Campaign 2 (Astragar) Episode 47:Finally Safe

Episode 47 February 18, 2024 01:05:28
Campaign 2 (Astragar) Episode 47:Finally Safe
Carrots and Suffering: A D&D Odyssey
Campaign 2 (Astragar) Episode 47:Finally Safe

Feb 18 2024 | 01:05:28

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Hosted By

Nate

Show Notes

To the capital!  Our heroes learn about the next phase of their adventure, get some cool magic items, and begin to explore the city.

Music by Todd Ferguson, My Pet Machine on Facebook

Logo by Julie at Elaborate Flight of Fancy

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:32] Speaker A: Welcome to Carrots and suffering a DND odyssey. This episode is a doozy. No flashback trailer today. Every season there is one episode that I feel nervous about publishing, mainly because the characters make choices that aren't as fun as I had hoped for, maybe not as fun to listen to. In my Dungeon mastering style, which I call collective storytelling, character and player choice steers the story. So I rarely, if ever, have a solution in mind, and the players have to make that solution and do it through their characters. This allows a really classic struggle of DND players to take center stage. Characters want to solve problems and feel clever, and they're looking for efficient steps to do so. Players want to experience a thrilling narrative which is inherently inefficient in a railroading dming style. I, the DM, choose those inefficiencies for players and try to give them a fulfilling story, but I maybe do it with minimal input, which is what gives that style a bad name. In collective storytelling strategy, the players have to choose the inefficiency themselves to get the fulfilling narrative. Neither strategy is wrong, and my strategy also gets a bad name because unfulfilling resolutions are available, and then I stand by them. At this point in the investigation, the main suspects are Galen Gearsmith and Riot. [00:01:53] Speaker B: Emberhardt, the two bishops who had access. [00:01:55] Speaker A: To the catacombs and the skills required. [00:01:57] Speaker C: To heist the bodies. [00:01:58] Speaker B: But the interview with Galen Gearsmith went poorly and riot. [00:02:01] Speaker A: Emberhart's been busy and kind of out of the picture. The local inquisition leader pointed his accusations at the family of Bishop Morgan Gravebinder. [00:02:08] Speaker B: And at radical journalist Samuel Elliard. But our heroes have mostly concluded that. [00:02:13] Speaker A: That was just political fantasy and maybe. [00:02:15] Speaker B: Even a frame up job that leaves. [00:02:18] Speaker A: Them with bodies to find and exactly six farmhouses to find them in as their only remaining lead when the investigation hits a wrinkle in the form of the secret police. Let's get into it. [00:02:40] Speaker C: Hi, I'm Nate, and I will be your dungeon master. [00:02:43] Speaker D: Hi, I'm Mandy. I play Boulain, the grave domain death cleric. Ready to not sleep well tonight. [00:02:49] Speaker E: Hi, I'm Claire, and I play creden, the sorcerer of all the gods. [00:02:55] Speaker F: Hi, I'm Robert. I play Zerus the barbarian, who's a better lawyer than an investigator. [00:03:01] Speaker D: I don't know if that's true. He's pretty good at investigating. He's got that manipulation tactic. [00:03:09] Speaker F: True. He's a very good bad cop. [00:03:11] Speaker E: And I understand why you took my boyfriend away. It was because you needed the intrigue to work, and he's just too good at solving mystery. [00:03:18] Speaker D: We needed him for this mortician family investigation. He would have had it solved like that. [00:03:24] Speaker C: He'll be back. [00:03:25] Speaker E: He better. [00:03:26] Speaker D: Unless he dies. [00:03:27] Speaker C: I didn't say that. But now, if it happens, you can blame me. [00:03:33] Speaker D: Now the idea is on the table and he can use it. Master Riemann. [00:03:38] Speaker A: Good to see you folks. [00:03:39] Speaker C: Is it good? Yes. [00:03:43] Speaker B: Expected? [00:03:44] Speaker C: Definitely not. Valen, are they giving you trouble? And this person moves his hands in front of him and Raymond goes, oh, okay. You're investigating his case? [00:03:58] Speaker D: He says, have I heard of him in the silent judge circles? If he came from the archbishop. Okay. We have also been directed to investigate Morgrim and his children regarding the missing bodies from the crypt. [00:04:13] Speaker C: On whose orders? [00:04:15] Speaker D: By Bishop Sturgeon. [00:04:16] Speaker C: Oh, so you're with the inquisition or the town council? [00:04:20] Speaker F: We're with the inquisition. [00:04:22] Speaker C: Okay, great. So we've been around some jurisdictional issues already. Vealin. These are the dark arbiters. They were a group working for the provincial governor, investigating corruption in the provinces. Valen again his hand moves. This is Valen Shadowsong. He is a agent, like myself, for the empire. He is positioned in Tuscan and the surrounding area. And this is his house. [00:04:50] Speaker D: And what brings you up here? [00:04:52] Speaker C: Riemann orders I'm to assist Valen here, uncovering the nature of this missing body's problem and exacting punishment on behalf of the archbishop. [00:05:06] Speaker D: And what have you found? [00:05:08] Speaker C: Whole lot of nothing. Valen takes his rain poncho hood off and pulls a sort of scarf from around his face down. And Valin is a dark elf. [00:05:18] Speaker D: This is my shocked face. [00:05:20] Speaker C: He looks at you with ice blue eyes and kind of walks over to his big overstuffed chair in the middle of his cottage and sits down, pulls from his pocket a silver chain with a skeletal finger dangling from it and tosses it to you, Boulain. [00:05:39] Speaker D: She catches it and she pulls her own out of her pocket. [00:05:42] Speaker C: Riemann says, we found that planted inside the moorgraves house. We believe it was planted. [00:05:49] Speaker D: Anyway, this is a second one that was planted. [00:05:53] Speaker C: Interesting. And he says, the grave binder house does not seem to be doing anything nefarious. As far as we can tell, there's no suspicious activity. They have no motive. Means, yes, but no opportunity, really. And as far as we can tell, they haven't noticed their charm going missing. So maybe our theory is they didn't even never know it was there. [00:06:14] Speaker D: Well, they found this one. And she indicates the one that we've had and reinterred it. They seem to have no idea what it meant, but someone broke into the house to plant it. [00:06:25] Speaker C: Raymond says Valen found evidence that someone forced the window open on the main floor. I guess our investigation concurs with yours, but unfortunately that's all we found. We're pretty sure that that is planted evidence. Someone wants us to believe the grave binders are involved in something nefarious, and. [00:06:44] Speaker A: We'Re pretty sure they're not. [00:06:45] Speaker C: Which means the investigation moves on to who has a problem with the grave binders. [00:06:51] Speaker D: She holds up the fingerbones and she says, have you ever seen these before? Do you have any idea what these indicate? [00:06:57] Speaker C: Riemann shakes his head. No. I actually was kind of hoping that maybe you did. [00:07:01] Speaker D: There was a lift contraption that they had for larger bodies of giants and giant descendants, and they were lifting. From what we gather, they lifted the bodies through a secret opening in the catacombs, which we have since sealed off. [00:07:18] Speaker C: Valen gestures with his hands, and Raymond says, the guilty party? When we find them, Valen would like me to negotiate with you. Who gets them? [00:07:29] Speaker D: Could we have a moment outside to discuss this in private? [00:07:34] Speaker C: Absolutely. [00:07:35] Speaker D: She steps outside and looks at Xeris and Creedon and says, I would like to leave town as soon as possible. Given that they have received orders from someone who outranks the person who gave us our orders, we could just turn everything we know over to them and let them do it. [00:07:52] Speaker E: As much as I hate letting Riemann get a win here, yeah, I don't see any reason that we need to make this a personal case for us. [00:08:02] Speaker F: Okay, are we going to just