Deep at the bottom of the Zonot, the heroes are confronted with an enemy like nothing they’ve ever seen before. As they battle for their lives, past decisions come back to haunt the team.
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Produced by Play+1 and Charging Moose Media
Based on the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering by Wizards of the Coast
Story by Brian David Judkins
Sound Capture and original Sound Effects by Will Melones
Theme Music by Alexander Nakarada of SerpentSound Studios
Edited and Mixed by Ned Donovan
Brian Judkins 0:02
Last time on Encounter Party: through trial and terror, our players have made it to Zonot 4 with the unconscious body of Elasia. There, they discovered their lost Izzet companion otherwise oblivious to the tragedy on the train. Things went from bad to worse as the biomancer Vizarra revealed a startling truth: our players are unknowingly agents of the House Dimir, guild of shadows. With a contaminant on the loose, our players now face the wrath of biomancer Vizarra and the Simic might of Zonot 4, this week on Encounter Party!
Alarm bells are ringing, players, as you begin to connect the pieces that whatever is going on here has something to do with the body of Elasia. Bioluminescent warning lights are flashing everywhere and the shouts of civic guild members are blending into the security alarms that are rippling throughout the zonot. Blocking your exit is master biomancer Vizarra, a mer-woman of science who is currently broken under the fact that for once, she has zero knowledge, and she stares at you with a crippling, flustered, exasperation and says, "What have you done? What have you brought here?"
"I told you she was a weapon! See? Now we know!"
"I don't think we know much of anything since she didn't really fully explain what she was just talking about."
"The entire base of the zonot is under assault by something. It is on lockdown. I cannot get any communication from my scientists that are down there. What in heaven's name did you bring here?"
Was it the woman that did this? Or is the attack from outside?
"Can you fight?"
"Then come with me now."
She marches you kind of through this facility and you realize that those sentries that were outside your door a moment ago are not there. There seems to be a complete lack of personnel everywhere.
Ned Donovan 2:19
Is there any way that--
Ned Donovan 2:20
Let's say, hypothetically, we'd had a, a premonition that maybe Lavinia was not who we thought back in the day, could we have rolled to catch that? And if so, can I do that now?
Ned Donovan 2:33
I don't trust that this is the real person at this point.
That who is, who is who?
Ned Donovan 2:37
That this master?
Ned Donovan 2:39
Is actually Vizarra.
Oh, yeah, dude, Insight, go.
Ned Donovan 2:42
Oh my gosh.
Ned Donovan 2:45
That is a 14.
As far as you can tell, it is who she is.
Ned Donovan 2:48
And she forces you over to this large tomb structure that houses, like, containment pods. And they all look like if a seashell was blowing a bubble. And she's clearly panicking. "I've lost all communication to the lower levels. Something has happened with that Elasia woman and everyone I've sent down to investigate hasn't reported back. What you are hearing is a bio-contamination alert. This entire zonot is on lockdown for the protection of Ravnica, nothing in, nothing out. I have no one left. If you do not go down there and sort this out, this zonot will be our tomb."
Ned Donovan 3:29
Can we communicate back up once we're down there? Do you have any kind of... two-way radio?
She says, she says, "Yes, there are nodes when you get down there. There are nodules that you can communicate into the wall, you will be able to hear them because they're basically giant eardrums."
"You must get down there and stabilize the situation. I have no idea what's happening. But we must contain it. Purge the damn thing if you have to. If we cannot break the lock down, then we are all going to die."
Ned Donovan 3:59
Is there anything down there we have to be worried about and is there anyone we have to make sure we protect?
Ned Donovan 4:04
Ned Donovan 4:05
Which answer was that? To which question?
Both. So she kind of leads you guys into this sort of like tube that can only be kind of described as sort of like the inside of a shell. You are shoved into this capsule. And before you can offer any more protest, it closes around you. And you hear this sort of gross [slurp] as you plunge down into the darkness. And you descend for a solid 20 seconds of creepy silence as your capsule plunges down into the bottom of the zonot to wherever Vizarra had sent you to go. And as you reach that floor, there's no welcome sound. There's no welcome commotion. The capsule just opens into this freaky quiet blackness. Although if you have darkvision, you're fine.
Ned Donovan 5:00
I do not.
This is one of those moments where Andrew is just like, 'I have everything needed to survive here.'
Ned Donovan 5:07
I have nothing.
I cast Light on my shield.
And I cast Dancing Lights.
Yes, and the, and the undercity elf goes, 'Agh. Ow.'
You exit now, you have just cast Light on your shield, which would exact, how much feet does that get you?
I believe it's 20 feet. But let me check, oh, 20 foot, bright light for 20 feet and then dim light for another 20 feet.
Okay, so as part of the rules of light, there are certain obstructions to it. And that is a fantastic spell that is going to give you guys vision. But as you can see from the map, this place is not only cavernous, but at the same time it's very isolating.
Ned Donovan 5:45
You pop in and out into a room that is not very much larger than the five of you kind of put together, there seems to be a great number of safety protocols put in place with a certain number of barriers, you do see a particular portal that leads out into the water, you are now deep enough underwater that the light isn't going to help you. And there is sort of a different color film over this window, than, than this sort of orifice that you may have seen in other places, either because you're darker down in the water or there is some sort of security filament over the side of it. But as of right now you are in a very claustrophobic, very dark, very quiet part of the deep. The only salvation you have at this moment is Lennox's shield.
I also cast Dancing Lights, just so we have a few more.
Ned Donovan 6:38
Can those go at range?
Ned Donovan 6:40
Yes, those can be moved around. You get four?
I do get four.
Ned Donovan 6:43
I really appreciate the two of you right now.
I can also turn it into a humanoid shape.
Ned Donovan 6:48
That's horrifying. Awesome.
What is the duration of that spell?
Up to a minute, but it's a cantrip, so...
So she can continually cast it.
Ned Donovan 6:58
I feel like Lennox should be taking the lead so that no one's blocking said light.
So I walk up to the entrance of this room or the exit of this room. Is it a door?
I open it.
