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(thunder rumbling)

(intense music)

(thunder rumbling)

- Ladies and gentlemen,

welcome once again to Dimension 20

and our first ever side quest,

Escape From the Bloodkeep.

I am your humble dungeon master,

Brennan Lee Mulligan,

with me are my friends, Rekha Shankar.

- Hello, hello.

- [Brennan] Matthew Mercer.

- Hello everyone.

- [Brennan] Amy Vorphal.

- Hi!

- [Brennan] Mike Trapp.

- Hello!

- [Brennan] Erika Ishii.

- It's me!

- [Brennan] And Ify Nwadiwe.

- Ya boi!

(laughing)

- Well, without further ado,

we are going to begin our very first side quest.

A tale of evil and darkness,

Escape From the Bloodkeep.

Behold, a land of ash and shadow,

choked by sunless and starless skies.

The vast plains of Khal Ravenwrath,

smoking with craters,

and the breeding pits of orcish armies.

Spiders, worgs, and bats cover the land of Gorgar,

who's armies seek to forever stomp out the forces of light

within the world Elna.

Beyond the Bog of Despair,

and the towering mountains that surround the Door of Doom.

Past even, Ro-ro-ro-ro-ror-kin-drath,

The Scary Volcano,

there rises, endlessly towards the sky,

a towering fortress of vast obsidian might,

who seeks to pluck the very stars from the sky.

Athagduar, The Bloodkeep.

And atop its utmost spire,

the flaming maw of Zaul'Nazh,

Lord of Shadows,

who bends his ceaseless will to the unmaking of the world.

Forever stand The Bloodkeep

and woe betide its foes forever.

Within The Bloodkeep, this vast obsidian fortress,

where we see our various heroes, or should I say villains.

We are going to zoom deep within The Bloodkeep

where gears and chains crank and orcs call out,

trolls lumber, goblins chitter and scurry about,

and spiders spin their webs deep, deep, deep

in the bowels of The Bloodkeep,

lies a chamber of gray marble,

frigid cold, and mist,

and within it, The Pool of Souls,

an oracular pool where the spirits of the dead

commune with the living.

Floating within The Pool of Souls,

her eyes rolled back in her head

as she communes with the spirits here,

we see the farseer, the dark oracle

and soothsayer of the forces of darkness,

Efink Murderdeath.

Amy, would you please describe your character for us.

- Yes, she is a high elf.

She is a cleric, she's beautiful.

As an elven person,

it's very difficult to find any part of her ugly,

so she's pale, everything's pale.

Pale skin, pale hair.

She found that a little bit too basic,

and realized that when she joined The Dark Lord's forces,

a lot of people are scared of wet hair,

so she has leaned in and every part of her wisping,

kind of almost Grecian robes that she dangles,

they're all wet.

Everything's just like very wet all the time,

and the hair is in her face,

so she's doing her best to look scary

but actually is always very hot.

(laughing)

And when her eyes roll back in her head, it also is hot,

so everything's hot.

But yeah, I think,

oh she's wearing a tiara,

and she normally has a bone with her

which is a skull that she calls her bone.

And yeah, that's what she looks like.

- Wonderful.

Efink is floating in freezing cold water,

just barely above the point where it could become ice.

The chill in your bones eases the passing of your minds eye

from here into the realm of spirits.

You (gasping) feel them now, moving around you.

(murmuring)

Efink.

We see and we tell all,

let her of the far sight know

that which she wishes.

What questions, Queen of Sight,

do you wish to have answered.

(sharp inhaling)

- And I go full Galadriel photo negative.

(laughing)

And say we have accomplished much in this time,

what is the next task for dominion over the realm

for our Dark Lord of Shadows?

(Brennan making explosion sounds)

- Mist rises from the water as you see a flaming crown,

the last crown of Zaul'Nazh.

The talisman which contains

all of his vast and mighty power.

You feel spirits fleeing far and wide.

We search, your highness, we search and search,

as well we may.

(inhaling)

And you see the spirits of these three sort of Norns

appear around you, Abaseel, Azrah, and Orgrah.

(inhaling)

My Queen, we have searched and searched.

- No, no, Abaseel is my favorite, you speak.

(laughing)

- You see that Abaseel goes.

Okay.

(laughing)

- Yes your flattering of me last time did not go unnoticed.

- Oh, you of the far sight, Efink Murderdeath,

when you roll your eyes back in your head, it's super cool.

Everyone loves it, you look resplendent,

and when you go all black and white like that,

I mean, people just die!

- Yes, that is what you said last time.

- You see that she says, the crown yet lies in shadow,

though the Vinguri hunt for it with a wooly timber will,

but a vision for you.

This is the final hour for the forces of your light,

your father (inhaling) and you see Telmyr the Calm,

the Lord of Care Blythwin.

Rallies now with Casara the Beige (inhaling)

and the Ranger of the North.

- Oh, shit.

Fucking shit, get that man out of my life.

- I'm sorry, we can only tell you what may yet come to pass.

I know that if it were in our power

to make you not have to run in with your ex,

we for sure would.

- Thank you, As-Asmeer--

- I'm Azrah, she's Orgrah, this is Abaseel.

- Yes, Abaseel is my favorite.

- I have a hard time,

I know I don't make as much of an impression as Abaseel.

Abaseel goes, no, you're trying, it's good.

Abaseel caresses your cheek and whispers in your ear

and says, my lady, though your father and your,

I guess still husband.

- Oh, god.

- [Brennan] Sorry.

(grunting and yelling)

They're all zapped by your power.

- The Dark Lord, Shadow Queen shall replace you!

(screaming)

- You see Azrah goes, (heavy breathing)

okay it's Azrah's time to shine let's do it.

And steps up to you here.

This is the day where the Lord of Shadows

will forever conquer the world of men, elves, and dwarves.

His crown shall be reclaimed this day, my lady.

(inhaling)

(gasping)

And you awake, in your pool.

(water splashing)

(laughing)

- Is there anyone around to share this?

I climb out, yeah I definitely climb out,

you know pick my wedgie, and uh--

(laughing)

- Go ahead and give me either arcana or religion.

- Okay and that was Abaseel, Azrah, and Or-gah?

- Uh, Orgrah.

- Orgrah.

Um we will do, you want religion or?

- Religion or arcana, whatever you think

your character would use for their oracular abilities.

- Oracular.

Yeah, I think arcana.

- Cool go for it.

- Let's just do that.

So that is a dirty 20.

- A dirty 20, hell yeah, love it.

As you step out of the pool, you get a vision in your mind

of someone sort of nearby to you.

You foresee yourself walking from the halls here,

someone else that stays in the bowels of the tower with you.

You're quite near Lilith's cavern.

- Oh.

- Oh perfect.

- You're quite near Lilith's cavern.

Also with that dirty 20,

you have one final flash of insight,

that you're not quite sure what it is.

It doesn't feel like your other visions,

if I'm being honest,

because this one doesn't make you feel like,

good about yourself and positive,

and your best visions are the ones that psych you up

and make you feel good about yourself.

- Mmm.

- You see a weird--

- Oh, then what I do is,

there's a mirror as you exit the pool,

and like I have a moment with the mirror,

because well this is, if you've ever, well.

- [Brennan] Yeah.

- If you're ever done like a bath or like one of those--

- Sensory deprivation tanks?

- Sensory deprivation tanks and you're like wow, okay,

everything is normal and cool.

And then you walk out, there are these mirrors,

and you're like oh shit,

my like corporeal body is still you know?

(all laughing and talking)

- I'm still an awkward fucking human.

- You come from the Earth, don't you ever forget it!

You're made of dust!

And mud!

- [Amy] Exactly.

- When you were in the Pool of Souls,

your hair was like flowing in this crazy

fucking awesome thing, and now it's like

(Brennan making farting sounds)

just like, on the side of your face

and you're looking at yourself like, drip drip drip.

- Ugh, everything's sticking to me!

- Oh, I forgot my Spanx!

- You grab your staff, stolen from the wizard Randolph,

and you hold it and you look at yourself there

in the mirror, and you see for a minute a vision

that occurs in just a slight moment

and there's a pang of urgency

but this is the kind of vision that you don't like

'cause it bums you out a little bit.

It's confusing, you like when visions are clear.

- But I might interpret that maybe as like,

if my father is about to die,

then maybe yeah that doesn't make me feel great,

but I can't tell?

- Yeah, you see, it could be that,

it could like some weird thing where like these spirits

are trying to mess with you on like your big day

or something like that.

But you see an image of a, for a moment of Zaul'Nazh

as a younger Iru spirit, back when he was fully corporeal

and had a body, and you see him at a fountain of blood

and you don't know it's significance,

and it doesn't appear to be telling you anything

but you just (snaps) get that vision for a second.

- At it?

Like looking at it?

Standing near it?

- Yeah, you're not in the vision,

just in the mirror for a moment you, (inhaling),

it comes like a flash so quickly

that you could almost be like,

after effect of the cool vision

where I found out we were gonna win or you know,

sort of like some weird bullshit.

But with that 20 you do get a little moment of that.

And then Lilith is further on down the hall.

We're going to cut over now.

