Episode 16: Another New Recruit

The Serpentine Siblings are both under arrest, and the town of Silverymoon is saved. But what of our heroes, or the mayoral candidates?

Transcript

Another New Recruit

[Jordan]:  “Hello everyone and welcome back to our D&D let’s play podcast featuring myself, your sometimes benevolent, often malevolent dungeon master – Jordan Roman.  And, as always I am joined by my fellow players.” 

[Caitie]:  “Hey guys, I’m Caitie and I play Saithe!”

[Christina]:  “Hey everyone, I’m Christina and I play Winterra.”

[Drew]:  “And I’m Drew McClain and by Bahamut’s beautiful beach house in the Bahamas I play the good doctor, Arlo Agon.”  

[Jordan]:  “You guys are two for two as far as missions complete!”

[Drew]:  “Woooo!”

[Caitie]:  “Woo!”

[Christina]:  “Yay!”  

[Jordan]:  “Silverymoon is saved from the wrath of those evil evil sneeple and all that remains is to properly arrest everyone, make sure no one died, and to see who becomes the next mayor blah blah blah. How about a recap?”

[Drew]:  “Okay.”

[Caitie]:  “Yeah.”

[Jordan]:  “But not just any recap. You guys have completed a whole mission. I think we need an arc recap.”

[Caitie]:  “Ooh”

[Christina]:  “Mmmmm.”

[Drew]:  Gasps  “Jordan, no! It’s too. It’s too powerful!”

[Jordan]:  “It must be done! The power shall be harnessed!  

Previously on Agents of DAMNED the Agents and Second Chance were dispatched to the town of Silverymoon.  Their mission?  To ensure the legitimacy of the ongoing mayoral election and verify the intentions of the most recent candidate, a beholder named Granaphor.  Upon arriving, the teams were shocked to find the town had a notable yuanti population. Something that was not noted or even common for the town’s history.  After formulating a plan the two teams split up into groups of two to speak with each candidate individually. Arlo and Rhelynn spoke with Niavara Yaeldrin, the apprentice to the former mayor who made her opinions of the visiting yuanti and Granaphor well known. Winterra and Forngal spoke with Seebo Leffery, an energetic gnome that seemed more interested in his inventions and experimentation than he did the election itself.  Finally, Saithe and 7 spoke with Granaphor and his aide Sisava.  During the conversation Saithe witnessed Sisava using a strange charm to calm Granaphor before he flew into a wild rage. 

Continuing their investigation, the Agents ran into Ash while dining at Big Betty’s. Ash gave the Agents a warning to stay out of his way lest he be “less hospitable.” The following day, Second Chance spoke with Granaphor once again while the Agents traveled to the Midnight Woods to meet up with Winterra’s family.  After a heartwarming- though concerning- reunion, the Agents learned that a week after the yuanti’s arrival the citizens of the town became awfully complacent. The Agents then realized that Niavara would likely be immune to any form of charm spell, given her elven heritage.  Upon rendezvousing with Second Chance, the Agents learned of a secret meeting Sisava was making that night.  

So, after speaking with Niavara and gaining her trust, the Agents and Second Chance followed Sisava to his secret meeting. There they learned that Sisava, along with his sister Avasis were scheming with Ash to steal back an artifact held within the town’s grand archives known as the Fang of Merrshaulk.  However, Ash discovered our heroes and revealed himself to be a dragon.  Barely escaping with their lives, the Agents and Second Chance made their way back to town to confront and arrest Sisava; however, 7 began acting hostile towards everyone and was quickly detained. Learning from a local yuanti named Nnelg that 7 had followen prone to a deadly toxin called brood poisoning, the Agents and two thirds of Second Chance traveled to the Midnight Woods to enter the feywild in the hopes of finding a cure. 

There, Winterra came face to face with her grandmother- Autillow Darknight.  Using her connections to the Summer Court, Winterra made a deal with Titania, the ruler of said Summer Court.  With cure in hand, the Agents and Second Chance returned to the Material Plane and cured 7 of his affliction. However, two days had passed during their brief visit to the land of the fairy folk.  The teams quickly made their way back to town.  However, the Agents spotted Sisava making his way deep into the Midnight Woods and split off from Second Chance to detain him.  Though the fight was brief, the Agents learned that Sisava was only a distraction with Avasis being the true threat.  

After making it back to town in record time, the Agents found Second Chance successfully detaining Granaphor, and calming him from his rage. At that moment Sisava broke free and was quickly defeated once again by Raiann who showed up seemingly out of nowhere to provide the teams with backup. However, Raiann and the team she brought with her – Divine Shield – were brainwashed by Avasis.  As the Agents and Second Chance attempted to fend off their allies, Arlo realized that fighting them head on would be futile.  After summoning a spectral six string, Arlo committed the rest of his energy to restraining Raiann, leaving the rest of the fight to his trusted comrades.  

During the fight, Winterra was shown a vision of a boy named Oliver who accused her of letting him die.  After the illusion faded, Winterra noticed that Avasis was using the Fang of Merrshaulk as a key to a device as she was using to control Raiann and Divine Shield.  Saithe then leapt into action and stole the fang from the device freeing their comrades from Avasis’ control.  In a blinding burst of speed Raiann tackled Avasis to the ground-”

[Raiann]:  “By the authority invested in me by the agency known as DAMNED, you are under arrest!”

[Jordan]:  “And so we resume our tale. Avasis has been successfully detained by your harrowing leader, currently only Harvin of the Divine Shield team is still conscious with Hope and Vyth both very much unconscious. Most of y’all are looking a little worse for wear and some of the town’s residents that were there are starting to regain consciousness after being healed including the aforementioned Niavara, Seebo, and Granaphor.  What do you guys do?”

[Drew]:  “I walk up to Raiann and I go-”

[Arlo]:  “Miss Raiann?”

[Raiann]:  “Yes?”

[Arlo]:  “You punch so damn hard.”

[Raiann]:  “Of course I do!”

[Arlo]:  “I have almost died several times. That was the worst thing I have, that has ever happened. That hurts, that hurts so bad.”

[Jordan]:  “Raiann looks you dead in the eyes while still holding Avasis to the ground and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Do you honestly think they put me in charge of DAMNED because of my bureaucratic skills and paperwork?”

[Arlo]:  “Not yes.”

[Saithe]:  “I thought it was your intimidating personality.”

[Raiann]:  “Let’s just go with all of the above on this one.”

[Christina]:  “I’m gonna go ahead and- you said that pretty much all of Divine Shield is kind of down right?”

[Jordan]:  “With the exception of Harven and he is currently attending to them. He is a paladin so he is kind of res-ing them back up to normal. So you don’t have to worry about that.”

[Christina]:  “Okay. What about the candidates?  You said those were still down or no?”

[Jordan]:  “No, because you guys, I forget who but one of you guys used Mass Cure Wounds. It was either one of you guys or maybe Raiann- er, Railyn, Rhelynn.  Names. They’re back up. It’s just similar to if you guys remember from Neverwinter how Milo was healed but still was unconscious because he was exhausted. It was the same thing with them. They’re just regaining consciousness.”

[Christina]:  “Is there anyone else- so we currently have female sneeple in custody. We have male sneeple still in custody. We don’t see anyone else that needs to be in custody right now do we?”

[Jordan]:  “Uh, no.”

[Christina]:  “Okay.”

[Jordan]:  Sarcastically “Yes there’s a group of yuanti approaching, roll initiative once again!” 

[Christina]:  “How awful!   We don’t see someone like a long haired shadowy figure somewhere lurking in the background? I just want to make sure that wasn’t happening-”

[Jordan]:  “In broad daylight which you’ve already determined he can’t do?”

[Christina]:  “I said shadowy figure lurking in darkness. He could have been hiding in a shadow. We don’t know what’s going on. So what about the beholder. His, he- is he still consciously unconscious?” 

[Jordan]:  “No all three of the candidates have sort of regained consciousness for what you can tell. Granaphor specifically he appears to be calm like he’s not about to fly into a rage.”

[Drew]:  “Someone should probably go check up on Granaphor feeling and he seems to like you Saithe.”

[Caitie]:  “Yup, she approaches.”

[Saithe]:  “Hello friend! Are you alright?” 

[Granaphor]:  “Oh I’ve… I’ve been better. Oh my aching… everything. Where’s Sisava?”

[Saithe]:  “Unfortunately we had to place him under arrest.”

[Granaphor]:  “But why?”

[Saithe]:  “My dear Granaphor. Please forgive me for delivering such news to you. But unfortunately, it seems that Sisava was using you in order to win the election for himself and gain the trust of the people so that he could use them as a sacrifice.”

[Granaphor]: “What? No, that’s… that’s ridiculous.  Sisava is a good- good person. He helped me!  He… He helped me back- back to help. Why, would why would he-”

[Jordan]:  “And you see this sudden look of realization sweep over Granaphor, followed by overwhelming sorrow.”

[Granaphor]:  “He never… he never really cared did he? He used me, he used me!”  Monstrous snarls

[Jordan]:  “-fair reminder. Y’all have your own charm may not be a bad idea to bust that out.”