You know, the whole thing is sort of like an underground mushroom in shape. And everything sort of bulges out into the water for structural purposes because you want that sort of concave dome to protect against the water pressure. You open the door, it's even quieter on the other side. But you are beginning to hear the faint drips of water, perhaps a bit of a faucet of water. There is just sort of the unsettling presence of water everywhere. I walk into the room. As you walk into the room, can I please have a Perception check?
Ned Donovan 7:46
I was gonna say, we gonna need some Perception on this one.
[dice roll, helpless laughter]
Ned Donovan 7:51
Oof. I got a passive that could be helpful someday.
It's not so good.
'I rolled a six.'
Well I, it's six with my, six, the number is six.
You really can't see anything. But you can feel that there might be a drop off in front of you.
With my light, I can't see anything?
The fact that you rolled a six is actually more descriptive than you think. Because your light sort of extends out. And you don't see a wall in front of you. Your light just sort of extends out to its range. And then just finishes...
In just like a void.
In the dark.
It could very well be just a straight-up void in front of you, as far as you can see.
But, beneath me? There's floor?
Directly under your feet, yes, there is floor.
Ned Donovan 8:40
There's no drop-off.
But I would say about 20 feet in front of you, it looks like that floor ends and in front of you there is no wall where that floor ends.
Got it got it.
Yeah, as you, as you walk a little bit more and your light sort of adjusts with the frame of reference here, where are we going, you can now see that sort of the edge of where you are there is a railing. And the lip that peers down some distance and that there is sort of a, you're on a bit of an overlook. What is down there, I don't know that you can tell. But there is some sort of cavernous place within the structure you are in that extends out and down from you.
"Could you send those lights of yours down there so we can see what's going on?"
"Absolutely. Their name is Frank."
Ned Donovan 9:25
All four of them?
Ned Donovan 9:28
They are collectively Frank?
As a collective, they are Frank.
Ned Donovan 9:30
Frank one through four, or is each one also equivocally Frank?
They, they are Frank.
Ned Donovan 9:36
Is there a Frank Prime out of the four?
I don't play favorites.
I love it. So could everybody please at least sort of form of marching order or position yourselves as to where you would be in the room?
So where, is this where this drop off is?
So I guess I was standing right here.
I'm kind of okay with holding up the back and kind of making sure there's nothing coming behind us.
You also can... Well, that is one of the things that you observe about where you are, is that the only way into the room you have just come from are those tubes, those tubes that are now very obviously inaccessible because of a lack of power here, this second room that you've gone into, there is no way out of that room either. The only way, the only place that this room kind of ends is an overlook into this area. As Zenia kind of sends Frank out into the area, you can see that about 15 feet below you is what looks to be like a tank, almost like a it's a pool of water. And there is in fact a ladder that goes down. But there, as far as you can see, you're kind of stuck in an area with elevators you can't return from and this sort of overlook into this sort of pool area.
Ned Donovan 10:58
Can we tell how deep it looks?
How deep the pool looks? You cannot tell that. But it is only, the pool is only a section of that descent. There is clearly some sort of, there's medical equipment down there. There's observation areas, the pool.
I begin to climb down the ladder.
Okay, you climb down the ladder.
Ned Donovan 11:16
I'ma take out my crossbow, just in case something happens
You're going to take out your crossbow.
Ned Donovan 11:19
While you're doing the thing.
What is everybody else doing?
Zenia follows Lennox.
Okay, could you please position yourself where you are, you guys could go position yourself down on the map.
Ned Donovan 11:28
Crossbowing at the top.
As you guys touch down, you can hear your feet and feel your feet touch water. There is sort of an ankle-deep pool of water over the top of this pool. And you can hear sort of the cavernous drips of water but you also hear streams of water that make you kind of nervous about what is possibly pressuring water into this area. And as you pause to try and hunt with your ears as to what sort of aqua-danger you might be, you hear a sound [quiet hissing]
You can freeze and then at a slightly different part of the room you just hear [quiet hissing]
I point my light in the direction of the sound.
I send Frank in the direction of the other sound.
Lorzatch begins climbing down.
Ned Donovan 12:29
What's, what's the distance probably from the top of the ladder to the bottom of the ladder?
Ned Donovan 12:32
And you guys standing up will not have heard this. It is, it is only audible to the people who are down there. Could you please give me a little bit of a clear description of what you're doing with your shield?
My shield is out in front of me and I swing it around.
Directly into the direction of where I heard this ominous sound.
I need you to make a Wisdom saving throw please.
So as you kind of turn your shield around, right when you can kind of hit your shield around at the apex, you just see a massive yellow amphibian eye that just seems to kind of come out of nowhere and it blinks at you and tries to hit you with some sort of paralyzing stare but perhaps your shield or perhaps the light is just too much for it to get focused. And it immediately sort of like hides away and disappears--
Ned Donovan 13:23
Can we see this?
With some sort of prismatic thing. No, but everybody can please roll Initiative. Let's roll Initiative!
Ned Donovan 13:31
I was like, how do I have Armor Class 20?
You guys are now being pursued by something, you are welcome to act, audibly, before, if anybody wants to do anything.
I, yeah, I'll get down here and I walk up to that creature that tried to do something nasty to me and I smack it with my mace.
You can on your turn. Lorzatch, you're up first.
All right. Lorzatch, Lorzatch has climbed down the ladder. Is there anything visible?
So I would say climbing down the ladder would have to be your action to get down there because the events that happened when they came down at the bottom were quickly with them making an Investigation check, so I would say you wouldn't have been on this encounter, but climbing is half speed so you could easily make it down the ladder in, in one movement.
You climb down, you're at the bottom. That's just your movement, so you can still...
As of right now you cannot see it.
Lorzatch will, as an action, awaken spores.
Fikarra, it is your turn.
I'm going to jump down out of the way.
Ned Donovan 14:30
We'll have to look up the falling damage rules.
You can just climb down for free. Look, I appreciate your desire to try and do something cool but your rules are going to not make that cool.
Ned Donovan 14:40
Superhero entrance! Superhero entrance!
Like, like, like mister, like Mr. I'm-Going-to-Leap-this-Table-to-Stab-this-Dude.
Ned Donovan 14:44
No, you missed him.
Ned Donovan 14:49
Yeah, but I leaped the table.
You did leap the table.