drop the whole cat frog thing, too? [00:08:08] Speaker E: I mean, that is something. If we stay in town. I would much rather spend our time investigating that than this missing bodies thing. And if they happen to be related. [00:08:17] Speaker D: I mean, my concern about Riemann being here is for the safety of Morgram's family, and it does not sound like they are in any danger from him. The question is, do we disclose to these two that one of Morgram's children suspects Bishop Sturgeon? Because I think that was the most pertinent thing that we really learned last night. Other than the fingerbones, I don't have. [00:08:39] Speaker F: A good reason to stay. [00:08:41] Speaker D: No, I mean, but do we tell them that piece that we got from the children? [00:08:46] Speaker E: I mean, that is very much just conjecture on their part, so we can share it, but I don't know how seriously that claim will be taken. I'm not even sure if I take it seriously. [00:08:56] Speaker D: To spread that around could make some waves and affect someone who has asserted himself as our boss. So I do not harbor a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings for him. So I personally do not care that much. But if you all think that is not a good idea, I can hold that back. [00:09:15] Speaker F: They seem like capable investigators. [00:09:18] Speaker D: All right. [00:09:19] Speaker E: You would have the highest personal stake in this, being a worshiper of silent judge. So if you think that it makes sense to pass this along to them. Yeah, absolutely. [00:09:30] Speaker F: No, that's what I'm saying. I think that they can forge their own path, and we don't need to give them information. It may lead them astray. Maybe we're wrong. [00:09:40] Speaker E: We all agree this is a waste of our time. [00:09:43] Speaker D: So she will go back into the house and she says, valen Riemann, I think we have determined that our joint efforts here are a bit redundant, and your orders come from someone who outranks the person who gave us our orders. So if you are all right with it, I will furnish you with my notes from interviewing the family, if they are of use to you, and we will leave this in your hands. [00:10:08] Speaker C: Well, I appreciate your willingness to pass this to our jurisdiction. I appreciate that. While you were out, we had a little chat. Valen would like to have a private conversation with you, Boane, if you have the time. [00:10:21] Speaker D: Sure. [00:10:22] Speaker C: Raymond turns around and gestures with his hands, and Valen gestures with his hands and Raymond says, would you like me to come translate? [00:10:29] Speaker D: Or you can use pen and paper, whatever Valen prefers. [00:10:33] Speaker C: All right, I'll translate. Raymond looks up and says, would you. [00:10:36] Speaker A: Two be willing to wait outside? [00:10:37] Speaker C: Kind of a. Sounds like family business, maybe. [00:10:40] Speaker E: Yeah. Creedon will leave. [00:10:42] Speaker F: I'll leave. [00:10:42] Speaker C: Valen's hands start moving rather rapidly, and Riemann watches him for a little bit, nodding, and he says he doesn't know what to call you, keeps referring to you as sister. Are you in our organization? [00:10:54] Speaker D: What organization is that? [00:10:56] Speaker C: Raymond sits down and he's got sort of a laced pant leg and starts unlacing it, pulls it clear up to his knee and running down kind of his upper thigh, is an elven script that says Vana Ulare. [00:11:10] Speaker D: She reads it like she's translating it. She says, the ghost of youthful beauty. [00:11:14] Speaker A: Your elven's good elves. Yeah. [00:11:17] Speaker C: Are you a member? I guess, is the question. [00:11:21] Speaker D: No. [00:11:21] Speaker C: Balin nods and begins to move his hands around, and Raymond says, he doesn't believe you, but he says it doesn't really matter. [00:11:30] Speaker D: Seems to matter to him. [00:11:32] Speaker C: Raymond again, is watching Valen's hands move. Okay. I'm not actually sure what he's getting at here. [00:11:38] Speaker A: Okay. [00:11:38] Speaker C: So Valen is basically saying that anyone who bears the mark is the only one who knows the touch of the goddess. I don't understand what he's even really saying here. He's getting very religious. [00:11:50] Speaker D: Does that make you uncomfortable, Riemann Valen. [00:11:54] Speaker C: Is this silent judge business? I'm not following. No, it's Svana Laure business. And Raymond just sort of tilts his head to the side and says, okay, look, valen's been a friend of mine for a long time, and he is, of course, older than my grandparents. And so sometimes he has a really cryptic way of talking. And this is one of those times I joined this organization because I get to help the empire set wrongs right. Valen seems to have joined this organization out of some kind of religious fervor. And he appears to be under the impression that you are a member of his sec. I'll tell you what I'm going to get out of the middle here. My translating isn't working. Walks outside. Valen looks like he's about to write on his piece of paper. And then he just looks at you. [00:12:47] Speaker D: Do we know each other? It has been a very long time. [00:12:50] Speaker C: He writes on the piece of paper. I recognize your eyes. [00:12:54] Speaker D: So what? [00:12:56] Speaker C: He writes on there. So, question mark. Like, seeing your hesitation, he writes, I thought maybe you would have questions. [00:13:05] Speaker D: Is it safe to assume you are going to tell your higher ups that you have seen me and where and. [00:13:11] Speaker C: When he writes, they already know. [00:13:14] Speaker D: All right, Dalen, here is my question. What game is this? Am I supposed to do something? Am I supposed to not do something? [00:13:23] Speaker C: He turns a piece of paper over and he says, you are of us and not of us. I was hoping you would choose. [00:13:34] Speaker D: I made a decision a very long time ago. And that is why you have not seen me since. [00:13:39] Speaker C: He nods. [00:13:40] Speaker A: He flips the piece of paper over. [00:13:42] Speaker C: And he writes on it. The reason they tattoo the name on you is so you don't forget the name. Everyone forgets the name. He tears the piece of paper out and folds it in half and hands it to you. [00:13:55] Speaker D: Funny that they put it on my back where it is difficult for me to read. [00:14:00] Speaker C: He starts and stops several times, and then he finally says, the magic that causes you to forget causes you to forget a great deal more than vana ulare. [00:14:14] Speaker D: Okay, then what have I forgotten? [00:14:16] Speaker C: He pulls out a new sheet of paper. Seek the divine temple of the waning mind hidden below. The summer home of the translator in Mandra. [00:14:30] Speaker D: Where is Mandra? [00:14:31] Speaker C: Mandra is far to the southwest, basically against the ocean. On a little plateau. [00:14:39] Speaker D: So not all the way to Ashtragar? [00:14:41] Speaker C: Not at all. [00:14:42] Speaker D: Okay, well, you are asking me to go pretty well out of my way, Valen, considering you could probably just write whatever you are thinking and burn it afterwards. [00:14:54] Speaker C: He writes on his piece of paper, you and I have nothing but time. [00:14:59] Speaker D: Funny, your boss seemed to indicate otherwise. [00:15:02] Speaker C: He tilts his head to the side and you see a look of kind. [00:15:05] Speaker A: Of alarm come across his face. [00:15:07] Speaker D: You might want to ask her about that. [00:15:09] Speaker C: He stands up, nods at you and walks out the front door to Riemann. He waves his hands at Riemann in a number of quick gestures and then starts walking off and says, okay. [00:15:25] Speaker D: What did he say? [00:15:26] Speaker A: Well, he said. [00:15:27] Speaker C: Well, I guess literally he said, I need to speak with the goddess. I'll be gone for a month. And then he walked away. [00:15:34] Speaker D: I will copy my notes out for you, Riemann, and leave them with you. [00:15:38] Speaker C: I guess I'll do this investigation myself. [00:15:49] Speaker D: All right. Well, do you want to see about the frog cat Herald thing? [00:15:59] Speaker E: Yeah, although I'm not totally sure how to proceed with that. I mean, it seemed like if we tried to go into that