[Caitie]:  “Yeah…do I still have-”

[Drew]:  “I throw it at Saithe.”

[Jordan]:  “We’ll say you magically have it for whatever reason, I didn’t check to see who had it.  For simplicity’s sake, you had it.”

[Drew]:  “I dunno, I like the visual of like he starts freaking out on us and from the background Arlo’s like, oop ally oop”

[[Jordan and Christina laugh]]

[Caitie]:  “Yes.”

[Jordan]:  “Alright, we’ve got an alleyoop situation.  Alright, so Arlo ally oops the charm to you and you use it to bring him back to his sanity.”

[Granaphor]:  “He used me!  It was all for nothing, he… he never believed-”

[Saithe]:  “Granaphor, I  need you to look at me.”

[Jordan]:  “He looks at you with every single one of his eyes, each one more tearful than the last.”

[Christina]:  “Oh no!!”

[Caitie]:  “She pulls down her mask and gets to a comfortable height so that she’s looking him in the eye, in one of the eyes… in his most convenient eye!”

[Jordan]:  Laughs  “You look at the third stalk from the left.”

[Saithe]:  “You don’t need him.  If anything, you’ve shown the people who you truly are and what’s more, is you’ve shown them that people like you and me, that we can exist in society and be the kind of people that they would never expect us to be.”

[Jordan]:  “Roll persuasion, with advantage.”

[Caitie]:  “29”

[Jordan]:  “So Saithe, as you are giving this heartfelt, like just laying everything out for Granaphor, you feel a hand on your shoulder.  As you look up you see Niavara of all people and she says-”

[Niavara]:  “She’s right you know Granaphor.   In truth, I think you actually can make a difference. I wasn’t willing to believe it at first. But I think I can see now by looking in your eye…eyes… I can tell by looking at you. You do mean well.  And regardless of how this election may go, I think I speak for myself and Seebo-”

[Jordan]:  “She looks over at Seebo who is the slowest to get up and he kind of like gives a thumbs up from the distance.”

[Niavara]:  “That we can work towards your goal within our own as well.”

[Jordan]:  “And Granaphor begins to smile a little bit.”

[Granaphor]:  Sniveling “You really mean that?” 

[Jordan]:  “And Niavara nods.  Granaphor then looks back at you Saithe and says-”

[Granaphor]:  “Honestly. I really don’t even know why you wear that mask. You shouldn’t hide who you really are. Thank you my friend.”

[Saithe]:  “And thank you!”

[Jordan]:  “Niavara then speaks up and says-”

[Niavara]:  “Well. I suppose we should have to postpone the remainder of our little debate after all. Despite all of this we still have an election going on. And I think the three of us all deserve a fair chance.”

[Jordan]:  “And Seebo, finally and having managed to get up off of his ass, waddles on over and like rests himself on Niavara’s leg.”

[Seebo]:  “Yes I concur on that one.  Woo, definitely gonna need to breather on that one.”

[Caitie]:  “It’s so beautiful!”

[[Christina giggles]]

[Drew]:  “It really is.”

[Jordan]:  “And they all lived happily ever after.”

[[Transitionary pause]]

[Jordan]:  “So is there anything you guys want to do in this immediate moment or-?”

[Drew]:  “So I’d like to go up to Raiann again and say-”

[Arlo]:  “Look, I know we’re on, we’re handling this situation here but I’m actually-”

[Raiann]:  “Things are mostly buttoned up at this point. It’s fine.”

[Arlo]:  “-but I came across someone who I think could be an excellent asset to our organization and with your permission. I’d like to try to recruit them.”

[Raiann]:  “I’m almost afraid to ask.  Who?”

[Arlo]:  “A man by the name of Nnelg.  The most trustworthy sneeple snerson I’ve ever met.”

[Raiann]:  “Hol-hold on a second. So what you’ve come over here.  While I am in the middle of arresting two different sneeple.  Is to tell me that there’s a third snerson involved with this who you think we should recruit.”

[Arlo]:  “Well that’s the thing, he wasn’t involved with this at all. He was actually in the town before any of the other yuanti.  In fact, he’s the reason that we were able to save 7.”

[Jordan]:  “She looks at you very concerned and is like-”

[Raiann]:  “What happened with 7?”

[Arlo]:  “Oh yeah!  That all happened, like very quickly in like quick succession.”

[Raiann]:  “The last time I talked to you I told you to arrest Sisava after you told me Ash was a dragon. I’ve literally had no contact with you since then and the last I assume twenty minutes or so it feels- was a blur!”

[Arlo]:  “Right.  So super quick rundown- 7 was acting weird and the reason he went off book because he had brood poisoning, was gonna turn into a brood guard. We only found that out because we took him to Nnelg to kind of get his opinion because he seemed to be only yuanti in town that wasn’t involved in the whole plot.  After we got information from him and he said there could be some stuff going on the feywild we found that Winterra’s family are actually secret guardians of the feywild.  We went into the feywild, met the queen of I believe it was the summer court- Winterra, summer court?”

[Jordan]:  “Her eyes go real wide when you say that one.”

[Christina]:  “Winterra’s walking over and kind of almost making herself as small as possible at the same time to kind of like go back up whatever the fuck is going on over here and she just sheepishly kind of nods. As far as a bear person can sheepishly nod. She’s like-”

[Winterra]:  “Yeah. Some of this information is new to me as well. But I can at the very least back up his claim that as much as I didn’t trust Nnelg from the beginning he seems trustworthy now.  And that’s saying something because I really, really, really didn’t like him at first.”

[Jordan]:  “Okay, so Winterra as you come up and explain all this as soon as you’re done talking Raiann comes up to you, places her hands on your shoulders and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Alright. I trust you on the whole Nnelg thing. Please for the love of gods told me that neither Arlo nor Saithe did anything stupid in front of the leader of the summer court.  Please I beg of you, tell me this.”

[Winterra]:  “…No.”

[Raiann]:  “Oh thank gods!!  Wait!  Was Forngal with you??”

[Winterra]:  “Yes!  That- that’s a fun story too!”

[Raiann]:  “Oh gods what did he do?!”

[Winterra]:  “It turns out he is related to the feywild too,  didn’t know that!”

[Raiann]:  “Wait, what???!”  

[Caitie]:  “Saithe walks up and goes-”

[Saithe]:  “You mean Prince Forngal.”

[Jordan]:  “Her arms drop like there’s just no feeling left in them. She has this look of just utter disbelief and shock on her face, her jaw is basically on the ground at this point.”

[Raiann]:  “Alright- it has just occurred to me that this particular mission is going to involve a lot more paperwork than I had originally intended for it to even with two teams.  I will speak with Nnelg and see if he is a good fit for our organization.   In the meantime, I think it’s best that we, that we head back to base for now.”

[Jordan]:  “And she starts kind of absentmindedly walking off.”

[Christina]:  “Winterra says-”

[Winterra]: “Actually, um ma’am if it’s okay I have a couple things I’d like to wrap up here first, I need to go talk with my family before…before heading back.”

[Jordan]:  “She stops and sort of regains her composure, if only momentarily, and she looks back at all of you- you and Second Chance and says-”

[Raiann]:  “You know, considering everything I just learned within the past thirty seconds, and considering that this was a mission well done and I do not immediately have any further work for you all, I think you all have afforded yourself a little time off as it were. You all have your speaking stones.  Simply speak with Oudart when you are ready to return to base and we will reconvene. In the meantime myself and Divine Shield will see to it that these two sneeple are taken into custody and locked away for a very very long time.”

[Jordan]:  “And she kind of just like starts walking off, very much limping. It only occurs to you guys that both her and Second Chance are walking very weakly and you realize that the charm spell obviously took a lot out of them and they are fucking exhausted.”

[Drew]:  “Yeah that makes sense.  I’d imagine we’re also, I think we’re all pretty well beat up.”

[Jordan]:  “Yeah probably I mean you did just fight one of the stronger teams with the agency as well as its head director. Who has been training you. So yeah…”

[Arlo]:  “Yeah. I’ll tell you guys. I think she might have actually liked punched me back in time to the exact moment where she began the punch.”

[[Winterra laughs]]

[Saithe]:  “It’s payback for what you did to us back at the temple.”

[Arlo]:  “You know what, fair.  That’s valid.”

[Jordan]:  “One second…”

[Caitie]: “Oh god are we about to get in trouble for the temple?”

[Jordan]:  Shushing “Hush my child.”

[Caitie]:  “Oh god.”

[Drew]:  “You said you wouldn’t do stuff like this.”

[Jordan]:  “I did not.  Raiann stops.”

[Christina]:  “Oh god.”

[Caitie]:  “Oh no!”

[Jordan]:  “She turns around and says-”

[Raiann]:  “I thought you said he didn’t do anything stupid?”

[Drew]:  “Arlo fully sprints away.”

[Jordan]:  “She’s going to use Step of the Wind and catch your ass.”

[[Drew and Christina laugh]]

[Drew]:  “She just appears in front of me like-”

[Arlo]:  “Ah!! Oh, hey, what-what’s going on?”