Okay, I'll just go down.
So that's just my full turn then, or?
Your full movement.
Would be climbing down.
Oh, okay, movement then. Alright. So I'll just be like, 'Hey guys, what's up?'
Something is down there.
You heard your companion say something, you heard some sort of splashing around.
Yeah, I can't Vicious Mockery him if I can't see it, right?
No, I think you can. I think you can throw... I think you can throw something at them, but they have to have a certain Intelligence level to understand the mockery, I think.
If you're down here, can they now see it because I've shone, shined my light on it?
None of you can see it.
Oh, I thought--
Ned Donovan 15:29
Oh it disappeared.
Thank you. I'm sorry. I didn't understand.
Yes, just, you just saw an eye.
And Frank didn't illuminate anything?
Frank, you, I would say Frank is equally dispersed around the room. You have your shield. At the moment it is not visible.
Ned Donovan 15:45
And the room is--
And the room is fully illuminated.
Ned Donovan 15:48
We can see everything in the room.
Yes, and you can, you can still hear the [quiet hissing] But it's difficult to place at the moment.
You know what, I'll do Vicious Mockery and like, 'Where are you, you little monsters, just climbing around and being a big cowardy monster thing. We're really awesome. And we're going to beat you up and you should probably just show yourself right now.'
Ned Donovan 16:11
From the top of the ladder. "Yeah!"
What is the saving throw on this?
The saving throw on that is CON 13.
It's not coming back from that.
You hear some puttering around.
Make me a Perception check please.
Oh, no. Oh, okay. It's a 10.
You, you can see some pattering. It's about 20 feet away from you.
"Guys. Guys. Guys, guys. 20 feet right ahead of me. 12 o'clock. It's getting around. It's real shook up. Oh, man. It's real shook up."
Do I, do we see the water being disturbed?
You're about to see the water be disturbed as you kind of hear and see a little splash splash and then off to everyone's right, almost to the wall, you see this big eyeball about twice the size of a basketball just sort of come out of the ether and just flash yellow. Would everybody please make a Wisdom saving throw?
Ned Donovan 17:13
Including me if I'm up above?
If you're up above, no.
Ned Donovan 17:16
Ooh, that's not good for good old Lennox.
If I have advantage, can I roll twice and take the...
Yes, great. That's what I thought. Fantastic.
Great. Did anybody not hit a 12?
Yeah, I rolled a one.
I have a zero.
Okay, this paralyzing stare hits you full on in the face. You are now stunned. You can't move, you can only speak falteringly. You will fail any Strength or Dexterity saving throws and attacks against you have advantage.
Will the monster in question take a Constitution saving throw?
The monster in question will make a Constitution saving throw. A 7.
The monster takes 4 necrotic damage.
Oh-ho, the spores. With that, how, describe to me in some detail how this spore is going to affect that creature so that we can see whether or not you see it. I would say that you, Lorzatch, alone can at least immediately sense it and if you probably have spores inside of it, now you're going to be able to track it. The question is whether or not that ability communicates anything to anyone else.
The spores seek to find purchase inside the body and start propagating and taking root in the flesh and extending cilia and filaments inside to where things start getting interesting and nourishing.
From inside the creature?
Okay, at the moment you can track it, but whatever you are doing internally to it does not seem to affect the outside.
Being stunned, Lorzatch says nothing.
Ned Donovan 18:57
That's so upsetting.
Lennox, you are also stunned.
Is it my turn?
I'm going to try to be un-stunned.
I rolled not enough.
What is the target for Wisdom saving throw?
I rolled a 9.
So, Zenia, you have a general idea of where an eyeball just was. Two of your companions seem dumbstruck by whatever just happened. And you can kind of see them both out of the cover their eyes, they're sort of [disoriented moaning] they've got the, like the chicks swirling around their head. You are free to make an action please.
Fantastic, um, I cast Chill Touch and--
If you are going to make an attack roll, you have it at disadvantage.
Oh my god. Okay.
Chill Touch does not, I keep, there's like so many things with touch, but you don't actually have to touch.
No, this is 120 feet.
Please go, but with disadvantage,
Very misleading. I don't know why they would call it that.
Nice. For three points of necrotic damage.
You hear a squeal like [squeal] and you can see footprints pitter-pattering around.
Can I ask, since I do have experience underwater, like is this at all familiar to me? Is this creature anything I could potentially recognize by the eyeball?
Oh no, you're in the middle of a Simic compound. Whatever this is, it doesn't even have a name. But you do very clearly see the pitter-patter and the running feet of whatever this is. There are four feet and while it does still have some sort of invisibility cloaking thing going on to it, you can see enough of it that you can make an attack roll, you're just at a disadvantage as of right now when you make attack rolls.
Whose turn is it? Uh, Brevin, you're up.
Ned Donovan 20:39
So I am immediately launching a crossbow bolt right at wherever I last saw the pitter-patter.
Ned Donovan 20:46
It's not wonderful. 13.
A 13 will not hit.
Ned Donovan 20:51
Okay, I'm not coming down there.
Okay, Lorzatch, you're up.
Lorzatch will roll to stop being stunned. And Lorzatch rolls a 16.
You are no longer stunned.
Is that the--
You are also immune to being stunned for the next 24 hours. That's a common way those things operate, Eddie, for being frustrated, but stunned and unable to say anything.
Is that the full action or can you take an action after rolling for this?
At the end of your turn, it, you can usually make those throws at the end of your turn.
Ned Donovan 21:25
So you took a turn of stun and now you're un-stunned.
Got it. Great. Then that is the turn.
Great. Fikarra, you are back up.
Let's try to make a Wisdom--
Ned Donovan 21:33
Believe in you, girl.
Are you also stunned?
Yeah, I rolled a 0.
Oh. You're still exhausted.
No, we had a rest.
You had a long rest in the train.
So we're good.
Oh, so you just rolled poorly.
Ned Donovan 21:45
I rolled a 0.
Ned Donovan 21:47
She's got a negative modifier.
Ned Donovan 21:49
It's not ideal.
No, not the best.
Ned Donovan 21:52
How we living?
You need to roll a 12. It is the creature's turn.
It's feeling very insulted though.
