGA)

It sure was, sister.

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

How lovely to see you again.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-LORIFLEEGA)

Indeed. Now, why is this gentleman with the rippling muscles flying us about?

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

I don’t know! It just seems to be something he likes to do with his Frinozipaxian subjects.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Frinozipaxian? I thought we defeated them on the plains in battle. I was on my ship and fired the cannons, and that was the last thing I remember.

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

Sister, you have a frog in your throat.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

Oh, there’s a frog in my throat? I don’t remember eating a frog. I don’t think they’d be very tasty, and I’ve had friends who were frogs. That would be very uncomfortable for everybody…

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

(groaning)

Hnnggggggnhh!

SEAN

Roll Strength check.

CARTER

8.

SEAN

Okay, so, Lord Frinozipax, you carry the sisters, pirate, Eggerton, around down this passageway, and it curves back around, and you manage to make it all the way back to the chamber you’re in before dropping them, exhausted, and you can no longer fly for the next little while.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Oh! I’m sorry, my Frinozipaxian subjects. This body is weak. Possibly someone who did a lot of internal work, not a lot of outside physical labour. I have failed thee!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Hey, it’s okay. It’s okay, Frinozipax. You got us to stable land, and we appreciate that. We gotta get out of here.

SEAN

Darcy, your feet are wet.

MARISA

My feet…?

SEAN

And you realize you can hear the ocean a little louder.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I think water might be rushing in to engulf us all and kill us.

SEAN

You see the passageway that you think might be the one you first entered by, it’s hard to tell, with water a few inches pouring over the edge down into the abyss.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Aye, Davy Jones’ locker. I always thought I’d end up here. Never thought it’d be with folks like you, though. It’d be on my ship in battle the way a pirate should.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Well, hey, pirate man. What would you do in this circumstance if you were heading down to Davy Jones’ locker and you didn’t wanna go there?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Well, I’d swim up, young lady. That’s the first step.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Swimming up, that’s a good idea. Maybe we should start swimming.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

King Frinozipax lived in a desert clime! I know not of the ways of your aquatic adventuring.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

You could just fly above the water a bit, King Frinozipax, maybe just stay just above it?

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I’ve grown quite weary due to the carrying.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-LORIFLEEGA)

My. Even with all those muscles, it’s difficult for you to fly? I find that very surprising, but I am quite certain we should boogie on from this current location, lest we be enveloped in death once more.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yeah, I think the bell—

SEAN

It’s now a foot of water coming in through the passageway and pouring over into the abyss.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Forward… forward towards water.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

All right.

MARISA

So we head towards the water.

SEAN

Okay, so you’re heading down the passageway the water’s coming out of?

MARISA

Yes.

SEAN

Okay, so it’s about a foot and climbing pretty rapidly, but it comes in surges. And you are about ten to twenty feet in when you see a portcullis emerging ahead of you.

MIKE

Portcullises are never very good to find.

SEAN

So it looks like some kind of metal, very old, rusted, but it must be seven inches thick, like criss-crossed bars, and it seems to have dropped down in a gap in the hull of the stone.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

(sighs)

Thick portcullises are the worst type of portcullises too.

(silence)

That was a penis joke that’ll get edited out.

Laughter.

SEAN

Not any more.

Laughter.

SEAN

The water is now approaching two and a half to three feet. The passageway is about, I’d say nine feet tall, and it is now hard sometimes to stand in one place. Eggerton starts to slide backwards in the surges.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

I don’t know how we’re gonna get around this portcullis. Anyone have any ideas?

MIKE (AS EGGERTON)

The water’s too strong for me. I’m having trouble staying in place…

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

If only there was a way, my royal subjects, for us to destroy this piece of technology and then sallying forth through it.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Aye, what we need is a cannon right now, some kind of device that explodes and drives metal through metal.

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Yes! A cannon, King Frinozipax! We like to call those bazookas!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Banoopas?

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, no, it’s “bazookas”.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Ba-loopa!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

I believe the young lady said “bananas”.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Bananas!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

No, no, the word is “bazooka”!

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Bazookla!

MARISA (AS DARCY)

Son of a…!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

I knew a robber who wore a balaclava once every time he—

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Balaclava!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Nope, nope.

Young lady, I think this is a bad plan. Perhaps we should move on to something else.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

I’m sorry, it just sounds like you’re saying some word that I don’t understand from a different non-Frinozipaxianian area, something along the lines of “bazooka”.