(dramatic clashing)

Shadows as the oracle strides down the hallway's

that become more and more covered in cobwebs.

(laughing)

Following shadows, we hear the screams of dancing goblins

and the screams begin to morph into (growling) growls

and (howling) howls!

And we move away from the beautiful masonry obsidian,

into rough hued red rock,

and the stink of midden heaps and hay and blood and bones,

and (snarling) snarling beasts!

We are at the Worg Pits where we see goblin wolves

(growling) snarling at each other.

We see that there is a lumbering troll

with an enormous wagon of loose body parts

from orcs and goblins that have died in industrial hazards.

So like, severed limbs, heads, stuff like that.

The orc is moving along and we hear hungry scraping as worgs

(snarling) try to come up and get out of their pits.

We see also that there are some chained drakes and wyverns,

we see enormous alroc's, like prehistoric,

like 30 foot tall like musk oxen

with crazy piercing in their nose

that are all chained up elsewhere.

It smells worse here than it does

anywhere else in this world.

(laughing)

It is feeding time at the Beast Pits, and of course,

directing the way of the limb wagon

is the one and only Sokhbarr The Boglord.

- Hello.

(laughing)

- Mike please tell us what your character's up to.

- Yes, so this is Sokhbarr The Boglord,

he is of the Kashai race,

for the viewers at home,

we just skinned it onto a half orc,

but he is an ancient...

Like prehistoric,

like weird swamp creature, like horns and turtle shell

and sort of crocodilian teeth.

Big kinda like, lizard, goat, crazy fucking,

nightmare creature from the swamp.

Big, strong, two big old axes.

Yeah, and he's a...

yeah, I guess I'm here,

and just grabbing some of these limbs

and doing that thing like

where if you've ever seen people

with a lot of pets that come circle around,

it's like okay, okay, everyone's gonna get some!

(snarling)

Calm down, Jessica, calm down!

Here ya go!

Here ya go, everyone gets some.

Everyone gets some.

Okay, okay, jump, jump.

(snarling)

(laughing)

- You see that yeah, it's this insane,

there's a bunch of fucking like krenshar come over

that like peel their flesh,

their exposed skulls are gnawing at it.

All of these beasts that wish only terrible harm

on all living things just love Sokhbarr.

Uh, worgs--

- Just singing them a little song.

I'm just like, oh there's something in your teeth,

what's that?

(snarling)

- See there's just a full finger bone in there.

(panting)

- Oh that had to of hurt!

(laughing)

- You hear a bounding noise nearby.

You're just feeding all these beasts

that are kind of getting prepared to go to war.

The vibe in the Beast Pits right now is like,

the worgs are gonna be released,

the alrocs are gonna lead these siege weapons here.

You're kind of preparing for the final push of the armies

of Gorgar finally flooding out into the free world.

And you hear this, brum-brum-brum-brum,

and you see that this enormous worg rolls up to you.

This is one of the few worgs that can actually talk here.

You see this worg name Beezo runs up,

he goes, aye, it's Beezo, master Sokhbarr,

you're not gonna believe it!

I think J'er'em'ih's about to give birth!

- What?

- I think he's about to give birth!

- Where is he?

- You uh, he says, come on, come on!

You see the troll goes, daddy but (mumbling),

and points to the limb wagon.

- I'm sorry I didn't catch that,

you're truly, what was that?

(Brennan mumbling on as a troll)

- You know what, just feed, just uh throw the limbs around,

make sure everyone gets some.

- (mumbling) Just starts hurling limbs, just willy nilly,

all over the ground, ra, ra, ra.

You rush over to...

To the wonderful J'er'em'ih,

your animal companion, the last scream beast

that you rescued from the death,

from their possible death,

the extinction of J'er'em'ih's species

and your bonding moment all those long years ago.

You see that J'er'em'ih, who looks just hellish,

he is a...

He is quadrupedal kind of,

but is like a lizard, frog,

beaked squid crab with like,

he's got prehensile eye stalks

where his two eyes move around

and his head is like a weird blowfish,

like it kind of inflates a little bit

and he's got a beak on the front of it.

(sighing)

He's got two wings but can't fly

'cause the wings are atrophied and too small

and two tails, hooves,

and he's got a pair of clawed hands above his hips

on his hind legs

- Oh no.

- With no arms, so they can't reach anything

unless he moves his butt up against them.

- [Amy] Butt hands!

- He's got like butt hands.

(laughing)

But as you see--

- He's so majestic.

(laughing)

I can't believe these creatures that's come from the Earth.

- Why would anyone wanna kill one?

- A miracle of nature.

- You see that J'er'em'ih,

his head is just swelling enormously.

He's over in his pen right now,

there's a bunch of dead goblin parts around

of goblin's he's been eating.

And you see he's just going (glottal screaming).

- J'er'em'ih, you doing okay there buddy?

(glottal screaming)

(laughing)

- Go ahead and give me either a medicine

or an animal handling check.

- Great, uh, let's do that.

11 plus eight, so 19.

- 19, perfect.

So you immediately, you lean down, you start to stroke him,

you help J'er'em'ih start to breathe.

Birth is a very difficult process for scream beasts

because number one,

they mostly don't give birth to other scream beasts.

- Mm, yeah.

- And they also have no birth canal.

So the thing, they have a functioning womb,

but no way for the thing in there to get out.

- Mm.

- So--

(laughing and choking)

- These things should exist.

- Yeah.

- Definitely.

- Kids, it's a tragedy that so many people

have tried to wipe these things from the Earth.

(laughing)

- Can't the butt hands help in some way?

- Oh, like easing, pulling it out?

- You do see that the butt hands

appear to be flailing for something.

They like want--

- I get some chips in there.

- You start to rub ice chips on the back

and you see that a bunch of just huge blisters

start to form on his ass from the ice,

like the ice is burning him,

but he seems to like it.

- Okay.

- Scream beasts are hard to understand.

You see that his head swells and swells

and swells, even more.

And you see Beezo looks on and says,

oh, I mean crickey, that is just beautiful to watch,

look at him (gasping)

and you see the head swells

and a little seam (splattering) bursts on top of his head

and (steam engine whistling) just

green poison steam escapes.

Truly sounds like a train approaching.

(laughing)

And you see that a fully formed,

it looks like a goblin

crustacean centaur,

like a goblin torso on top of like a crab body

but with two goblin heads.

One of them has eyes and no mouth,

and the other head just has a mouth and no eyes.

And you see this thing scuttles out of J'er'em'ih's head

and you see that the one that has no eyes goes

(groaning) what am I?

(laughing)

- Oh, buddy.

- What am I?!

- Okay, so here's the thing right, um,

somewhere in the world, someone had a nightmare

and imagined you and now you're just given borth,

birth into the real world and gosh, uh, alright well.

You know what, uh, can I,

do I have anymore of the goblin parts or anything on me?

- Yes, you do.

- Ah, here, here have somethin' to eat.

- You give a pair of goblin eyes

and you see that the one with eyes

grabs a little sharp rock off the ground

and stabs two holes in the front of the other goblins face

and jams the eyes in there.

(laughing)

And you see that the thing, it's just like,

they're not eye sockets, just bleeding holes

in the front of his head,

but now have sort of blood covered eyes in there goes

(gasping) I was just born!

- J'er'em'ih, it's a boy!

(laughing)

- You see that J'er'em'ih looks over at the thing and goes,

(glottal cooing) and like nuzzles your chest

and begins to cry out of his eye stalks

with just a sort of maternal slash paternal pride.

And you see that Beezo looks over and says,

right, so, now you were just born

so we're gonna get you a name soon,

but number one, who do you serve?

And he's like, I just got here!

(as Beezo) Who do you serve?

- Go on, who do you serve?

(laughing)

- You see it looks right, and the one with no mouth

kinda looks and shrugs with it's one arm.

And you see it goes, (gasping) Zaul'Nazh Lord of Shadows?

- Oh my god, yeah, it's Zaul'Nazh Lord of Shadows!

- Okay, okay, I know, I think I get it.

I serve Zaul'Nazh,

alright I'm gonna go get some kind of weird weapon!

You see, (glottal clicking) scuttles off,

and you see J'er'em'ih kind of cries

and like dabs its eyes on its own fur.

- Hey buddy, come on, somewhere sometime,

someone is gonna have a nightmare about a scream beast

and there will be another scream beast in this world.

(glottal chatter)

- You see that Beezo looks over at you and says,

well I think like, it's been a day

for the forces of darkness,

I would say this though, I don't wanna get your hopes up,

but there's been a rumor that a species

that we thought was gone, might be back.

- What?

- Some of the worgs came back from long patrol

and they said that there was a dropping.

And you see he brings you over to a concrete onyx turd,

the size of a house.

- Oh, my god!

- That looks like lavamog waste to me!

- Oh, hell yeah!

(laughing)

Can I...

Maybe like chip into it or investigate it or get?

I feel like--

- Yeah.

- Yeah, like, I get the sense of like yeah,

this is some sort of--

- Go ahead and give me a nature check.

- Cool.

(dice hitting the table)

That is an eight plus six, so 14.

- You chip into it a little bit, and pfft,

a splurt of lava comes out.

It's for sure a lavamog.