Eddie, you're just looking stunned so you can, in your stun-state, you can just see the splash splash splash splash as the thing comes reaching for you-- son of a bitch.
Will it please--
It will make a Constitution saving throw.
Ranged creatures from now on, ladies and gentlemen. It rolled a 16.
Okay. And eventually I think the monsters are just going to be tough enough that they're like 'Constitution?'
Lennox, although you can't see it, you can feel this large like massive dog-size thing coming at you through the dark and it is going to attack you even though you can't see it. The first roll is a 1 so that's not going to do anything but the second one is a 16.
I mean, I, my Armor Class is usually 18. I don't know what it is now, being stunned.
It does not, unless the shield is disarming, there is no indication that a status effect removes the shield from you unless it is particular things. Because even if say you were to fall prone there's nothing that says you don't fall down with your shield over the top of you. If you are disarmed, no, so your Armor Class is...
18. So you can, you can feel what is clearly a claw and then some sort of mouth that finds purchase but your armor is a bit too tough for it at this particular state. It is now your turn to go, Lennox.
Yes! I am no longer stunned. It's 12, right?
We're at 14.
Great. You are no longer stunned. Zenia.
Okay, um, I'd like to, for my bonus action, I'd like to merge Frank into a humanoid figure.
And have him kind of be around where the pattering is.
Yes. So he is only about 12 to 15 feet in front of you.
And he is, he is helping sort of illuminate even more clearly where this pattering is, it's just difficult to discern the actual shape of this thing which still keeps you at a disadvantage unfortunately.
I'd like to, I'd like to cast kill, Chill Touch again.
I thought you just said 'Kill Touch.'
Ned Donovan 24:06
And I was like, that seems really unfair at Level 2.
I'd like to cast Kill Touch. Chill Touch. Oh god damn it. 9.
A 9 will not hit.
Brevin, you're up.
Ned Donovan 24:19
So I don't like invisible monsters. They don't make sense to me. So I'm going to take with the Ready Action and just have the bow ready to fire the moment either of those eyes opens.
Okay, top of the order. Lorzatch.
It is however far away it needs to be to not need to make a Constitution saving throw the beginning of its turn, which is, which is 15 feet I'm assuming it needs to be. If it's, if it's within 10.
Ned Donovan 24:42
It's within 10, yeah.
Yeah. So it's intelligent enough to kind of keep its distance at least for the moment as it seems to be learning.
Lorzatch closes distance.
Son of a bitch.
To what he, to what he thinks might be the location of this semi-visible creature.
And swings with both a scimitar and a dagger.
Yes. Not likely.
And 14 to hit.
That's a whiff.
Barely. Yeah, so you confidently strut out into the ankle-deep water, pretty certain you knew where this thing was, and with a quick swipe, swipe, you just hear 'patter-patter-patter.'
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I would like to roll see if I'm un-stunned.
No. You need new dice. Here.
Ned Donovan 26:08
I have two more sets if we need to swap out.
I believe it is within your space. So once again my Dungeon Master creation will make a Constitution saving throw. It makes a 22.
That was a pretty high roll. Lorzatch, it will attack you directly.
Ned Donovan 26:27
Does this attack cause it to become visible in any way?
Ned Donovan 26:31
But I don't think it will hit you. I have a 14 and a 6.
Ned Donovan 26:38
They do not hit.
Okay. Continuing on. Eddie.
Lennox joins the fray and swings his mace.
Yes. At a disadvantage please. It is invisible.
At a disadvantage.
Yeah, I believe that is a no-go.
It is a no-go. You're up, Zenia.
I am not leaving Chill Touch. This is my jam today. Okay. So it would be 16.
Yes, you hit.
One point of necrotic damage.
One point of necrotic damage is enough. What you see is this large aquatic dog-sized creature start blinking in and out of visibility and it has this massive yellow eyeball on the front of it darting all around trying to find some way to escape this situation. But of course there's nowhere for it to go and whatever invisibility, cloaking-type skin that it has, that's beginning to fail as it dies as, again, it just starts blinking here and there. It has these large pink frills on the side of the eyeball that are flittering in panic in and out, in and out, as the whole thing staggers around and splashes before sort of pathetically crumpling down into the pool of water below it, and there it lies, seemingly dead-- until it begins to boil. As the underneath the skin starts sputtering and spewing this black ooze and the whole creature sort of blossoms into this sickening tar flower and it goes completely John Carpenter: long crab crustacean legs start pouring out of this thing and grabbing purchase onto the ground. And as it seemingly turns itself inside out, you can see two arms and a torso and a head in this grotesque crab centaur-like creature as it clearly attempts to morph into what ever just killed it, into this grotesque mimicry of you guys as humanoids. Ned, would you now please make your readied attack roll.
Ned Donovan 28:50
Well, well there you go.
C'mon now. Yeah.
Please do some damage.
Ned Donovan 28:58
You double damage, right?
You get an extra damage die.
Ned Donovan 29:02
Right, okay. 8.
It is an eight in damage. Great.
Ned Donovan 29:08
Could've been better. I rolled d8s.
You, you attacked it with your crossbow?
Ned Donovan 29:12
As you shoot it, you hear as, as the bolt punctures it in the chesticle area.
You very audibly in this sort of aqua- echo chamber hear a metallic 'ting' as if it punctured flesh but hit something metal.
Ned Donovan 29:34
Dope. And by 'dope' I mean 'terrible.' I'm launching crossbow after crossbow, I'm not coming down there. Screw you guys.
Ned Donovan 29:41
That is a 19.
19 does damage.
Ned Donovan 29:43
Okay it does 2 points of damage which is not that cool, but I'm gonna take Action Surge and fire again.
Ned Donovan 29:53
Natural one, so could have gone better.
A bit... A bit over-zealous.
I like how you phrased that though.
Top of the order. Lorzatch.
Lorzatch swings with a scimitar and a dagger.
I love Lorzatch.
Ned Donovan 30:08
I do too.
Does an 11 hit?
How about an 18?
An 18 does hit.
Great. Great. 10 damage.
Including 5 poison damage.
An additional five? So 15 total?
Or five of that damage is poison?
No, no, no.
Five of that damage.