[Raiann]:  “What.  Did you. DO?”

[Winterra]:  “I didn’t say he did anything stupid in the FEYWILD.  Didn’t say he didn’t do anything stupid on this mission.”     

[Raiann]:  “Someone, explain, now.”

[Arlo]:  “I fell down some stairs.”

[[Winterra growls]]

[Jordan]:  “She leers at you and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Do not lie to me.”

[Saithe]:  “Remember that thing about honesty being the best policy?” 

[Christina]:  “Winterra’s bristling as she’s walking back over to where they have just like ended up, and she looks Arlo dead in the eye and she’s like-”

[Winterra]:  “If you don’t tell her. I will.”

[Arlo]: “Okay. So let’s say hypothetically that we had very suddenly found out that someone was a dragon and they were chasing us in the-”

[Raiann]:  “Yes, yes, Ash, I’m aware.”

[Arlo]:  “They were chasing us in a very um, if I had to describe a video game boss cut scene esque chase through a temple where it seemed that the all hope was lost and that we were likely going to die if we didn’t escape that dragon-”

[Raiann]:  “I have no idea what a video game is. But go on-”

[Arlo]:  “Well let’s say someone thought that in order to make sure that their team could escape alive and save the town they may have done a tiny bit of tryin’ to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.”

[Jordan]:  “Arlo as you say that you nervously look up at Raiann, fully expecting her to lay into you.  Just full on, what were you thinking, that was so stupid blah blah blah blah blah. But that is not what happens. You look up and Raiann is speechless. She has a look that can only be described as the most putrid combination of shock and fear and she stares at you with this horrified look on her face uninterrupted by anything.”

[Arlo]:  “Look if you’re gonna hit me just please stay away from my nads, I need those”

[Raiann]:  “No, of course not I would not dream of such a thing, um – well um you can certainly expect that we will have a conversation about that later.  As I said you are all on time off right now so I will. I’ll be returning to base, post haste.  Just be sure to see me again once you, once you get back.”

[Jordan]:  “And she very quickly walks off.”

[Winterra]:  “Hm.  That was weird.”

[Jordan]:  “So, you and Second Chance are now in the town of Silverymoon and technically still have a couple of days of “mission time” with which you can do whatever you want.  Before Winterra goes out to speak to her family, Arlo or Saithe is there anything you guys would like to do in the meantime?  That’s, that’s just kind of like the main thing I can see happening so I’d like to save the best for last. If you guys have anything immediately like to do we will knock that outta the way and then we’ll finish strong with Winterra having one of the most awkward family convos ever.”

[Caitie]:  “Let’s go have the awkward family convo!”

[Jordan]:  “Okay! Wait, is anyone going with her?”

[Drew]:  “Well I feel like we would probably ask-”

[Arlo]:  “Winterra, I know you’ve got some stuff you wanna talk to your family about. Do you want us there for moral support or is this more of a lone ranger type scenario where you need to be alone?”

[Christina]:  “She is kind of staring off into space for a second and sighs just imagining how all the different ways the conversation could go and she looks at both of you and she’s like-”

[Winterra]:  “I don’t know how this teamwork friends thing should be going. This is new to me.  Um… if you want to come you can. I don’t know how my family will react to this news. I might just talk to my mom without the rest of my family because this is a lot. Yeah you guys are you guys can come with me if you want but I know it will be… a lot… so you don’t have to.”

[Arlo]:  “Hey come on. We’re a team, we stick together. I just wanted to make sure we wouldn’t be in your way.”

[Saithe]:  “What he said.  Also speaking from experience, as difficult as the conversation would be with your entire family. It may just be nice for you to have their support as a whole.”

[Winterra]:  “Yeah… as a whole.”

[Christina]:  “And she starts walking away.”

[Jordan]:  “Alright, so the three of you make your way through the midnight woods. And at this point you guys have traversed it enough, and Winterra’s familiar enough with it you’re able to get back to her place of residence without any form of conflict or anything like that.  And unlike last time Holly is actually the only one there. She sort of is just tending to a large piece of like bore and is prepping it to be cooked.”

[Caitie]:  “Delicious.”

[Jordan]:  “Oh it will be I’m sure.  They’ve taken the knees aside as a separate thing.”

[Christina]:  “For dessert!”

[Jordan]:  “Yeah.”

[Arlo]:  “You and your god damned knees!”

[[Christina giggles]]

[Jordan]:  “Holly overhears your comment on knees and turns like-”

[Holly]:  “Oh! Hi!  You’re back very quickly.  Did everything go okay?”

[Christina]:  “Winterra kind of wipes her mouth because she realized it had started watering when she saw her mom cooking. And she regains her composure and realizes like the conversation she’s about to have and her demeanor just kind of goes from like immediately like hungry and ready to eat like mom’s cooking to – Oh god, I have to have this conversation. And she looks at her mom with just this look of pain and unsurety and is like-”

[Winterra]:  “Mom.  I don’t know- the, the, the mission went good. I… I don’t know if this is a conversation that would be best to have with dad around too. But when we were in the feywild… we met someone.”

[Holly]:  “Who did you meet- there’s a lot of people in the feywild dear, but what’s wrong? I can tell just by looking something is clearly bothering you. Just, just tell me what it is.”

[Winterra]:  “Mom… I met your mom.”

[Jordan]:   “So y’all remember how I described Raiann’s look? Eerily similar.  Some serious deja-vu happening right about now where she is looking shocked and a little bit horrified. But there’s a slight difference with this one. There’s less horror as opposed to the shock. And it’s more aggressive disbelief.”

[Holly]:  “You met my, my mother? No that, that’s impossible. She, she disappeared so long ago…”

[Jordan]:  “And it looks like the gears are turning inside of her head as she is starting to connect the pieces and her look becomes like a little bit more horrified with each passing second.”

[Winterra]:  “That’s why I said. I don’t know, maybe we want to get the others.”

[Holly]:  “Oh no, your father absolutely needs to never hear about this ever, they did not get along. That will only end poorly.”

[Winterra]:  “Yeah so time definitely works differently in the feywild because she looks pretty much like you right now.”

[Holly]:  “Really?  That… oh.”

[Winterra]:  “Yeah.  She thought I was you.”

[Jordan]:  “She starts tearing up when she hears that. It’s- you don’t even need to roll for this one because it’d be impossible to tell no matter what, it’s hard to tell whether it is sorrow or pride that’s made her tear up, probably a combination of the two.”

[Holly]:  “I…”

[Jordan]:  “She kind of steels herself and then looks back up at your says-”

[Holly]:  “Is she well?”

[Winterra]:  “As far as I can tell.  She’s the advisor to Titania which is part of the reason she said she wished she could visit but hasn’t been able to.”

[Jordan]   “Her tears are no longer capable of being contained and she, they start streaming down her face as she-”

[Christina]:  “Winterra goes in for a bear hug.”

[Jordan]:  “She meets you immediately. Zero hesitation.”

[Drew]:  “This is unbearably sweet.”

[[Record scratch]]

[Caitie]:  “Oh my god.”

[Jordan]:  “And it’s dead.”

[Drew]:  “I will never stop!”

[Jordan]:  “Next scene!  Since this is ruined there’s no point in trying to till this infertile ground!  As you are consoling your mother. Is there anything you would like to say to her?”

[Christina]:  “Winterra just hugs her tighter and doesn’t really, really say anything. Because honestly what are you supposed to say to your mom when you meet your grandma and tell your mom you met your grandma? This is, this is just as shocking and processing for her as I’m sure it is for her mom. She just hugs her tighter.”

[Jordan]:  “She matches how tightly you hug her and you feel her tremble in your arms. You can tell this is a lot for her to deal with. Arlo and Saithe, she looks up briefly at you guys and you can kind of tell she’s giving a sign of- give us a minute.”

[Arlo]:  “Oh hey Saithe, look at these, these trees over here they’re real interesting. We should go check those out.”

[Saithe]:  “Yes no I agree.”

[Jordan]:  “As you guys go to “explore the trees” you briefly look over and you can see her mouth the words ‘thank you.’ She then pulls you away from her Winterra and puts her arms on your shoulders and says-”

[Holly]:  “Tell me everything.”

[Jordan]:  “And the scene pans out from there as the two share a heartfelt conversation about long lost family, now found.” 

[Christina]:  “So as, as we’re panning out from, from this scene and I assume you know leaving Winterra’s family and heading- beginning to head out of the forest Winterra stops everyone and she says-”

[Winterra]:  “Before we go, back to town, I want to show you guys something. You know, this is my forest where I grew up. There’s some really cool things here.”

[Christina]:  “And she starts walking like through the forest of a path that like we haven’t taken yet. It almost looks so footworn that there is a path there but at times there’s obviously trees and stuff that have fallen and you almost like bushes that are you know almost hard to get through if you don’t know how to climb a tree.  And it eventually gets the point where there’s a sweet smell that starts wafting through the air and a glenn opens up and there’s purple flowers just hanging down from the trees and Winterra smiles and looks back at you guys and says-”

[Winterra]:  “This is my favorite spot in the entire forest. These are some of my favourite flowers.”