Lavamog's are truly colossal size,

they rival dragons in terms of size.

They are not aquatic, they are volcanic,

so they swim and live in magma.

But you know, we thought the last of them were gone.

The last lavamog probably was not seen

since Zaul'Nazh was like, corporeal.

But this is like a fresh lavamog.

- This is really something.

This is great, this is great.

'Cause if there's more of these,

that means we can start a breeding program,

we can get more and more lavamogs,

we can make the whole world overrun

with more lavamogs if we want.

(laughing)

- You see that Beezo goes,

alright, we'll have these soon, this is amazing!

I mean, the thought--

- Where did they find this?

- They found it well, I mean they apparently say

they found that out near The Scary Volcano.

- Scary Volcano.

Alright, uh.

- You hear up above you (screeching) and you begin to see

wyverns circling the top of the tower.

The Vinguri are returning

and you can that their wyverns look like,

extremely like tired and worn for wear

and hungry out there.

But yeah--

- He's always riding those wyverns too hard.

(laughing)

He just treats them as a thing and not like,

as like, ah god, alright.

- Ah you see Beezo says,

you'll go uh, take care of the wyverns, or uh?

We, I'll talk about this later.

- Yeah yeah yeah, we'll talk about it later.

- You see Beezo runs off, and with that.

(electronic buzzing)

In the gathering storm clouds, above The Bloodkeep,

five wyverns with five dark riders circle The Bloodkeep.

(sharp inhaling)

Armor and robes tattered and rotting,

and visages empty and hollow,

knights of undeath and first and foremost among them,

Kraz-Thun the Umbra Knight, astride his mighty wyvern,

with Griefmaker, the Runeblade of Sorrow,

this King of the Pactwraiths,

Matt would you describe your character for us?

- Yes.

(laughing)

As the majestic, enshadowed wyvern

lands atop the kind of obsidian shelf

that sits astride the top of the high peak

of The Bloodkeep, you watch as Kraz-Thun,

upper chest and torso emblazoned with dark,

black iron armor that comes to a series

of dozens of hooks and sharp edges,

you can see the blackened robes

kind of flowing as the wind pushes back.

This singular helmet itself crowned with about eight

or nine sharpened spires that kind of hook backward.

From within you can see the very,

very faint slits of metallic armor

that leaves kind of these vacuous spaces

where there's a dull blue glow where the eyes should be.

As it steps off of the wyvern, his feet,

heavily (thumping sounds) onto the obsidian floor,

tosses the chain to one of the nearby orcs

and begins to step towards the entrance to the tower spire.

- You see that the other Vinguri go

and fall into rank and file behind you.

The doors, with no need for servants,

open before you in this place, as you (powerful exhale)

not only do you walk, but you glide,

several inches above the ground.

(powerful exhale)

Manifested by the pure might of your fealty

to the Lord of Shadows.

You and the other Vinguri (powerful inhaling)

move through this place

and even with all of the dark creatures that dwell here,

things do their best to avoid the Vinguri,

especially after a hunt.

You see that Torbael looks over to you and goes

(powerful inhale) we are this close.

(laughing)

I mean we are truly this close.

- I know and I understand this Declan, but um, sorry,

Torbael, my apologies.

- Where?

As he looks around and says, I don't see any goblins,

we can do, Declan's fine, Declan's fine.

- Fine, alright.

(laughing)

- You see that actually that Miles looks over at you

and says, um, Leeland, I just have to say,

and I think we should take a moment

because I think that we've been taking the fact

that we haven't found the crown very hard on ourselves

and the fact that you managed to catch that halfling

in the shoulder, remember when we were fighting

in those ruins and--

- Oh, I remember.

And I was very proud of that moment.

- Well I should think we should,

and you see the other four raise the,

kind of give a little golf clap.

- Thank you.

And as he pulls his helmet off, you can see the like,

long silvery hair strands kind of gently,

they don't quite hit the top of the armor,

they kind of drift a few inches off of the edge

and kind of lift in their incorporeal way.

Shakes it back a bit and kind of accepts with a dull grin

the applause before going, and I appreciate that,

but little victories don't make for an overall success.

And until that crown is found, uh, well, we're a failure.

I'm a failure.

- No, Leeland, no!

And you see they come around you and put their hands on you,

and they go, you're not a failure.

We've been given a very hard task.

Casara the Beige, Telmyr the Calm,

all of them are trying their best to stop us.

Look, they, I mean we all got destroyed

by a magic river,

that's hard, and we were back at it, I mean a day later.

(laughing)

- You're right.

No, you're right, you're right.

- I mean you just can't,

I just hate to see you beat yourself up.

And you see that Oswald speaks up and says,

Leeland, honestly,

you can't beat yourself up about this stuff.

If you're gonna beat yourself up

after actually managing to wound the halfling

and curse him, I mean what am I gonna do with myself?

That ranger threw a torch right into my head.

It went all the way into the empty spot in my helmet.

- Yes.

No, I'm thinking maybe we need to discuss

reworking the shape and design of our helmets.

- Yeah after--

(both yelling at each other)

- There's a first time for everything,

but we are learning creatures.

Sentient's above that of men.

- Yes.

- We can wear things that cover our faces.

- That's what I'm trying to say.

You see the other packwraith's all sort of shake their heads

and say, you know, (sighing) it's really rather hard.

And Toby looks over at you and says,

(heavy sighing) well, look.

How 'bout this, we can beat ourselves up all we like

that we haven't found the crown yet,

but Wynn's on our side,

we managed to drive them to Care Blythwin.

- That's true.

- We are poised to have our armies

flood into Old Tyriath

and destroy Tor Kellin, the city of stars.

- I did manage to destroy Casara's staff.

(laughing)

Had it shattered into a hundred pieces,

I can still hear the sound echoing in my ears.

- That was incredible!

That was really--

- I drew a picture of it!

Just as a keepsake.

- Really?

- Yes, yes, I'm not very good at it.

- You see that Oswald goes (gasping) Leeland!

Your line work!

(laughing)

- Thank you, I've been trying to cross-hatch recently,

I think--

- It's incredible.

- It brings depth to a two dimensional piece

I had never accepted before.

- Well you see, Declan goes,

well, it's always about perspective.

I mean that's what you're trying to do

is you're trying to capture those objects.

I mean, what I love about your work is it's dynamic,

it's not a you know, it's not a logistical drawing,

it's capturing a moment.

- Right, the musculature still escapes me

but I think the overall emotion of the scene

is the most important thing.

- You see that Declan says,

I mean muscular escapes us all.

Thu-thu, thu-thu-thu.

(laughing)

Well, we're going to go wait in cold dark rooms

to be called upon again.

- Yes, yes you do that.

- You see them say, bye Leeland!

Good luck with the boss, let us know how it goes.

- Thank you and uh, thank you.

- You see (sharp inhale) they all glide away from you.

You see Sokhbarr come up to like

bring the wyverns back down to the cages.

You see Kraz-Thun having this little art conversation

with his buddies over there.

(laughing)

- I'm just like, take some responsibility, ugh.

(laughing)

- Thank you Sokhbarr, I really appreciate it.

- Yeah, yeah, you know you need to feed them, right?

(laughing)

- That's not my job.

(laughing)

- As you grab the wyverns, the wyverns ah,

nuzzle you Sokhbarr and like (click click)

try to sting your shell and you (sharp inhale) glide away.

We (powerful inhale) drop all the way down

deep, deep, deep in the tower.

To a place where any goblins or orcs who draw breath here

only do so from webbed cocoons where spiders wait to feast.

Deep in one of the few un-worked caverns

in the bowels of The Bloodkeep,

stalactites and stalagmites abounding

to create lovely little places for webs

to catch curious flies that have ventured down here.

An enormous shape,

glistening black, armored carapace,

and the visage of the Queen of Spiders, Lilith,

in her bed of webs,

wakes from restful slumber.

Erika could you describe your character for us.

- Lilith.

(laughing)

The vile temptress whose shadow webs ensnared kingdoms.

She wakes up and she tosses her long, flowing black tresses,

you see her pale, delicate, elven features

and slender torso and great rack!

(laughter)

- Oh, Queen of Terror and her great rack!

- Ah it is spoken of throughout the lands!

And then you see her tear out,

she pulls out from her bed of webs

and her vile, monstrous, creeping,

spider abdomen rears up

and she wears, she dons her imposing crown

that is in rot with darkness itself

and puts on a very bondage-y outfit.

(laughing)

And she grabs the wine glass that's near, fumbles for

and grabs the wine glass next to the bed

and pours herself some of Tyriath's best red.

(laughing)

(sighing)

- As Lilith looks around, you begin to,

though it's very fuzzy,

both from the amount of wine consumed the previous night,

you remember coming down to your cavern

with this truly gorgeous half-orc named Rastvan.

(sighing)

I mean, this guy was built, he was you know,

one of these like half-orcs who, just you know,

abs and obliques and the whole thing, barbarian--

- Amazing rack.

- Yeah, incredible rack.

- First thing you noticed about her.

- And one of those guys that has all the orc,

has like the strong jaw and the hot tusks but then like,

those flinty blue eyes like, just like, ugh.

You know, and you look around you and Rastvan,

you thought, really hit it off?

(spluttering)

And you don't see him anywhere around.

- (spluttering) But last night was so...

Incredible!

I was incredible!

Wasn't I?

It has happened again!

It just keeps happening.

They're intimidated, they're intimidated

by my prowess as an arch general

and my ten thousand shadow brood.

- As soon as you say ten thousand shadow brood,

you hear a voice outside saying, mom!

Can we come in?

- Just mommy needs five minutes please!

- Okay!

Some of the orcs in the webs are getting super liquid,

can we just eat early?

- Just, just help yourselves, you're big boys and girls now!

- Okay!

Uh, by the way, some of the treasure out here,

Russ and Jason are playing with it and they're, they--

- That's fine, tell them to distribute it

amongst some of the teenagers.

- So they do have to share right?

- They do, yes, yes!

They have to share!

Sharing is caring, you all know this!

- Okay, I love you mom!

(wet skittering)

(laughing)

- I just, why am I so bloated and full?

I didn't even eat anything last night?

(laughing)

Ugh, this always happens.

- As you--

- And she picks a piece of like,

what may be like a tusk out of her teeth.

Where does that come from?

(laughing)

Ugh, another one bites the dust.

- As Lilith exits and begins to (cracking)

massive spider legs carrying her out

into the larger caverns of the Spider Queen,

you see that your thousands upon thousands

of children skitter about.

The little ones, who are about the size

of just normal spiders,

are all kind of screaming and yelling and like, hi mom!

Climbing up on your body.

You see that Jessa comes up to you, one of your daughters,

and goes, um, hey mom, um, is uh,

should we save some orc for your friend?

- Oh, Jessa, your new...

Uncle...

he went and got breakfast on his own I suppose.

(laughing)

- You see that she looks over to Kyle and goes like,

(sighing)

um, I'm sorry mom.

I don't know, he's honestly, he's trash,

and if he doesn't get it, I mean like,

truly his loss, and...

Love you mom.

- Jessa, you're mommy's special little girl.

One day, you will grow up

and you will wreak havoc on some very lucky kingdom.

(laughing)

- Aw, mom!

I'd be happy just wreaking havoc with you!

(laughing)

And you see that she (wet skittering)

skitters off somewhere.

See Kyle looks over and says, uh yeah,

I mean we were like, watching out the whole night,

so he didn't make it out through the front,

so these assholes can all teleport I guess, I don't know.

- Snuck out!

Snuck out in the dead of night like a thief!

- The kids are all rooting for her.

(laughing)

- Mommy's special friends.

- You see your spider brood is big and large

and getting ready to you know,

go and make the final push.

You see that one of your teeny tiniest little guys, Russell,

that Russell comes up and looks and you and says,

mom, are we gonna defeat the worlds of men and elves today?

- Russell, darling, it may not be today,

it may not be tomorrow, but soon.

Soon and of course,

we will ready to amass all of your brethren,

every one of our kin shall darken the land

with our shadows and our vile creeping carapaces.

- Darken the land! Darken the land! Darken the land!

(wet skittering)

And you see that Russell looks up and says,

is it true that,

did you always work for the Lord of Shadows, mom?

- Oh darling, no it wasn't always so.

You see, after daddy um, up and disappeared,

your mother had to go back to the work force

and well, back in the day, you all know the tales

of eating the light of the luminai that star forges--

- You see that Jason interrupts and goes,

ugh, mom we heard it, you ate the luminai, from which--

- Yes!

It was a very big deal back in mommy's day--

- Whatever!

Spiders my age don't even care about that!

I don't care, like,

okay you ate some lights like a long time ago,

like how do I eat lights now?

- They were the star forges

that forged all of the lights in the sky.

It was a very big deal!

Just sit and listen!

(laughing)

- You see that Jessa says, like,

guys stop ragging mom when she's having a hard time.

You see that Russell says,

did they just, they did all the lights?

Is the sun?

Did they do the sun too or just the stars?

- Just, just the stars.

Just the stars.

- So you see Jason goes, so not all the lights.

(laughing)

So not all the lights.

- Listen, when you grow up

and you have terrifying shadow kin of your own,

you just see how you like it

if they don't listen to your stories.

- He says, ugh, fine whatever.

I'm not even gonna have kids,

I'm gonna go out into some mountain pass somewhere

and just eat a bunch of orcs.

(wet skittering)

Skitters off.

You hear approaching footsteps and Efink,

you arrive here at Lilith's cave.

- So, how did it go?

- Oh Efink, another one ran out on me.

I just, I just don't know what I'm,

no it's not me that's wrong, it's them.

- No, no that's right,

and your children were appropriately supportive?

(laughing)

- Open and honest communication about mommy's social life,

I think, is good for them, it's very healthy.

(sighing)

I just don't know.

You have to deal with all this sort of thing all the time,

don't you, I mean?

- I will say that marriage has it's own problems,

but no I do not have to deal with uh, no.

No, nevermind.

And in fact, nevermind forever.

(laughing)

I did want to actually ask you a question.

I have a received a vision from my specters in my soul pool.

- Oh a vision.

- I know what you're thinking.

This one was real.

- Oh, shit.

- Yes, shit indeed.

I received a vision of the fall of my asshole father.

- Oh, well congratulations.

- Thank you no, the Dark Lord shall take him,

and take his crown, and soon.

- Yes, yes he is as I'm sure everything will work out

just fine for Lord Zee as it always does.

(laughing)

- You know I would put you in his place in an instant.

Snap of my fingers.

Snap of my beautiful fingers and you're there.

- How very stately, yes, thank you.

But really, yes, yes, yes, yes.

But, well what does this mean, what shall we do?

- So it means ultimate dominion over the realm, however,

I received another emotional response to this,

which as you know is not favorable, really.

I got a feeling of...

Oh no.

- Oh no like as in a oh no!

Or as like a oh no.

- Like um, we shall take over the land and give you know,

the crown, and then this feeling of...

Oh fuck, like oh no.

I don't know how else to describe it really.

- Well, I'm sure it was...

Nothing, surely.

Our victory is assured, we have all of this in the bag.

Do you think Abaseel and Azrah and Orgrah

are messing with me?

- Oh no, they're always so supportive.

- I know they flatter me,

but maybe it's because I am the Dark Queen.

- Well sure, with power comes a certain set of...

Sycophants and the like, but...

No, surely not.

- How do I make people love you

the way that your children just love you?

(laughing)

- You guys hear up above

as you have that moment of vulnerability,

boom boom, of being called to council--

- Oh, the drums are sounding in the deep again, Efink.

(laughing)

- How wet am I?

(laughing)

- We, whoosh, zoom all the way back up,

through The Bloodkeep, to a room in a spire

off of the main column of The Bloodkeep

and this is not obsidian, this is ruby red,

made of beautiful fiery gemstone.

The most gorgeous shimmering tower you've ever seen.

At the very, very top is a beautifully appointed room

with flaming curtains and a four-post bed,

and the most beautiful artwork and gold everywhere

and a massive war hammer leaning against the fireplace

and sitting in a beautiful no back chair like an ottoman,

this beautiful cushion, is our friend Maggie.

Rehka, could you please describe Maggie for us?

- Yes.

I am a Tiefling Barbarian.

I am six feet tall, which is tall for a woman.

(laughing)

I look, I'm very muscular, very strong,

but I look like a, like I dress like a librarian,

like a cardigan and very nice like slacks,

or like corduroy pants.

(laughing)

I have like a little locket

and I love romance and love

and there's lots of hellish romance novels

on my bedside table.

Yeah, so it's sort of like the physical, I'm from hell.

(laughing)

It's like a thing people always ask me about,

like if you're from like a famous city in a movie,

and they only ask you like the same three things

that they always know about hell

so I find it very tiring

and annoying to answer questions about it.

I live in my father's shadow a bit, my father is Gogmawth,

who's like the Lord of Evil.

- The original God of Evil,

that created Zaul'Nazh and everything else.

- Yes and so people always ask me

and try to get favor from the forces of evil

based on his accomplishments and not my own.

Trying to make my own name for myself.

I am the girlfriend of Zaul'Nazh,

which is like I'm following my heart

but at the same time, you know, stop asking about him.

(laughing)

- You see that behind you is your handmaiden Sistra,

who is a cyclops hag, she...

One eye, sort of straggly hair,

this sort of like onyx, blue lapis lazuli kind of skin,

sort of like hermetic robe, hermit's robe around her

and she is just combing your long beautiful, flaming hair

and you see that she looks and you,

you're looking at yourself and her behind you in a mirror

and you see she goes, I have ta say, you look radiant today.

(giggles)

- Thanks.

I don't feel radiant.

- What, Maggie, why?

- I feel like, I don't know, is my hair falling out?

- You see that she says, I, do you want it to?

(laughing)

That's a thing, that's a thing that I heard,

the spotty leper look.

- No, I'm not--

(laughing)

(sighing) Should I be so stressed, you know?

I'm so stressed you know, sorry, I'm just like, you know,

Zaul'Nazh ever since you know,

ever since he got crushed into a mouth

and now he's a giant flaming mouth,

things haven't been the same.

- That's right, that was awful,

when that awful Lyssandra half elven

smashed his head with her mace.