Five of that damage.
You're making some serious attacks. This thing is taller than you and sort of aggravatingly just sort of like not even aware that it's being struck. It just seems mad. Fikarra, you are up.
Am I still stunned? Okay.
I'ma be not stunned. It's gonna happen.
You have teammates that can help you.
I rolled a 3.
You are still stunned.
But we can assist her?
There are people who have abilities and Inspiration that can be shared.
Ned Donovan 30:58
Oh wait, the Inspiration, right. Yeah, I'd like to be un-stunned, because that would be cool.
I'm gonna go crawl into a little... somewhere.
I rolled a 7.
Oh no. It's far too frightening for the Boros minotaur, who's underwater and just, 'oh god what's going on? I can't handle, I don't want my fur to get wet!'
So now it is going to swing at Lennox and Lorzatch. It sort of rises almost another half its own body in height and comes down really, really hard, trying to bite Lennox while at the same time trying to swipe at Lorzatch. So Lennox-- yes, yes, it began its turn...
Within your spores. It rolled a 10.
And it takes 7 necrotic damage.
7 necrotic damage. I will attempt to resume my turn. The bite attack against Lennox is an 18.
And the claw attack, Lorzatch, does a 12 hit?
It does not.
Eddie. You get a big old chunk bitten out of you.
And you take 10 piercing damage.
Lennox, you are up, my friend.
Lennox casts, casts Shield of Faith on himself.
Which is a bonus action. And then he swings his mace.
So I rolled a 16.
A 16 will hit.
Please roll damage.
7 points of damage.
7 points of damage. Great deal of damage. You notice that, as you whack into it, though, that there is something coating its skin and it splashes back.
Of course it does.
And you take 1 point of acid damage. Why wouldn't it?
I'm hurting. If it gets another one of those good bites on me, I'm down.
Zenia, you are up.
Okay, I am going to cast Chaos Bolt.
This is my favorite part.
A 14 will not hit.
Ned Donovan 33:20
I saw the one on there...
I know, Ned's reaction...
Ned Donovan 33:21
And then the other number...
I love that both of you were there. Yes.
But you did cast Chaos Bolt, regardless, I will make you roll a d20.
You are still in control of your powers.
Brevin, you're up.
Ned Donovan 33:39
We just crossbow-ing for days, man.
Ned Donovan 33:41
It's not great. We can move on. It's an 8?
Brevin, get down here.
Ned Donovan 33:45
You're our Fighter!
Ned Donovan 33:47
You have acid!
An 8 will not hit. Lorzatch, back, top of the order.
You can say this stuff out loud.
Ned Donovan 33:57
You can talk.
Fantastic. I know he's taking damage, but I also know that like, okay, so there's metal, etc. Like, do we know...
Think he probably has some sort of damage reduction.
It seems like. Maybe.
Ned Donovan 34:06
We know nothing.
So we don't know what didn't, what actually is the most effective.
We don't. We don't know. Next I'm going to try some radiant damage.
There is an artifact inside of this thing.
That is sort of creating these spontaneous adaptations. So we can chip away at its forms. We don't know that this is going to disable whatever is inside-- again, baseless conjecture.
Ned Donovan 34:34
Purely from knowing Brian, does that conjecture come out.
I hear something bouncing off of metal... We'll keep an eye out, folks.
Inside of it. Inside of it.
Inside of the tissue.
Lorzatch is going to strike with his scimitar. And roll a 22 to hit.
Yes, that absolutely hits. Please roll damage.
Oh, max damage.
Great. 16 damage.
So, it is...
Ned Donovan 35:06
The scimitar gets 2d6?
No, the poison damage.
The poison damage.
From his awakened spores.
Ned Donovan 35:11
Oh, I was like, 'what the hell?'
That's dope, dude.
So you are going to take 1 splash-back damage. 1 acid damage splash-back.
Great. As a bonus action...
This die is being retired.
As a bonus action.
Lorzatch is going to cast Healing Word on Lennox.
And Lennox is going to heal 6 hit points.
So your blades cut through in this deep arcing strike. And as you make your way through the second time you hear that distinct metal-on-metal 'clink' as your blade connects with something deep inside this creature and you can feel it dislodge and as soon as it does, your strike finishes and the whole being folds back and sort of buckles down, collapsing onto the ground in this pool of black tar and through this goo you can see laying in the middle of this now-deceased organism is a small, shiny metal orb.
Also, as you now get a chance to finally look at it, those of you who were at the bar in the Leg End, way back in Episode 1 who got a look at the face of the man who wandered in, the same telltale black vein infection is running through this thing.
Cool. I'm not stunned anymore, right?
You are no longer stunned.
At least a minute will pass. It's been less than that. It's like 30 seconds.
So I believe that, based on what's in a poisoner's kit, that Lorzatch has forceps to grab this thing and remove it. From the corpse.
Either you do or the, or Zenia does. The scientist.
Either of you have the necessary materials to.
He does not want to touch this with his bare hands.
Okay. Would anybody like to move or change their position while they are in there?
Ned Donovan 37:10
Yeah, I'll come down now.
It's so nice to, just, I just want to be not stunned and moved around.
If we can make sure that Brevin gets to where he intends to be.
And Lorzatch will contain this.
After he takes the thing out.
I send a blast of... I summon the power of sacred flame just to make sure that it's dead.
Ned Donovan 37:36
Just sacred-flame a corpse? I love that.
I want to make sure.
You sacred-flame the corpse?
1 point of damage.
It starts to bubble.
Lorzatch is going to contain the orb within this tin box that he keeps.
Okay. We're going to assume your box and the orb are of relative size.
Ned Donovan 38:04
You try to close it...
I will make an official ruling: yes.
I'm going to just kind of patrol the room like over here.
I will not be stunned again.
Ned Donovan 38:14
Hopefully we're keeping the initiative though, right?
We're maintaining initiative order for the moment, which means that you guys get to make decisions but in the order of initiative.
Fantastic. So after he cast sacred fire flame...
Sacred Flame of Anor.
Sacred Flame. I cast Detect Magic.
On the orb, on the sphere.
There is no magic spell or ward or enchantment on the orb that you can detect.
Okay. I'd like to... Well, I think I'll pause there.