[Christina]:  “And it’s just full of wisteria, just everywhere and you can hear the like the bugs that are chirping in the background and you see like a butterfly float by. As she’s like examining the purple flowers that are honestly started coating the ground as they’re hanging from the trees she kind of looks back guys and smiles and then she she climbs a tree for a second and pulls out one of the tiny knives she keeps with her and takes a clipping of one of the wisteria, and wraps it a little bit of moss on the ground and then pockets it to bring back with her.”

[Drew]:  “Just like in character like Arlo the character is just like in awe of how beautiful this glenn is, like the majesty of nature. Out of character I am using almost one hundred percent of my concentration and bodily control to not sing just around the river bend from Pocahantas.”

[[All laugh]]

[Caitie]:  “That’s fair.”

[Drew]:  “Literally just in my mind on a loop is just, ‘Don’t do it don’t you do it. Don’t do it. Nope, not even a little bit. No.”

[Caitie]:  “Just around the riverbend!”

[Drew]:  “Caitie!”

[Jordan]:  “He was trying so hard!”

[[Caitie chuckles]]

[Jordan]:  “Oh christ…  That was really beautiful thank you. So is there anything else aside from that, as you guys make your way back to town. Do you guys want to stay in town to do anything else or do you want to go ahead and head back to base?”

[Christina]:  “Do we need to stick around for the elections?”

[Jordan]:  “Do you want to?”

[Arlo]:  “Eh, I don’t live here.”

[[Jordan laughs]]

[Saithe]:  “Yeah, same.”

[Drew]:  “What?! What if, if you went to, if you went on vacation to Japan and then like you were about to end your vacation. And they’re like wait, we’re reelecting the prime minister. You’ll be like. I don’t live here that doesn’t affect me.”

[Jordan]:  “You literally came here because of this thing though.”

[Drew]:  “Yeah and now it’s over. And now we’re going home.”

[Jordan]:  “Oh my actual fucking goodness… alright so you guys head back over to the teleportation circle where you had originally come here from. You don’t see Second Chance. Presumably they have already gone back like good little NPC’s.  And so you guys contact Oudart and are teleported back to base.  As you arrive back on base you are greeted by the aforementioned happy little boy that mans the teleportation circle dispatch area thing.”

[Oudart]:  “Oh hey, welcome back guys! I was wondering what was taking so long after Second Chance came back.  Everything go alright?”

[Saithe]:  “Yes quite, we just had a few loose ends to tie up.”

[Oudart]:  “Neat!  How was the mission?  They wouldn’t say anything because they said they were unconscious or something like that, I dunno.”

[Saithe]:  “They probably- uh…yeah that’s fair.”

[Arlo]: “Um, quick rundown – Ash is a dragon, Forngal is a fey prince, and Winterra’s grandmother is alive and living in the feywild.  And…I dunno, its been a weird day.  Also I made a new friend, his name is Nnelg.”

[Jordan]:  “His eyes go super wide and he says-”

[Oudart]:  “This has opened up a whole new world of possibility for my fanfics.”

[Winterra]:  “Excuse me?”

[Arlo]:  “I’m sorry your what?”

[Oudart]:  “Don’t worry about it!  Anyway, the boss said she wanted to see you, you guys may want to go ahead and head on over there now.”

[Saithe]:  “I don’t know whether to be more afraid of the fact that he writes fanfics or that she wants to see us.”

[Jordan]:  “He floats in real close and says-”

[Oudart]:  “The less questions you ask the better. Anyway, off you go!!  Go on and have your debriefing with the boss lady!”

[Jordan]:  “So you all head on over to Raiann’s office. As you enter Second Chance is already there, Raiann specifically – she looks up at you guys but Arlo you notice she’s very specifically avoiding eye contact with you.”

[Caitie]:  “Ooooooo.”

[Raiann]:  “Thank you all for coming back, please, have a seat.  So, I figured now is as good a time to fill in any blanks that I may not have previously been aware of. Obviously you have all had quite an adventurous mission there.  So, there are some things we obviously need to discuss a little bit more urgently than others, specifically the dealings with… with Ash. I need you to be as specific as you can about how that encounter went down. See if we can figure out anything about him. Knowing that we had a dangerous magic user about causing trouble was one thing.  Knowing that said magic user is actually a dragon that does the bidding of the chaotic goddess of misfortune is another. This changes everything about how our operation has worked and we need every bit of information that we can. Second Chance has told me they were largely either unconscious or absent during that particular encounter so you three are my only real reliable source of information on this one.  Again, the – the encounter specifically, was there any sort of weakness you gleaned from him, anything at all that could be helpful?”

[Winterra]:  “Sunlight. He seems most active at night even back in Neverwinter. That was when he met with that girl, Elama, was at night in an alleyway. He- he’s never around during the day.”

[Raiann]:  “That is certainly something we could use to our advantage however if what Arlo-”

[Jordan]:  “-and you guys noticed, she only motions towards Arlo. Again, she does not look at Arlo when she says this.”

[Caitie]:  “Oooooooo.”

[Raiann]:  “-mentioned during your last contact with me. It is likely that he might either be some form of undead or even shadow dragon. Which if that is the case only makes things worse.   Though would potentially explain his more nocturnal tendencies. I will be sure to have Bookworm look into this to see if she can find anything that might be prevalent on that.  Knowing that he is inactive during the day and seems to be weak to sunlight is certainly helpful. Is there anything else you think might be of relevant information? Something you think I might need to know?”

[Christina]:  “Winterra kind of does that Arlo thing by raising her hand. And she says-”

[Winterra]:  “Not necessarily relevant to the dragon… um, in order to save 7 I may have made an agreement with Tatiana.”

[Jordan]:  “Her eyes bulge out of her skull and she says-”

[Raiann]:  “What. Did. You. Do?”

[Christina]:  “Winterra puts both her hands up in a woah motion and she says-”

[Winterra]:  “Okay to explain a little bit further, turns out my grandmother has been living in the feywild and that she is Tatiana’s advisor. And that’s why apparently she went missing when my mother was young. Apparently, they have been looking for someone to, I guess… help bridge the relationship, I guess is the best way to explain it between the feywild and their world.  And my family already kind of helps to guard one of the portals to the feywild in the forest and so that was basically the agreement in order to get the medicine to help save 7.”

[Raiann]:  “What was the exact agreement that you made?” 

[Winterra]:  “We um… we agreed to basically be the bridge between each world, to be allies in case one side ever needs the other. So you know in case the feywild ever needs us. I guess specifically us-

[Christina]:  “And she gestures at three three of them.”

[Winterra]:  “- or if we need the feywild.”

[Jordan]:  “Raiann leans back in her chair and ponders for a second.  She says-”

[Raiann]:  “Huh, this might actually be something we could use to our advantage.  The feywild is certainly filled with powerful beings. Being able to call upon them at a moment’s notice is certainly helpful. And if we can parse together the specific and finer details of this agreement that you made, it is something that may end up being beneficial overall. I suppose I will have to assign Bookworm to that as well. Winterra I hope you don’t mind. I will likely have you assist her with that given that you are apparently the mediator of this particular agreement.”

[Winterra]:  “That’s fair.”  

[Raiann]:  “Right. Is there anything else you feel I immediately need to know that will not be written about in your paperwork?”

[Arlo]:  “I- I think we’re all caught up.”

[Jordan]:  “Alright, so then she looks at all of you and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Alright.  You’re all dismissed.”

[Jordan]:  “And as you all start to leave she shouts-”

[Raiann]:  “Wait!  Arlo, Saithe, you two are not.”  

[Arlo]:  “Somehow I felt like I knew that this was coming.”

[Raiann]:  “Not for the reason you might be thinking. The rest of you are free to go. Arlo, you ought to head down to the armory and speak with Aelar about the aforementioned workplace sensitivity training I mentioned.”

[Arlo]:  “Aw man.”

[Raiann]:  “You do well to listen to him on this one.”

[Arlo]:  “Alright…”

[Raiann]:  “Saithe, you and I need to have a private conversation.”

[Jordan]:  “So as everyone leaves to do what they will except for Arlo who leaves to speak with Aelar about how to speak with the higher ups and not earn their ire.  Saithe, you stay behind to speak with Raiann.  As the door closes, she stands up from her desk and walks around to be more facing you.”

[Raiann]:  “Now.  It has come to my attention that there is a little issue within your group that needs my attention.  Now, normally I do not involve myself with the personal goings on of my operatives if it does not directly conflict with your work, then there is no need for me to be involved. However, there is such an instance in your case that I need to ascertain the true intentions of.”

[Jordan]:  “And she walks closer to you to the point where she is basically standing in front of you. You are still sitting and she leans forward and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Where did you get the cat?”

[[Everyone starts laughing]]

[Saithe]:  “Oh!  Gods, lord almighty, I- honest to god, oh boy you are scary!  You are a very intimidating person!”

[Raiann]:  “It’s part of why I got the job. Answer the question.”

[Saithe]:  “It’s kind of a long story. But…”

[Raiann]:  “I have time.”

[Saithe]:  “Honesty is…honesty is the best policy.  I have. Quite a sensitive childhood. Ah…My parents were sacrificed to Asmodeus and my grandparents died shortly thereafter. And being that they were the ones who stole the lives of my parents they were never granted the boons that they were owed and thus they were passed on to me.  That is what Modi is.  Modi is the boons that were offered to my grandparents.  So I have inherited them?  I- I don’t imagine he is a permanent fixture.”

[Jordan]:  “She leers at Modi and then back to you and says-”

[Raiann]:  “That answers all but two questions I have.”

[Saithe]:  “Go on.”

[Raiann]:  “First of all. Why would you have inherited it if they simply died?”

[Saithe]:  “I don’t really wanna go into that.”

[Raiann]:  “I insist.”

[Saithe]:  “I started bounty hunting from a very early age. It’s kind of what makes me good at what I do, you know, killing people.”

[Saithe]:  “I see.”

[Jordan]:  “She turns her back towards you and starts walking back over to her desk and then says,”

[Raiann]:   “Alright. My second query. Why is there a gem missing on the creature’s collar? I assume that has something to do with those boons you were owed that you mentioned.”

[Saithe]:  “It’s somewhat of a wish. I have no attachments to Asmodeus. Nor do I plan on serving him further.  But when I was in a time of trouble and I thought I was truly going to lose my, my teammates. I requested a boon to help in my favor.”

[Jordan]:  “Roll persuasion.”

[Caitie]:  “36.”

[Jordan]:  “Jesus, fuck.  She pauses for a moment and then turns back around towards you and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Now. Here’s what you need to understand about your current situation.  For someone to form a pact and become a warlock and not have it recorded in an official archive is considered an extremely heinous crime. Such things need to be regulated and the pact maker needs to be documented so we can avoid things of this nature happening.  Given your rather unusual circumstances, I’m willing to temporarily overlook this. However, you are going to need to register yourself as a warlock at this point if you truly have, albeit only through inheritance, formed a pact with Asmodeus.  Doubly so considering that he rules the nine hells and is arguably if not definitively one of the most dangerous patrons to form a pact with.  Secondly, I am going to need to put you under a personal investigation during which time you are forbidden  from leaving the headquarters.  It should not take much time, perhaps only a week or two.  But you cannot involve yourself, Arlo, or Winterra in this.  Whether or not they are privy to this knowledge yet is irrelevant, the fact that they are still too close to the situation to be able to give an unbiased opinion on this. I assume this will not be an issue for you.”

[Saithe]:  “No… no not at all.”

[Raiann]:  “Good.  Then head down to the archives and speak with Bookworm on this, she will get you officially registered.  And, if I may offer some personal advice?  I would tell them what they do not already know. If you’re to be working as a member of the Agents you would do well to ensure that there are no secrets between you all.”

[Saithe]:  “It’s not a conversation I’ve held very often. And despite the fact that I constantly look as though I’m very happy, it’s not a subject I prefer to talk about. However, you’re correct. My teammates need to know about me. And how I became who I am today.”

[Raiann]:  “Exactly.  As you have quoted so many times already, honesty-”

[Saithe]:  Interrupting “Honestly is the best policy.”

[Raiann]:  “-is the best policy.  Don’t speak over me.”

[[Saithe giggles]]

[Jordan]:  “I want to go quickly through the individual things that you guys were do- wanted to do in your down time however, because of the way events unfolded there’s timeline discrepancies which means y’all don’t get to pick the order that we do these things in.”

[Saithe]:  “Fair enough.”

[Jordan]:  “So first up it’s actually going to be Winterra who was the only one who’s not bogged down with some other thing that they now have to deal with.” 

[Christina]:  “Cool.”

[Jordan]:  “So I assume this would be happening immediately after you were dismissed from Raiann’s office”

[Christina]:  “Mhm.”

[Jordan]:  “As you make your way down to the archives.”

[Christina]:  “Yep!”

[Jordan]:  “So as you make your way down there you enter and sure enough Bookworm is there as she usually is, reading a book.  Orillo is not presently there. He’s presumably off in the meal hall doing his thing so she is presently alone.”

[Christina]:  “Okay!  So Winterra’s ears perk up, the ones on top of her head not her regular ears, her bear ears perk up like an excited curious happy bear and she almost bounds over to Bookworm. She’s like,”

[Winterra]:  “Bookworm! I have a surprise for you!!”

[Jordan]:  “She looks up startled as all hell and if she could make a noise she probably would have yelped just now.”

[Caitie]:  “Oh god she’s so cute!!”

[Winterra]:  “Oh sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you. That’s my bad.”

[Jordan]:  “She kind of puts up her hands and like motions them toward you as if saying- it’s okay, it’s okay.”

[Christina]:  “So she says-”

[Winterra]:  “You know. I’m sure the library is really cool as it is and stuff and honestly this conversation is not going the way I wanted to start it off, um- here.”

[Christina]:  “And she pulls out the piece of the clipping of wisteria that she had pulled from the forest and she kind of hands it to her and she says-”

[Winterra]:  “This is from my forest. It’s my favorite flower. And I thought maybe it would help to liven up the library. Not like it, the library is not lively as it is because these books are really cool. I feel bad about taking up so much of your time looking up things. And so I wanted to bring you a present.”

[[Drew chuckles]]

[Jordan]:  “As you say all this and hand her the flowers she turns bright red as she buries her face in the book and you can briefly see from behind the book the top of her head that she is nodding. Like she’s saying- yeah, okay.”

[Christina]:   “Winterra continues, she says-”

[Winterra]:  “You probably want to plant this soon. You know the moss will offer enough moisture to keep it alive, and it’s a clipping so it’ll, it’ll sprout really quickly and it should flower relatively easy unlike seeds would and it’s really cool-”

[Christina]:  “And she whispers this part.”

[Winterra]:  “If you ever have to poison someone, just feed some of it to them and it might either give them an upset stomach, like my brother learned, or it could kill them.” 

[Caitie]:  “Christ.”

[Jordan]:  “As you say that first part she pulls away from the book and looks at you very seriously like she’s very much interested in everything you’re saying but then looks horrified as you whisper to her.”

[Winterra]:  “Not like I’ve ever had the do that. My mom just told me all the information about this flower because she wanted to make sure that myself or my brother didn’t get hurt. Past what my brother learned the hard way.”

[Jordan]:  “She nods very slowly.”

[Winterra]:  “But other than that it’s a really pretty flower and it smells really good.”

[Jordan]:  “ She gives off a little weak smile. And again, you can see her start to blush a little bit and she just nods at you again.”

[Christina]:  “So she continues and she says,”

[Winterra]:  “Also I have some stuff I have to research like a lot of stuff.”

[Jordan]:  “She looks very interested.”

[Winterra]:  “So I was told specifically, I have to look up more information about the feywild because I may have made an agreement with Tatiana in order to save 7.”

[Jordan]:  “She looks shocked.”

[Winterra]:  “So I have to start there. But also I’d like your advice or input and want to know if there’s anything as far as like animals or anything like that that you think would be really cool to look into before we have to go on our next mission.”

[Jordan]:  “As she gathers herself from the recollection that you’ve apparently made a deal with one of the lords of the courts of the feywild. She snaps her fingers as if she suddenly has an idea. Stands up from her chair, at this point this is one of the only time you’ve actually seen her like really stand and it occurs to you just how fucking big she is. She’s like almost seven feet tall and she kind of like motions for you to follow her.”

[Christina]:  “Okay!”

[Jordan]:  “As you follow her, you hear something.”

[Pindleton]:  “H-hello?  Winterra?  Can you hear me?”

[Winterra]:  “Y-yes?”

[Pindleton]:  “Ah, excellent, finally figured this out.  I’m sure you remember me, it’s Pindleton, I’m in your ring, er- my ring rather.  It’s not important- hi!”

[Caitie]:  “Oh my god.”

[Winterra]:  “Y-Yeah, you’re the voice in my mind that disappeared for a while.”

[Pindleton]:  “Well I had to gather my thoughts you did tell me I was… dead so that was something I had to parse together to deal with. But I’ve also been watching through the ring slash your mind slash your eyes- but that’s not important.”

[Winterra]:  “Uh…”

[Pindleton]:  “Just something I can do now apparently, who knew.  But I saw you actually while you were fighting that large snake thing with the weird head on it that looked like another snake person.  Very interesting.  And I have to say. I was impressed. The way you were able to analyze the situation and assist your allies, really spoke to me.  And I think I can help you hone those skills.  As I mentioned before I am a highly decorated warrior from my time many, many centuries ago and of course as such I learned how to analyze the battlefield and command my subordinates as was necessary for maximum battlefield advantage. And, I believe I can assist you to do the same.  If of course you would allow me to…uh…help of course and sort of…I can’t think of a better way to word this and it sounds worse than it is, leech into your mind?”  

[Winterra]:  “Excuse me?”

[Pindleton]:  “Again I really can’t think of a better word for it but I promise it isn’t as bad as it sounds.”

[Winterra]:  “Is it worse than the hearing?”

[Pindleton]:  “What do you mean?”

[Winterra]:  “Were you around for that?”

[Pindleton]:  “Oh!  When that weird person stuck his fingers in your ear- yeah no. Not like that.”

[Winterra]:  “Ah.”

[Pindleton]:  “Ah, basically, hm…have you ever ridden in a carriage before?”

[Winterra]:  “What’s a carriage?”

[Pindleton]:  “Alright, gonna need to start from the beginning on this one.  Alright so carriages are basically large wagons, do you know what a wagon is?”

[Winterra]:  “Hm…”

[Pindleton]:  “Holy gods of the forgotten realms.  Basically you would have two minds, I would sort of be telling you what the best thing to do would be is and you’d be able to act, it’d basically be like having a second set of thoughts that are more prominent than just hearing me, if that makes any sense.”

[Winterra]:  “Mmm…hm.”

[Pindleton]:  “I wouldn’t be able to influence your actions, I’d simply be more suggestive but not able to override you if that makes sense.  At least I think that’s how it works I don’t really know, I’ve never done this before, I’ve only recently discovered I was dead hahaha.”

[[Drew and Christina laugh]]

[Caitie]:  “Literally the best thing to ever happen to me.”

[Jordan]:  “Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week.”

[Christina]:  “Winterra gets very serious.”

[Winterra]:  “Have you ever set fire to a forest?”  

[Pindleton]:  “No why would I ever do that??”

[Winterra]:  “Okay then you’re fine!”

[Pindleton]:  “Excellent!”

[Jordan]:  “And this is actually a fun little bonus thing that you get that I have dubbed- it’s based on something else, but I’m officially dubbing it for you- ‘tactical insight.’ From now on when you are in battle you may either take a bonus action to offer the help action to a creature up to thirty feet away from you or use a reaction to give a creature up to thirty feet away from you either advantage or disadvantage on an attack roll or saving throw.”

[Christina]:  “Neat!”

[Jordan]:  “But you can only do one per round.”

[Christina]:  “Okay.”

[Jordan]:  “So you can’t do both, you have to pick one of them but that is a thing you now have because you are attached to Pindleton.”

[Christina]:  “Okay”

[Caitie]:  “Or is it because Pindleton is attached to her?”

[Jordan]:  “Semantics!”

[[Transition]]

[Jordan]:  “At this point I feel like the next logical person to be involved with this would be…hm… Actually you know what no, fuck logic, I’m gonna go with the one that I think is the most cinematically interesting.  Saithe, it has been the few weeks since you all returned.  The investigation that Raiann put out on you has at this point turned up at everything you said was true and that you do not have malicious intent so you are once again permitted to leave headquarters if need be.  And as such, you put in a formal request and you were okayed for it. At this point said request has already been brought to its natural conclusion. And you are on your way to the distant town of Nightwatch. Where you are off to deliver your most recent bounty to the benefactor who you made a deal with quite some time ago.  You head into a rather unassuming looking building and are guided by these, just these strange creatures that aren’t normally seen in day to day life.  In this particular instance it is actually a troll that is guiding you.  Oddly well behaved considering trolls are normally among the most chaotic of beings in existence. But he guides you into a back room that looks like this long lavish bedroom almost.  But instead of a bed there is a desk. It’s kind of like the gothic version of Raiann’s office if that makes sense. But without all of the decorative taxidermied corpses and “accoutrements.” 

And sitting at the desk you see a wood elf. But you know who this one is. This is the head of the bounty hunters guild. The person that you deliver all of your hits to and he is no ordinary wood elf.  He is a vampire wood elf, named Laucian(“Lotion”) Othronus.”

[Drew]:  “Lotion…”

[Jordan]:  “It’s like it’s like Lucian but there’s an ‘a’ in it where it doesn’t need to be. I don’t know how to pronounce it correctly. So…”

[Christina]:  “Yeah please send me that spelling for transcription purposes thank you.”

[Jordan]:  “Yeah it’s L-A-U-C-I-A-N.  So if y’all have a better idea how to pronounce that?”

[Christina]:  “Laucian?  (Like Law-shon)” 

[Jordan]:  “We’ll go with ‘Lawshon’ because it sounds less like ‘Lotion’ which is less provocative.”

[Caitie]:  “And Saithe would definitely call him creepy.”

[Jordan]:  “Oh that’s a terrible idea to do to a vampire. Don’t- super don’t do that. Laucian sees you walk in-”

[Jordan]:  Starting super Romanian, choking, then switching to a more casual European accent “Ah hello-”  Coughs  “Sorry, something in my throat. It is good to see you again Saithe. It has been far far too long.”

[Saithe]:  “Agreed Laucian.  I hope you’ve been well.”

[Laucian]:  “It has been a little boring without your constant company. But I must say seeing you again does put a smile on my face.”

[Saithe]:  “I guess that would mean it’s contagious.”

[Laucian]:  “I always appreciated your wit.  You have the target?”  

[Saithe]:  “As always!”

[Jordan]:  “You throw a person who has been bound and gagged onto the floor before him and his smile grows almost to rival your own.”

[Laucian]:  “Ah, excellent!  I can always rely on you.”  

[Saithe]:  “It’s your favorite blood type and everything.”

[Laucian]:  “You always know how to treat me right. I suppose we should go ahead and conclude our business now.  Jasper?”

[Jordan]:  “And you see a pigeon fly down from the rafters”

[[Christina can be heard excitedly clapping in the background]]

[Jordan]:  “Yes this is that moment. You’re welcome.”

[Drew]:  “Oh god. I’m just realizing what is about to happen. That- okay.”

[Christina]:  “Bingo, this one’s for you!”

[Jordan]:  “We honor our patron’s requests. And a red mist begins to envelop this pigeon. And as the mist fades you see a familiar sight to you.  As the mist fades you see this strong bodied person. His body glistening as if freshly oiled, with rippling muscles from neck to toe. He wears tight leather pants and boots with the upper half fully exposed to show off the aforementioned bulging pectorals. It is all almost too much to take in, but the real icing on the cake.  The real cherry on top of Jasper is the fact that his head is still a pigeon head.”

[Caitie]:  “Ooooooooh.”

[[Everyone chortles]] 

[Drew]:  “We have given- we’ve given too much power.”

[Jordan]:  “We’ve given her just enough power, I am so happy this happened.”

[Christina]:  Laughing  “God she’s, she’s- yes.” 

[Jordan]:  “So Jasper the beautiful pigeon man walks over to you with a large sack of gold.  And Caitie at this point I need you to roll me a d100.”

[Caitie]:  “Alright, so 62.” 

[Jordan]:  “Okay, the bag contained 6200 gold pieces.”

[Caitie]:  “Heeeeey.”

[Drew]:  “Gotdamn.”

[Jordan]:  “As you receive this Jasper goes back over to Laucian’s side. And he says-”

[Laucian]:  “By the way. I also have something else for you; a little piece of information that a little birdie told me.”

[Jordan]:  “He says as he strokes Jasper’s chin.”

[Saithe]:  “Ah Laucian, you always know how to put a smile on my face.”

[Laucian]:  “Oh, such a witty sense of humor you have.  But, I assume that smile of yours will fade at least on the inside when you hear what I have to say.  Well maybe you’ll smile deep from your heart.  After all, I’ve news on that little circus of yours.”

[Caitie]:  “Her eyes narrow.”

[Laucian]:  “I thought you might be interested in that. Word has it that they are traveling along the southern edge of Faerun, on their way to the Sword Coast. As of now, we are not yet able to pinpoint their exact location or the next likely target. However I imagine, within say a month or two we will likely be able to give you a more definitive location as to where you can find them.”

[Saithe]:  “I knew I could count on you.”

[Laucian]:  “Ah, but of course.  Only for my finest associates. I believe this calls for a celebration. Would you not agree?”

[Saithe]:  “Of course!”

[Jordan]:  “He snaps his fingers and looks over to Jasper, and Jasper produces a crossbow of his own and he says-”

[Laucian]:  “My little friend here has been working on an interesting new technique. One I think might assist you going forward especially since you continue to pursue this carnival of sadness or whatever it is.  He can aim with an accuracy that the gods would be envious of. And I will have him teach you this trick- as a sign of our friendship of course.”

[Saithe]:  “I am in your debt.”

[Laucian]:  “Oh no no no. Of course not. Just keep doing the good work that you do and I am sure you will have no such debts to speak of.”

[Jordan]:  “And here is your fun extra thing that you get from this outside of just getting an extra little bit of pay. I want you to know, doing this involves going against everything I believe in as a DM. But, I’ve managed to work it out in a way that I think is acceptable and I will go over this with you later on.  But you and you alone- can make called shots.”

[Caitie]:  “Hell yes.”

[Jordan]:  “Again, I will go over that with you later to explain the finer details of it but that is your fun thing that you get to do.”

[Caitie]:  “I am about to fuck so much shit up.”

[Jordan]:  “Yeah. I’m probably going to regret this decision but, oh well.”