SEAN

And a bazooka materializes in Lord Frinozipax’s—

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Aauuuughhhh! Aaaaa! What is this? What is happening?! This came out of pure air! What is going on?!

SEAN

And a eyepiece pops down in front of your eye.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Aughh! My eye!

SEAN

And you read the words that are in your native language that says, “Ready to fire.”

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Frinozipaxian! I have not read you in so long!

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-LORIFLEEGA)

Why, I never doubted that you’d have a big one, young man.

SEAN

And we cut to the three of you in your current state standing on the beach. It is approaching twilight, and you are all singed, missing half of your clothing, limping, and making your way awkwardly towards the boat that is grounded there.

MARISA (AS DARCY-HELETHORKITHA)

Well, I hope there’s still time to make the ball. It would be terrible to miss it after all this!

Silence.

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

The long, skinny tree branch exploded. I did not see that happening.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

I need to borrow that, young man. Could you just hand it over here?

CARTER (AS BLAT-FRINOZIPAX)

Please! Take it! It terrifies me.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Thank you, all right, and you just push this, this, this…?

A rocket hisses out from the bazooka and detonates in the distance..

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Oh!

SEAN

And the boat goes up in a giant ball of flame.

MIKE (AS EGGERTON-SALTY)

Well…

SEAN

Scene.

MARISA

Yaay!

Laughter.

END NOTES

Music sting.

SEAN

I love that I had these names for brigands… Weren’t necessary.

MARISA

And you didn’t use them!

(laughs)

SEAN

Weren’t necessary.

ELI

Save those!

SEAN

I will.

CARTER

“I am King Frinozipax!”

MIKE

Is Frinozipax the thing from Alba?

MARISA

Yes. Yes.

ELI

Yes. Presumably it’s named after him.

CARTER

Yes.

SEAN

So I had the following escalations planned: Trap is sprung, the doors fall.. Noise attracts the bandits that are waiting for someone ’cause they can’t reach the thing…

CARTER

Right.

SEAN

The ocean tide rising… and that’s what I had.

What came on the fly was—’cause I had no idea what was gonna be in the centre.

MARISA

Oh, right, what we were looking for.

CARTER

Right, right.

MIKE

I had no idea we were looking for something, so it worked out!

SEAN

Yeah, so I didn’t tell you any of that. So when you decided it was the Book of Tombs, I was over here going, oh it’s gotta be… gotta have tomb in it, but it’s gotta be something bigger than that, so.

MARISA

That was very clever to have them possess us.

SEAN

That was just in the moment.

MARISA

And then we didn’t even think of touching the book.

(laughs)

MIKE

Although to be fair—

SEAN

That was my favourite moment was when you both put your hand on—did you know what you were doing with the offer?

CARTER

No.

Laughter.

CARTER

Here! Touch the book! No! Don’t touch the book! Catch the book!

SEAN

(laughing)

MIKE

I was thinking of Tooms from the first season of X‑Files, not like tombs like—

CARTER

That people get buried in.

MIKE

Yeah.

MARISA

You mean you’re talking about tomes then?

MIKE

Yeah.

SEAN

Book of Tomes, the Book of Tomes?

CARTER

So a book of books.

MIKE

That was the funny thing in my head, and when I saw the word “tome”, I said “Tooms”, ’cause that’s how they spelled the character in X‑Files.

MARISA

Ahh.

MIKE

So you’re welcome, everybody.

MARISA

Thanks so much… Book of Tombs worked though.

SEAN

Book of Tombs worked.

So thank you all for listening, we hope you all come and listen to our real show, which is not that—

MIKE

That wasn’t the real show?

SEAN

It’s not that different, which is The End of Time and Other Bothers. We go up every two weeks. You can find out more by going to otherbothers.com.

Say goodbye, everyone.

CARTER AND MARISA

Goodbye, everyone.

MIKE

(Salty the Pirate voice)

Goodbye, everyone.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ANNOUNCER

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

This has been a special episode for International Podcast Month 2018. For more information, visit internationalpodcastmonth.com.

If you like what you heard, look up Other Bothers on your favourite podcast app. You can also find a ton of bonus content on our Patreon and join our wonderful fan community on Discord. Find out how at otherbothers.com.

OUTTAKE

SEAN

That was my map, isn’t that a great map? I spent so much time on it.

MARISA

(laughs)

It looks like the ovaries or something.

Laughter.