Okay, Brevin, would you like to do anything?
Ned Donovan 38:52
So this mass of goo that you've now squashed twice begins to bubble again. It starts getting violent. And while there is nothing to produce a sound, what you see is bubbles and spurts of what is now this black ichor starts throwing itself violently around--
Ned Donovan 39:13
And black tendrils begin sort of whipping as this thing molds again, evolving into take an even more horrifying shape. You have a reaction to move.
Is there any other way out of this room other than the way we came in?
Yes, there is a another ladder mirroring the one that you entered in that's on the far side.
So I start climbing up that ladder.
As you make distance from this pool of ichor, the whole pile of tar starts to bubble more violently and dozens of tendrils of black goo start whipping wildly within the air as this whole thing tries to pull itself out of itself. And from inside this pool of goo you can see a massive claw and then another massive claw start morphing and crawling its way out as if the pool itself is almost a portal to its true form. And then comes a massive dragon-like head and yet the whole thing is still covered in this black ichor as wisps and strands of this goo flail all around like a warning sign and out of the pool in another transformation crawls this giant massive black salamander dripping in tar and it is now a huge creature barely able to fit inside of this small claustrophobic chamber. So it is a 3x3-foot space.
Easier to hit.
So it probably can't get through the space that's above the ladder.
I'm not sure. It hasn't made its way there yet.
Whose turn is it?
Who killed-- oh, you killed it. Fikarra, it's your turn.
"Don't worry, everyone, I've got this!" This is the worst idea I've ever had in my entire life. Okay. Yeah. I just rush through them and [miming mace swings] bang them both.
You're going to attack it with your maces?
You run forward with the fervor--
Of a very angry minotaur.
That is expected if the Boros Legion. Screaming, you raise your mace drumsticks high, ready to splatter-punk this sucker all over the floor.
"I'm not stunned anymore, you abomination of stuff!"
This is a big setup here.
I'm done. I'm leaving.
Yeah, it was pretty sad.
Ned Donovan 41:50
That's a four and a four?
Ned Donovan 41:52
A three and a four?
A three and a four. Yeah, you gave her a little too much credit.
So you, you, you do, you do kind of connect but it's just like hitting a pail of water it's just [splatter noise].
Sometimes my dice try to kill me.
Just battering molasses.
Well that's not, that's not what's going to try and kill you. But this will. It is going to...
Should I start rolling a new character?
Ned Donovan 42:23
Protection. Disadvantage, please.
You have it. So it kind of looks at you angrily for a moment and brings back one massive claw and tries to attack you. It has an 18 with disadvantage. Yes?
It hits you.
Ned Donovan 42:41
You take... I don't have enough dice.
Ned Donovan 42:50
Fuck that sentence.
I don't like this game anymore.
Ned Donovan 42:56
That's the worst sentence I've ever heard from a fucking Dungeon Master.
You take 26--
Ned Donovan 43:06
Ned Donovan 43:10
Who's holding that stabilization scroll?
You have a party member who's down.
Ned Donovan 43:13
Oh you're holding the scroll?
It's on her. As are the potions.
Ned Donovan 43:16
Someone grab that scroll.
What's on you?
Ned Donovan 43:18
She's-- oh we forgot to tell you, there are two health potions and a stabilization scroll in her pockets.
Lennox, it is now your turn.
I will understand if you guys just run.
You have all the healing things on you.
Steal my stuff and run.
This thing just dropped your teammate in a swipe.
Do we stand and fight?
Ned Donovan 43:39
I mean we got to get her.
Have fun with that.
You can pick her up you just move half speed and then half of that as you go up the ladder.
Yeah, and get an opportunity as I'm trying to walk away from the thing.
No, because you're not within its reach you can pull her from where you are.
Oh can I?
I do that.
You can be, so you can be 10 feet away from it and pick her up and pull her. You can interact with an adjacent space.
So I grab her.
Fling her over my shoulder and start up the ladder.
If I can do all that of my turn.
Ned Donovan 44:13
I don't think you can make it that far, can you?
That gets you to the ladder.
15 feet? You're at the base of the ladder.
I'm going to allow him to answer that question.
It will make an attack of opportunity on her body.
Ned Donovan 44:23
No, you only have one reaction a round.
Ned Donovan 44:29
It rolls a 20.
I pull back a leg.
What are your, what is your max hit point total?
18 is your max hit point total?
Okay, you're currently at zero?
Okay, I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be 100% honest with what I roll. 16.
Okay, so you what this will do is it will automatically remove one of your credit fail saves your death saving throws Okay, so you have one automatic failure okay and the rule of death is if you ever take damage that is equal to your max total at once when you're at zero if you if you're ever dropped in one attack below zero to your max total it's an instant death right? So you narrowly avoided death because I rolled two ones Yeah, so fortunate slightly on your side you have one failed a test yes throw Okay, Linux has now picture up and you can now move read half speed up the ladder so you have to be next to her so you are 15 feet from the ladders get you to make it to go to the ladder you have her and you are now to the letter A and can I cast spare the dying on her? Is it a bonus know it's a full action nevermind okay keep in mind you guys can acquire items that are on people's or someone can use the thing that she can't be stopped. She can't stop you from doing Xenia Europe.
So you what this will do is it will automatically remove one of your crit fail saves, your death saving throws.
So you have one automatic failure.
And the rule with death is if you ever take damage that is equal to your max total at once when you're at zero, if you, if you're ever dropped in one attack below zero to your max total it's an instant death.
So you narrowly avoided death because I rolled two ones.
So fortune is slightly on your side. You have one failed death throw.
Lennox has now picked her up and you can now move, but you're at half speed.
Up the ladder.
So you have to be next to her, so you are 15 feet from the ladder so you can make it to the ladder.
You have her and you are now to the ladder.
So go to the ladder.
Can I cast Spare the Dying on her?
Is it a bonus?
No, it's a full action, nevermind.
Okay. Keep in mind you guys can acquire items that are on people's persons.
Ned Donovan 45:50
Someone can use the thing that she, she's holding.
She can't stopped, she can't stop you from doing it. Zenia, you're up.
You guys have, we, just now you told me about these healing potions. But do I, does Zenia know about these potions?
