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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Search For Grog | Critical Role One-Shot

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(fantastical music)

- To Vox Machina!

(cheering)

- Los Angeles!

It's Critical Role Live!

(cheering)

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I apologize in advance for many of the things

you're gonna see here tonight. (laughing)

As usual.

I'll take these off 'cause I can't really see anything.

We couldn't afford the insurance

in case I fall off the stage.

Guys.

How does everybody feel?

Is everybody ready to stay turnt this evening?

(cheering)

As you know, we spend a lot of time

on our outfits for these live shows.

I went online, and I Googled,

(laughing)

I'm color blind, is the problem.

I wanted to know, like,

what do the drug dealers in Beverly Hills dress like?

(laughing)

Well this is actually what I wear

when I go to the skate park

to sell cigarettes to kids.

(laughing)

we have a few announcements to get to before,

we can just keep talking about this outfit.

This outfit kind of says, like,

This outfit says, cocaine's back, baby!

(cheering)

Just moments from now, my friends,

you are going to witness, at these very tables,

a masterclass in how to remember how to play a character.

(laughing)

(cheering)

I gotta be bad cop and say,

we have a strict no spoiler policy tonight.

(cheering) So, as you, yes, thank you.

As you can see, we have fancy cameras and equipment

placed all over the place.

This is being recorded,

and it's going to be released next month.

(cheering) Which is awesome.

What about my pants?

My pants you can come see any time, brother.

(laughing, cheering)

Problem is, I doubt both of us are gonna fit in them.

(laughing)

So, there's no reason for you to hold your phone up

for the next four hours, and film everything,

and try to bootleg it online.

We're gonna put it out at much better quality

than your crappy phone.

We do have team members standing by at each of your houses

to shave and poison your cats if you do tweet,

and spread around spoilers tonight, so I hope

you said a big goodbye to those little furry creatures

before you got here.

The bottom line is, guys, just don't be a dick,

because that's my job.

(cheering)

Okay.

I can't hear you, and honestly,

the people on stage are the ones who should be screaming,

so I'm sorry, it's just too far away.

But speaking of your wonderful outburst,

tonight, you guys can cry, you can laugh, you can cheer,

you can scream, you can gasp.

You can run all those emotions.

The only thing we ask is that you do not

shout any rules, suggestions, comments, to the stage,

during the show. (cheering)

The only reason why we ask that

is because it's really shitty.

And the people at home can't hear you anyways, so,

and you know, it might make some of the people

around you laugh, but if you've ever

seen an episode of Talks Machina,

jokes don't always go as well as planned.

Or hoped, so...

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

Without further ado...

(cheering)

I wanna introduce the cast

of Critical Role.

(cheering)

Travis Willingham!

(loud cheering)

(heavy rock music)

Ashley Johnson!

(cheering)

Give it up for Laura Bailey!

(cheering)

Liam O'Brien!

(cheering)

Give it up for Marisha Ray!

(cheering)

Happy Birthday to Mr. Taliesin Jaffe!

(cheering)

Prepare yourself for Sam Riegel!

(cheering)

And Mr. Matthew Mercer!

(cheering)

- [Crowd] (singing) Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday dear Taliesin,

Happy Birthday to you!

(cheering)

- Oh, if you only knew the adrenaline

pumping through these veins right now.

(laughing)

Well, welcome everybody, to the amazing Ace Hotel stage.

(cheering)

To join us for this fantastic return of Vox Machina.

(cheering)

To fill a tiny little unexpected gap

in the history that came about.

Before we get started, just out of a curious show of hands,

raise your hand if you have no idea what's going on.

- [Marisha] Oh no.

(laughing)

- That's my favorite part of every live show.

Welcome, and I'm sorry.

(laughing)

But anyway, so happy to be part

of this fantastic experience, this great venue.

So many of the amazing people came out from all over

to be a part of this tonight.

Thank you for traveling, whether it be

from your apartment down the street,

or many states or countries away,

we really appreciate you making the journey.

(cheering)

(chuckles)

Before we get into this,

we have a couple of quick announcements.

As you know the drill.

First and foremost, we have our fantastic epic thanks

to Wormwood for being our sponsor,

for tonight's sideshow. (cheering)

Been friends of the show for quite some time.

They made our fantastic table that we get to play on.

- [Marisha] Yay!

- They made this awesome game screen for me

just for tonight, which I'm happy about.

- [Laura] Just for tonight?

- They've been very kind, yeah.

- [Sam] One time only.

- One time only, yeah.

No, this comes with me.

But no they've graciously donated a $25 gift card

to everyone that makes a purchase

at the merch area of the lobby.

- [Sam] Whoa!

- So, anybody who wants to go there

during the mid break area,

there's a gift card there waiting there for you,

if you go ahead and buy something.

But huge thanks to our friends at Wormwood

for being fantastic supporters

of all we do here at the show.

And, yeah, just really really appreciative.

And,

I think that's the extent of my announcements.

- [Marisha] Oh, wow! They're pretty quick tonight.

- We just gotta light all of our fake candles, guys.

- These fake candles haven't been lit.

- [Matt] Let's light the fake candles.

- Turn on the candles, set the mood!

- Yeah, gotta set the mood!

- Oh man! - [Laura] Gotta set the mood!

- Can't Taliesin just snap and that shit happens?

(laughing)

- No when he snaps, someone in the audience gets pregnant.

(laughing)

(cheering)

- [Liam] That's how that happens.

- Sorry about that, Travis, by the way.

I apologize.

- Oh shit.

(cheering)

That's good.

- Ronan does look like a pyramid a little bit.

(laughing)

- On that note.

(laughing)

Let's go ahead.

And dive into...

(cheering) - [Travis] Oh no.

Vox Machina,

and the search for Grog. - [Ashley] I'm gonna throw up.

- Grov, grob.

Grog.

Oh, the nerves are there, can't you tel?

For tonight's live show of Critical Role.

(maniacal laughter, cheering)

(fantastical music)

(cheering)

(cheering)

(gun fires)

- [Ashley] Oh, no!

(cheering)

(cheering)

(cheering)

(cheering)

(chuckling)

(cheering)

(cheering)

- So.

- [Liam] Oh no.

The band of adventurers known as Vox Machina

(cheering)

had come together as friends, family, compatriots,

and then eventually, some the greatest heroes

known to the current age of Exandria.

In standing up to the force of the ascending god, Vecna.

Managed to, through guile, skill,

and the power of friendship.

(laughing)

- [Sam] That's true.

Seal his essence away on the other side of the divine gate,

where he could not trounce and destroy,

and mold the Prime Material Plane to his will.

In the process,

fulfilling a deal made by the compatriot Vax,

saw him step into the grasp of the Raven Queen,

and vanish for good.

(audience groans)

In that sorrowful combination of loss and victory,

seeing the relatively robust remains of Vasselheim

that you saved from the massive incursion

of the risen primordial titan that was serving

as the delivery method for Vecna's city of Thar Amphala.

You gathered your things,

and returned to Whitestone

to just ruminate on the events that had transpired.

(laughing)

(cheering)

- [Ashley] That's my boy! - That bring us

(laughing)

only a couple of days later, from this climactic battle,

still fresh in the throes

of the immensity of what has happened,

and what you've achieved.

We come to Whitestone.

(laughing)

As the rest of you

kind of scatter off for a moment,

to deal with your own

processing and digestion

of this mixture of emotions.

Pike.

(cheering)

- Okay, okay, okay.

After taking some time in the Parchwood Forest,

the timberlands that surround Whitestone,

you begin to ascend the stairs

to the base of Whitestone Castle.

And out of the corner of your eye,

in the center of the courtyard.

You see your best buddy Grog,

the massive Goliath barbarian.

Berserker, from the plains

(cheering)

of Tal'Dorei,

champion of the causes you fought

together since your childhood,

pluck a card from the Deck of Many Things.

(laughing)

And in a brief euphoric moment

of surprise and excitement on his face,

(laughing)

his eyes go dead and he falls forward

face first onto the ground.

(cheering)

- Grog?

Grog?

I'm gonna run over to him

and I'm gonna try to shake him awake.

- Okay.

You take a moment, you shake him,

you know the best ways to wake Grog,

usually in his various drunken stupors,

yeah, backhand him a few times.

- I give a good backhand across the face.

- [Matt] Got you.

(imitates slap)

Impact hits. - Grog!

(groans)

- His face, unresponsive, his eyes just dull.

Nothing.

He's alive, you feel for breathing.

He's definitely as a body,

there, present,

but there's nothing behind it.

- Grog are you in there?

Hello?

(audience groans)

Oh no.

Oh no.

(laughing)

- [Sam] Travis, say something, Jesus.

(audience laughing)

- I'm gonna try to sit him up.

- [Matt] Okay.

(grunts)

Easy enough for you with your gauntlets of ogre strength.

- [Ashley] I'm strong.

(grunts)

You sit him up and he kind of folds most of the way forward,

his head slumps between his shoulders.

No response.

- Oh no.

But I notice that he's still breathing

and his heartbeat is still there?

- You take a moment and listen,

heartbeat's still going, strong as ever.

(imitates heart beating)

- Okay.

Grog, I'm gonna go get help.

You stay right here.

Do not move!