- Yes, I remember.

I remember.

And it was, I don't know,

I just wonder if things are a little different

between us now, and I don't know.

- Well, I mean, you think he's gonna pop the question

after the world of man, elves, and dwarves falls don't y--

- I mean, I hope so.

I've been waiting for it.

I've imagined every scenario in my mind

but what if he doesn't you know,

and sometimes I have that thought

and it makes me wanna punch myself in the face

which would kill me.

(laughing)

- You see, she looks at you and says,

listen, and here's the thing.

- Tell me.

- Zaul'Nazh hears all and me speaking out against him

literally forfeits my life, even that being said,

if he doesn't pop the question to you, he fucking crazy.

- He be crazy, right?

- You are a capital C, Catch.

- Thank you!

Thank you and I tell him that

and I know that, when I look in mirror

and I see myself, and I know that.

But you know, you never know,

you never know, things can change.

- Listen.

Let me tell ya something.

I've been around a lot.

I've been around a long time.

Okay?

And I've seen people come and go, alright,

and Zaul'Nazh, back in the early days

when he was dogging around.

- Yes, I remember.

Disgusting.

- Disgusting.

- [Rekha] Disgusting.

- He looks at you.

- Stop.

- [Brennan] Like he looks at nobody else.

- Stop.

- And for me to be able to tell that

when he has no eyes or face,

(laughing)

that means something.

- Thank you, and you know, belatedly,

I'm sorry I never ask you about your personal life,

we kinda just talk only about my stuff.

- No!

Oh my god, listen.

At my age, I'm just happy to catch up on the gossip!

(laughing)

- Excellent.

- My partner is a pool of shadow sludge, so.

- Aw.

That's sweet.

Well.

- So it's all, you know, there's nothing to report.

It's sort of like, yeah things are good,

they're still sort of in the area of space they occupy so.

- Yeah, I want what you have.

(laughing)

(snotty sniffling)

- Wipes a tear from the center eye of her face.

(laughing)

And she goes, that is so sweet.

Listen, you know, you guys have all been hoofing it.

And it's going to work out.

- Thanks. - [Brennan] I know that.

- He is really the love of my life.

- And here's the thing, that's something rare and special,

and once he's conquered the world of men and elves,

then you know what you gotta tell him?

You gotta take him, this is on your wedding night.

- Uh oh!

- Uh oh!

Oh, and this is when you'll have more than a mouth to work.

- Uh oh!

Trust me I don't need it.

(screaming and laughing)

- You're so bad!

You are evil!

(punching and breaking glass)

Boom, boom, boom, boom!

(laughing)

She's, like, Sistra's like badly injured,

and she's like, I love it, I love it!

- Ah, you're fun!

- I think it passes the Bechdel test

if two women are talking about a man while fighting,

(laughing)

I think it does.

(laughing)

- You see a, rather you begin to hear,

boom ba-ba boom boom, boom ba-ba boom.

A council being called in the throne room of Zaul'Nazh.

- Oh no, I think I have to go.

(laughing)

- Sistra says, alright,

she like primps a couple more things.

- [Rehka] Thank you.

- She says, you look gorgeous, okay?

And I'll say this as well,

(throat clearing)

he's going through a lot, he's stressed,

he's got a lot on his mind.

He's gotta get that crown back.

Once he does and he's going to,

you look at him, wedding night,

and before you do what you're about to do,

you say listen buddy, you had your turn.

Now, married?

You support me.

And then you--

- I'm gonna do what I wanna do.

- Yes, time for your career!

- It's time for my career.

I follow him around every little hellmouth on Earth.

- Yes!

- Doing what he wants.

- I'm excited to see what the Dark Lady, Maggie,

has in store--

- Oh!

- Mwah, you look great!

- Thank you!

- And you,

(laughing)

head off, then.

And we, (powerful exhale),

as Maggie heads towards the throne room,

we (powerful inhale) over to the other side

of The Bloodkeep where a jet black ship

covered in skulls is moored

with chains and ropes to a balcony

hundreds of feet above the ground.

A sky ship, covered in the most fearsome corsairs

the world has ever seen,

with jewels bedecked with gold,

magical blades at their side,

this is The Siren, the flagship of the Forgotten Fleet.

And we see loads and loads of gunpowder,

cannons marked with runes, magical artillery,

all being provided gratis

due to the extremely extracting contract

of Markus St. Vincent, the Unseen Blade.

Ify could you describe Markus for us?

- Yeah, Markus St. Vincent, the Unseen Blade.

(laughing)

Captain of the Forgotten Fleet

and victim of a stolen throne.

He sits you know, in the lower decks of his dope-ass ship,

The Siren, and he sits back with his crew.

He has to his right hand side, Anne of Kilkathery,

Ol' Pickering, down doing stuff

and Bad Henry's sitting right behind him

and he sits draped with his hood up

as he has this marbled gold

and silver skull mask covering his face,

so all you can see is his dreaded beard,

coming down from it.

As a matter of fact, he is taking some black wax

and really tightening it up.

(laughing)

And he sits, and he's draped kinda in this hooded cloak

but under it you can see just a little bit of like,

of royal captain's outfit.

So it's almost like he just threw a cloak over that,

but it's old, ragged, it's been a while.

He hasn't been home for a long time.

And through the sleeves of his cloak

you see nice studded gold rings,

you really don't know how he fights with all of this stuff

because it's just too extravagant.

Like if this realm had a rapper he'd be it.

(laughing)

And he sits with his arms crossed

as Ol' Pickering is standing in front of him with receipts

and they're just basically going over inventory

as they get ready to go through the day.

- You're running through it with Bad Henry,

you see that standing before you is this little sort of

treasury magistrate from the Onyx Vault name Privo.

It's like a little goblin in like a little jet black suit

with little gold accoutrement on it,

and he's got like a long scroll and looking at it,

and he says, ah yes, Captain St. Vincent,

there are some discrepancies, the number of cannon,

according to your contract, it seems we're fulfilling this,

we at the actual Bloodkeep will be left

with no arcane cannon if you take the amount that you have--

- It's very true, but,

If you have us protecting this,

you won't need arcane cannons.

As long as we have all those cannons,

not a hair will be touched on your Dark Lord.

As a matter of fact, with this ship being here,

nothing is happening to your Dark Lord.

- Ah, yes.

I understand.

The only thing Captain St. Vincent,

is that you have a stipulation in your contract

that The Siren is to be allowed to loot

the city of Tor Kelin whensoever it falls,

which should be today.

- Oh, I like when you say that.

Say it one more time.

- Okay, I'm saying it as a problem so--

(laughing)

So, so, because the ship obviously can't be here

defending The Bloodkeep

if it is looting the city of Tor Kelin.

See that Bad Henry behind you goes,

Captain, I don't know if I like this goblin much.

I would like to do bad things to him.

- Yeah, yeah, but if we start doing bad things

to people who owe us money, we won't get the money.

- See Anne nods and kind of laughs

and she puts up a big seven league boot leg

on this chest of treasure and she says,

right Privo, so let me get this straight,

you're asking us to remain here,

even though we are contractually allowed to take flight

and head off in the direction of Tor Kelin

where all the jewels

of the ancient empire of Tyriath remain.

Am I to understand that the Dark Lord is breaching contract?

- Oh.

- See, Privo goes, (hysterical wheezing) no, no no.

I didn't say that.

(laughing)

What I was saying, was I was remarking

that the contract is written in such a way

that we are putting all of our defensive cannon on your ship

and then the ship is allowed to leave

to go make more money elsewhere.

- Okay, but you're talking about cannons,

don't you have like a hot spider lady?

A wet elf?

You got like this, like, skull like dark dead knight dude

who's riding on dragons.

And you got that devil lady with the big-ass hammer.

Like you don't need, you don't need,

you don't need the cannons.

You got what you got.

Now you just bein' extra, you know?

Then that beast dude, you know, he's gonna come up,

probably eat the scraps, you know?

(laughing)

He's up there, then you don't need cannons.

The cannons are excessive

and I'm just taking them off your hands

so you got less stuff to do

when we move into wherever new kingdom you take over.

- Bad Henry goes, the Captain is doing you a favor, goblin.

And in fact I think we actually have a clause about favors,

where we get paid a prefix rate for those.

- Oh, add that to the docket.

That's gonna be 500 gold for that favor.

- Alright, I'm only making it worse by being here,

so I'm going--

(laughing)

He says, I am going to leave.

Well, I have failed in my endeavors, Small Tom will eat me.

And you see he, skitters off.

You see that Ol' Pickering comes in,

just ancient, old corsair and you see he goes,

aye Captain, it's good to see ye again.

I have made preparations, The Siren is in fit fighting form.

- Oh yes, yes.

- And these cannon are a pretty penny

and we've got about twice as many as we can use.

- Okay.

- So we'll be able to sell them at a high mark-up,

I mean there's nothing in the contract that says

we can't sell them to a third party.

- Yeah, yeah, no, no, that's just, you know,

like I said, we're doing them a favor, you know.

- Making money, making money.

- You know, look, we make money, we conquer,

in the order I just said.

(laughing)

- You see he looks up and you and says,

aye, and when the world of human beings falls,

we'll be rich!

- Yeah, yeah, you know I mean to keep asking about that.

Like are we included in that human being clause

of the world being ruin,

you know I haven't thought of that so, uh.

- You see that Anne kind of scratches her head

and Bad Henry sort of goes, hm...

We've sided with Gorgar

against every other human in the world.

- Yeah, but remember that humans sided against us

when we took off on that scouting mission.

Never heard back from my dad or brother,

was lost at sea and air.

- You see that Ol' Pickering,

actually make an insight check for me.

- Oh.

(dice clacking)

Uh, ten.

- You see that there's a quick look shared between

Ol' Pickering, Anne, and Bad Henry

as they look at each other.

- What was that?

(laughing)

- What's that Captain?

- What was that look that you just did?

- You see that Anne looks at you and says,

right Captain, there's been word that...

Along with Casara the Beige and Telmyr the Calm,

and the Ranger of the North,

that your brother Taevian

has sworn alliance with Tyriath

and will be fighting at the Door of Doom.

- That little punk ass piece.

So he's gonna send me out, leave me on my own,

and the only thing I can do is join the Dark Lord,

and then he's gonna side with them?

- Well, rather side against him.

He'll be fighting alongside the forces of men,

elves, and dwarves.

- Yeah, no that's what I meant, I just said it weird.

(laughing)

Alright, it'll be,

I'll look at this as our chance for revenge.

- You see Bad Henry says,

and revenge is a dish best served bad.

(laughing)

- Yes, yes.

Revenge is a dish best served bad.

- You see that Pickering looks over at Anne and says,

Bad Henry's always trying to work that angle.

I understand why he's doing it, in any case, Captain,

I wouldn't worry yourself.

Maybe all the humans in the world die

and we're the last humans left

and we have to run away from all the orcs

but we'll be runnin' away rich!

- Yes, yes.

- Don't think on it too hard.

- I been tryin' not to, I just,

my brother sneakin' in like that, you know, I just,

it's gonna weigh heavy on me.

- He nods and says, well,

we'll take The Siren out to Tor Kelin to start the looting,

if you remain here, Captain,

you'll collect the largest mercenary fee

in the history of Elna.

Anne pours a drink for herself,

Bad Henry pours a drink for himself,

Pickering pours one for hims and you.

To being rich.

- To being rich.

- Plink.

(slurping)

Boom ba-ba boom boom, boom ba-ba boom.

And you hear the council drums.

As you begin to walk away,

you see your crew (metal dragging) take their scimitars,

(metal click) salute you from the deck of The Siren

as it sails into the smokey clouds of Gorgar.

And you see that Ol' Pickering

raises his little speaking stone aloft

and says, we'll be ready to come back

and get the payment when they've readied the fee.

That Onyx Vault doesn't open lightly, Captain.

(wind blowing) And they take off.

And you guys all congregate.

You stride away from The Siren, or rather,

The Siren flies off into the skies of Gorgar,

and you make your way towards the throne room.

Boom ba-ba boom boom.

Up in the heart of the vast and mighty Bloodkeep,

we cut back to Efink and Lilith,

who are walking side by side,

followed by a train of spiders.

(skittering)

And as you guys are walking, talking,

heading up for your basically final council

of the high lieutenants of Zaul'Nazh,

that you will have before the ending of the world.

You're preparing for the final push.

This'll be the last meeting you guys all have

before the big climax of this war and again,

you look out over the vast and mighty armies here,

you know that the forces of good, they're out numbered,

they're weak, most of the elves have already left

for far shores.

The world of man has lost its strength,

most of the dwarves didn't even show up,

they have a hard time getting around

so they are very short and they wear very heavy armor

so they don't, you know,

they shouldn't be expected to do that.

But, point being, forces of light, not about it.

Right?

As you're walking along, you pass by the Library of Madness,

where the ancient tomes,

vast lore written in the midnight tongue of Gorgar are kept.

You guys see that Keldriel,

who is sort of old, wild haired witch,

she's kind of like, has got these sunken eyes.

She always looks like she

just got given horrible news, constantly.

That is her face at all times.

She runs up with this giant tome and she goes.

(gasping and screaming)

My Queens!

(heavy breathing)

- Oh, um, yes?

- Is it actually bad news or is this just, your thing?

- What's that?

- Well, well, out with it, okay!

No it's fine, it's fine.

- [Brennan] The books.

- Professor Trelawney, over here.

(laughing)

- Yes.

(gasping)

The books, they are bad books.

The letters.

- Yes, the tomes of horrors, yes.

- Yes they are spikey.

- Yes you're bleeding as it turns out.

(screaming)

- She looks at her hand covered in blood.

They want my mind but they can't have it yet.

(deranged whispering)

- Okay, well, we--

(laughing)

- You see--

- You can talk, Keldi, you can talk.

- Sorry I- there's something I needed to tell you I found.

A book.

I know that the Umbra Knight has been searching,

for the crown, searching, searching always, ah...

- Okay?

And we're back (clapping).

- And we're back, yes, ah!

Do you ever fall into your own mind?

- Um, well, on purpose only, yes.

- Um, Keldi, may I suggest therapy?

It would be very good for you, very healthy.

And there's no stigma, there should be no stigma against it,

not here in The Bloodkeep.

- Yeah, absolutely not also--

- My therapist went crazy.

- Oh.

- Well, any, um--

- I told my therapist about my stuff,

and they leapt from the top of The Bloodkeep

and they turned into bats,

and the bats hanged themselves.

(laughing)

- Sometimes it's hard to find someone you really click with.

- Yes, you do have to go therapy shopping sometimes.

- Do you know how committed you need to be

as a bat to hang yourself?

You can fly!

- Yes you must, yes you must press down, uh,

oh the image is despicable.

What is it about the bloody book?

- I have found deep in the vast recesses

of the Library of Madness a book which contains the lore

of crown forging.

- Oh.

- I have found the journal of the Lord of Shadows

and there may be clues within the spells herein

to help us find his last crown.

- Well fantastic, what is the policy for checking them out?

- Oh, policy for checking them out?

Well as long as you don't have an overdue book,

you are welcome to sign anything out that you like.

- I mean, are you holding it right there?

- What's that?

- [Amy] Is that what you're holding--

- This is what I'm holding right here.

- Yeah, the book right there--

- But I didn't sign it out, that's why I'm bleeding!

- Oh.

- You see that she walks back

like ten steps into the library

and the blood gets (slurping) sucked up into the book

and she goes (screaming) oh these books are rotten.

- Okay, I love it, I love it.

Now what we need from you, disappear, write it down,

and have a messenger send it to the Dark Lord,

because I have to say, your verbal communication is lacking.

- Why do you say that?

- Well.

- Help me.

(laughing)

- [Amy] No.

- We're very busy right at the moment.

- We've been summoned, did you not hear the drum beat?

- Oh, I hear them all the time.

Always.

- That's not normal, though.

- Help, okay.

- Yes, the clues, write them out, just write them out.

- I shall send this book to the Lord of Shadows.

- No, no.

Just the clues.

- Just the clues?

- Yes, he doesn't have eyes really, to read it with,

so maybe just have a messenger come

and give us the sort of spark notes version.

- And by the way, how the fuck is this bad news?

- What?

- You said it was bad news.

- No I didn't, I just screamed.

(laughing)

- She did, I believe she said it was news.

She said it was news

and we just assumed that it was bad news.

- Why would you assume everything I say is bad news?

(screaming)

(laughing)

- Yes.

- I will go write the clues down.

- I am, I don't hate women, I hate that bitch.

(laughing)

- That's not a very nice word, Efink.

- I just hate her.

I just can't stand her.

(laughing)

- You see she walks back into the Library of Madness.

And the books, they are going to try to kill me.

She walks away.

You guys continue on your way, having gotten the news--

- You know, I believe, she should really look into maybe

transferring to another branch or something.

- Honestly your suggestion of therapy

and finding the right one is a like glorious suggestion,

but yes, any version of this keep not having her here

is honestly, the best solution.

- We might have somebody that's much more suited

to the job of managing mad tomes.

- And also, just fuck her.

(laughing)

- You guys walk away.

Leeland and Sokhbarr,

you guys are higher up in The Bloodkeep,

but about equidistant from the throne room.

As you guys walk, you hear the weird shivering shrieks

and muted screams of the Tortury,

which is the place where all of this horrifying torture

and pain and ruin is happening.

You guys see a horrifying little goblin

in a weird series of like leather straps and belts

with a horrifying little cod piece and series of rings

with chains hanging from his ears to his nose.

One of his arms is cut off,

like halfway down from the elbow,

there's just like a curved bone saw there,

you see the other one is holding this weird spiked flail,

this is Master Ipskix, he's the head of the Tortury.

You see he wanders out, covered in some kinda gunk,

and he walks out and goes, well hello my lords,

it's a pleasure to see you walking by the Tortury,

I trust that you are well on this the eve of our victory

over the forces of light.

- I slowly turn my head towards him,

my eyes sparking with blue flame,

the voice, guttural, low and layered.

Torturer.

(heavy breathing)

It's so nice to see you--

- It's nice to see you though.

- You look like you've been busy, haven't you?

- Oh I know, it's all been overtime, push, push, push,

and everyone's deferring their vacation days

'till after the fall of the world of man--

- Well of course, of course,

because then we can all go together.

- That will be lovely.

- Well you know, when you got that deadline,

sometimes you gotta like sprint for it,

but you know, if you know there's something waiting for you

on the other side where you can relax,

you're gosh, you know.

- I can't wait, I just hope the work doesn't suffer,

you know, when the work suffers,

the people don't and that's my problem.

(laughing)

It was a stretch.

The point I was wanting to make is yes,

I wanted to stop you on your way to consult

with the Dark Lord, first of all to say, come by sometime,

we're working on some really interesting things.

We're training little ants and beetles

to carry little swords and sharp things, and crawl in,

and you know when you get a rat

to eat through someone's stomach and come to the other side,

we're trying to cover the rats in spikes.

There's a lot of interesting work happening

and it's all kind of in the department.

- That's really great.

'Cause you know, that's good for you,

and it's also good for the rats.

- They get a full meal out of it, that's for sure.

- That's a wondrous idea.

There is existing necromancy

that can do exactly what you're designing--

- You're kidding me?

- I'm not trying to shit all over your work,

I think it's wonderful, you've been busy, I just don't,

I would hate for this to be done and find redundancy.

- Why are you doing this?

(gasping laughter)

- Look, I...

I just appreciate an efficient work force

and I don't want any of our resources to be misplaced.

- Master, you're doing a great job Ipskix.

- Well, let me just say something here because of course,

I love my work and nothing makes me more happy

than to see someone hurting, but,

I would love for our Bloodkeep

to be more interdisciplinary.

Why can't we, I mean, we're using rats.

We get those rats from you.

- Sure.

- If we have necromancers who are interested

in pursuing another path,

where's the harm in that, other than the harm in that!

(grunting excitedly)

(laughing)

- That's grotesque.

- Sort of step back, just let him flail a bit,

it was like, let him kinda--

(laughing)

- Perhaps there was some sort of meeting of minds

that could be established here.

What if, perhaps, the combination of necromantic magics

could wait for the rats themselves

to shred whatever's before them,

then rise them up for a second round.

Perhaps the two formats could be brought

to a synergistic climax, if you will.

- I'm taking all this down, this is all great.

- There we are, there we are, wondrous.

So, ants, beetles you say?

- Yes! - Right?

Imagine if you could hide them within the rats,

before they have been risen.

- Yes!

- And then such could survive--

- It's like a turducken of torture.

- Exactly, exactly.

- I loves it, I do!

Well, I'm not gonna lie, I am hard as a diamond.

- I can see.

- We can all see.

- Uh, genuinely impressive.

- Ah, thank you, I am a nasty little piece of work.

(slurping and coughing)

Now, what I wanted to ask was,

we got some word that an old guest of ours

was caught skulking around the mountains

near the Door of Doom.

- An old guest?

- Do you remember that little, strange, warped,

mutated halfling we found?

Hork.

- Oh, yes, Hork.

Disgusting being.

- Well, of course we pulled the truth out of him.

- I'm imagining you doing all of this with a massive boner.

- That's like bouncing.

(laughing)

- That's what the cod piece is for,

is we gotta have workplace safety.

(laughing)

- [Amy] I'm so sorry.

- He goes, so, what I was thinkin' was,

I just wanted to say that we've spotted him again,

and I know that we had released him on the idea

that he had been pursuing the halflings, Longfoot,

so I thought I would tell you

that he was spotted up near the Door of Doom,

but it was a while past.

- Alright.

And you spotted him?

You didn't decide to pursue?

- It was a while past?

- Because word has just gotten to me, you understand.

- Right, uh.

- Alright, so you're suggesting that maybe

Longfoot is skulking around the mountain, he's with Hork?

- How about if you do me a favor.

Do not give this information to the Lord of Shadows.

I will personally deliver it to him.

- Of course, I'm not allowed to go in there

or I'd be turned inside out.

God, can you imagine how good it would feel

to get turned inside out?

- Oh, wow.

That cod piece is moving a lot.

(laughing)

Man, there's some thunking sounds

coming from inside that cod piece.

- Alright, well I gotta get back inside,

I got a full day of work ahead, I can't finish up now,

so I'll leave ya to yer business.

- Always a pleasure Ipskix.

- Always is, isn't it!

And you see, he skitters off.

- Um, I...

Have nothing to say, let's continue on.

(laughing)

- It wouldn't be a problem

if I delivered the news to the Lord of Shadows, right?

- Well, I mean, (chuckling).

- Alright, yeah, I got it, I got it.

- I appreciate it, it's that the crown's kind of my thing.

I've been searching for it

for quite an extended period of time!

- It has been quite a while

that you've been searching for that.

- Oh, it's quite a slippery thing.

That should not have been taken in the first place.

So yes, I would greatly appreciate that.

- Sure.

- As my department.

- Sure.

- And as we all have our relegated, appointed aspects,

please don't say anything.

- Oh, sure.

It's all yours.

For a long, long, long deadline

that keeps getting pushed, I guess.

- These are trying times,

but just know I appreciate your support.

(laughing)

- You guys (exhaling) venture off towards the throne room.

Meeting on the bridge-way from the Ruby Tower

and the kind of port for The Siren,

Markus you come across Maggie,

who you've met before,

on your way to the bridge going to the throne room.

- Hi!

You going to the council?

- Yeah, yeah, heard the beatin' drums,

so I know it's time to check in with old,

uh you know, uh Lord Zee.

(laughing)

- Yeah, fun.

Cool.

- Yeah.

- You guys both walk at the edge of the gate

that leads into the prechamber,

you guys see a sudden looming shape appear,

and you see this is Olag,

the High War King of the Blood Horde.

You see Olag is this intense looking orc,

huge blood-covered ax, muscle-bound.

You see that he looks at you with wide eyes,

he goes, good morrow to you,

lieutenants of the Lord of Shadows.

I trust you are well this day?

I wish only to bow in reverence

to the consort of the Lord of Shadows.

- Thank you!

(laughing)

- He says, I hear the beating drums

and the council has been called.

- Yep, that's kinda why we're walking down this way.

- I was wondering if either of you had heard if,

maybe because this is the final meeting of the lieutenants,

before the final push, if um,

if they were going to maybe allow me,

just being the leader of the orcs and all,

to come in and maybe meet with you all,

if that was going to be allowed or not.

- Yeah, no I don't see, look I'll go in there and I'll ask

and if they let me, I'll pop my head out,

signal you in, alright?

(laughing)

- It just seems so interesting to me,

being the High War King of the Blood Horde,

that I am not in these meetings.

You actually, are not even from Grogar.

- Yeah, no I'm a paid contractor, you know,

just doin' my thang, you know.

I'm sorry, I don't know about the orders

and ranks around here, I'm just a guy,

coming in to do a job.

- It's literally a job, just no loyalty.

For me, it's a cause.

I would die for the Lord of Shadows.

I wish to die in his name.

When I see myself,

at my most pure,

it is me being destroyed in a final blow,

to defend him.

- Well, best case scenario,

you don't even need to do that right?

- [Ify] Yeah, yeah.

- But I'm not afraid of it.

- Okay, I see.

- Yeah, that's great.

That's really--

- I would welcome it.

- Yeah, we'll carry the message, we'll see what they say.

- Yeah, you know, just--

- Maybe that'll be exciting to them, and they'll be like,

oh you know maybe it's new information,

you gotta communicate, maybe they didn't know

that you felt that way.

- It's just unclear where the line is drawn you know.

- [Ify] Yeah, yeah.

- For example, with all due respect, your highness.

In these meetings, what is it that you are--

- Oh, interesting.

- Responsible for in these meetings?

- Uh, Markus, we have to go.

(laughing)

- Olag says, well please do ask!

- Okay, I'll ask.

- I would do anything for him!

I would kill myself where I stand for him.

- Jesus christ, these guys,

they really can't stand not being in the room.

They think, like, I'm taking his slot.

No, in reality, there's some other psychopath in there

that took his slot.

- Yeah, I mean.

(laughing)

- You guys all converge on the antechamber

of the throne room.

As you guys arrive here, you see two massive trolls.

You see Hobbert and Frod, the guardians of the throne room.

You see that one of them on the left looks to you and says,

hello, welcome to the throne room of Lord of Shadows.

- Hey, uh, I just wanted to, you know,

if it's alright with everyone, can we lock those doors?

- Hard.

- [Ify] Yeah.

- Hard lock.

- Hard lock the doors?

- Yeah I feel like this is

about to be a very important conversation,

don't need anyone buttin' in.

- We should--

- Was it Olag again?

- Oh, it's 100% Olag.

- That guy.

- He's just.

- He's intense.

- Yeah, he talks at you!

He talks at you!

He doesn't talk to you!

- I will kill him again soon and bring him back to life.

- Can't kill him fast enough.

- Yes, each time it works but it ramps up so quickly.

- As time goes on, it's just,

he gets more annoying and annoying,

have to kill him more often.

- Job satisfaction is all well and good,

but what about about the rest of us?

- You have to pride, that the man has a passion.