[Christina]:  “It’ll be great.”

[Drew]:  “Hey you wanna know something that is going to be even more regrettable?”

[Jordan]:  “I’m afraid to ask…”

[Drew]:  “I’ve, I’ve figured out why Jasper is so glistening- it’s because he puts the lotion on his skin.”

[Jordan]:  “You need to stop.”

[Caitie]:  “Ohhhhhhh no!!”

[Drew]:  “And then Laucian gets the hose again.”

[Caitie]:  “Oh no!!”

[Jordan]:  “Andrew, I’ve told you this so many times. You can’t go into our deep seated fan fictions on our characters already.  They have to save that for the audiences to do that on their own. Maybe for the peek behind the screen. We can’t just go giving them this sort of lewd high intensity action right off the bat.”

[Christina]:  “Yeah, that’s Oudart’s job.”

[Jordan]:  “I immediately regret that joke.”

[[Transition]]

[Jordan]:  “Around the same time that this would be happening. Arlo you have finally graduated from your workplace sensitivity courses with Aelar. He made it as expected pretty uncomfortable. But you did ultimately realize that Raiann’s whole purpose of doing that was remember where you stand compared to others and maybe take things a little bit slower if you want to do that kind of stuff- was basically just like the ultimate pretext of it. I don’t want to rollplay that whole thing out, that is really dumb. 

But as of right now you are currently with Raiann for one of your training sessions.  Now there are two things of note here: one, she seems incredibly out of it like you have sparred with her multiple times for her training sessions and have now even fought her mono a mono and you know what she is capable of.  And she is operating at maybe the lowest you’ve ever seen her operate.  And the other thing of note is that she has still not talked to you about what you did with Ash, despite having said she was going to  Arlo roll me an attack roll with advantage.”

[Drew]:  “A 23 to hit.”

[Jordan]:  “So as you all are sparring, you managed to dodge one of her attacks, get behind her, sweep the leg, and drop her to the ground. Something you had never done before. And while part of you is giddy with this realization, the majority of you also realize it’s because she’s just that out of it.”

[Drew]:  “Arlo kinda like clocks this and is like-”

[Arlo]:   “Alright. that’s it. This has been going on for way too long, and this, this call for drastic measures Raiann. I want you to know you could of come to me and you could’ve talked this out, but you didn’t and so now you’re making me do this.”

[Drew]:  “And he leans over and grabs one of the chairs that are in her office.”

[Caitie]:  “Oh no!”

[[Christina laughs]]

[Arlo]:  “You’re making me do this, I didn’t want to do this. You know I try not to bust this out too often, but I have to.”

[Drew]:  “And he pulls the chair in closer and he turns it backwards. And he plops himself in the chair.”

[Raiann]:  “Arlo, what in the hells are you doing?”

[Arlo]:  “Backwards chair. It’s my methodology. If engaging with you on more relatable level.  So talk to me, talk to your buddy Arlo.  What’s bothering you?”

[Raiann]:  “It could not be failing any more spectacularly, let me tell you.”

[Arlo]:  “Eh, I like to think it’s slightly endearing.”

[Jordan]:  “Do roll me persuasion now, also with advantage.”

[Drew]:  “I’m glad that was with advantage because one of those was a 1. But i’m going to go with a 16 instead and that with my bonuses is going to be a 16.”

[Jordan]:  “Yeah, that tracks.  So she pulls herself up off the ground as you look at her from your backwards chair.  And she takes a deep sigh and says-”

[Raiann]:  “I suppose I did say I would speak with you on this.”

[Jordan]:  “She resheaths her sword and walks over towards her desk at this point. She’s not facing you, but rather her back is turned towards you completely and she says”

[Raiann]:  “I’m sure that you were fully expecting me to reprimand you for your actions involving Ash.  But truth be told, it would be hypocritical of me to do so.”

[Arlo]:  “How do you mean?”

[Jordan]:  “She sort of looks up not really at anything, just sort of pondering and she says,”

[Raiann]:  “It’s just occurred to me. I promised we would share war stories didn’t I? Here’s one I was truthfully hoping to never have to share.  Tell me Arlo.  Does the name Direcris Baharoosh  ring any bells to you?”

[Arlo]:  “I can’t say that it does.”

[Raiann]:  “What about Synthrin Kumbatuul?”

[Arlo]:  “Yeah, still, still nothing.”

[Raiann]:  “What of Adrex Narixius?”

[Arlo]:  “Yeah, I’m sorry Raiann, I really don’t know. I don’t, I don’t recognize any of these names.”

[Raiann]:  “Not surprising. But tragic all the same.  A tragedy for which I am to blame.  They, among others, were some of the finest soldiers I’ve ever had the privilege of working alongside.  You are familiar with the second giant wars, yes?”

[Jordan]:  “And this one you are familiar with Arlo, this is actually a war that spanned several years but ended before you were born. But not much before you were born because this was the same war that your mother was made famous in.  The giants wanted to get vengeance for their ancestors losing to the ancient dragons of old in the first giants war.  The second one was the lesser giants, ones that you might encounter in your average adventure against the dragonborn trying to seek vengeance.  And this is one of the few if not the only times that the chromatic and metallic dragonborn ever united under the same banner to defeat a common enemy. So most of what you would know of this war would just be war stories that you heard from your parents about how they managed to unite the clans and fend off the giants.”

[Arlo]:  “Yeah I’m a- I’m pretty well familiar with that war. It’s pretty important to the history of our people and honestly if that, essentially if that conflict hadn’t  brought all the dragonborn together under one banner. I might not even be here.”

[Raiann]:  “Yes, I suppose that is true. There was one battle in particular. It was the prelude to the decisive battle of the entire war that brought it all to a close. There were two factions. I believe your mother led the primary one. I was the head of the advanced party. We were to invade the Smoky Mountains that normally divide our people, where the giants had managed to secure a base for themselves.  We were to raid a group of cloud giants that were serving as a sort of perimeter for them to allow the main army to swoop in and finish the job. I still remember the speech that I gave before we fled into battle.”

[Jordan]:  “At this point she’s been kind of slouched for a lot of this, but she stands upright as if at attention and preparing to actually speak to a group, but she’s still very much facing away from you.”

[Raiann]:  “Look alive. We are about to dive headfirst into an enemy encampment. They might have the size and the numbers but we have the element of surprise and the tactical advantage. After victory, our forces will storm the giant’s stronghold, dragonborn will prove to the world our superiority over these lumbering buffoons. So hold your swords firm, your shield steady and your hearts strong. For I shall lead you to everlasting glory.”

[Jordan]:  “Her shoulders start to sag heavily. And she turns back towards you and says-”

[Raiann]:  “Follow me. And I promise you this-”

[Jordan]:  “And she finally looks at you. Dead in eyes, for the first time since you said what you told her.  And her eyes are welled with tears-”

[Raiann]: “-you shall return home as legends.”

[Jordan]:  “She immediately turns back away from you and continues speaking-”

[Raiann]:  “In a sense, I was right. There is a monument in my hometown near the centre.  Several names inscribed including the ones that I asked you of earlier. Statues erected in their honor, and it is a grim reminder of how I failed them.  How I let my pride, my arrogance, my blind stupidity take hold.  And they paid the price for my vanity. That Arlo, that is why I place so much emphasis on compassion.  That is why you, and everyone else who leads a team- Rhelynn, Fridahn, Harvin.  All of you exemplify the traits that I value most, because they are the ones that I lacked.  The ones that had I possessed at that key moment in my life, there would not be mothers and fathers mourning the loss of sons and daughters gone.  Husbands and wives who spend every night lonesome.  Children who will never get to see their parents beaming with pride as they grow older and live out their dreams.  All because of me.”

[Jordan]:  “She bows her head deeply. What do you do?”

[Drew]:  “Arlo gets up from his backwards chair and places a hand on her shoulder and says-”

[Arlo]:  “Look Raiann.  I know what it’s like to- to carry with you guilt from, from actions that you had to take in the heat of battle.  And as much as you can tell yourself, as much as anyone can tell you that it’s the risk of putting your life on the line to help others. Nothing ever fully takes that away. I can’t… I can’t imagine to, to try to fathom how you feel.  But I can relate pretty well.  I don’t, I don’t talk much about the specifics of my, my time in the military and that’s… that’s for good reason.  There’s a… there’s a reason I’m here working for DAMNED, and not out there fighting the fight I fought before.  I… I can’t go back. What happened. I blame myself for it every day. My, my father. He…well, he… he didn’t make it.  In, in the battles that came we were, we were camped out. And I knew, I knew what I should have done!  We had a choice to make. We could have gone through the valley and supported my father’s unit or we could have gone over it like we… like we were told to.  Like what our orders were and I had, I knew I should have gone in to back them up. He told me it was fine. He said it would be fine but I, I knew it wouldn’t be. But I did what I was told I followed my orders.”

[Jordan]:  “She puts an arm on your shoulder and says-”

[Raiann]:  “I understand how difficult this is. I’m not forcing you to give any more than you want.”

[Jordan]:  “She looks down at your hammer and through a sort of intuition can almost kind of just know and she says-”

[Raiann]:  “If you ever want to speak on this, I understand.  But sometimes, people in our position, people who hold the lives of others in our hands need to be able to make those difficult choices. I sympathize with your plight in ways that I don’t think many others could.  And especially given the current circumstances we face, it is entirely possible situations like that may arise again.  As I said, me asking you not to be prepared to give yourself for your comrades but those whose lives you hold in your hands would be nothing short of hypocritical of me.  Not a day goes by I don’t wish I could give myself for any one of my soldiers. But I know I can’t.  So instead, I devoted myself to ensuring that everyone comes home safe.  And I mean everyone.”

[Jordan]:  “And she looks you deep in the eyes as she says that.”

[Raiann]:  “I can’t tell you as one leader to another not to be prepared to do what you did. But as your leader, I will say that your safety as much as anyone else’s is my top priority. And as such, I will see to it next time you run into any threats, draconic or otherwise, you will be able to protect your allies and yourself.  You owe it to the people who care about you to return home. I assure you, honor means nothing to those who grieve.”

[Drew]:  “Arlo looks back at Raiann and he kind of like actually kind of absentmindedly like grabs her by the hand and says-”

[Arlo]: “I can promise that I’ll try my best to keep myself safe as well as my team. But if I’m being upfront with you. I can’t promise you that I’ll follow orders, or I’ll follow instructions if I feel like I need to go a different way to keep people close to me safe.”

[Jordan]: “Her eyes narrow, not condescendingly, but almost as if it’s a painful acceptance of the truth she always knew. And she says-”

[Raiann]:  “I realize.  In which case, I need to ensure that you have the best possible chances of survival.”

[Jordan]:  “And she lets go, and walks back towards the wall where her weapons are and grabs her hammer and says-”

[Raiann]:  “To that end-”

[Arlo]:  “Raiann, stop. It’s hammer time.”

[[Christina groans]]

[Drew]:  “I have to, I’m almost required to at this point by law.”

[Raiann]:  “I almost can’t believe I’m saying this, but yes, yes it is.  It’s time I show you how to use this properly. Raise your shield.”

[Drew]:  “Arlo raises his shield up.”

[Raiann]:  “Now, whatever you do, don’t stagger, don’t move-”

[Jordan]:  “And she readies herself.”

[Raiann]:  “-and do not yield.”

[Jordan]:  “And she barrels towards you and brings her hammer down hard on your shield.  And you can see in the brief instant just before she makes contact it’s not raw strength that she’s using, but rather she’s moving her body in a way to draw out the most from the hammer that she can.  And you also see a faint glow in her eyes. And you’re familiar with that glow because that is what it looks like when she channels her ki.  And as she does you are sent flying back and land square on your ass.”

[Drew]:  “Arlo like stumbles and falls over, like he tries to pop back real quick but like stumbles a little bit more, and then rights himself and is like-”

[Arlo]:  “Alright, alright, mulligan, try it again, mulligan.  I got it this time, I won’t move.”

[Raiann]:  “No need to play tough Arlo, after all, I plan to teach you to do the same.  Now, let’s begin.”

[Jordan]:  “And you actually learn a couple of things from Raiann.  Not just the hammer trick but she also teaches you how to be more perceptive of the battlefield around you and how to be able to make decisive calls at a moment’s notice.  I will go into the hammer thing a little bit later but for right now I’m just kind of focusing in on everyone’s extra thing that you did not know I was going to give you. And yours is called battlefield awareness.   As a bonus action, you can take a dodge action.  When you do this on your next turn you make an insight check on a single creature with the DC being their challenge rating. If you succeed you can learn any of the following bits of information on that creature: their current and maximum HP, their AC, their highest spell slots if any, their highest ability score, and spell casting modifier if any. Any damage vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities or any condition immunities if any.”

[Drew]:  “That’s pretty fucking sweet.”

[Christina]:  “That’s amazing.”

[Jordan]:  “Yup!  I wanted to give you all some extra stuff to help y’all out on the battlefield.”

[[Transition]]

[Jordan]:  “So you have all had these little extra things and at this point it’s just an extra, it’s just the closing of a night.  Winterra, you go back into the room and no one else’s there presently.  But, you see a note on your bed.”

[Christina]:  “Oh?”

[Jordan]:  “Do you go and read it?”

[Christina]:  “Sure.”

[Jordan]:  “It says-” 

‘Meet me in the archives tonight. Alone.’

[Christina]:  “Oh!  Is it signed by anyone?”

[Jordan]:  “Nope.”

[Christina]:  “Oookay.”

[Drew]:  “It’s Bookworm!  Winterra and Bookworm are gonna become a thing!”

[Caitie]:  “Ship it!  Everybody ship it!  

[Christina]:  Nervously laughs  “Oh my goodness okay. What does the handwriting look like?”

[Jordan]:  “It’s very elegant penmanship, very flowery.”

[Christina]:  “Okay”

[Drew]:  “What is that Aelar?”

[[Christina and Drew chuckle]]

[Drew]:  “What, he’s a fancy fancy man.”

[Jordan]:  Joking  “Winterra I’ve always loved you. You’re broken through the layer of my homosexuality and now I see the truth.”

[Christina]:  Continuing the joke  “I was  bisexual all along!  No, haha.”

[Jordan]:  Chuckles  “No.”  Normally  “Alright. So do you act upon this letter?”

[Christina]:  “Sure!  Let’s see where this goes, I’m intrigued.”

[Jordan]:  “Alright, do you go alone?”

[Christina]:  “I mean it says to come alone so yeah, I guess so!”

[Jordan]:  “Just want to see how much you’re honoring it!  So it’s late at night. The others are you guys have all retired to the room at this point. Arlo and Saithe have gone to sleep. Winterra, you managed to sneak your way out and make your way down to the archives.  And as you’re looking around you see a candle light up and as you look over towards it you do in fact see Bookworm.  She motions for you to come closer to her.”

[Christina]:  “Okay, I walk over.”

[Jordan]:  “Once you get within a certain distance you feel a breeze blow past you. And as it brushes past your ear you hear something.  A voice you haven’t heard in a very very long time. Words you’ve only ever heard spoken from your mother. This, what you hear is druidic. And the words you here are-”

[Bookworm]:  “Hi”

[[Christina laughs]]

[Jordan]:  “And that is where we shall pause our tale for now!”

[Drew singing]:  “I don’t see nothing wrong~”

[[Ending theme begins playing]]. 

[Jordan]:  “Hey guys, thank you all so much for listening. Be sure to listen to the end for a little blooper that didn’t make it into the episode proper.  We’re adding those to the end of each episode as a little something for those of you who are willing to listen until the very end. But before that, we have some plugs and promotions!  For anyone in the South Charlotte area, check out ‘Just Cheesecakes by Tina Rose’ on Facebook.  They’re a local bakery who specializes in, you guessed it, cheesecakes!  They do custom orders and delivery so it’s a quick and easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.  We are also partnered with ‘Black Feather Graphics,’ they’ve helped us with the show before, designing our logo and official art used on our social media.  They’ve recently started to specialize in apparel so check them out at blackfeatherapparel.com.  Finally, our own Drew McClain is the fitness genius behind kinetic concepts. When he’s not reciting the holy scriptures of Bahamut, Drew is a personal trainer who customizes your workout to your own needs. He’s helped me get in fighting shape and is also helping my brother to prepare for a marathon.  To get yourself in shape just find kinetic concepts on instagram.  If you want to support the show, follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Agents of DAMNED and Twitter @AgentsofD.   We also have a patreon at Agents of DAMNED where we post episodes a week before their standard release, alongside our aftershow Peek Behind the Screen where we talk about what happened in the episode and what we think will happen next. Until next time, bye!!”

[[Ending theme ends followed by TV static]]

[Caitie]:  “Ya bitch wants a tattoo!”

[Jordan]:  “Who else wants a tattoo?”

[Drew]:  “I want to wait until we get paid for this mission. ‘Cause I want one of the really cool ones.”

[Caitie]:  “Oh that’s fair.”

[Jordan]:  “Alright, we can hold off on that one, she hadn’t talked to Nnelg yet but this weird sort of like personal inside roll I’ve given myself says pretty good odds he’ll probably be hired.”

[Drew]:  “Nice!”

[Jordan]:  “Just a weird thought I have, who knows.  Surprise twist, he’s not!!”

[[Christina laughs]]

[Drew]:  “We get back and she’s like- Yeah that guy was awful.”

[Jordan as false Raiann]:  “Why did you think I would hire him, what is wrong with you idiots?  Honestly have some judge of character christ.”

[Drew]:  “I invited him in and he knocked all the stuff off my desk and was like Nnelg bitch and he back flipped out of the entire way out of the room. It was awful.”

[Jordan as false Raiann]:  “And he wasn’t wearing any pants. So the whole thing was anyway.”

[Drew]:  Laughs  “Just fucking backflips no pants.”

[Jordan]:  “So is there anything non tat related you guys would like to do?”

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