crater, we were going to get thoroughly flattened by those elementals. I want to know more about it, but I'm not really sure how to approach it unless we could possibly get some kind of authority to actually go in there and maybe have some help from some soldiers or something. [00:16:20] Speaker D: I get the impression that the authority we need is not going to come from people. And who do we ask about divine? [00:16:32] Speaker E: I mean, who's. Who's decided that the site is closed off? [00:16:37] Speaker F: Can Harold calm the elementals down? [00:16:40] Speaker D: Oh, that is a good question. [00:16:42] Speaker E: I don't think that we tried that. Although I did have Harold with me whenever I tried to approach. [00:16:46] Speaker D: But he was in your pocket. [00:16:49] Speaker E: That's true. I was invisible. I kind of didn't seem like they really see, though. Seems like maybe they're more of a sensing what's around sort of situation. But it's worth a try. I will pull Harold out of my pocket. [00:17:08] Speaker C: You have a baby kitten. [00:17:10] Speaker E: I scritch Harold's Head. [00:17:13] Speaker C: Harold purrs happily. [00:17:17] Speaker E: Harold, do you think that you could get us into that crater? The one near where I found you? [00:17:24] Speaker C: Body below. [00:17:26] Speaker E: Okay, is this my connection only to me, or is this like an all just to you? Okay, Harold says, body below. I'm guessing that there is the body of something below. [00:17:37] Speaker F: Harold's body. [00:17:39] Speaker E: Is it your. [00:17:40] Speaker C: Yes. [00:17:41] Speaker E: Hmm. Yes. [00:17:43] Speaker D: Well, I think we should go back to the site and let Harold try to get down. [00:17:48] Speaker E: Harold, can you. Can you turn into other things? Why did you decide to be a cat? I mean, I love it. I'm not asking you to change. [00:17:58] Speaker C: Harold says safe. [00:18:00] Speaker E: Well, that's right. You're definitely going to be safe. I won't let anything happen to you. Nozles, his little. Yeah. Yeah, I do. Crayden probably was never allowed to have a pet. Was very excited. [00:18:16] Speaker C: He makes little biscuits in your. [00:18:21] Speaker D: Stinking cute. Okay, let's get to the farm. [00:18:26] Speaker C: So you're walking up to the farm. Are you going to try to talk your way past the guards first, or are you going to go the invisibility route first? [00:18:33] Speaker E: Seemed like we wanted to just try to walk our way past. [00:18:37] Speaker C: Shift has changed over. There are new guards, and one of them is a 60 ish year old man in plate mail with a gigantic shield and mall that he is leaning against. Ziris, you recognize this man because this is the local bishop of sister truth. Veritas lawbringer. You know that Veritas actually was a paladin and sort of became this sage and went on a bunch of archaeological digs looking into sort of historic church relics. He's dressed like he's ready to kick some ass. But you have met him, and he is not actually an ass kicker. [00:19:21] Speaker F: Veritas. [00:19:22] Speaker C: He nods and says, you're back from the provinces. [00:19:25] Speaker F: We are. We're making our way north. We've gotten some inquisitor business into looking into missing bodies, and we're headed through this way. [00:19:35] Speaker C: Well, I'm pretty sure there aren't any missing bodies here, but he turns his attention to the two guys who are with him. He says, gentlemen, take a loop around the perimeter, please. And one head's one way, and one head's the other way, and they leave you alone standing in the street. [00:19:50] Speaker F: What's going on? [00:19:50] Speaker C: Veritas? Hey. [00:19:52] Speaker A: I heard a rumor that you were. [00:19:54] Speaker C: In a new organization. [00:19:56] Speaker F: Like I said, we were just given inquisitor business, so, yes, I am in a new organization. [00:20:02] Speaker C: I was thinking, like a more long term organization. One that sees certain threads and pulls on them. [00:20:10] Speaker F: Go ahead and say what you want to say. [00:20:11] Speaker C: I'm going to take that for recognition and assume you are in the silver thread. [00:20:16] Speaker F: We don't need to speak so plainly. Just say what you need to say. [00:20:21] Speaker C: Gotcha. [00:20:22] Speaker D: We don't need to speak plainly, but speak plainly. [00:20:27] Speaker C: I've gotten word that bodies have gone missing in every city except for Genos, which, of course, has no catacombs. [00:20:35] Speaker F: We have heard that. [00:20:38] Speaker C: I appreciate that you're doing local work and all, but I was under the impression that you folks were going to be heading for Astrogar, like yesterday. [00:20:48] Speaker F: We were under that impression, too, before the archbishop talked to us. [00:20:52] Speaker D: Bishop. Just regular bishop. [00:20:54] Speaker F: Bishop. Sorry, bishop. The local bishop talked to us. Excuse me. [00:20:58] Speaker C: Yeah, DeWalt is an asshole. [00:21:00] Speaker D: Vulain smiles. [00:21:02] Speaker C: We're going to need to get Dewalter off of your ass so you can get up to Astragar pretty quick. Do you need something at the site? I'm not supposed to let you in, but fuck it. [00:21:10] Speaker F: We need to just take a look at the crater before we move on. [00:21:13] Speaker C: Let me know if you need anything. What did DeWalt specifically ask you to do? [00:21:16] Speaker F: Look for corpses that have gone missing and implicate a certain family of gravediggers. [00:21:23] Speaker D: On the way who have done nothing wrong, as far as we can tell. [00:21:27] Speaker C: Interesting. [00:21:35] Speaker A: Our heroes explore the fallen star for some time before deciding that the mystery of prophecy is too great to dwell upon further, they scoop up Harold and head back into town to tell Bishop to Walter Sturgeon the bad news. They had simply been outranked, and grander, empirical forces were at work. The investigation failed. The bishop didn't take this news well, but had no recourse but to fire our heroes. His self centered attempt to co opt the dark arbiters of the province into doing his local bidding failed. Unwilling to further harass citizens of the empire for another's gain, they leave the sleepy border town of Tuscan behind. With the decision made, the prophecy is one step closer to being fulfilled, and by the time our heroes reach Astragar to focus on their main mission, Harold is twice his size and talking in something near sentences. A day after our heroes leave town, Riemann slips under the COVID of darkness into his third farmhouse for the night, creeping noiselessly through the back door into the empty building. Nobody lives here. A collection of grave dirt catches his eye, pulled in drag marks across the kitchen floor to a trap door. He slips up and cracks the trap door open and peers into the darkness. He is never seen again. The next day, the caretaker approaches the. [00:23:03] Speaker B: Empty house to trim the shrubs and. [00:23:05] Speaker A: Notices the front door is a jar. He enters, expecting to see the bishop of the luminous one inspecting her parents old house, but instead, dirt has been tracked through the kitchen to the cellar door, where a dark pool of reddish. [00:23:16] Speaker B: Liquid has been spilled. [00:23:17] Speaker A: Frustrated that local children have broken to the house and have perhaps been drinking. [00:23:21] Speaker B: In the cellar, he immediately throws the. [00:23:23] Speaker A: Cellar door open, lights a lantern, and descends in a huff. He is never seen again. Three days later, the caretaker has not. [00:23:33] Speaker B: Shown up for his pay, and Bishop. [00:23:35] Speaker A: Celine whispermoon meanders to her tiny cottage on her parents'property where the caretaker stays. He's not at home, which is odd. [00:23:43] Speaker B: And so she begins to look around. [00:23:45] Speaker A: The back door isn't locked, and there's dirt across the floor, ending in some dark stain near the cellar door. She shouts the caretaker's name and, hearing nothing, calls a small light into existence. With the cellar door open, her light descends ahead of her, a casual thought that saves her life. [00:24:01] Speaker B: As the light reaches the floor, eleven pairs of eyes flash in a room of chaotic shadows moving against the light, coming for her. With a whisper, she is gone before. [00:24:12] Speaker A: The shadowy claws and the smell of death can reach her by nightfall. Outside Bishop whisper Moon's family home is a small militia. A dozen paladins are flanked by dewalter Sturgeon, Veritas, Lobringer, riot, Emberhardt, Galen, Gearsmith, Celine Whisper Moon, and Morgrim Gravebinder. In the flurry of combat that follows, the forces of justice prevail against the walking dead. Two paladins are killed, but the might of the bishops prevails against eleven ghouls and twelve shadows. A single ghoul body remains shattered in the cellar, its skull transformed into jade and broken many days ago. For now, the fight is over in. [00:24:55] Speaker C: Tuscan, and you proceed to hear him knock a bunch of shit around in his office. [00:25:16] Speaker E: What a drama queen. I don't like that. [00:25:18] Speaker D: I'm pretty okay with this outcome, too. I mean, I'm not going to have a skip in my step or anything, but. [00:25:26] Speaker A: You head to Astragar. [00:25:27] Speaker C: So, unlike your travel in the province, which is plagued by monsters and beasts and bandits and other such nefarious activities, Astragar is incredibly civilized. There are no monsters to encounter on the road. The ods of bumping into a casual traveler who can smite evil are high. [00:25:46] Speaker A: Enough that there's no banditry on the road. Paladins, everywhere you look, Astragar is the. [00:25:52] Speaker C: Land of civilization, and your four day trip there is actually pretty chill. There is an inn which, as church officials, you are allowed to stay at for free pretty much at every time you would want there to be an inn, and you arrive in Astragar. It is a massive metropolitan area. Everyone who is anyone is here. The architecture is wild and stretches into the sky. You've all been here before, if momentarily. Boulain, I don't think you've been here in a while. [00:26:20] Speaker D: It's been a long time. But she did more or less grow up here. [00:26:23] Speaker C: If anything, the city has gotten larger and taller in the decades you were gone. Okay, so nay is going to establish a new kind of campaign policy. [00:26:34] Speaker F: Okay. [00:26:34] Speaker D: Uh oh. [00:26:35] Speaker C: Astragar is essentially home base. In other words, when you're in Astragar, you're essentially in a period of downtime. You have one week to do whatever you want in Astragar. As soon as you arrive, a runner with a silver threaded bracelet around their wrist runs up, pulls the bracelet off, hands it to you, and tells you where to go. What do you want to accomplish in the city of Astragar? [00:27:00] Speaker D: Did Harold. [00:27:01] Speaker E: Is Harold walking next to he. [00:27:05] Speaker C: Harold is now a six pound cat. [00:27:08] Speaker E: I'm trying to figure out if he would be out and walking by us or if I would, like, keep him in a bag. [00:27:12] Speaker C: He can be in your backpack. [00:27:14] Speaker D: I would have collected Brandir before we left Tuscan, just in case. [00:27:16] Speaker E: I have to think we're leaving without the bird. He'll find us. [00:27:22] Speaker C: So, normally, when you leave a city. [00:27:24] Speaker A: I would allow you to level, but. [00:27:25] Speaker C: You did not complete that city's objective. [00:27:30] Speaker E: That's cool. We did just kind of abandon your. [00:27:34] Speaker C: You have gone to home base. [00:27:36] Speaker F: That's fair. [00:27:37] Speaker D: To be fair, you threw just about everything at us to talk us into not doing that. [00:27:43] Speaker C: I just kept giving you facts. [00:27:45] Speaker E: You did this, Nate. [00:27:46] Speaker A: You talked yourselves. [00:27:49] Speaker C: You arrive at a meeting hall. It's sort of a small salon, cafe almost, but it's obviously only for private events. And as you walk in and sit down, there's sort of this large table, and a man who looks like art, sage Mason, but maybe 20 years younger, is sitting at the end of the table. And when he looks up, he says, please come in. Take your seats. The others will be here momentarily. And a few folks wander in. A beautiful woman, wearing a floor length floral gown and flowers in their hair like a crown, walks in and sits down. A dark figure in deep blue, almost purple robes, covering them from head to toe with a veil over their face, comes in and sits down. And three humans, none of which you recognize, come in and sit down. And the arch sage says, thank you. I will now call our meeting of the silver thread together. Magic was used to take 100 bodies out of the catacomb. Shortly after the death of. Like frikers, catacombs were closed for the night, but by morning, the gate was opened from the inside. There are no tracks of any kind, as if the area has been magically foiled. No divination. Magic appears to work again, as if some Sort of higher order misdirection magic is afoot. Divinations on the topic are coming up with random responses. This is nothing short of divine power at work. As a result, most assuredly, we are dealing with Vecna. We know that there is a book somewhere in the world that Vecna's soul is tied to, and we need to find that book and destroy it by casting it into the divine plane. [00:29:36] Speaker E: Hmm. [00:29:38] Speaker D: Wasn't that the one sirus took? [00:29:40] Speaker C: It is the one. It is then immediately went missing after you killed the vessel that Vecna was in. We need to find Vecna's vessel and destroy it thereafter. We have to do it in this order book, then vessel. Otherwise, the book just disappears and goes and finds a new host. This fight is going to take us on several fronts. So, item one. Every city in the empire has a single representative of the silver thread there. For local information. I have heard that every single city is now missing bodies, except for Genos, which does not have a catacombs. [00:30:13] Speaker B: This tells us there is a conspiracy. [00:30:15] Speaker C: There is no way that Vecna has a church any longer capable of this. These are embedded modern church members who are helping this along. There's no other possible explanation. Two, there is an ancient rift to the divine realm. It is currently closed. I can open it, and we can cast the book in it once we find it. That rift is located deep in the mines underneath maloria. That is our best chance for destroying the thing. Once we find it, we have another problem. There is a temple hidden under Mandra, under the estate of the translator. It holds an artifact that prevents Vecna's power from growing. It keeps them weak because it is a well kept secret. Assuredly, the vestigial God likely knows about its location. I have put agents surrounding the temple, and they're watching it. Currently, there's no sign of movement, but that is a major possible security problem. [00:31:12] Speaker D: And that's the same temple that Valen just told Boulain to go find. [00:31:17] Speaker C: Told you to go to. [00:31:18] Speaker D: Yeah. Okay. [00:31:19] Speaker C: And lastly, the gods are not providing adequate assistance, at least not on the mortal side. They're not able to respond with any additional information. But we haven't asked the fairy gods. So, if we wanted to head send a delegation north to Trey Bay. There is a ferry gate in the Arctic, basically in the far north of the country that leads across into the fay realm, where there are temples to the two fay gods. We could try to go learn something from them. [00:31:52] Speaker F: All right. [00:31:54] Speaker E: I am not a fan of the idea of going to ask the fay gods for help personally. [00:31:58] Speaker F: Which one of these do we think is in the most well to do area? [00:32:04] Speaker C: Well, all activity seems to have stopped around Astragar, which means I think they did something here to get our attention. But it seems like all the activity is moving out to the cities. [00:32:18] Speaker F: Yeah. Which one of these cities is going to have the most money in it? [00:32:25] Speaker A: Wow. Subtle od question. [00:32:30] Speaker F: Subtle. [00:32:31] Speaker C: I mean, Tuscan is directly on the trade route between here and Turtle Bay, so they're going to have a fair amount of wealth. Mandra is mostly where craftsmen go to retire. They might have a fair amount of wealth. [00:32:44] Speaker D: We should go to Mandra. [00:32:45] Speaker F: You know, I'm thinking the same thing. [00:32:48] Speaker E: I've never been there. I'd love to go. Although I did just get home. Do we have to leave immediately? I at least want to see my mom. [00:32:54] Speaker C: I mean, you should probably hang out for a week and figure out what you want to do next. Make plans, get equipment, that sort of thing. [00:33:01] Speaker F: Great. We'll prep to go to Mandra. [00:33:11] Speaker B: The dread files. Tuscan. Upon reaching Tuscan, while en route to Nepeal, the city was recovering from an undead assault. Interviews conducted by Max concluded that the bodies were removed from the crypts using a magical mechanical lifting device and transported by wagon. East of town, the undead were reported to be animated into various specialized units, separating the shadow from the creature to form some sort of advanced scout capable. [00:33:36] Speaker A: Of phasing through walls. [00:33:37] Speaker B: While the bodies were turned into specialized ghoul shock troops, the touch of the shadow appears to drain vitality in a unique fashion, threatening the individual until the weight of their own chest simply suffocates their lungs. While the shop troops possess a type of paralytic poison, rendering the victims unable to fight back, the undid appear to have stored up death energy, which explodes upon their demise, injuring all living creatures in proximity. Investigating the site of the onslaught revealed a single body was animated and then destroyed. Long before the military altercation brought an end to the undead cell, the single body was re dispatched by a ghoul's direct assault of the head, shattering a skull that had been transformed into jade. No, records indicate the jade skull was present when the body was initially interned at the Tusken catacombs by Morgan, gravebinder and associates. The undead appeared to have been confined to the cellar of the vacant farmhouse. Despite regular access to come and go, they remained still and showed no signs of the hunger or malfeasance associated with their typical nature. From this, we draw several conclusions. First, the undead were created and animated by an intelligent force, as no natural phenomenon could create specialized units. Secondly, that intelligent force exercises some form of command over the undead well beyond typical limitations of time and targets associated with traditional necromancy spells, as evidenced by the undead acting defensively and against their nature. Thirdly, the specialized units are best described as a strike force, optimized for close quarter combat against a small number of heavily armored units or objectives protected by physical means. Fourthly, despite being detected, the undead did not change tactics, implying that the controlling force was unaware of local developments or unable to respond over a distance to change the orders to its unit. I conclude then, that forces require some form of local leadership to be effective. And there was no sign of a leader at this particular location or battle. Meaning there is a malevolent force still at large in Tuscan. The jade skull ties the event directly to Palmville, where the dark arbiters destroyed a host body and exercised some type of spirit. It was not clear at the time if the intelligence or power was that of the host body or the invading spirit, only that the force moved between hosts in a process that transformed their skull to jade. It is clear that same force was at work here, as evidenced by the jade. But the wild change in tactics implies that in the Tuscan incident, this spirit is heavily military trained. I conclude that the invading spirit provided the power and perhaps hostile motivation. But the host was responsible for the intelligence with which the creature acts. Why this particular military strategy? The use of cells protects the leader, but the paralytic poison's wall phasing and weakening abilities imply a focused strike team designed to take out or gain access to a single target, but smaller than a city. Given the behavior in Palmville, we might assume the leader intended to animate the catacombs to create an army. But it is also clear that they already had access to the catacombs without detection. Meaning they chose to wait. Why? Perhaps the clue resides in the pooling of negative energy in each individual corpse. Does this empower them as shock troops for wider damage? Does it give them an edge against the city's divine spellcasters? Does it offer them some protection against the daylight? Or are they storing it with the intent of taking it someplace? It is clear their plans were interrupted before whatever objective was ready to be achieved. But the leader is still at large, and so Tuscan is very much in danger. Word has recently circulated that bodies have been reported missing in other towns, including Napeel. We cannot afford to stay to defend Tuscan or to search for this local leader while our home is also under similar threat. [00:37:38] Speaker A: We can only hope this report reaches. [00:37:40] Speaker B: The dark arbiters before they venture to another city. Or they will be unprepared for the. [00:37:44] Speaker C: Horrors that await them. [00:37:46] Speaker A: I'm sending a copy to Ashgar, care of the bishop of sister truth, in. [00:37:50] Speaker B: Hopes of finding Ziris in time. [00:37:53] Speaker A: The report never arrived. [00:38:05] Speaker B: Here's the deal. [00:38:06] Speaker C: There's a temple in Mandra underneath the translator's summer home. The translator is the only one allowed in the temple, but I built it so I could get you in. There are ten riddles, sort of riddle chambers. One for each one of the gods. And if you can get through the ten riddle chambers to the end, you can find the artifact. All we need to establish right now is that the artifact is as safe as possible. You can rest assured that there are agents trying to gain access. [00:38:40] Speaker F: Right now, the artifact just needs to remain in place. [00:38:43] Speaker D: We are not retrieving it. [00:38:44] Speaker C: It's retrievable. If you deem that this artifact is no longer safe, pick it up and bring it here. [00:38:52] Speaker F: All right. Is there a problem with just burying it? [00:38:56] Speaker C: It is meant to be updated periodically. [00:39:02] Speaker D: And who updates it? [00:39:04] Speaker C: The translator. [00:39:05] Speaker D: Has she done that recently, as far as you know? [00:39:10] Speaker C: As far as I know, no translator has updated the book in several centuries. [00:39:16] Speaker F: Are you running the latest version of your software? [00:39:19] Speaker A: Do you need new drivers? [00:39:22] Speaker D: Have you turned off and turned on again recently? [00:39:25] Speaker F: Yeah. We'll prepare, and we'll head there. [00:39:27] Speaker C: All right. [00:39:28] Speaker D: With due respect, Arch sage, why not ask the translator to go there and update the book? [00:39:35] Speaker C: I don't have the authority to ask the translator to do anything. And there is no update to the book that will have any effect beyond what is already present. Vecna's name is in it. Okay, so the three humans. One of them leans in and says, again, everything's as quiet in Genoch. There's no sign of any cult activity that we can find. Whatever action is taking place, it's not here. The other one leans in and says, and there's no sign of problems here in Astregar at all. It's gone totally quiet. Since the initial bodies went missing, we have tried many times to figure out where they went. There are some sightings of suspicious carts leaving the city on that morning, but we have yet to find them. And agents in all of our towns have not reported any suspicious carts arriving. [00:40:30] Speaker E: These missing bodies, these are happening pretty much in every town, right? It's not like it's only happening in towns that make a circle or something like that. Has anybody done a conspiracy map? [00:40:42] Speaker C: Come to think of it, all of the towns are kind of in a circle, except for the two, which are Astragar and Genoch in the middle, which, of course, do not have anything going on in them right now. So, I mean, if you would like to be the conspiracy nut at the table, you're certainly welcome to start that. Best we can tell, the carts left town and split up in every direction. So wherever these hundred bodies went, they scattered. [00:41:11] Speaker F: Do we know who the 100 bodies are? [00:41:14] Speaker C: And he pulls out a list of documents, and he sets them down on the table and says, I mean, I have the identities of all of the bodies that were taken, but, I mean, they're all ex convicts executed. I mean, that's the section of the catacombs that was vacated. [00:41:28] Speaker F: They don't all happen to have the same crime, do? [00:41:31] Speaker C: No, not even remotely. They just all happen to be next to where we put like's body. [00:41:36] Speaker E: Was like's body also taken? [00:41:37] Speaker C: Yeah, it's gone. [00:41:38] Speaker D: And this happened the day after his execution? [00:41:40] Speaker C: The night of. By dawn the next morning, again, the catacombs were found open. 100 bodies missing, including likes. [00:41:49] Speaker E: Was, like, involved in this order? [00:41:51] Speaker C: As far as we know, like was a former noble washed out of the Paladin academy. No God claimed him. Went to his hometown of Hilock back in the province, and began a career of banditry. [00:42:08] Speaker D: What happened at his trial? How did that go? [00:42:11] Speaker C: Pretty much immediately. Capast said that he had been trafficking with higher powers to gain magic that were not the gods. He said that he did, in fact, kill guard on the boat, that it was an accident, but that he still, in fact, did it, and that his intention was to overthrow the corrupt government of Hilock. But once he admitted to a murder and trafficking with powers that were not the ten gods, he pretty much signed his death warrant right there and then there. [00:42:46] Speaker D: Did anything strange happen at his execution? [00:42:48] Speaker C: No. [00:42:49] Speaker D: Who presided over his rights? [00:42:51] Speaker C: A scribe, pretty far down in the echelons of the silent judge's temple. We've investigated them thoroughly. As far as I can tell, they performed the rites normally and didn't skip any steps, but also didn't detect anything OD. [00:43:06] Speaker D: Was he buried with anything? Any particular objects? His signet ring? [00:43:10] Speaker C: No. All of his items were turned over to the state, and they will be melted down and recast into something useful to the city. [00:43:19] Speaker D: Okay, what about this beautiful lady in this dark figure? Did they do or say anything? [00:43:23] Speaker E: Somebody else do some work around here, too? [00:43:26] Speaker C: The arch sage says, what do we got? And looks over at this sort of dark figure. And her voice is really gravely behind her veil and she says, it is beyond my power to assist in this matter. The offenders are dead. There's nothing my organization can do to assist. [00:43:49] Speaker D: Do I recognize this? [00:43:50] Speaker C: For it's much deeper than you remember, but it has the same edge to it as a voice you saw in a trance once. He looks over at the woman in the flower dress and she says, I don't know why you're not asking the Faylords for help. If this book is some sort of ritual, clearly it is governed then by the eternal knowledge. Ask eternal knowledge for support. He'll help. Then maybe you can find the damn book. [00:44:18] Speaker E: Usually the fay don't just help out of the kindness of their hearts. [00:44:24] Speaker C: You would know. [00:44:26] Speaker D: Shit. Oh, throwing down. [00:44:31] Speaker E: Wow, man. Wow. [00:44:35] Speaker C: The third human in the room who has not said anything yet. I can have the tray bay agent cross into the feywild and start asking around. [00:44:43] Speaker E: What's this flower dress person's name? [00:44:46] Speaker C: No one has addressed them by their name. [00:44:48] Speaker E: Hey, you. What's your name? [00:44:51] Speaker C: Oh, don't worry about it, Creighton. [00:44:53] Speaker E: Well, it's only polite if we're going to be working together. And you seem to know so much about me that I know some about you. [00:44:59] Speaker C: Okay, well, if politeness is what you're concerned about, of course it is. You can call me Thalindra. Philindra and, Creighton, you would know that Thalindra is the name of Thalindra nightbloom, Archbishop of the luminous one. [00:45:17] Speaker E: Oh, my God. Okay. Oh, no. And I didn't recognize this person. I didn't recognize one of the archbishops. [00:45:26] Speaker C: They are not in priestly robes at all. [00:45:28] Speaker F: Don't worry. You outrank them now. [00:45:29] Speaker E: Oh, man. My plan to shit in her bed may have just been foiled. [00:45:38] Speaker D: We don't outrank them. [00:45:41] Speaker F: No, I'm saying Creedon does. [00:45:42] Speaker D: Oh, right. Well, her mom does. [00:45:46] Speaker E: Think I want to start blowing up my spot? [00:45:48] Speaker F: No, with her powers is what I mean. [00:45:50] Speaker C: Her mom's even. But Creedon does get to talk directly to God. [00:45:53] Speaker D: That's true. That's true. [00:45:55] Speaker E: I don't want to share that information with anybody. [00:45:57] Speaker F: They're not going to. [00:46:07] Speaker A: You have a week in town to do stuff. So the first thing that happens is you are in a meeting hall with just Arch sage Mason, who reaches into his gigantic chest and pulls out several items. Three items. [00:46:26] Speaker E: Wait, okay, are we talking specific? Define chest here, because, were you picturing the same thing I was? Yeah. Pulling it out. [00:46:37] Speaker A: God, it's like a wooden pair of boobies yeah, it's a standard wooden chest, and he reaches way into it with really long arms and comes out with. [00:46:47] Speaker D: Three items, 34 c standard. [00:46:50] Speaker A: Is that standard double ds, bigger on the inside, huge tracks of land. [00:46:59] Speaker E: Credence looks longingly at them. [00:47:04] Speaker D: They're almost as big as mine were for a time. [00:47:08] Speaker A: Boulain, what magic item does the arch sage hand you? [00:47:12] Speaker D: He is going to hand Boulain the headband of telepathy. [00:47:17] Speaker C: There. [00:47:17] Speaker D: I committed. [00:47:18] Speaker A: Okay. [00:47:19] Speaker D: It's actually the helm of telepathy, but I want it to be a headband because it's going to be the circlet that she hangs her veil from. [00:47:25] Speaker A: He hands you a metal circlet. It is like all the things the art sage has given you so far, kind of silvery, has a little bit of a glow to it, and he passes it off. Claire, what item did he pull out for you? [00:47:41] Speaker E: Yeah, he gives credence a once over, sees her little witch hat she got in Turtle Bay and her little cape, and he's like, yep, this fits. And pulls out a broom of flying. [00:47:53] Speaker A: Okay, you are given a witch's broom, which he hands his overs to you and says, this is not a comment on your personality. [00:48:02] Speaker E: I wish it were. [00:48:05] Speaker A: Xeris, what is the item that is given to you? [00:48:08] Speaker F: So, as always, I have a question. [00:48:11] Speaker D: He's got to commit. He has to commit. [00:48:13] Speaker F: Well, I'm between two things, and it depends on this answer. So at this commonality, there's the gauntlets of ogre power. Set your strength to 19. And there's the headband of intellect. Set your intelligence to 19. Could I get an object that sets charisma to 19? [00:48:36] Speaker D: Oh, the headband of pizzazz. [00:48:39] Speaker F: I was thinking like an earring of. [00:48:40] Speaker A: Pizzazz, but, yeah, I don't think there is a charisma version. [00:48:46] Speaker F: I don't think so. [00:48:47] Speaker A: Of headband of intellect. [00:48:49] Speaker C: Let me google it. [00:48:50] Speaker E: A really fashionable hat. [00:48:51] Speaker F: And if not, that's cool, too. It does synergize with what I'm doing. It is my stat as a barbarian. [00:48:59] Speaker D: I mean, could we make one up? It's our story. [00:49:03] Speaker E: Please, dm. [00:49:06] Speaker D: Please, Uncle Daddy. [00:49:08] Speaker E: Dm. [00:49:09] Speaker A: Is there a reason there's no charisma? 