(audience laughing)

Ugh, okay.

I'm gonna go inside and see who I can find.

- Okay.

Stepping inside,

shouting around briefly, Percy, and Keyleth, and Scanlan.

Those of you who are going about your business,

you eventually begin to hear the calls

of Pike bringing you together.

- Hey!

Grog picked a card and he, he looked at it,

and he smiled, and he was happy, and then he fell over.

(audience laughing)

- No!

No, no, no, no, Pike, that would be ridiculous,

we're heroes, we just saved the world, why would...

Why would he do such a thing?

This is the end of the story, Pike, the end!

(audience laughing)

- Surely Grog is not, even Grog

is not that foolish and irresponsible, I mean, we would...

There's no reason.

He's obviously playing a prank on you.

- No no no, he's not playing a prank.

- Were the cards shiny?

- Yes, it was,

- It was a deck, and... - [Marisha] Yeah, I mean,

he checks out.

- He was trying get that, that's true.

- We both almost picked them together one time, and...

We didn't.

Because I thought maybe it wouldn't be a good idea,

but I guess just got excited and thought why not.

- [Marisha] Yeah.

(sighs)

- But he's still breathing.

His heart's still beating.

He's just not awake.

So maybe he's just in like a really deep sleep.

- Well let's go get Vex and, oh.

(audience groans)

Sorry.

It's just...

It's just force of habit, it's just new, it's fresh.

- Let's get everyone

and go outside. - Yes.

- This is a roast a year in the making.

(laughing)

- Yep. (cheering)

- I go find Vex.

- Alright.

It takes a little bit of time,

because she's still out

in the middle of the Parchwood herself,

doing her own walkabout.

And as you return, you can already see

there's a little bit of chaos

in the corner of Whitestone Castle.

A number of the various guards have gathered around.

You can see the rest of your allies,

the rest of your friends, all kind of gathered around

the slumped forward, unresponsive body of Grog Strongjaw.

- What did he do?

(laughing)

- [Marisha] Yeah, you know those cards

that we probably should have taken away from him?

Yeah.

- I had those for a while, you know, I had those.

- [Marisha] I know.

- I gave them back to him.

- [Marisha] Well.

(laughing)

- [Sam] You know, I feel like this is on us.

This is sort of on us, really.

- I mean, he's a child, really.

- [Sam] Yeah.

(laughing)

- Well to be fair, most of the cards are really good.

So maybe he's somewhere like having a super good time.

- [Sam] Oh yeah, maybe this is a vacation for him.

- Do we see which card got pulled,

is it perhaps on the ground?

- No, the card actually seems

to have dissipated and vanished.

Or at least the text has.

You go and find it on the ground and inspect it,

and the actual front face of it is now blank.

- Well this is helpful.

- We'll need to know more information,

but before we do anything, I think it would help me

if we had the entire group with us.

So if you would, everyone, allow me,

I think we're missing one member of Vox Machina,

that we're gonna bring out right now onto the stage.

(audience hollering)

- You asshole! - You're such an asshole.

(audience laughing)

- [Matt] You're a terrible human being.

- Max?

- [Sam] Max isn't there, - Get that thing,

- [Sam] that's a puppeteer. - off this stage.

- [Sam] It's a puppeteer.

Ignore Max. - How dare you.

- I wish I knew how to quit you, Sam Riegel.

- You leave it!

- Besides, it's inaccurate.

He didn't leave a body behind.

(audience groans)

- Ooh.

- That's how I imagine he looks.

- [Laura] I thought for a minute, it was gonna be Trinket.

- [Liam] So did I!

- I thought you were being really kind, and then...

And then you

proved yourself once more. - Sam does not think

of Trinket as a member of Vox Machina.

- [Matt] Fool me thrice.

- I'd much rather prefer a skeleton on stage

than a giant fucking bear, I just...

- I thought it was gonna be a Trinket that we have!

Shush you.

(growls) - So...

Gathered around, your friend unresponsive,

and kind of being the only real representatives.

Most everyone else is still probably back in Vasselheim,

helping clean up and settle the city,

and deal with the aftermath of that incursion.

What would you like to do?

- What do we do?

- We go and find him right now of course,

let's go do something.

- We don't know where he is.

- We don't even know what he is.

Maybe he's just in a coma, I don't know.

- Someone understands these cards.

Someone knows the options.

Someone knows what this is.

And somebody owes us at this point.

I say we go to Vasselheim

and very politely demand some help.

(audience laughing)

- I've missed Percy.

(laughing)

- Me too.

- Alright, but,

I can't carry him, he's huge.

- I can.

- Well...

(audience cheering)

I'm gonna do my best to try

to pick him up and fireman style.

- Alright.

Go ahead and just make a general strength check for me.

- First roll.

(audience cheering) First roll!

Matt, may I inspire her before she goes?

- You may.

You may. (audience cheers)

- Okay.

- (singing) I have slayed Chroma Conclave

I have taught Vecna counter spell,

only to be with you.

Only to be with you.

But we still gotta find

our Goliath friend.

(cheering)

- So...

- Wait, what does that mean?

- You have a D12 that you can roll

and add to any... - Is that real?

- It's not gonna do anything for that Ash.

- I rolled a natural one.

(cheering)

- Not a U2 fan!

- Not a U2 fan.

- Off to a great start.

- But you get to add a D12.

- I'll say the combination of distraction from his song,

and just the kind of emotional panic of what's transpiring,

you're not quite finding the strength,

and eventually somebody has to help you

kind of just carry him at the moment.

- It's not working!

- I can try to put him in the necklace,

I don't know what that would do.

- But isn't Trinket in there?

- No, Trinket's right next to me, you dick.

(audience laughing)

(growls)

- Where do you think he lives? - Where?

I don't see, is it a him?

Is it a her?

(growling)

- Scanlan, short halt.

- I'm sorry.

Force of habit.

- He's been through a lot with you.

You should protect him.

He's family.

(chuffs)

(cheering)

And family's important, Scanlan.

Yeah. - You're right.

I'm sorry.

(audience laughing)

Well I was only saying that if you put Grog in there,

that means we won't be able to bring Trinket.

(audience laughing)

- I'm pretty sure Trinket will be safe in Vasselheim.

- So you're saying we do get to leave Trinket behind?

I mean...

- I don't even know if this'll work.

I go over to Grog and I hold his hand up to the necklace,

and try to put him in.

- Okay.

Concentrating on the aspect of the necklace,

you watch as his body (exhales).

It's tucked into a small, looks like a gray like mist,

and absorbed into the necklace.

- Hope that didn't kill him.

(audience laughing)

Shall we? - Roll a constitution

saving throw, Grog.

No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. - Oh, god.

- Oh my god.

- Oh no.

- I think it's time to perhaps head to Vasselheim.

- Yeah, let's go. - No, Sam, you didn't!

- I did it.

I drank out of it.

- No!

- No!

- Everyone in the cast

tried to convince him to not drink from that poisonous cup

that is broken on the inside

and full, - It's rank.

- It's broken.

- So bad. - There are smurfs

living inside of that thing.

- Whatever was last poured in that

at the end of the last campaign

has been in there for a year.

(audience groans)

- I have tetanus now.

- And many other things, I'm sure.

- Yeah, enjoy your botulism.

Great.

(groans)

- Fuck.

- Anyway. - Oh god.

- What would you like do?

- We'd like to go.

- Go.

Yeah.

Vasselheim?

Yeah. - Yeah, okay.

- It's like we were there yesterday.

(laughing)

We were there yesterday.

(laughs)

Okay let's go, yeah?

- You're, if you would be,

I assume I'm close enough to the sun tree

that if you can transportation via plants?

- Yeah.

(laughing) - Alright.

- Hi, sun tree.

- Good to see you, Kiki.

(cheering)

As the now vibrant, and blossoming sun tree

sits in the center of the main court,

the center of the main courtyard,

center square of Whitestone proper,

you got a proper.

Keyleth steps up to it, places her fingers across it,

and you watch as the trunk seems to almost tear and split

into what looks to be an arched doorway.

On the opposite side is...

- Vasselheim.

- Alright.

When I do that I go, sun tree, does this hurt you?

- Kinda tickles.

- Okay.

You're the best, sun tree.

Okay, let's go, we have six seconds, go!

- As you guys all charge through,

that immediate kind of sucking sensation

through your abdomen, your lungs kind of seem

to empty of air for just an instant.

As you step out the opposite side, you look around,

and you're in the center of the Abundant Terrace.

Just on the outskirts of the Birthheart.

The Melora section of Vasselheim,

where the wild mother looks over

all of nature and the surrounding vicinity.

You're in the center of these rows and rows

of beautiful trees, this gorgeous orchard.

That the colors have been turning into the oranges and reds.

The smell of smoke is still in the air.

And as you look past the greenery you can see,

there's still curling plumes of gray and white smoke,

the lasting aspects of the battle that had transpired

not but two days before.

You don't hear any shouting or din,

so you get the sense that the combat has completed.

But as you look past, you can't help but look up and see

the ominous visage of the incredibly massive and still,

unmoving, primordial earth titan.

Looming over the city, mid step.

Its gait kind of outstretched right over the quad roads

in the center of the city.

You can see the crumbled city of Thar Amphala,

still atop of its head and shoulders.

And it's weirdly serenely beautiful to see it still,

as this monument of that final battle.

You can see birds now, kind of

dissipating off of its arm and gathering,

and flying through this thing that was so frightening,

and brought imminent destruction, now,

has its own weird legacy.

So, whereabouts in Vasselheim are you looking to go?

- Uh...

- It's been a year.

If you have questions, you can ask me, it's okay.

- Yeah.

What's in Vasselheim again?

- New campaign who dis?

- I know.

(laughing)

- So wait.

- We wanna go see some of our old friends, like Allura.

- Allura's my first vote. - Gilmore.

- Yes, Allura

would probably know. - Other people.

- Kima.

(laughing)

- But I think Allura would know about this,

and Gilmore might.

- Why don't we get everyone?

This is big news.

- We'll start there and we'll,

we need an expert opinion.

- Is it big news?

- Grog did something stupid,

I don't feel like that's, like...

(laughing)

I mean I'm not...

We just killed that thing, so like,

that's big news.

- Yeah.

No, you're right.

- Alright.

- I grabbed the cards, by the way, so,

we do have them pocketed.

- Well, of the areas you visited, there is the trial forge,

which is the area that is cord based.

There is the Platinum Sanctuary,

which is where the council met right before the attack,

and that's where all the various leaders,

and your friends all met.

That seems to be one of the main seats

of enforcement of the city.

- I think so.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

- Okay.

- Let's go to that one. - Right.

- Alright, so you guys start making your way over

towards the Platinum Sanctuary of Bahamut.

Making your way through the streets,

you see many of the armed bastions and mercenary troops

that are dragging away what looks to be

the bodies of the remnants of Vecna,

that have been killed, and they've cleaned up most of the,

the surging armies of undead and the necromancers

that had them at their beck and call.

You also see them gathering some of the non survivors

of the citizens of the city.

But more than that, you see

the thriving community coming back together again.

You see in the streets, families that are decorating

what looks to be a celebration of some kind.

You can see people that are

kind of helping clean up, and redecorate the space,

and TO it back to a sense of normality.

As you make your way over

towards the Platinum Sanctuary,

you climb up the stairs along the side of the mountain,

known as the heaven stair.

You reach the familiar peaks at the base of the sanctuary,

the large pillars that mark the entrance,

the familiar soldiers, the scale bearers,

nod as you approach, kind of surprised

to see you return so soon, and step aside.

You enter the echoing halls

of the inside of what is the Platinum Sanctuary

up on Silver Talon's Reach.

As you enter the interior, about two dozen or so soldiers

seem to fill the interior hall, of the inner sanctum,

parting as you approach the centerpiece of that area.

Within that chamber, only a portion of the heads

of the city are present.

You see the holy curator, Curtis Uleas,

which you've met once before when the council met

before the attack on Vecna.

You see him he's kind of a squat, bald,

kind of mousey looking fella, but he represents

the quad roads, and the high,

Arathis, the law bearer.

You also see a guard next to him,

and what looks to be another compatriot,

maybe a mercenary, body guard.

To the right of that, you see

a representative of the maidens of the Raven Queen,

known as the Trust of Winters.

The collection of veil bearing maidens,

all dressed in black, that had previously

been watching the temple that exists here in the city.

You see them also being flanked by what looks to be

two or three similarly adorned, but more

military ready body guards that also seem

to worship the Raven Queen and are part of this trust.

They're all discussing what looks to be

some sort of matter of clearing up the vicinity

with Highbearer Vord himself, the elven head

of Silver Talon's Reach.

As they're in mid conversation,

everyone begins to part to let you in,

and as soon as they turn to see you,

and what this strange business is,

their conversation falls silent,

as the Highbearer turns to you all and goes,

oh, you're back so soon.

(tense music)

The celebration isn't for a few weeks.

Maybe you've got...

bored?

- Not quite yet, unfortunately.

I do hate to be making a request so soon, but,

one of our members has fallen prey

to something foolishly, and...

we feel that perhaps, just at this moment,

we're not capable of handling any more loss,

and we would really appreciate

(sighs)

a bit of consideration to our plight.

- Interesting.

You look upon his furrowed Elven brow,

himself one of the elders of Vasselheim

that worships under and represents the will of Bahamut

here in Vasselheim, the Dawn City.

Looking about the rest of you he goes,

oh, based on the company you're keeping,

perhaps it's the larger and slower one?

- I bamf him out.

Just right there on the floor.

I bamf Grog out.

The body just slams.

(audience laughing)

Onto the open marble floor in the center

of the inner sanctum, with a loud, heavy thwack.

That skull hit with an intensity that,

knowing Grog, probably hurt the marble more.

(laughing)

You see a lot of them, all the surrounding individuals

kind of step back and there's a bit of a, oh!

And the kind of hushed gasps

and curious murmuring to the sides.

And the Highbearer just goes, oh, wonderful.

If he's dead as well, we have means of resurrecting,

and we do, oh. - No, no, he's quite alive.

- Sleeping?

- Maybe.

- We found him next to this,

and I display the deck.

- And what, pray tell, is this?

- I would be very careful, and please do not draw a card.

- I haven't lived this long by ignoring such warnings.

- You will not be,

(laughs) I would reckon that perhaps

you would not live much longer if you ignored that one.

- He hands it off to a compatriot of his,

you can see who looks to be very dressed

in familiar robes of blue and silver.

But begins to draw an arcane sigil,

as the city seems to shun overt arcane magic,

they also understand it's a necessity

in certain circumstances, but only in trusted levels.

This individual finishes casting the spell,

takes it, goes, ahh.

Whispers into the ear of the Highbearer who goes,

dear lord.

(laughing)

You let him have this?

(audience cheering)

- Now, in our defense, it is very difficult

to not let him do anything he likes, and,

at the time, I had been meaning

to replace it with a fake copy,

but things got complicated, and I lost track of time.

- You should see his puppy dog eyes when he tries,

it really is quite pathetic.

- And to be fair, he really didn't pick one

for a really long time.

(laughing)

So, it's amazing that he waited this long.

And he's not slow, he just has a lot left to learn.

- We kept the demonic skull out of his hands,

I mean, that was something.

- Yeah, it was really a trust exercise, but...

(laughing)

you know, looking back, maybe we should have started

with like, the one where you fall,

and like a group of your friends, and they catch you.

- While this is going on,

I'm gonna command my unseen servant to like,

puppeteer Grog's arms Weekend at Bernie's style.

(laughing)

- Oh, he's back!

- That is strangely delightfully macabre.

(laughing)

You may continue.

(sighs) Give me just a moment.

And he kind of closes his eyes for a second,

and you hear him kind of mutter under his breath,

please, your friends have arrived,

and they need your assistance.

But a moment later, there's a sudden,

(whooshes) a surge of energy and a blast of wind,

and there you see about 15 feet away, the familiar

braided long hair of...

(cheering)

arcanist Allura Vysoren.

(cheering)

Her kind of spinning skirt comes to rest and goes,

friends, (laughs)

what is wrong with him?

(laughing)

As Grog just kind of dances being held aloft in the air.

She waves her hands, and he drops like a sack of potatoes.

- Yes.

- We don't know what's wrong with him.

I mean we know what's wrong with him,

(audience laughing)

in general, but specifically to this time,

we don't know what's wrong with him right now.

- The Highbearer interrupts you and goes,

he drew one of these.

And she goes, oh, shit.

(audience laughing)

- That's what he said. - Well...

Let me see, and she gets close

and kind of pinches his cheeks and rolls his eyelids back

and looks at his eyes, and listens to his chest, and goes,

well, I have a passing knowledge of what's capable.

The good news, he's alive.

The bad news is,

the soul is not present.

It's somewhere else.

- Excellent, where?

Where is it?

- I don't know.

Somewhere.

Probably under the guard of some dangerous entity.

- What?

And to retrieve it, you would have to bring this to it,

pointing to the body on the ground.

- Who the fuck makes these cards?

(laughing)

(cheering)

- To which the Highbearer goes,

there were many individuals in the age of our canon

that have continued to prove why Vasselheim

is a very divine based society.

Allura kind of thinks for a second, um,

well, give me a moment.

Maybe I can...

Maybe I can cast a ritual that can pinpoint this, hold on.

- Yes, yes please.

- Thank you.

- She thinks for a second and she begins casting something.

(chanting)

Nothing.

(sighs) I think this magic may be beyond me.

- Who is not beyond?

- I don't know.

Any of you have any means of reaching beyond the planes?

To gather information, see something.

I'm not a divination specialist, unfortunately.

- I mean, Pike, you could pray.

I could pray.

(audience laughing)

- Would hitting him again perhaps help?

- It can't hurt.

It can't hurt to hit him one more time.

- Scanlan I think you should go ahead and give it a try.

- Alright.

I'll go up and use my whip.

(laughing)

I've used it once.

This'll be two.

I'll just whip him in the gonads.

(groaning)

Maybe it'll just, maybe he'll just wake up.

(imitates hitting)

(laughing)

(imitates hitting) Well.

Multi attack!

(laughing)

- No response.

Allura has walked over and taken the deck

from the Highbearer, closes her eyes for a second.

Right, alright.

Best I can ascertain.

The only way to really find out where his soul resides

is through a very, very powerful arcane...

incantation that can sort of bend reality to your will,

to a small degree.

I unfortunately am not powerful enough to utilize this.

Nor do I know one with such capabilities.

(clears throat)

- Hi.

(cheering)

Hi, whip guy here.

I mean...

I have a thing.

But I don't know how it works,

and I've never used it before.

- A thing?

- I just have a power.

I feel like it might be helpful here,

but I really don't know what it will do to me after I do it,

which is why I hesitated to bring it up at the beginning.

But, if that's our only hope, I could make a wish.

- You watch Allura's face drop in absolute surprise and awe.

And then,

you let him...

wish?

(audience laughing)

- Why does anybody think

we let any of these people do anything?

(laughing)

- Valid point.

That is amazing.

By all means, I would love to see this.

Now she puts her arms out and pushes everyone else

back about 10 feet.

- Do you need anything, are you alright?

- I could use a cup of seltzer.

(laughing)

- Do you want me to stand with you,

while you do it? - Does Grog still

have the infinite

thing on him?

The infinite cup, mug?

- I do want you to stand with me, Pike.

I do.

Perhaps you could stand behind me and

sort of put your arms around my waist.

Just in sort of like a...

- Awkward prom?

- Yeah, awkward prom type pose.

- I can, but what will that do?

- You don't need to know.

(laughing)

- Okay.

(chuckling)

- Am I doing this?

- Are you doing this? - I don't know,

are you doing this, this...

- What will it do?

- What will it do to you?

- I don't know.

- One way to find out, baby.

- How many...

(laughing)

- Allura goes,

- How many wishes, you have one wish?

- I don't know!

- As far as I understand, from what I've read about this,

it is a wish.

Just be very particular with your wording.

And don't get greedy.

- So I shouldn't wish for 1000 Grogs to appear right here,

'cause they'll all fall on me and kill me,

or something like that?

- That would be the end of Exandria.

- Okay.

I am very confident,

but I wouldn't mind some input on how I should phrase this.

- Percival, you were very very good at coming up

with our wish wording, the last time we had to do this.

- Right.

That's right, that's right.

- You remember that?

Oh, you don't remember that Pike, it was when you died.

(laughing)

(groans)

- Well...

- That was a while.

- How about something like...

I wish to know the location of Grog.

That's simple, right?

- Well, no, because he's right here.

- The precise location of Grog's soul.

- The precise location of Grog's soul.

- Hey, Scanlan.

- Hey, Keeks?

- What's the limits of this spell?

Because theoretically, could you just be like,

oh, I just wish for him back.

And then like, end of day, end of show.

(laughs nervously)

- I don't understand your metaphor.

- You know, I love a good story,

and that seems like an anticlimactic one.

(audience cheering)

- Allura pipes up and goes,

and I would say there are great limitations

to the capability of this spell,

specific to the terrifying enchantment

of this deck of cards.

I think the strongest thing I could even think to say

would be to bring all of us near the,

no, we just, I think just best, the,

- She said don't get greedy.

- Don't get greedy.

- She said don't get greedy.

- I would like, yeah, the precise location of Grog's soul.

- Who am I wishing to?

I really am not a big, no offense Pike,

I mean, I've been learning the ways of Sarenrae,

maybe I should wish to her.

- Don't you have Ioun's eye or something?

- Sure, but I don't want to make Pike jealous or anything,

I don't know how this works.

I'm still new to religion, so.

- You look across the chamber, there appears

to be one monk of the cobalt reserve

that's built within the city that goes...

(audience laughing)

- What, I was, I'm converting for a girl, alright?

It's okay.

(cheering)

Alright.

Here goes.

(laughing)

(singing) I wish.

It's not for me, it's for my friend.

I wish to know the precise location

of my friend Grog's soul.

- The minute those words leave your lips,

the rest of you watch Scanlan's face just go slack.

And for a moment, you are so afraid

that he went the same place.

- Why does this

keep happening? - Scanlan.

As that happens, your vision suddenly is wrested away

from this location.

The familiar pillars and warm daylight

and the vision of your friends are torn from your vision

as suddenly you feel yourself, your consciousness

being temporarily thrust through the inner planes.

Fire burning, primordial energies, as water turns

into blankets of steam.

Hundreds of miles long.

You're thrust through that barrier into the outer planes,

beyond the divine gate.

The familiar lattice of energy that holds the gods at bay

from their far realms.

And there you see, just brief instances

of madness and insanity at the corners of the abyss.

Suddenly, your consciousness is brought

to what appears to be a location

of deep, burrowed, massive caverns,

twisting through rock and earth.

There, in a lightless expanse,

where wind is endless, and maddening.

You see what looks to be tower, a mountain, almost,

comprised of toppled boulders.

And at the very top of this you see what looks to be

a small plateau with a, what looks,

appears to be a low wall around it.

And a glowing, red gem that sits there in the middle.

And you can sense Grog's essence trapped within that stone.

And a voice tells you,

your friend's soul is locked

on the realm of Pandemonium.

Atop the Howler's Crag in Cocytus.

- The what?

(audience laughing)

The Howler's Crag?

- The Howler's Crag on Cocytus.

And then, your consciousness is ripped out of that space,

thrust back into you to the point

where the force sends you almost ass over tea kettle

onto the ground.

(splats)

(gasping)

- Ah.

- Are you alright?

- The wonders of the universe did unfold.

(laughing)

I know the location of Grog's soul.

I was given untold power.

He is near a tower.

I saw a red gem, and he's in Pandemonium!

(cheering)

- Good job.

- I think this is how I talk now?

(laughing)

Orange.

No, it's good.

I'm good.

I'm good.

Phew!

That was really weird, guys.

I know where he is.

He's in the realm of Pandemonium,

in Howler Crag, near Crokeedus, or something?

(laughs)

I think that'll get us there.

- Alright.

Couple things have to happen here.

- Couple things, couple things?

What happens to me?

That's all I care about!

- I rolled a 39%.

It was a 33% chance every time you cast the wish spell,

to do anything beyond getting a spell,

that you lose it forever.

But you keep it.

(sighs)

- Holy shit.

- However, your strength is currently three.

(groaning)

- That's a negative six, right?

- Uh...

It's negative four.

- Negative four.

- Oh, that's actually your lucky roll, for two days.

(sighs) - Great.

(laughing)

- The physical stress of the sheer force of arcane power

that channeled through you to bend reality

has left you dilapidated and weak.

- But Pike's holding me.

(laughing)

- I got you.

- I can't talk, I'm really weak.

- That was so great though, you got so much information.

- I didn't...

- I can help you walk and carry you wherever we need to go.

- I don't know.

- Oh, you can't talk either?

- I can, I'm just...

(laughing)

I just don't know.

I feel so weak.

- Oh no.

- How long are you going to be like this?

- I don't know!

(laughing)

- Can I...

I wonder if I could cast greater restoration.

- I mean...

- I don't know if that would fix it.

- We can't go to fucking Pandemonium

or whatever with you like this.

- Well, we need to prepare ourselves anyway.

We don't know any, well, what do we know about Pandemonium?

- Allura is taking this information and goes, well, that...

We now know where he is, that's good.

Pandemonium, that's bad.

Pandemonium is a terrible realm of the outer planes.

It's adjacent to the horrors of the Abyss,

and the chaos of Limbo.

It's a place of great madness, a domain of rocks

infused with massive tunnels, carved out of screaming winds,

where your sanity is challenged at every edge.

Alight this expanse of pitch black,

there are disorienting pathways

ever twisting through the caverns.

Creatures of violent mania stalk

the dust and sand blasted tunnels.

The few that are banished there

are left to lose themselves in the chaos around them.

Cocytus itself is one of the more central regions,

but in the tower you speak of it's a home

of many lost secrets, deadly denizens,

and rumors speak that atop this very crag,

there's a space where words

that are shouted against the wind

can be heard by whoever the intended recipient is,

no matter where they are on the planes.

But few, if none, return from there,

due to the dangers present.

So, um, you could probably use some help.

I don't...

Kimu would kill me.

- We understand.

- But I trust,

and at this point, the Highbearer goes, well,

the city does owe you a favor.

Let's see.

Are there any individuals here

who'd be willing to raise a hand in volunteer

to aid the saviors of Vasselheim

on a dangerous mission to the plane of Pandemonium?

(clears throat)

(audience cheering)

- I am so sorry.

Did you say the plane of Pandemonium?

- And you look over by the high curator, Curtis Uleas

of the Arathis quarter of the city.

And next to him you see...

- Bertrand Bell.

Sir Bertrand Bell.

At your service.

- Describe what you look like, if you don't mind.

- Yes, I'm in my late 50's, early 60's,

a devilish silver fox son of a bitch.

(cheering)

Beautiful orange, maroon, and purple robes

of the finest finery,

and a beautiful rapier on my hip.

And I have beautiful tan skin,

if I may say so myself.

- What color are your eyes?

- Piercing blue.

- Oh.

(cheering)

- I couldn't help but notice you said

the plane of Pandemonium.

One of my realms of specialty.

(laughing)

This is the legendary group known as Vox Machina, is it not?

(cheering)

- It is indeed, good sir.

(mumbling)

- My gods.

The little fellow, he's an interesting one.

God, the services you have done to this city, incredible!

Absolutely outstanding.

You know I myself was a fierce, fierce warrior,

of great renown, known far and wide for my many exploits.

My great talents.

Have you ever heard of the whispering werewolf of the North?

Yes I slayed that beast, I'm sure you've read about it.

(laughing)

Yes.

Perhaps the horrible hippogriff of the West.

(laughing)

Any takers?

- Yes, I've heard of that one.

- That, also me.

- Wow.

- I might have gone by a different name

because I like to keep it low profile.

I would truly value the chance to aid heroes

such as yourself, and I'm sure my talents

could lend you a little bit of help in your endeavors.

- Wonderful. - What talents?

- Well I am quite the esteemed fighter,

and I've been to this Pandemonium, plane of Pandemonium

many, many times.

- Well then, Sir Bertrand.

It would seem that you would be

the necessary guide for such a journey.

Consider yourself the guide.

- I merely meant I would advise them on the trip.

- Yes, on the trip.

You will guide them.

Anybody else who would wish to join this venture?

- Yes.

(cheering)

- Surrounding the Trust of Winters representative,

the veil covered woman from Raven',

in the dusk meadow of Vasselheim,

you see one of the guardian champions step forward,

if you would describe yourself.

- A woman with deep, dark, brown, almost black hair,

and a very polished fine black breastplate,

a coif of feathers at her neck.

All dark robes, and five gleaming stars around her neck.

The Raven's Crest, and the Trust of Winter

would be proud to aid you in this.

We have felt that the Matron's chosen

has departed this plane.

We know how painful this must be for you now.

We wish to offer our service, my service,

as thanks for saving Vasselheim,

the temple, all of us really.

It would be my great honor.

- Very well.

- Lieve'tel.

You have been accepted into this party.

Great.

I have business to attend to.

Gather your things, find your own way.

Allura's like, but we...

What do you want from me?

I am not a plane jumper, I run this.

And if you haven't noticed, this entire city

was nearly razed to the ground.

So I have some things to attend to.

- Yes, but think of all the new summer homes

you'll be able to build.

(laughing)

- I like your chipper attitude.

Now please leave.

(laughing)

- Allura.

- Yes, Keyleth?

- Do you have anybody else

who might be interested in going, other than her?

I'm sure she's very...

Nice.

- Unfortunately at the moment, we...

Anybody?

- Yeah, anybody?

- And the room, as you look around the chambers,

most everyone, you can see a moment where they want to help,

but everyone looks genuinely frightened

at the prospect of traveling to the plane of Pandemonium.

So, after this kind of awkward 60 second silence,

the distant kind of (clears throat) cough.

Kind of a sneeze.

- Bless you.

- Alright.

Well.

This is great.

- Yeah.

- Do you need to rest up?

- Yes.

- That would not be a terrible idea.

- Alright, take a few days, gather your things.

- Is Grog going to be alright for a few days?

- I hope so.

- Wait, you've been to the plane of Pandemonium.

Will he be okay?

- Yes, he will be fine.

(laughing)

Once we're there, we will tap into the local fauna

and concoct a bit of an antidote that should right him

for our... - There's local fauna?

- Yes, many different plants, and animals.

- What?

- You'll see when we get there.

(groaning)

Your friend, I believe he needs help.

- I thought you could talk, Scanlan.

- Oh, Scanlan, do you think he's lying?

(moans)

Oh, yeah.

(laughing)

He's got that look on his face when he doesn't trust people.

(laughing)

- Can I do an insight check on Bertram?

- Sure.

(cheering)

(chuckles)

- Uh-huh.

- I missed that die.

- Go ahead, roll.

- Oh my god, it's such good insight!

20!

- Whoa!

- And I rolled terribly!

- 12.

- Oh!

(cheering)

- Guys, you're such a good audience.

We love you.

Thank you for coming.

And Wormwood is a fine maker of tables and things.

- Do you have any flowers

from the last time you visited Pandemonium?

- Alas, - I like to collect

flowers on my journey.

- I left a few of the pressed flowers that I had at home.

I don't have any with me, unfortunately.

- Scanlan I think you're right.

(moans)

- You're shitting me!

- But fear not.

As long as I am with you, we'll be fine.

- He's going to get us killed.

- Yeah.

And what?

Sorry.

Hi, hi.

Do you, child, me?

Yeah.

Hi.

- Hello.

- What's your name?

- Oh, Lieve'tel.

Lieve'tel.

- Lieve'tel.

- I'm sorry, is there a problem?

- No!

(laughing)

No!

Um...

- Voice is very high.

- What?

Bye, I'm gonna, Percy, come here.

- I believe what she's trying to say

is your patron owes us a mighty debt,

and we appreciate you beginning that centuries long process.

(cheering)

- Back, baby.

- I am fully aware.

And I hope that you will consider this that first step.

I have spoken to my matron.

I have some idea.

We felt him to part, and I know.

And she looks at Vex'Ahlia.

(audience groans)

I know losing a loved one across the veil

is always a challenge.

That is a simple truth, but it makes it no less difficult

for all of us who go through it.

And yet,

the story he wove with his thread

is a noble one.

And we know that he gave his life so that others would live,

and we are grateful.

And that is why I gladly give my aid.

- Thank you for helping us make it not be two lives

that we have to give for this cause.

- I am so sorry.

- Do me a favor.

And don't talk to me about how painful it is any more.

Okay?

- I understand.

- Okay, let's go to bed, let's get some dinner!

- Allura packs up.

I'll have to go through my archives.

I may be able to at least, if not find,

I can maybe borrow from Eskil if he has it.

A rune that I can create a circle

to send you to Pandemonium.

- My god.

- Do you have a wonderful rune to get us back?

- No, that depends on you guys.

- If need be, I can supply that process.

- Excellent. - Oh.

- I believe you can as well, Keyleth.

- Yep.

- Oh.

- Done it a lot.

(laughs awkwardly)

(audience laughs)

- I remember that.

Of course, I remember that. - Like it was yesterday.

- It's only been a few days, what's wrong with you?

- Rough days.

- Well, we have so much in common.

(audience groans)

- Let's take a couple days,

rest up. - Yes, let's do that.

I'm gonna go to my tower, do my research.

Rest up.

You especially, Scanlan.

I'm proud of you.

(moans)

I'm proud of you, that is magic I had never,

ever sought to see done.

- Brave man.

- Allura, is there,

have we talked about hazard pay for this?

Any sort of coin, or...

- I'm going to explain to you the term volunteer.

(audience cheers)

It comes from the archaic Elven word, veloum,

which means, give everything.

So I am very impressed with your ability

to give your life and sacrifice everything

for the good of these fine people.

Rest well.

And she teleports away.

(audience cheers)

- Ah.

Looking forward to it.

(clears throat)

- Master Bell, I have heard many a story about you.

Are you sure you're up to the challenge?

- (chuckling) Am I up for the challenge?

My goodness.

My dear woman.

Is the challenge up for me?

(cheering)

- Well,

at least there will be entertainment on the way.

- Felt like that was a dig.

(laughing)

- Alright.

If you guys would like to take the next couple of days

to rest in Vasselheim.

Is there anything in particular you want to,

or need to take care of before this journey?

Because we are on a bit of a time crunch.

Speak now, or forever hold your inventory.

- I'm good to go.

- Let home know what we're doing and beyond that,

ready to go. - I feel like maybe

we should just quickly check in with Gil, Gilmore.

Just like a quick...

(cheering)

Just to see how he's faring.

- Alright.

Through the use of a locate creature spell,

which is easy enough for you to muster

over the next couple of days,

you find that Gilmore is still within Vasselheim.

Leading yourself down towards the quad roads,

you see a portion of the city

not far from one of the massive footsteps

of the primordial titan that had crushed

what looks to be three square blocks in one giant footfall.

Where that crater is,

you can see there's a number of families

that are out of a home.

But a lot of them have been gathered around,

and you can see there are bastions bringing food.

And among them, you see the familiar purple and gold robes,

beautiful dark skin, goatee,

and ever present rosy smile of Shaun Gilmore,

as he's currently down there doing a series

of tricks and prestidigitation to impress and bring joy

to what looks to be a group of about six or seven children

on the side of the road.

You watch as these sparkles extend from his fingertips,

and he begins to kind of weave them around,

and then suddenly as he releases, they explode

into what looks to be a dozen glowing orange birds

that (flutters) flutter away and then

(flutters) disappear into small fireworks.

The kids scream loudly,

and then cheer and clap.

They rush up and kind of, two of them hug his leg,

and he's like, (chuckles)

it's nothing, really, it's a cantrip.

(laughing)

Oh my goodness.

If these aren't faces that I've been wanting to see.

Come here.

And he runs up and puts his arms around,

you see he puts one arm around Keyleth

and kind of just to Percy.

And he puts one around Vex, and kind of leans out for Pike,

and goes, oh, it's so good to see you.

Most of you.

Is Grog back in the necklace at this time?

- Yes he is.

- Where's Grog?

- Uh...

Soulless.

(laughing)

- I didn't hear you say that.

- Grog.

No, really, he's soulless.

He's in the necklace right now.

He's unconscious, and...

- Well I guess that's par for the course, wouldn't it be?

- And where's the pretty one?

(audience groans)

- I'm right here, hi.

(laughing)

- We're having to make a dash to Pandemonium soon,

we were wondering if you had any advice,

and or ideas of ways to keep safe in that realm.

(sighs)

- I'm not gonna lie, I'm not the most school learned

practitioner of the arcane arts.

It's more of a gift.

But from what I've heard in passing,

it's a very very nasty place.

- We will fill you in on all of the insanity when we return,

but we are taking Grog there to reconstitute himself a bit.

He was toying with a Deck of Many Things.

- You notice as he's listening to this conversation,

there's a dual aspect of his current attention.

He's listening, but he's also watching all of your faces,

and you watch his expression kind of slowly drop.

- We need to talk to you.

(groaning)

- I...

I believe I already have an idea.

- I mean you knew it was coming, right?

- I did.

- Yeah.

- It doesn't make it any easier, but,

(chuckles) who am I to say that to you?

- We tried.

- I reach out and I grab Vex's hand.

- We all tried so hard.

- And I grab Scanlan's hand.

- But we couldn't...

- He steps forward and just puts his arms around you

and holds you.

And whispers into your ear.

I'm so very sorry.

The two of you shined so bright.

But that light hasn't gone away either.

And he kind of steps away for a moment,

and you can see the tears down his face as well.

But I'm proud.

My god, look what you've done.

When I met you, you were a bunch of bumblefucks,

I mean seriously.

(audience cheers)

I was raising prices 'cause you were so brash and obnoxious.

But...

- I knew you were.

(laughing)

- Oh, I couldn't haggle past you, Vex.

Anyway.

Thank you for letting me know.

Now's not my time to grieve, there's...

And then he kind of points to all the families

out there on the road and says they,

they've lost far more.

I'll tend to them.

Maybe once you complete this venture,

we can all have some nice tea,

and some pastries, and we can reminisce and talk story.

- I look forward to it.

- Me too.

- To Pandemonium, I suppose.

- Yes, push on.

He loved you.

And so do we.

- I know.

I know.

Anyway.

(clears throat)

He casts prestidigitation, and you watch

as the tear marks just dissipate.

His eyeshadow gets noticeably more vibrant and fantastic.

- That is a good cantrip.

- Jealous.

- Yeah.

- Well, I have an audience to perform for.

You take care of yourselves.

Remember.

We made plans.

My place, Emon, you know where to find it.

He walks over to you and says, you take care.

- Yes, darling.

- Children, come!

Let me show you why they call me glorious.

(cheering)

- Good out line.

- So.

You guys take the next couple days to rest,

gather your things, prepare yourself

for a journey you're not entirely uncertain

of what awaits you.

But, thankfully, you regain your physical strength back.

(laughing)

- What are you back up to now?

- 13.

- Woo!

- Good.

- Way higher than my seven.

Oh damn!

- Allura rejoins you, as you all gather

back up in the Silver Talon's Reach,

in the Platinum Sanctuary,

not in the inner sanctum but in the central hallway there,

there is a place that is kind of utilized for a ritual,

and this was the place chosen to complete this spell.

As you all gather around, Allura pulls out a book

and she goes through it again, finds the page,

and takes a little bit to complete this

very elaborate glyph across the ground,

and she's kind of, some of it she knows by heart,

some of it she's having to refer to the book,

and she goes through and completes

copying all these various runes.

And then goes, alright, friends, come please,

stand in the center.

- I jump in real quick.

- Okay.

- And do you have Grog with you?

- Oh yes.

Should I bring him out?

- As long as he's with you it should be fine.

Is Trinket coming?

(audience groans)

- How terrible is Pandemonium?

- Well, it's called Pandemonium.

(audience laughs)

(chuckles)

- I'm having a very hard time here.

- Sorry, who's this Trinket?

- At which point you hear behind your ear (growls).

- Fuck!

(audience laughs)

- You turn around to see this massive,

brown furred grizzly bear covered in armor that's just,

teeth are exposed, its lip quivering with a snarl.

(growling) - Friend or foe?

Friend or foe?

- He's a friend.

- That is a handsome bear,

and she walks up and starts scratching him by the neck.

You are a beast, look at you! (grunting)

I think you should bring him with us.

(groaning)

- Sorry, someone very close to me did that as well.

I mean, maybe we should, Trinket.

(inquisitive groan)

It's quite dangerous, you know.

Grog is the necklace, so if anything happens to you,

you won't be able to go there.

You understand?

- You see he starts like, making this subtle notion

of his nose towards the ground.

- What do you mean, I cast Speak With Animals.

- I can carry him.

(audience groans)

(audience laughs)

- Alright.

Alright, you can carry him.

(slurping)

- Big, long lick upside your face with a giant bear tongue.

- I bamf Grog out.

(splats)

- Second heavy slam

on the marble floor of the inner sanctum.

It echoes through the long halls and pillars

and you watch as the nearby scale bearers all stop

to turn to see what that loud firecracker sound was.

Oh, it's Grog.

(laughing)

- You're lucky we don't shave you in your sleep.

Ugh.

- He had it coming!

(cheering)

- I think his face just moved.

- Alright.

Trinket walks over.

And starts dragging him by his teeth.

Like kind of pulls up.

- Okay, okay, okay.

Can someone, Pike, can we get Trinket?

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Here.

- With both of you together,

you manage to get Grog's extremely heavy body

onto Trinket's back, and kind of wrestle him

between the shoulders.

- Trinket?

(grunts)

How does it feel?

(grunts)

I don't know.

- I think I have some rope.

We might be able to like,

tie Grog's hands and his legs,

and he'd be like a Grog backpack on Trinket.

(audience laughs, cheers)

Just if you wanna.

- You snooze you lose, buddy!

(laughing)

- Does the wearing of Grog backpack

increase or decrease Trinket's AC, out of curiosity?

(laughing)

- It's almost like a wild shape.

It's just additional hit points for Trinket.

- Alright!

(cheering)

I like that.

- Percy, help.

Percy!

Help me! - I am helping.

I'm helping run things.

Well done.

Well done.

Oh, yes, alright.

- Alright, you manage to go ahead and affix Grog's body

to Trinket's back using the plates of armor to anchor him,

you feel pretty sturdy.

- You know if we get in a fight,

this is going to be really awkward.

- Alright.

- Allura looks up.

Alright, so that's one, two, three,

four, five, six, seven, eight.

That'll do.

Step into the circle, everyone.

You can see kind of the nerves,

there's a bit of a sweat bead around her forehead.

Just, be careful.

Keep your eyes about you.

Stay together.

Things are strange in the outer planes.

Not everything is as it seems.

And some things are far more dangerous than they may seem.

- This will be interesting.

It's been decades since I've gone plane hopping.

Are you ready, Mr. Bell?

- Uh.

More than ever!

(clears throat)

- Good luck.

And be safe.

As she extends her hand,

you watch all the runes glow around you.

The chamber seems to vibrate with this low hum.

You hear the steady cracking sound,

and you think it's the temple

falling onto you, but it's not.

It's the ground crumbling from beneath you.

All of you (swooshes)

get pulled (swooshing) below,

into this vacuum of space.

And then suddenly thrust through what looks

to be this speeding lattice of glowing yellow orange energy,

whoosh, rushes past you.

An interpretation of the Divine Gate,

maybe your mind's trying to interpret,

or was that actually the physical divine gate?

You don't know.

But within a moment, suddenly,

your feet hit heavy rock.

(whooshing)

You are all simultaneously blasted,

with one of the heaviest winds you've ever felt.

Your vision is dark.

There is light nowhere around you.

You're in a black expanse.

You can feel sand and dust

rocketing and pummeling your form.

Your skin stings with the sheer perpetual impact

of these heavy, heavy winds.

The sound of them is this curling, grinding

scream of thousands of voices.

The wind being raked across the cragulous expanse

that you cannot see.

Welcome to Pandemonium.

(audience cheers)

And that's where we'll go ahead and take our break.

- Oh!

(cheering)

- Oh my god.

- Holy shit.

- Oh, fuck.

- I figured that'd be,

- [Audience Member] It's alright, Travis!

(laughing)

That'd be a good breaking point.

So, we'll be back here shortly.

We're gonna take a little break for ourselves,

and for you guys as well,

to go ahead and get drinks, peruse in the lobby,

we'll make sure to call you back in

before the next part of the show begins.

But uh,

- Oh man.

- Oh, shit's about to get real interesting.

(laughing)

(audience cheering)

Thank you guys.

We'll see you here in a little bit.

Woo!

- Subscribe.

Or don't subscribe.

That's not a question.

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to ponder the prose

and more prose of Twitch, or Twitch Prime.

But to take hands and gift new subs to critters

who find they can't afford them?

To play.

To sleep.

No more.

And by asleep to say the cast and crew of Critical Role

might find their naps around their hectic schedule

of a live broadcast that we have brought

for your consumption, both critter and fan alike.

(sad music)

To play,

or sleep.

No sleep.

But just to scream.

Aye, there's the rub.

For with your subscription, what screams may come.

Oh man oh man oh man, that is a fucking tagline.

Do we got that?

That is Twitch poetry.

(grunts)

Oh, anyway.

Subscribe to Critical Role.

Use Twitch Prime to subscribe.

Gift some subscriptions.

You got it.

Wrong soliloquy for the skull but,

that's fucking good.

(classical music)

(tense music)

- [Narrator] As you navigate

the dark and stressful corridors of adulthood,

armed with nothing but the power of nostalgia.

With the pale glow of the cabinet,

and oversized neon buttons as your guiding torch,

open your soul to the raw power

of the all work no play Mame cabinet,

armed with over 20,000 old school arcade games,

including some very bizarre and obscure titles

that were clearly made by a very lonely developer.

Really, the Critical Role crew

just desperately needs an excuse

for some low key socialization.

- As a matter of fact, the first home system

was the Magnavox Odyssey back in 1972.

It came with six games, tennis, table tennis.

Like a Simon Says.

- [Narrator] Especially after the two our weekly meeting

that precedes the filming of the show.

You have the power.

Nostalgia power.

This is Mame Drop.

Airing Tuesdays at 4:00 PM Pacific, on Critical Role Twitch.

(party music)

No actual powers granted.

We realize MAME cabinets were cool ten years ago,

but we're excited to finally have one.

(sighs)

- Howdy, partners.

The Critical Role posse is wrangling a new show

to our Twitch Channel on February 26th called,

Travis's Yeehaw Game Ranch.

- Travis's Yeehaw Game Ranch?

Well that sounds funner than a bag of corn kernels

in a deer's, I'm sorry.

You see,

I'm crazy.

We can't do this.

Oh my god, dude.

For the workshop.

I can do it.

I can do it.

(giggling) Jesus Christ.

I can't look at him.

Oh, fuck.

Goddamn.

Goddamn it.

This one's tough.

(laughing)

deep in my plums.

- I feel it deep in my plums!

(blows raspberry)

(laughing)

- Well, hell.

(laughing)

- I'm a 36 year old man!

Well that sounds funner than a bag of corn kernels

in a deer's hind side.

What's Travis's Yeehaw Game Ranch about?

- Yeehaw.

Yeehaw Game Ranch is where I, Travis Willingham,

- And I, me, Brian "Yeehaw" Foster,

- Round up the most rootin' tootin' games

on this here side of the Mississippi.

- Well you seem all beer and Skittles.

I'm over here grinning like a jackass eatin' cactus.

What kind of games are we gonna play?

- Good old fashioned games, like Call of Duty,

Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto 5,

new games, old games, and much, much more.

- Well I'm more turnt up than a hornet in banana pudding.

That's enough powder to send

any man's six shooter a blastin'.

How often can I fill my canteen at that stream?

- Oh, it's gonna do si do with our cousin show, Mame Drop,

and stream bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 4:00 PM Pacific

on Critical Role's Twitch channel.

- Well, hell, you better bet your momma's floral bloomers

that I'll be there quicker than a loamy farm boy

on a herd of sheep.

- Well.

I'm drying up faster than a drunk in a jailhouse over here.

So we'll see you live on Tuesday, February 26th.

But for now, it's time to put out the fire,

and call in the dogs.

- Yes sir I'm gonna get on about my rat killin'.

- Y'all come back soon now, you hear?

- Yeehaw.

Travis Willingham's Yeehaw Game Ranch

- [Cowboy] Yeehaw!

- Wow.

Well.

- [Woman] Oh my god.

- We had fun.

We had fun.

- Hello.

Welcome back to Critical Role land.

I'm here to share some exciting news.

Between the Sheets is back for season two.

As promised, this season we'll be interviewing

storytellers from music, film and TV, comics, D&D, and more.

Some of our guests this season are rapper,

writer, and nerd and friend of the show, Logic.

Cinematographer Quyen Tran,

actor and painting guru Will Friedle.

Writer, showrunner, and leader of the high bear nation,

Noelle Stevenson, and more.

Also this season we have upgraded cocktails,

thanks to a trio of New York critter bartenders.

You can watch episodes live on twitch.tv/criticalrole,

on Monday nights, at 7:00 PM Pacific,

or Wednesdays on our YouTube Channel,

at youtube.com/criticalrole.

Come join us for a drink, will you?

(old-timey music)

(futuristic music)

- Like that?

(slamming)

(futuristic music)

(fantastical music)

(cheering)

- Wow.

- And welcome back.

So.

Jumping in where we left off.

After being transported across the planes by Allura's spell,

you all touch down into the rocky expanse

that is the plane of Pandemonium.

The heavy winds are smashing into you

not to a degree where it's damaging you,

but it's just a painful sting against the skin.

The sound of the wind around you

is what's more catching your attention.

This roaring, this perpetually churning din is loud.

Loud.

And there is no light.

You are in darkness.

And even those of you with darkvision,

the sheer volume of dust and sand

that's being blown around you,

is limiting your vision to about 10 to 15 feet.

- Oh yes!

The winter winds of the Pandemonium plane!

I recognize it anywhere!

(audience laughing)

- Bertrand, how do we get out of this?

- You know it seems the seasons have changed

since I was last here.

Does anyone have any light?

- I cast light.

- Hey!

- Alright, you cast light, and in the area,

most of you that are it the proximity,

the immediate vicinity of Pike,

the, what do you cast light on?

- My finger.

- Alright.

- You're like fucking E.T.?

- You're having a true E.T. moment.

- I don't know if I've ever cast light before.

- Pike is a bright lit beacon.

And those of you who are a few steps away from her,

you can just barely make out her shape,

as the area is this kind of dull, orange brown glow

where it fills up with the perpetual sandstorm around you.

So you can see the space immediately in your vicinity,

but you still cannot see past the 10 to 15 feet around you.

This storm is cutting your vision off,

and you have no idea quite where you are, where to go.

What do you want to do?

And it's getting perpetually colder, too.

Like the wind here is cutting and cold.

- Well, we tried, guys.

(laughing)

- I think we need to find shelter.

- Grog's soul?

(laughing)

Grog's soul?

- Trinket comes over to you and he's like (groans).

- I know, dear, this is awful.

Oh.

Just keep breathing out.

Keep doing that.

Scanlan, does any of it look familiar.

- Oh, that's right, I saw this stuff.

When I saw a glimpse of this place,

nothing looked like this.

Literally nothing, there was a red gem.

There was a tower.

There was...

nothing like this.

But maybe someone could locate the tower or something?

Can you find a distant object with magic?

- Sure, if it's within 1000 feet.

- Well.

- It could be.

I suppose. - There was a red gem,

maybe someone could like, focus on that,

I don't know how magic works.

- I could try to scry on it, but...

- Oh, that's smart.

- I mean a red gem, as like a red gem.

- You could try to scry on Grog's soul.

- DM, can you scry on someone's soul?

- You are familiar enough with them.

You could certainly try.

(cheering)

- You know what's really great?

I still have that scrying eye!

So let me just, let me just...

- Let's make a circle.

Make a circle.

Everyone make a circle.

- Try to block the wind, I gotta.

Ugh, my hair! - Get in here, Tel and Bell.

- We're huddling up, is that...

- Yes, huddle up!

- I just need to...

And I look at it.

- Okay.

- And I concentrate on Grog's soul.

And the red gem.

Grog's soul meets a red gem.

- Okay.

Alright.

First and foremost, I would like you

to make a constitution saving throw.

- Ooh.

- What?

- Why?

- 'Cause Pandemonium!

- 'Cause Pandemonium?

- Because you are being blasted and buffeted

with what seems to be a heavy wind.

Just curious.

Just give it a roll.

- No, it's Pandemonium in here!

(laughing)

- Don't fuck me Gil.

(cheering)

(laughing)

I know where you're sitting.

- Row K, seat one.

- Uh...

Eight.

- Eight.

The sand is blasting into your eyes,

and you kind of, it's on the corner of one,

you gotta close it for a second.

The scry of the object fails.

- Ow!

- We need shelter.

- Ahh!

- I can make us a mansion.

(cheering)

- But that's another plane! - But no, that won't help us,

that's on a different plane of existence,

we won't be able to find him from within.

- You know I feel if we push forward,

we'll find what we're searching for.

- You are the guide.

- Follow me, and I just push forward.

- I wouldn't do that, that's, no.

- You watch as Sir Bertrand

just vanishes into the dust storm.

- That is the most pompous, egotistical arsehole

I've ever met in my entire life!

(laughing, cheering)

Who acts like that?

- Nobody I've ever met. - This is awkward.

Very awkward.

- Dropping the mask, and I suppose

we're trying to find the idiot that ran into the dust.

- It's really quite cold up here!

- We'll follow, I'll follow.

- Alright.

- Can I do a gust of wind spell, kind of in the opposite

way of like a...

And then like, try to counteract it?

Is that... - Hot wind on wind action?

- Okay.

It is a cantrip for you, and you are of the Air Ashari.

- I am.

- As you concentrate on your gust cantrip,

you're able to keep the wind at bay

for about five feet ahead of you.

So you can create a wind shield perpetually in front of you.

- I'm gonna stand right next to Keyleth.

- Yep, getting in there.

I've got the mask, I'm okay.

- Do you know, I can us create a proper shelter here

if we require one.

It will hamper my ability to return us home if need be,

but I'm not the only one here who can do that,

am I correct?

- Uh, you're correct.

- Would we like a shelter?

- Let's perhaps venture - Let's press on.

- a little further, but, - Press on.

- it's good to know the option's available.

- It's really just as bad out here as it was back there!

(laughing)

- There he is.

- I rush to catch up to Bertrude, and put the shield

kind of in front of him.

Kind of behind him.

- As Bertrand turns around seeing the light appear,

you can see his silver mane is just flocked light brown.

His face is caked in dust and dirt,

and his eyes are held very tightly shut

where the gathering sand

is now pushing into the corners of it.

- Like a chimney sweep?

- Yeah.

(laughing)

- I have my Shield of Expression out,

which is the exact visage

of if Richard Gere and Sean Connery had a baby.

- Ooh.

(cheering)

- This doesn't do much!

- Get behind us.

- That's very helpful.

Thank you.

- We need to get our bearings.

I'm not sure if shelter is the way to do that yet,

but we do need to figure out where we're going, and how.

- Percy is talking, and you cannot make out the words,

'cause he's talking too softly.

- I see it flapping, I don't hear anything!

- Can someone else use the scrying eye

while you're doing that cantrip, Keyleth?

- I am able to scry, if need be.

- Yes, yes! - How about we do that?

- And I might be able to find the swiftest route

to your friend if I do so.

- Do you know what his soul looks like?

You have to concentrate on his soul.

- I only what his giant drunken body looks like.

I'm not sure what the soul

appears to be. - About the same!

(audience laughing)

- I am here to serve, shall I?

- Think of a red gem as well.

(yelling) Think of a red gem as well!

- A red hen?

(laughing)

- I will try to scry on a red gem,

and the big numbnut's soul.

- Alright, are you sitting behind the gust of wind

that Keyleth's holding up? - Yes, I am.

- Alright.

- And I'm wait, first.

- Yes? - I cast guidance on myself.

And then I do the same.

- I'll make a minor illusion of what the gem looked like,

so you get a better,

better impression of it.

Do it. - Alright.

Alright, got you, and the scry is...

Pulling it up here.

Excuse me.

- Flip flip flip.

- Just a moment.

- Scry is concentration, so technically,

when you begin to cast the spell, the guidance will fade.

So you will not get the benefit of your own guidance.

- Ah, understood.

Cleric, level 18.

One shot.

Fun.

- I know, it's a brave new world.

- I'm so proud.

- But however, standing in the space behind Keyleth

does prevent any sort of battering

for the purposes of concentrating on the scry spell.

And thankfully, Grog is,

there's not a lot to Grog necessarily,

so the description that Keyleth gave you with Vex's support

made it, seems to be enough.

So, as your focus narrows.

(laughing)

- No, his soul is beautiful!

It's perfect.

- I didn't say it wasn't perfect, I just said it was...

simple.

(laughing)

- Simple things are beautiful.

- They are.

Not mutually exclusive.

In focusing your attention,

not the direction that Bertrand was standing,

but you get the sense, kind of to your back and right side,

you feel your consciousness being thrust

through the sandstorm in that direction.

You can't make out any details of the vicinity.

You just have a feel of the pull,

and it seems to just continue on and on for a distance.

And then suddenly you see the rocks.

It looks like a tower, a mountain,

but it's like a crumbled castle almost, or a landslide.

It's just a pile of loose boulders and stones,

stacked up into this gradual spire.

Along it you can see dozens of what looks like cavern holes.

Entrances and caves that suffuse the entire structure.

And you're brought to the top where you see the peak,

where a what looks to be a somewhat square, rectangular wall

surrounds a flattened bluff point.

There you see a tiny, glowing, flickering red stone,

no more than the size of maybe a fist.

And you see a shape rise from around the side.

Kind of hard to make out what it looks like

from this distance, because your focus

is on this particular stone,

as it is the source of the scrying.

But you see something blurred and moving around the outside,

and you hear a heavy, loud scream.

(screams loudly)

Weirdly humanoid.

But bigger.

And...

unearthly.

And that's what you see.

- Well.

I've put my eyes on him.

For the next step, I could find the quickest path there,

but I can sense that it is in that direction,

and I would prefer to save my Queen's Favor

for bigger challenges.

Shall we push through?

- Yes, let's.

- That direction.

- I suppose we line up behind Keyleth.

- Flying V.

Flying V, everybody.

- You read Percy's lips in the mitter of the loud storm.

Not hearing his voice, lost.

- Well you know, it was some stage speaking.

- Need a little more volume to get them to hear you.

- We're going to line up behind Keyleth!

Motherfucker.

(audience cheering)

- Welcome to Pandemonium, Taliesin.

- My god.

- Okay now, could you give us five small pain reacts

and five medium pain reacts?

(grunting)

(laughing)

- Sorry, it's just gut reaction.

- Yeah.

- Alright, so as you're all lining up behind Keyleth,

it's not helping your vision, but it's helping it

not slam you in the face necessarily.

The loud, the volume of it is still very intense,

and it's a little disorienting.

The ground itself, it just seems to not have much shift

in elevation, it's this kind of somewhat

rocky, hilly surface, seemingly sandblasted

over endless eons to be smooth

against what may have been at one time

a very jagged surface.

Continuing to press on, you travel

for the better part of an hour in that direction,

and there's seemingly no change, no shift.

The wind sometimes dies a little bit softer,

and you begin to get excited at the prospect of it lessening

and then, (whooshes) it comes back twice as hard

and you have to stop for a second and hunker down,

and wait it as this wind storm sweeps through.

Everyone suffers four points of bludgeoning damage,

as a wind storm batters you with a completely unexpected

cavalcade of rock and stone pieces.

Then, 10 seconds pass, and it dies back down again.

Your ears are starting to ring and turn red and warm

from both the impact of the wind,

and just the heavy, heavy, constant,

perpetually screaming, howling wind.

I need everyone to go ahead and make a constitution,

oh, sorry, wisdom saving throw for me, if you don't mind.

- Wisdom.

- Even Trinket?

- Even Trinket.

- Is this a magical effect?

- Nope.

- No, it's not.

- Not a magical effect, sorry buddy.

- Great.

- This is a save against sandblasting.

- Okay.

(audience laughs)

- 18.

- 18, good to know.

- Alright, Pike?

- Nine.

- Nine.

- [Audience] Nine!

(laughs)

Vex?

- 21 for Vex and 14 for Trinket.

- Nice.

Lieve'Tel?

- 17.

- 17, Keyleth?

- 24.

- 24.

- Percival?

- Nine.

- [Audience] Nine!

(laughing)

- 11.

- 11.

Alright.

The perpetual sound, the cold temperature

in the wind that's buffeting around you, it's a lot.

And it's constant.

And for an hour of this time,

it's starting to really show why this place

can be a maddening location to be left or live.

Both Percival and Pike take a point of exhaustion.

(mysterious music)

- May I, for a moment?

In the middle of that sandstorm,

while we were getting blasted like that,

I will be walking behind lady...

de Rolo.

I almost said Vissar.

Do you know, I saw you and your brother once.

Outside of her temple.

You look very much alike.

- No shit.

(laughing)

- I am also from Syngorn, although it's been

150 years since I lived there.

I know he would want you safe.

Stay close to me.

(audience groans)

She places her hand on Vex'Ahlia's shoulder

and casts death ward.

- Okay.

So, go ahead and take note of that, if you don't mind.

- Okay.

Sure.

Thank you.

- Any way I can help.

- You hear a new sound

begin to emerge from the storm,

kind of ahead of you and to the left.

At first it just kind of sounds like an additional shout.

But it's a voice.

- Travelers!

But appearing far more armed and prepared than most.

A posse.

You look ahead, and you see the shape,

this humanoid shape, shorter than you expect

from a normal human,

but nevertheless, a head, shoulders, arms, legs,

begin to step through the blasting sand,

you can see a cloak tightly pulled around its form,

whipping heavily in the wind in your direction.

As it steps into the light of Pike's finger,

(laughing)

the figure appears to be male.

The skin has a yellow tint to it.

His ears are pointed like the purest of elves.

A scraggly patch of facial hair frames a pointed chin.

The nose itself seems almost shorter and snubbed.

The head's a bit elongated at the back of the skull.

Fine tattoos seem to adorn edges of the face

that is dust beaten and pockmarked, just blasted with sand,

and from just the immediate look,

this looks like an individual who's been here for some time.

You've had a little bit of not direct interaction,

but from what you've heard in your research

on the skull that you found, beneath Whitestone,

or not underneath, what's underneath Greyskull Castle,

one that you had fought over previously.

A very similar shape to the head.

(audience laughs)

- What?

- Steps out further from the dust to come into the light,

with a smile and wide eyes, and goes,

bring presents?

- Identify yourself, villain!

(laughing)

Bertand Bell commands it!

- I uh...

My name, (laughs)

I do not have one.

I had one.

What is my name?

Could you tell me?

- This is not good.

(laughing)

- If the fellow wants a name, we should give him one.

- Bob?

- Yep.

- Hey there Bob.

- Is Bob my name?

- Sure.

- It does not ring a bell.

But, few things do these days.

Ha!

I am...

Bob.

- It suits you.

- Thank you very much!

You've...

You look very clean.

- I don't feel very clean.

-