You can yell.
Ned Donovan 46:05
"Someone grab the stabilization potion that's in her pocket!"
You can yell up to one sentence as long as it takes you no more than six sen--
My next turn I can stabilize her.
Every round, your actions within a round, is six seconds. So you can announce anything for free as long as it is within one sentence.
I totally understand that. I just don't think she would magically come up with the, just like randomly be like, 'oh does somebody have a potion?' right away. Do you know what I mean?
Okay, so he, Lennox is at the ladder. I believe I am too. Can I start climbing?
Great. I'm going to climb up the ladder. How many feet is it?
Fantastic. So I climb up the ladder.
You climb up the ladder. That is your movement.
Yeah. And I'd like to cast... let's start with Chill Touch.
Ned Donovan 46:51
Chill Touch is on boss this round.
Uh, well he's big so fingers crossed.
You no longer have disadvantage by the way.
A 14 will not hit though.
It is a huge creature.
Wait, oh yeah. 14. And it won't hit?
No. He's bigger than big, he's huge.
Should be easy to hit.
Brevin. You're up.
Ned Donovan 47:10
I'm not moving into range of that for an attack of opportunity. I'm going to keep at the front of the group for the sake of Protection when it moves but I'm going to fire a crossbow bolt at it.
Okay, please do.
Ned Donovan 47:21
How does an 18 do?
An 18 will hit it.
Ned Donovan 47:24
That's 7 damage.
Okay, 7 damage. Top of the order, Lorzatch.
Ned Donovan 47:28
I'm not moving until everyone else has started to.
Okay. Top of the order. You still have this massive black ichor salamander that's trying to terrorize you guys, barely able to even fit in the room that you guys are. Power to drop one of your party members with a single strike. Lorzatch, what do you do?
Lorzatch moves towards the back ladder and climbs as quickly as he can, which would put him probably...
Halfway up the ladder.
Halfway up at the end of his movement.
You are halfway up the ladder. Fikarra. Would you please make a death saving throw?
You now have...
I rolled a three.
Two fails. On a third fail, you will die.
Thank you, Brian.
Unless somebody does something to help you.
It is now the organism's turn.
Not the organism.
Ned Donovan 48:15
You are being attacked.
Ned Donovan 48:17
Yeah, I figured.
It is going to move to you.
Ned Donovan 48:20
Okay. Someone move the big massive scary thing into my face.
And it is just going to straight-up try and bite you. It is going to roll a 30.
Ned Donovan 48:32
Yeah, I mean, that'll hit. That'll hit.
I mean, not for me.
Ned Donovan 48:39
Generally speaking, uh, fuck. How we living? I'll be good. I'll be up.
I mean, you are.
Ned Donovan 48:49
We're working on it.
You take 26 piercing damage.
Ned Donovan 48:54
I am down.
In addition to 7 acid splash damage.
Ned Donovan 48:59
No, I mean I was down at the first part.
Yes, but if you...
Ned Donovan 49:03
Total, you're... okay. You're at zero.
Ned Donovan 49:07
I am at zero.
I cast Spare the Dying on Fikarra and climb up the ladder.
You no longer have to roll saving throws for death, you are stabilized.
Okay, I'm just zero.
Ned Donovan 49:22
Yes, you are, you are at zero hit points.
Zero and unconscious.
Can I ask, do you have Spare the Dying as one of your own spells or as a result of the scroll that she has on her purse?
It's a cantrip. I have it as well.
Ned Donovan 49:35
The scroll is still in play.
The scroll is still in play.
So you now make it up the ladder.
Ned Donovan 49:40
The whole way or halfway? Because he's carrying her, right?
Yes, I need a Strength check.
Ned Donovan 49:46
That's what you need.
A straight-up 20? Yeah, you manage to get her up there and I will say with enough to kind of move your speed without hindrance. So you can be at the top of that ladder. So everybody seems above the platform except for your one companion who was dropped directly in front of that monster.
Ned Donovan 50:03
'Sup y'all? How you living?
Better than you.
Ned Donovan 50:07
Okay, um, okay.
Ned Donovan 50:11
You got a stun thing?
I cast Chaos Bolt.
Ned Donovan 50:16
This would be a really bad time for Wild Magic come into play. Sorry, my thoughts are out loud.
I know but it's just so powerful.
I think it'd be a great idea.
It is quite some powerful, but this is a massive creature. Please roll.
Ned Donovan 50:28
That's a 2. Would you please roll that d20 one more time. It's a bit of a chaotic situation.
I made a choice.
You are still seemingly, unbelievably in control.
But you are not very much help to anyone right now. Brevin, would you please make a death saving throw?
Ned Donovan 50:57
Yeah for fucking sure.
You're going to nat 20 this right now and I'm going to hate you forever.
Ned Donovan 51:01
I'm rolling the fuck-or-yeah die. It's 14.
Okay, you have one save.
Ned Donovan 51:07
I have one successful save.
You would have rolled a nat 20, I would have jumped over this table.
Ned Donovan 51:12
We're sitting next to each other.
I would have still...
'I would have jumped over the table and then walked around, back to my seat...'
So I could jump over the table again. And then there would be some serious finger-wagging and scowling.
Top of the order, Lorzatch.
Ned Donovan 51:31
Hey man. Don't shake your head sadly at my death.
Lorzatch does not have a spell or the strength to extract Brevin without endangering himself and others and he is going to move towards the door that leads out of this room and see if there is anything that they might use to flush this chamber out. So, the other halfway up the ladder, and then the remainder of his movement to make it to the door which is...
About 20 feet so he'd be at the door, maybe.
He'd be at the door, able to check the door. The door can be forced open manually.
Which he does, check the door.
Give me as Strength, he does check the door. Yeah, you can still make a Strength check to see if he can force it open.
A 6 is not going to be quite enough. You might need a little help. Okay. Fikarra is unconscious.
It's a 6.
Ned Donovan 52:26
She's stable but she unconscious.