19 item in five e, question mark. [00:49:16] Speaker F: Oh, we're going to do a quick Google Reddit. [00:49:18] Speaker D: Oh, I see. Why hasn't anybody come up with it? [00:49:21] Speaker E: Because the egos would get too inflated. [00:49:23] Speaker D: I feel like if there's one for intelligence and there's another one for strength, I don't see why there couldn't be one for charisma. [00:49:31] Speaker A: They seem to be under the assumption that charisma like dexterity is too broadly useful to many skills. But I don't like that explanation. [00:49:43] Speaker D: That's bullshit. [00:49:44] Speaker E: Give us. There is. [00:49:47] Speaker A: I don't like that explanation. So there isn't one. But now there is. It needs to be in the same equipment slot as either the gauntlets or the headband. [00:50:00] Speaker F: Sure. Well, I mean, it's just attunement, right? Both of them require attunement. It can be a ring or an earring where some form of jewelry was my thought. [00:50:09] Speaker A: Okay. I think that it coming from the art sage. It is going to be an ear cuff. A big one, too. [00:50:19] Speaker C: Like basically a whole ear piece of jewelry. [00:50:22] Speaker E: That's pretty cool. [00:50:23] Speaker C: All right. [00:50:23] Speaker D: Bling bling. That should make you happy, Zuris. [00:50:26] Speaker F: It does. [00:50:27] Speaker E: You're like, oh, I must not give it no dig. [00:50:32] Speaker F: No dig's taking all he needs. [00:50:34] Speaker D: Yeah, I think no dig is fine. [00:50:36] Speaker F: No dig took more from me than I intended. [00:50:39] Speaker A: It does have a dragon motif to. [00:50:41] Speaker C: So there you go. [00:50:43] Speaker D: It's like he knows something. [00:50:46] Speaker A: Maybe dragons are popular. [00:50:48] Speaker D: Boulain is handling her circle it and says, these are very precious items, art sage. I feel awkward taking such a gift. [00:50:58] Speaker A: Oh, don't worry, Boulain. I've had a thousand years to craft these in my boredom. I have many, many of them. Just don't go and get yourself killed, because when you die of natural causes, I would like them back. [00:51:11] Speaker D: Noted. [00:51:11] Speaker E: Yeah. I mean, he's giving us a job to essentially go up against the gods to some degree. I feel like this is some good compensation. [00:51:19] Speaker D: A death God, no less. [00:51:21] Speaker E: He wants us to go up against. [00:51:22] Speaker D: A death God and not get killed. [00:51:24] Speaker A: Not the first time I've asked that, but I am asking it again. This time, the death God appears to be much more prepared and hasn't had me actively fighting it for a half millennia. Let's start with Creedon. Oh, no, Creedon, you have a week in town. Give me one or two things that you would like to have happen in that week. [00:51:55] Speaker E: I think that Creedon wants to do two things. First off, she does want to visit her family. She wants to visit her mom's and wants to. I think that she wants to spend a lot of her week looking at basically trying to build her puzzle solving skills, because she knows that we're going somewhere where we're going to have to solve ten riddles. So I don't know if she's going to go to the library, try to read some books on puzzle construction and understanding. Them and, I don't know, maybe read some riddle books. Maybe one will come up again. [00:52:24] Speaker A: So let's do a quick scene with Creedon. You come home for dinner. Your archbishop mother has left work early in order to be home for dinner. Your other mother is also there. I think we are going to finally have to name them something other than Archbishop Brightwind and other mother. What do you want to go with? [00:52:45] Speaker E: Oh, gosh. I thought that I came up with names for them at one point and now I don't remember. [00:52:51] Speaker A: I think we went to look for them and couldn't find them last time this came up. But at least the one who arrived. [00:52:57] Speaker C: Had a title and we were just able to call them archbishop for the episode. [00:53:00] Speaker E: Yes, that sounds right. [00:53:02] Speaker D: Hang on. [00:53:02] Speaker E: I'm real quick checking my older character sheet just because I might. I know. I named my brother. I know what his name is. Yeah. [00:53:08] Speaker D: Okay. [00:53:09] Speaker E: I didn't give him a name. [00:53:10] Speaker C: Let me see if I have Creedon's first character sheet here. Let me see if I've got anything. Well, we have brother Caleb. [00:53:17] Speaker E: Yes. Let's see. Let's go with. [00:53:21] Speaker D: Oh, my God, I'm so bad at. [00:53:22] Speaker E: I've just got to find a name generator. I can't ever come up with names on the spot. It's my biggest tweak. This is a DM. [00:53:30] Speaker A: Here, let me see what Chat GPT can come up with here. [00:53:34] Speaker E: Oh, yeah, give me some good fantasy mom names. Get the AI on it. [00:53:40] Speaker F: My biggest weakness is names. [00:53:43] Speaker D: It's names. And the question, what do you want for Christmas? I hate that question. Somebody asked me that. I have a running list of shit that I need and it just clears out of my head the moment somebody asks. [00:53:54] Speaker E: Put it into a Google Doc. I have a Google Doc that I send people when they ask me what I want for Christmas. [00:54:00] Speaker A: Okay. Seraphina. [00:54:02] Speaker E: Ooh, Seraphina's good. [00:54:03] Speaker A: And Isabella. [00:54:04] Speaker E: I love those. Wait, didn't we already have an Isabella in this game? [00:54:09] Speaker A: Well, we had a bella. [00:54:10] Speaker E: Okay, but not an Isabella. [00:54:12] Speaker D: You could go with French, Isabelle. [00:54:15] Speaker A: And you can, of course call them both mom. But I need something for other people to call them. [00:54:19] Speaker E: Mom one and mom two. [00:54:21] Speaker D: But which one is which? [00:54:22] Speaker E: Okay, the bishop is going to be. What was the first name? [00:54:26] Speaker A: Seraphina. [00:54:27] Speaker E: That's so regal. And bishop. The other one was Isabella. [00:54:32] Speaker C: Seraphina and Isabella Brightwind. [00:54:35] Speaker E: Yes, this is good. [00:54:37] Speaker A: And is Isabella also a cleric but not a bishop or just like a person? [00:54:42] Speaker E: I kind of imagine her being pretty much a normal person, but probably somebody that's always been a little bit involved in the church. [00:54:49] Speaker A: Gotcha. So cannot cast spells. [00:54:51] Speaker C: We'll go with that. [00:54:51] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:54:52] Speaker C: Okay. [00:54:53] Speaker A: So Caleb has also taken the day off to come have a family dinner together. [00:54:59] Speaker C: He seems a little surly about it. [00:55:01] Speaker A: But is putting on a good show. And when you arrive, your mother Isabella and your brother Caleb are fixing the last of the food and archbishop Brightwind is sitting at the table having just finished setting it and invites you to sit down. [00:55:17] Speaker E: Yes, she will. Although Creighton is very. I feel like she's a little bit stiff. She clearly doesn't feel fully comfortable. It has been a long time since she's been back home and she's been through a lot and I think changed a lot, so it's definitely a little awkward. [00:55:31] Speaker A: The house is almost exactly as you left it. Your mother, who's sitting at the sort. [00:55:35] Speaker C: Of the head of the table, says. [00:55:37] Speaker A: Creighton, it's so good to have you back in town. And I heard from a little bird that perhaps you have learned the error of your ways and you have been. [00:55:52] Speaker E: Mean. I always thought that it would come from divine mercy, but yet the radiant one has bestowed me with gifts. That was not what I was expecting. [00:56:01] Speaker A: That's amazing. You know, Caleb thought maybe the radiant one would choose you at some future. You know, he really wanted that to. [00:56:11] Speaker C: Be true for you. [00:56:12] Speaker E: Creighton looks at Caleb and was like, oh yeah? What made you think that? [00:56:15] Speaker A: And Caleb says, well, you're from a prominent family and you never really quite fit in in the. So, you know, I guess the next best fit was always the radiant and my. [00:56:29] Speaker E: Me and my sunny, really, you know, makes a lot of sense. [00:56:33] Speaker A: Caleb, your mother Isabella comes in and sets down a big salad and sits down and says, sunny disposition or not. [00:56:41] Speaker C: People have always listened to you, sweetheart. [00:56:44] Speaker E: She shrugs. She can't totally deny that. I see you haven't met my current friend's persuasive, though. [00:56:53] Speaker A: So the archbishop pulls from under her plate a letter and says, this arrived for you, dear. Someone must know you're in town, and slides across a letter from Turtle Bay. [00:57:05] Speaker E: Ooh, is it from Dredd? [00:57:07] Speaker A: It is from Dredd. What does it say as you crack the letter open? [00:57:12] Speaker E: Actually, no, she's not going to open in front of her family. Absolutely not. [00:57:15] Speaker A: Oh, okay. Isabel says, who's it from, dear? It's not from the church, is it? [00:57:20] Speaker E: Oh, no, it's not actually. Well, Mother divine mercy might have actually smiled on me a little bit. I've been seeing someone. He's out in Turtle Bay right now working on some things of his own. But while a group that was a rival adventuring group we ran into, I connected with this person and things have been going really well. I didn't know that would happen for me either. [00:57:44] Speaker A: You see a variety of emotions flash across your family's face. Of course, in a church dedicated to emotions, it is not uncommon for you to see all of them. And you do rapidly see all of them flash over their faces. Your brother is the first person to break the silence who says so. He's a nice guy. [00:58:05] Speaker E: Yes, absolutely. And he's brilliant. An amazing investigator. [00:58:09] Speaker A: Okay, neat. [00:58:10] Speaker C: Is he affiliated with the church? [00:58:12] Speaker E: Not particularly. I mean, he was just part of an adventuring. [00:58:17] Speaker A: Okay, okay. [00:58:19] Speaker E: He grew up in a pretty rural place. [00:58:21] Speaker A: Oh, and mom Isabella says, yeah, actually, you know, I grew up in a pretty rural place and didn't have big church affiliations before I met your. You know, you're following in my footsteps. [00:58:35] Speaker C: Maybe. [00:58:36] Speaker E: I think that she smiles at that. She likes hearing that from her mom. [00:58:40] Speaker A: The archbishop smiles and says, well, it is common practice for people, before things get too serious, to come in for just a conversation session, work on your communication skills, that sort of thing. And it's a little od for me to do it, but I'm sure I can find you someone who's not your mother to have that conversation. When would you like to have that? [00:59:05] Speaker E: Oh, I'm not completely sure. Honestly, I don't even know what his future plans are. I'm not completely sure how serious we even are. Oh, we haven't really talked about the future very much yet. [00:59:20] Speaker A: Well, that would be a wonderful topic for your first meeting over at the church. And I'll just go ahead and schedule that when next he's in town. You let me know as soon as he's coming and I'll make arrangements. [00:59:33] Speaker C: And he can stay here, too. [00:59:34] Speaker A: We have an extra bedroom. [00:59:35] Speaker E: Yes, of course. I will bring him by as soon as he's in town. [00:59:40] Speaker A: And your mother, isabella says, and he can stay in your room. And Caleb turns bright red. [00:59:44] Speaker E: Creighton also turns bright red. [00:59:48] Speaker A: Salad is served. And your mother says, where are you headed to? [00:59:53] Speaker E: I am actually going to be heading out pretty soon for a. Well, we're going to. Maybe I shouldn't. Well, we have some business in Mandra and I just need to do a little bit of research on some things that I expect to encounter there. I've got another quest, but I think it's maybe a little bit need to know. I don't think I should talk about it, too. [01:00:15] Speaker C: Ah. [01:00:16] Speaker A: Are you still working for the provincial governor, then? Tanglebeard? [01:00:21] Speaker E: Yes. [01:00:21] Speaker A: Oh, good. Well, I'm happy that he has you doing some research. He's really been a good mentor for you. [01:00:28] Speaker E: Yeah. [01:00:28] Speaker A: And how is Xeris doing? I was really hopeful that he would be a really positive influence. [01:00:36] Speaker E: Yeah, he's definitely been a great protector for me. He's saved my life several times, always kept close guard over me and has always kept me in line. [01:00:48] Speaker A: Good. I'm so happy to hear that. [01:00:50] Speaker C: I chose well. [01:00:51] Speaker A: You know, Ziris was a really interesting local official. It's very rare for us to have someone chosen by sister truth who is so physical with their manifestations of divine power. It's impressive. He's a rare find. [01:01:08] Speaker E: Yes. He's really a great example of a bastard of the ideals of his church. [01:01:14] Speaker A: Caleb says, oh, I have something for you. And he reaches down under his chair and comes up with a little bag. And it's like a little party bag, multicolored, with some tissue paper sticking out of it. And he slides it across the table to you. [01:01:27] Speaker E: She'll open it. [01:01:28] Speaker A: Okay. Inside is a little journal that's empty. [01:01:33] Speaker C: Of course, but it has a very. [01:01:34] Speaker A: Fancy cover that is decorated in divine mercy imagery and a very fancy quill. And he says, and the quill is magic and never runs dry. [01:01:45] Speaker E: Oh, excellent. Thank you, Caleb. Oh, God. Does she have anything to give him? [01:01:51] Speaker D: I have this cat, used to be a frog. [01:01:55] Speaker A: I have this dragon tooth that I used to impress boys. [01:01:58] Speaker D: You have dragon scales. Didn't you take some of the dragon scales from bison Slayer? [01:02:02] Speaker E: Oh, yeah, I did. I will give him a dragon scale. [01:02:06] Speaker A: Caleb is impressed and a little terrified. [01:02:09] Speaker C: When you hand him a dragon scale. [01:02:10] Speaker A: And he's like this. Mother told me you ran into a dragon, but I was under the impression it didn't have scales. Where did you find this? [01:02:17] Speaker E: Oh, well, it's from the dragon that we felled at the lock. [01:02:23] Speaker A: He just stares at you with his mouth half open, and then he goes, thank you, Creedon. I don't know. I am without words. [01:02:32] Speaker B: This is really cool, you know, Caleb. [01:02:35] Speaker E: Getting out and seeing Astragar, it's been really good for me. It might be a good idea for you to go do something like that, too. And then you can have these really cool stories. [01:02:45] Speaker A: Yeah, maybe I should go ahead and roll me a persuasion roll. [01:02:50] Speaker E: Oh, baby. That was a 19 on the dice, and that is going to be a total of 27. [01:02:58] Speaker A: Okay. I think the rest of dinner is just people talking about travel plans for Caleb, and he seems to be getting increasingly excited about the prospect. But no plans are decided by the end of your family meal together. End that. [01:03:13] Speaker E: Wait, wait. What does my letter say? I want to read it. [01:03:17] Speaker A: You read the letter off to the side, and people give you your privacy because they're that kind of family. Dredd writes, we've cracked the case in Turtle Bay. The liberation of the city from the empire at the hands of a dragon turtle was only meant to be a distraction. Damage. The navy would have sent paladins away from the capital to deal with rebellion in Turtle Bay. With this plan failed, we have no idea what the next distraction attempt will be. We will be heading home to Nepil. [01:03:45] Speaker C: To see to the safety of our. [01:03:46] Speaker A: Families before returning to Astragar. I consider you my family, so stay safe. Something wishes to end the empire from within. Be careful, dread. [01:04:00] Speaker E: Zero and a zero. Yes, the number. Creedon will definitely write something back in a little bit. I'll think over it while other scenes are happening. But that sounds bad. [01:04:14] Speaker A: Well, dire warnings indeed. And that is our show for today. The world keeps moving, and so do the consequences. Special thanks to Todd Ferguson of my pet machine for our tunes and Julie at elaborate flight of fancy for our logo. You can find them both on Facebook. Don't forget to leave us a rating and review. Tune in next time to learn some more about our characters in the great capital city of Astragar. [01:04:47] Speaker B: See you next time on carrots and. [01:04:49] Speaker C: Suffering at the indie Odyssey. I'm.

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