- Oh for sure, I mean, he's a great worker--

(all talking over each other)

- Listen.

We all, but the thing is we all stan the Dark Lord,

we just do, right?

We all stan him.

(all agreeing)

So no need to always say it.

- It's so tricky when someone's like good at their job,

but they're just like a pain to work with--

- Right, who am I gonna wanna talk to

at three in the morning?

- Not Olag.

(laughing)

- Also, you know, before we start thanking him too much,

I know I'm the newest here and I'm not really like--

- No no, Markus, no!

- But he was talking some smack.

He was talking some real shit out there.

He was saying why he shouldn't be in here

and why he should be here more than you guys,

and I'm like, look, nobody--

- Honestly, like I bet he's listening in now

and I kinda don't care, like he maybe needs to hear this.

- Yeah.

- Wait which one of us did he say he could replace?

- Well he made it seem like anyone in here.

He said he's the, high lord of the orcs, or whatever.

- But it wasn't specifically any of us?

- No it wasn't, it was just more of a general type thing.

But I definitely felt like he was talking

about Sokhbarr a lot, like it really felt aimed at him,

he was like I'm the lord of the orcs--

- Oh thank god.

I mean, no, that's terrible.

- I hate that fucking guy.

- You see Hobbert and Frod say, we will lock the doors

to make sure that Olag can't get in

and also we will be outside so that we're not inside.

- Thank you.

- I wink at both of them.

- He's gonna say, I have a question.

When we beat all the elves and dwarves and humans,

will there be, um, will we all move to where they are?

To live where there are trees and sunshine?

- There shall be no trees nor sunshine

when we have taken over the lands.

- Oh.

- I mean there'll be some trees.

Maybe, I mean, I gotta whole thing going on here.

- Nice trees with flowers and apples?

- Oh, no, it'll be like, gnarled trees

with like, screaming faces--

- What, what the hell are you talking about?

- Oh, well, one of I heard,

one of the pactwraith's was talking about,

they were riding through a field

that had a golden grain and I was all--

- Oh that is, ugh, that is my people's aesthetic.

The fucking elves.

- It's so derivative, you know,

it's a monolithic culture.

- And it's bad too,

'cause it's like you wipe out this whole ecosystem,

you just plant grain,

and it's just grain, grain, grain, grain, grain.

- It's terrible around allergy season, year after year.

- Yes, much better to see blacks

and grays through a blue filter.

- Lack of biodiversity.

- Oh for sure, I mean,

you know how many slime molds they killed

just so they could plant a bunch of grain?

It's like wow, cool, you really did it, you really oh, ploo.

- You see Hobbert for a sec, oh.

Well, we had thought about you know,

we heard legends about things like a picnic

and like to have a tea cup.

- Oh those can be provided,

I have a few extra sets in my chambers if you'd like.

- Yay!

- Just minus the trees and grain.

- Oh, okay!

Well, that's very nice.

Welcome, to the throne room of the Lord of Shadows.

You see they (whooshing) open the doors

and you guys see the throne of the Bloodkeep.

Enter, the doors close behind you.

(door shutting)

And (powerful inhaling)

(sharp click) lock.

(fire crackling to life)

A massive fanged maw of fire appears in the throne.

- As soon as this happens, I'm gonna start muttering about,

you are loved, you are important.

You are loved, you are important.

You will be listened to.

You will be fine.

(laughing)

- I'm just hearing this and just shaking my head.

(laughing)

- You see that the maw of Zaul'Nazh,

Lord of Shadows, appears.

(grunting)

(menacing inhale)

My most trusted advisors.

Knights, champions, generals,

and my darling.

- Hi babe.

(laughing)

- We are gathered here on the eve of victory.

What do you have to report

before the fall of the free world?

- I'ma just come out and say it,

I mean all of you, I gotta say,

it's been a great time with all of you, you know,

devil lady, dead knight, wet elf,

beast man, and spider lady.

- We have names, we've been working together for a while.

- We have been introduced a number of times.

- She's more than a wet elf.

- I know your names, I know your names!

- Oh prove it, prove it right now,

what are all of our names?

- Maggie, oh Leeland?

- Eh, Kraz-Thun, in the face of--

- You see that Zaul'Nazh just goes (angry growling).

- Uh, Kraz-Thun, Kraz-Thun, I meant Kraz-Thun.

That was just, I was just coughing.

- The right hand of the Lord of Shadows

cannot be named Leeland.

- [Ify] Yeah.

- Kraz-Thun.

- Yep, yep.

- A name becoming of the ziggurat of igori.

- Yeah my sky tongue makes that hard to pronounce.

- I honestly thought you were mad that we were doing,

we were taking trivialities at the moment,

but no you were just mad that--

- No, no no no.

- He did choose it for me.

- Oh.

- Yeah, I did.

What of my crown, Kraz-Thun?

- Stepping forward, head down a bit,

clutching the darkened helmet under one arm.

My lord, me and the Vinguri have traveled the length

and breadth of the land, slaying many of the men

and the creations that reside at their sides,

left much blood and sorrow in our wake.

- Really taking his sweet time about it,

for sure, too, yeah.

- We have been tracing the scent

of your great darkened crown for some time

and found word

that the twisted halfling Hork

seemingly also follows this trail not far from this citadel.

We are so very close to finding it, like right here--

- And like, I cut in and go,

and I have seen and been told

that yes indeed,

your delegate shall find the crown,

and soon.

- We shall.

Yes, we shall.

Indeed, thank you for your support, dear friend.

- Ah, yes, well.

- Go ahead, each of you, and make a persuasion check for me.

- Mhm.

(dice clanking)

- Ooh.

- Oh a 12.

- 25.

- 25.

So you see Zaul'Nazh goes,

ah, very good Kraz-Thun.

- Of course my lord, anything for you my lord.

- He says, the crown is the key,

when I have my crown returned

my full strength will be mine once more.

Soon Tor Kelin will fall

and the realms of Tyriath,

Care Blythwin will be yours, Efink.

A land of beasts and spiders,

a land where we can live as we wish.

And you will have everything your heart desires,

Captain St. Vincent.

- Oh, thanks.

Put a little spice on the Captain there,

is there tension between us?

Look, I'm giving you the fairest rate of all the land.

- Everything I say has that tone to it.

- Okay, I just wanna make sure,

I like to have a strong bond between my client

and make sure everything's good.

- Right now at the Door of Doom,

the forces of light gather.

Casara the Beige, and Telmyr the Calm

have picked Prucifal son of Parivo,

some ranger from the North,

to sit once more on the throne of Tyriath.

But it is no matter, we will crush them there,

crown or no, and when my talisman is returned to me,

then all the lands will fall as well.

When my crown is returned,

all the peoples of Elna

will turn to me and say-

He, fuck!

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Nonononononono!

(high pitched screaming)

(explosions)

The fire explodes into hot wind and air,

you are buffeted back,

the throne (cracking stone) goes a little, pting,

pathetic cinder lies and falls apart into some ash,

and like gray ashy embers.

(flames crackling)

You guys hear the foundations of the structure

of The Bloodkeep go, (creaking and thudding)

and you feel a vast pft

of arcane energy spells

and enchantments fading and dying (wheezing) with a wheeze.

(all start screaming)

- We gon' make those people hurt!

They gon' make, they gon' be doin' all that,

ain't that right Lord Zee?

Ain't that right?

- I go up to the throne looking for any like, remnants.

- Is there a ring?

Look for a ring!

Sokhbarr do you see a ring?

- I don't see a ring!

- [Rehka] You don't see a ring?

- I don't see a ring.

(heavy breathing)

- Is there enough ash to gather?

- There's a little bit of ash, as you gather,

make an arcana check for me.

- Lilith just takes a sip of her wine.

- It's going to be 22.

- You gather, it starts to like go away on the wind,

and you like, nononono, ah ah!

And you have a tiny little ember,

just the smallest little lumpy ashy piece of coal.

- What that wasn't just a?

- My lord?

Zaul'Nazh?

- Maybe I should try, maybe he's not gonna respond to you?

- No, he's fine.

I have him here.

- I'm sorry, what the fuck is going on?

- Yeah, I thought that was an act!

- Alright, give me a second and I roll my bone,

and I think it's like the skull just spins, like?

- You see that the skull, for the first time ever,

perfectly rests on the round part of the skull.

- What is?

What's going on?

- What does it say?

- Yes I have looked deep inside my bone

and I have seen that, um, I don't know.

- What?

- Efink, you, foresaw victory, it was assured?

- And there still may be,

because this doesn't mean anything.

- More importantly, your main thing is like,

knowing stuff, right?

Like that's why you're here, is to know things.

- Yes, I know but it is

an imperfect magical art of divination

so this is untoward is what this is,

and I must spend time to,

I don't know, I don't know!

- Can I look around for just anything

that I think might like answer, anything that's in the room.

- Go ahead and give me a investigation check.

- Sure.

- This is just, surely a temporary setback,

I mean, we have our vast armies and you know,

the realms of men and elves and dwarves are fractured,

and--

- As Lilith is saying that,

you all look out through the huge window

through which the maw yells commands out to the armies.

You look out and see a vast horde of shambling undead