It's the creature's turn. So having struck Brevin down with a single blow, it doesn't even bother with him anymore and just crawls over his body. Now the frightening thing about this creature is even though it is huge and this chamber is far too small for it, you discover to a certain extent that it's amorphous and that it can change and shift its body to squeeze through sections it's far too large for. And it's huge, so it's very easily able to crawl up that 15-foot landing that you guys are trying to escape from, so right now it's like a dog sort of paws-up on that landing with its claws able to reach you from off the back side.
What the fuck?
Lennox goes and kicks the door open.
Give me Strength check, please. You are still carrying the unconscious Fikarra.
I'm trying to decide if I am still carrying...
Ned Donovan 53:19
Man, when the chips are down, your fucking true colors show, bitches.
Yes, he's still carrying Fikarra. And he fumbles.
And he fumbles.
Ned Donovan 53:30
Fikarra or the door?
The door, oh, I don't know, was it a Strength check for--
I don't know either, what did you roll for? If you're, if you're going to you, made a debate as to whether or not you are going to drop her.
Yeah, no, I'm not going to drop her.
You don't have to roll to see whether or not you maintain her, you can just dump her.
So that roll was to see if you could force, force open the door?
You have not been able to force open the door. Zenia.
Oh oh oh, wait.
You are now-- yes please, backtrack.
Was that an action? Like, what, can I still do... Can I still?
You can still perform an action.
Can I see the monster?
Oh, you can see its face.
I shoot it with my power. I do not believe my power is strong enough.
Not enough. We're back. Zenia. How quickly that turn spins right around. You are, this thing is in your face. It sees you, it smells you, and it does not like you.
Ned Donovan 54:22
Does it have a thing? Don't you have one of those things where when you touch, you do horrible damage?I just made that up, but I hoped...
I'm, well, wait, until, if I move it all, is, does that provoke an attack of opportunity?
At this exact moment it cannot reach you because the only thing it can attack you with is its face or its hands, both of which are kind of occupied.
Okay, cool. So I am going to move away.
Everyone is kind of trapped at this door they can't open.
Sure and I'm gonna cast Chill Touch.
That's my fallback. Okay. 23.
Great. Would you also please roll a d20? It's a very tenuous situation.
You're fine. Roll damage for your spell.
Of necrotic damage.
5 necrotic damage. Thank you so very very much. Brevin, would you please make another save throw?
Ned Donovan 55:10
Yeah for sure.
I love your positive attitude.
Ned Donovan 55:13
Yeah, well it's okay.
You have one fail and one success.
Ned Donovan 55:17
Yeah, I know.
Top of the order, Lorzatch. What are you doing?
Lorzatch is going to open the door out of the room.
Open the door out of the room. You are now into an antechamber. A quick look to your left is a staircase. A quick look to your right seems to be some sort of lit console.
Lorzatch is going to move to his right and examine the console.
Okay, give me an Investigation check.
That is a natural 20.
Great. So here's what you see. You have this half-moon console in front of you and everything is written in Elvish, which luckily for you, you can decipher even though it's sort of a technical medical lingo and what you can surmise here is that this is some sort of command nodule that controls the general area of the zonot that you are in, or at least is one that can do that. And as you're sort of reading the maps that are displayed on here and there are red flashing lights warning about the lockdown, you notice that where you guys came down in the elevator and the, the rooms that you are in and more importantly, that tank that you guys are escaping from is all considered one section of the zonot. And while this console does not give you complete control over the building as a whole, it does allow you certain permissions within this area. And you notice that you are at the very bottom of Zonot 4 which means below you is nothing but an indecipherable depth of water. But it does look like this area can be purged.
Ned Donovan 56:51
Let's just remember I'm on the floor.
But the room that we are currently in.
The room that you are in and the tank where this bio-mutation originated--
Is all one area.
It's all one area. You are at the very bottom of the zonot.
Lorzatch is going to direct the people behind him to examine the staircase to the left.
And I believe that is his entire turn.
Okay. Fikarra, you're still unconscious. The beast has now finished its movement to get on top of the platform. Lennox.
Lennox goes through the door.
As you see through, you see exactly what Lorzatch was talking to you about. To the left is a staircase that looks like it leads out of this area.
I carry her up the stairs.
Okay, you may now exit the map. Zenia.
Okay. Um, I'd like to go up the ladder if I can.
Okay you can staircase, you make it halfway up. Brevin. Left behind. Still at the bottom of this tank.
Ned Donovan 57:50
Still going to make my damn saving throw.
Could you please make a saving throw?
Ned Donovan 57:53
Yeah, for sure, I'ma wake up and kill this fucker. 11.
You have two saves.
Ned Donovan 57:59
Two saves, one fail.
Excellent. Top of the order, Lorzatch. You now see what can be done.
Lorzatch is going to insist that Zenia leave the area, and then he's going to activate the control that purges this chamber.
Would you like to use your movement to leave?
As Zenia rushes up the stairwell, you take but a moment to steady your hand. The decision must be made and you know that Lorzatch is the only one among you stalwart enough to do so. The orb must be recovered. And as you punch the console, you'll have just enough time to race up the stairs to the next floor. A mucous membrane seals off the stairwell and a few bright pops of light detonate around the walls below you. You all crowd around this film, staring down as the bottom two floors of the zonot break off from the cavern wall and plunge into the depths below, taking the unconscious Brevin to his grave.
Now, you are three, with the unconscious Fikarra and the dangerous orb, trapped at the bottom of Zonot 4.
Next week on Encounter Party! Doom in the dark as the remaining party members fight for survival at the bottom of Zonot 4. What has happened to all the Simic doctors? Can anyone save them from sharing Brevin's fate? A mysterious merman, the betrayal of Elasia, all this and more next time on Encounter Party! Encounter Party is produced by Play+1 and Charging Moose Media. Theme song and music by Alexander Nakarada of SerpentSound Studios. Additional music by Severio Blasi, Serge Narcissoff, and Darren Curtis. Special thanks to Megan Judkins, Marcus Thorne Begala, Haley Rowland, Josh Samuels, and Will Melones.
You know, there's always more room at the Encounter Party. So if you like our show, help us get the word out by sharing with your friends. Remember to subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And if you use apps like Apple Podcasts, reviews and ratings go a long way to help us reach a larger audience. So get the word out now or else I might have to kill your favorite character. Thanks for listening.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai