|“||Who's ready to do some character management!? ...c'mon guys, we've got to do it at some point. It's the Adventure Zone!||”|
Our heroes return to the Bureau of Balance's moonbase after a job kind-of well done. They've got a lot waiting for them: A heated debrief, a major change in the payroll and, of course, a visit to everyone's favorite fantasy bulk shopping outlet. Magnus makes a tentacle connection. Merle gets Zone of Truth-blocked. Taako really just wants to get down on some Quiznos.The Tres Horny Boys have returned to the Bureau of Balance HQ after their latest adventure. As they step out of the glass sphere, for the first time ever for the boys, a large crowd of BoB employees breaks out into uproarious applause. Avi runs up to the boys to congratulate them on winning the Battle Wagon race, and tells them that everyone in the HQ got to see the sick stunts they did.
Avi tells the boys that the Director wants to see them in her chambers immediately, so they can dispose of the Gaia Sash. Once there, an upset Director asks if they have the Sash, and the boys tell her that they do. The Director calls for Davenport, who comes in with the lead ball used to contain the relics. Merle whips out the Gaia Sash, and puts it into the ball. Davenport shuts the glass window to this heavy ball and wheels the cart back through the door behind the throne that the Director is sitting on. The boys see a guard wheel the cart into the large illuminated chamber. The Director pulls a string to the curtains, so they can see into this large illuminated chamber, and the guard picks up the lead ball and places it on a pedestal in the middle of the chamber. He walks out of the chamber and the Director taps her staff, firmly on the ground. For the third time, the ball is lifted into the air, and is pierced by many beams of light. The ball descends back down onto the pedestal, and a guard comes in, picks it up, puts it back on the cart, wheels it back in the room, opens it up. And it is--
MERLE : Should we have gotten some kinda payment for that? I mean isn’t there some kinda rights, we didn’t sign anything away. TAAKO : Yeah, that’s true. MAGNUS : You’ll be hearing from our fantasy lawyers. TAAKO : Did you get on our… you’re part of our Patreon, right? You’re paying for this access.
TRAVIS : It’s full of sandwiches! GRIFFIN : --Full of sandwiches. You figured out the true nature of the Quizno’s chamber. TRAVIS : We solved the Quizno’s puzzle! GRIFFIN : That was just like, gonna be the resolution of arc seven, but you’ve… I dunno how you’ve pierced the veil. JUSTIN : Is anyone else like… DYING for Quizno’s now? [laughter] I couldn’t even listen to the shit you guys were shitting. Cause I need-- and here’s, lemme give you guys a real kicker. All the Quizno’s here closed. GRIFFIN : No! What? TRAVIS : It’s a Quizno’s ghost town. It’s Quiz-no-where to be seen. GRIFFIN : How did that… how did that happen? Was there some kind of union strike? JUSTIN : Just… if you can’t keep a sandwich store open in Huntington, man, I dunno what to tell ya’. [gravelly] I’m dying for Quizno’s! Give my mind, a fantasy so rich, it can banish the toasty, crunchy, savory taste-- CLINT: Gooey cheese… mmm! TRAVIS : This episode sponsored by Quizno’s. [Clint laughs] JUSTIN : I wish.
The lead ball is actually empty, and the Gaia Sash has been destroyed. The boys see that the Director looks bummed out. Magnus goes to give her a hug, but she stops him before he can. She tells them that she saw the race, and that their actions during it were "unconventional, but impressive".
DIRECTOR : Which might as well be the catchphrase for your trio.
The Director asks to know what exactly happened in Capt. Captain Bain's office. Magnus suggests they move somewhere where no prying ears can eavesdrop on them, and the Director leads them to her private office. Taako casts Detect Magic on the room, and discovers that a portrait of the Director hanging behind her desk has some illusion magic cast on it. Merle tries to distract the Director with a card so Taako can stealthily inspect the painting, but she snaps at them to stop "dicking around" and demands they tell her what happened in Bain's office. Magnus explains that Bain tried to kill them with poisoned tea, presumably so he could take the Gaia Sash, and, when that failed, killed himself by drinking said tea. Then a floating, ethereal man appeared, who Magnus tried to punch a few times. The Director stops Magnus, and asks them what the man looked like.
MAGNUS : Captain Bain? He was- I dunno-- DIRECTOR : No, I know what Captain Bain looked like-- MERLE : He had a mask, and he would uh… it looked like a wrestler’s mask, and he had all these muscles… TRAVIS : That’s not… that’s a different Bane.
Magnus tells her that the man was wearing a red robe, and the Director, in shock, says:
DIRECTOR : A what!?
The Director asks Magnus if he's sure the man was wearing a red robe, which he reaffirms. The Director instantly becomes flabbergasted, and a worried Magnus asks her what's wrong. The Director reminds the boys about the Red Robes, the creators of the Grand Relics, and suggests that the person they saw might have been one of them.
DIRECTOR: But but they’re all… but they’re all gone. They shouldn’t be, they shouldn’t be here. MAGNUS : I mean he might’ve been a… g-g-ghost!
The Director asks the boys if the figure in the red robe told them anything. Magnus tells her that it basically went on about how they should be scared, and that they will learn fear, and that "the Director should give us a raise." The Director ignores that last bit, and tells them to listen carefully what she's about to say. While she really does love the shenanigans the boys get up to in their adventures, she cautions them to stay as far away from any other red robes they meet in their journeys. She warns that one of the Red Robes could cast some kind mind control magic on them, and use them to learn more about what the Bureau of Balance is doing, which would be incredibly bad for everyone.
The Director apologizes to the boys for greeting them so coldly, and explains that her and Captain Bain were close friends, and that his untimely death has her on edge. She asks if the boys did anything to make him fall under the thrall of the Gaia Sash, and the boys tell her that he might've been charmed by it before they visited him. Taako tells her that he attempted to charm Bain, but something more powerful than him blocked the spell. The Director warns them not to discount the thrall of the relics, and says that, so far, the boys are the only ones working for the Bureau of Balance who have managed to resist them. For this reason, and because the boys have "six-handedly" saved the organization with their heroics, the Director tells them that she has moved all other Reclaimers to different jobs. From now on, the boys will be the only BoB employees tasked with retrieving the Grand Relics.
DIRECTOR: I’m not joking about this. If that Red Robe person figures out what we’re doing here, and finds their way up to our base, that’s it. MAGNUS : But what if it just turns out to just be like a person in a red robe, having nothing to like-- like lowercase Rs. Just like somebody who bought a red robe at a store and is wearing it. DIRECTOR : I suppose that there’s an outside chance that person bought a red robe and then somehow became a ghost or something… MAGNUS : Well, I would have to punch it to find out, wouldn’t I? DIRECTOR : Well that sounds like your M.O. anyway.
MERLE : [singing] Promotion!~~
The boys will also be given new, more luxurious lodgings more deserving of their accomplishments. The boys instantly start asking if "Pringles", their old roommate, will be allowed to move in with them. The Director reminds them that their roommate's actual name is Robbie, and tells them not to worry about him, as he has been thrown into the brig for reasons she neglects to tell the boys.
TAAKO: Cause he loved Pringles too much? Did he pop and then neglect to stop? DIRECTOR : Hey, if that’s a crime we all deserve to be thrown in the brig, right?
With their new statuses, the boys figure that they should give each other new titles.
- Taako will be Lead Reclaimer
- Magnus will be Chief Reclaimer
- Merle will be Doc Reclaimer
The Director informs the boys that the Bureau has hired a new Seeker whose sole responsibility will be providing them with live intel when they're hunting down a Grand Relic. She asks the boys to hand over their Stones of Farspeech for a second, which they do, and she takes a small wand out of her robe and she points it at each one of their Stones. She hands the Stones back to the boys, and out of each one comes a familiar voice.
???: Hello, Sirs! ALL THREE BOYS: [gasp] MAGNUS : It’s… it’s the Boy Detective! It’s Angus! GRIFFIN : And the door behind you opens and standing there, in the doorway, you see holding another stone of far-speech, Angus McDonald! TAAKO : That’s my dude! CLINT: By popular demand! TAAKO : Coulda’ sworn you died.
Angus, who is wearing a bracer of initiation, walks up to the boys and tells them that he'll be working with the three of them from now on. The Director explains that Angus was taking cases from various people who were filing missing people reports for people they couldn't remember, which caused him to delve into the Bureau and what they were doing. Because of this, they recruited him, because "if you can’t beat them, hire them." After saying that, she tussles Angus' hair a bit, making him blush. It's really cute.
MAGNUS : Now we own Angus. ANGUS : Well, I dunno-- MAGNUS : I’ll add him to my inventory. ANGUS: [laughing] I wouldn’t say that much-- MAGNUS : One Angus. ANGUS : --but if you do have questions about something or if I have any intel about a mission I’ll be able to give it you guys on the fly. MAGNUS : Good boy, Angus. ANGUS: Well, I’m not a dog, so-- MAGNUS : [gruff] Good boy! ANGUS: I’m just a co-worker. I would say that-- MAGNUS : Well, good to see ya Angus.
The Director pulls out a roll of parchment out of her desk, and jots down some information about Captain Bain on it. She hands it to Magnus and tells him to deliver it to Johann down in the Voidfish's chamber. She explains that when an employee of the Bureau of Balance dies, all information and memories of that person is fed to the Voidfish and erased from the world, and the boys all head down through the long, long elevator ride to see Johann. The boys use their bracers to pop open the doors to the Chambers, where they see Johann, the Voidfish, and a human man they've never seen before standing inside.
MAGNUS : Human man! Who are you! TAAKO : Hail and well met, human man!
"Human man" is heatedly arguing with Johann about how the Bureau is putting too much faith in the Voidfish, a creature none of them fully understand. He argues the possibility of the Voidfish dying of old age, thus depriving the Bureau of any future way of making people forget things, and, if the Voidfish reproduces asexually, the possibility of someone using its children to make everyone in the Bureau forget its existence. As "human man" continues to rant at a clearly annoyed Johann, Magnus steps forward and tells him to direct all Voidfish-related questions towards him, the guy with Animal Proficiency. Taako also steps forward, and asks what "human man's" problem seems to be.
HUMAN MAN: [Gasp] Oh, it’s you three. MERLE: You know who we are? HUMAN MAN: Yeah we were watching your race, we were all pretty impressed. JOHANN : Yeah, that was some pretty sick shit. MERLE : Lemme sign this eight-by-ten, here. [others laugh] What is your name, what name do I make it out to? HUMAN MAN: Um, my name is Lucas. MERLE : Lucas Human Man.
Lucas asks the boys for permission to take the Voidfish back to his lab so he can study it and learn how it ticks, but the boys are more concerned about who Lucas is and what his connection to the Bureau of Balance is.
Lucas explains that he's more of a consultant, and tells Johann that he'll go and talk to the Director about it. However, before he can do so, he is interrupted by the Voidfish, who starts blasting out a long, extended note, and then, following that, two more notes in succession, putting an end to Lucas' and Johann's argument.
LUCAS: That’s not-- that’s not actually important. MAGNUS : I think it is, if you wanna take ol’ fishie here. TAAKO: Yeah… like I’m kinda curious if you’ve drank the juice of the Voidfish or not. MAGNUS : He would have to, cause he’s using the words "Voidfish”. LUCAS : Yeah I’ve mean I’ve had-- yeah good deduction there, Magnus. But yeah, obviously I’ve had a sip of that sweet stuff. TAAKO : [laughs] So are you part of the Bureau of Balance, or what? GRIFFIN : You eye him over - he does not have a bracer. JUSTIN : Whoa.
TRAVIS : I look at Lucas and say: MAGNUS : What he said. TRAVIS : It’s a really cool line and everybody’s like “yeah, nice.” JOHANN : Nice. MAGNUS : Thanks.
The Voidfish belts out another three note refrain, and Lucas, realizing that he's possibly upsetting the Voidfish, leaves in a huff to go talk to the Director. Magnus puts his hand on the Voidfish's tank in a “hey man, it’s gonna be ok” kinda gesture, which it reciprocates by putting one of its tentacles where Mangnus' hand is. A confused Johann confesses that he has never heard the Voidfish sing once in the time he's worked for the Bureau, or have a touching gesture with another person. As he says this, the Voidfish plays the same three notes.
JOHANN: I have a theory, if you’ll indulge me for a second. MAGNUS : Nah. JOHANN : Ok.
Johann pulls out a small harp, and plays those three notes back at the Voidfish, with it answering back with four new notes.
GRIFFIN : It’s kind of lovely. The notes are kind of lovely. Johann plucks them out on his harp again. And he seems just sort of… taken, like, in this moment he seems like he’s just kind of enraptured in this moment and he keeps playing those notes over and over again, and pretty soon him and the Voidfish are almost like-- doing a little-- CLINT: Jammin'. GRIFFIN : Yeah they’re jammin’. They’re doin’ a little song together using the notes that the Voidfish belted out. MERLE : “Free Bird”! Play “Free Bird”!
Eventually, the Voidfish begins to go dark and it stops singing and just screams, scaring everyone. It then starts to repeat the three notes again. Having snapped out of whatever kind of spell he was under, Johann reminds the boys that they need to do the Rites of Remembrance for Captain Bain, and he takes the parchment containing his information and feeds it to the Voidfish. After doing so, Johann asks the boys if they have any last words they'd like to say about Bain.
MAGNUS: He had a gruff voice; not the gruffest, mind you, but still pretty gruff. MERLE : It was… it was gruffish. TAAKO : Gruffesque. MERLE : Yeah. Yeah, that would be even better. TAAKO : He’s no Mark Gruffalo, but-- ok, so is he dead or what? [Clint laughs] Is it… have we remembered him enough? Cause that’s literally all I remember about him, so... MERLE: He did try to kill us. MAGNUS : Well, that’s not the kind of thing you talk about at a funeral. TAAKO: Yeah, good point.
A now bummed out Johann asks the boys if they're okay with the fact that, if or when they die, they'll have to go through the same process of being forgotten by everyone who doesn't work for the Bureau of Balance. Magnus tells him he's cool with it because he's "not planning on ever dying", and also because he owes a lot of people money.
JOHANN: Anyway, I’ve just sorta existentially bummed myself out, so I’m gonna head out. But you guys, take ‘er sleazy. TAAKO : [laughs] For sure.
Fantasy Gashapon Edit
Having gotten their gashapon tokens from Davenport off-screen, the boys head down to Leon's chambers for a turn at the Fantasy Gashapon. A wary Leon tells them to have at it, and Magnus instantly hands him his token. Leon hands the token back, and snaps at the boys.
LEON: [exasperated] You guys, I can’t fuckin… every fucking time. Guys. Guys. Guys. Guys. Guys… Guys. You have to put it in yourselves-- MAGNUS: That’s what she said. GRIFFIN : [beat] Leon just stands up and leaves the room.
Magnus put his token into the Gashapon, and Travis rolls a 20. A smallish, cantaloupe-sized capsule falls out of the slot. Inside is a belt that has a dial on its buckle with a knob and three symbols (a flame, an ice cube, and a lightning bolt) surrounding it. Seeing as Leon is emotionally compromised at the moment, Magnus goes to pick up the giant tome to figure out what exactly this belt is. He looks through the book, and, under belts, he finds that this is the:
- Defender's Dial: Once per day, you can turn that dial and activate the belt, and for five minutes, it will give you resistance to fire, cold or lightning damage which means half damage, from any of those three sources.
Next up is Taako, who puts his coin in perfectly, with no problem.
GRIFFIN : You’ve just made me angry. For Leon. JUSTIN : Yeah. GRIFFIN : It feels like you’re antagonizing-- but I’m-- I do Leon, I feel like you’re just antagonizing your real brother now.
Taako elbows the crank, The Fonz-style, and Justin's dice lands on an 8. Out of the Gashapon comes a somewhat rectangular capsule which contains a slick, black leather cloak with a "badass" hood and wings. Taako looks through the book, and, under cloaks, finds that this is the:
- Cloak of the Manta Ray: A black leather cloak that grants magic users plus one AC. When submerged in water, it transforms, and it grants the wearer an additional plus two AC, water-breathing, and it gives you 60 foot movement speed underwater.
Merle tries to get his token into the Gashapon by rolling it down his shoulder and into the slot. Unfortunately, Clint rolls a 2 on his Sleight of Hand check, and it instead falls into a grate. Luckily, it's not a very deep grate, and he's able to fish it out easily. Merle tries this stunt again, this time with his other shoulder, and is able to pull it off this time. Clint rolls a 6, and out pops a really small capsule containing a pendant with a Red Cross icon on it. Merle looks through the book, and, under pendants, finds that this is the:
- Physicians Pendant: After casting a spell that causes a creature to restore hit points, roll a d20. On a roll of 16 plus, that spell did not cost you a spell slot.
And with that out of the way, it's time for a visit to everyone's favorite retail shopping franchise.
Fantasy Costco Edit
Fantasy Costco, where all your dreams come true!
Got a deal for you!...is what the boys are greeted by as they step through the doors and into the Fantasy Costco.
GRIFFIN : A haunting, semi-spectral vision floats up to you, and goes: GARFIELD : [high-pitched, theatrical voice] Welcome to Fantasy Costco, I’m Garfield the Deals Warlock! MAGNUS : Yes. TAAKO : [startled] Fuck me. GARFIELD : We’ve got a lot of exciting deals for you today, if you’re willing to part with your coin!
The boys have a total of 7200 gold pieces to spend. New in stock are:
|Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword Of Doom||Gigantic blade, wreathed in flames, with a crooked, oozing, scorpion stinger affixed to its point. Deals an extra 20 melee damage. Submitted by an actual 8-year old.||60,000 gold|
|A rusted can of Cheerwine||Self-explanatory.||400 gold|
|Shield of Heroic Memories||This perfectly round, silver shield initially has a mirror finish. As a hero takes it into battle, it remembers the enemies encountered, gaining a plus 1 to AC on any subsequent battle with creatures of that type. The events of the battle are intricately engraved into the shield’s surface, which has a seemingly endless capacity for detail. The bearer of the shield may also attempt to recount past battles real or imagined to the shield. Upon a DC 10 charisma check or DC 15 bluff check, the shield confers a plus 1 AC against the creatures described in tall tales. Three failed attempts at recounting stories causes the shield to be cleared of all its memories, the engravings disappear, it reverts to its mirror finish, all bonuses are lost.||1200 gold|
|Anti-Gravity Sphere||A little bomb that disables gravity around you.||500 gold|
|The Glutton's Fork||Once a day, this fork will allow the user to eat any non-magical item they can fit into their mouth and gain two d6 points of health. Just tap the fork on the item and it will turn edible.||750 gold|
|Champion's Belt||Once per day, instead of making a wisdom or charisma check, when you would make those checks you can substitute your strength modifier.||800 gold|
|Phone-a-Friend Scrybones||Allows players to ask the DM a yes or no question.||500 gold|
|Nitpicker||A miniature garden gnome that, twice a day, can be placed in front of a locked object to unlock it, and at this point the statue comes to life in order to pick the lock. After the lock is picked, or if it’s not able to unlock it, it reverts back to a regular garden gnome. While picking that lock the Nitpicker critiques any or all members of the party on their recent performance in the campaign. Nothing escapes the critical eye of the Nitpicker! No matter how small the perceived offense.||900 gold|
|Plastic Sheriff Badge||Adds plus 3 to bluff checks when impersonating a person of authority.||500 gold|
|No Sodium Salt-Shaker||A regular salt-shaker, but if sprinkled over food or drink that contains poison, the salt turns a bright shade of pink.||400 gold|
|The Immovable Rod||A flat-iron bar with a button on one end. When the button’s pushed, the rod does not move from where it is, even if staying in place defies gravity. Thus the owner can lift or place the rod wherever he wishes, push the button and let go. Several Immovable Rods can even make a ladder when used together, and can support up to eight-thousand pounds before falling to the ground.||1100 gold|
|The Diadem of Fabulous Truthiness||Once per long rest, you can cast a free ‘Zone of Truth’, but you can only target a single target rather than a radius.||900 gold|
Magnus decides to buy the Shield of Heroic Memories and the Glutton's Fork, and sells his old shield in return. Garfield asks for Magnus to sign the shield first, so Merle hands him a "Sharpie of Truth", which he uses to sign it.
GARFIELD : Oh no, oh no dear I meant in blood! MAGNUS : Oh, yeah. That too. Sure. TRAVIS : I do that. MERLE : It won’t be in mint condition, then. GARFIELD : Ohohh, I don’t need it to be in mint condition. MAGNUS: What are you gonna do with it, Garfield!? GARFIELD : Lemme just see that bloody shield, and uh… good transaction! Everyone got what they needed. MAGNUS : Oh no. Am I gonna die? GARFIELD : [cracking up] No dear. TRAVIS : That was Travis asking, I’m terrified of Garfield the Deals Warlock. [laughing] GARFIELD : Why, I’m just here to save you some spondooli, my man!
Merle buys the Nitpicker, the Phone-a-Friend Scrying Bones, and, seeing that he still has some gold left, the rusty can of Cheerwine. He slugs down the entire can, and his max HP goes up by five.
JUSTIN : I’m enjoying a cheerwine as we speak, it’s fucking great-- CLINT : Excellent. GRIFFIN : I’m fucking super jealous-- JUSTIN : You know what it’s not as good as? GRIFFIN : Quizno's? JUSTIN : [drawn out] Kah-wheezzz-noooos…
Taako buys the Anti-Gravity Sphere, the Plastic Sheriff's Badge, and the Immovable Rod. Garfield asks for one of his items in return, and Taako gives him the Gustmaster 5000, an item he's never used once.
Character Management Edit
LEVEL UP TIME!
- Magnus is now Level 8!
- New Abilities:
- Know Your Enemy - If you spend at least one minute observing or interacting with a creature outside combat, you can learn certain information about its capabilities compared to your own.
- HP: 72
- Constitution = 16
- Wisdom = 11
- New Abilities:
- Taako is now Level 8!
- HP: 50
- Intelligence = 18
- Dexterity = +1
- New Spells:
- Can now cast 4th Level spells
- Merle is now Level 8!
END LEVEL UP TIME!
JUSTIN : Do you have a buddy prepared, Griffin? Like some sort of like exciting thing at the end? GRIFFIN : Well, no, and I’m just now realizing that, and it’s made me pretty nervous. JUSTIN : Ok. Well let me come up with something. I’ll just make something up. GRIFFIN : Yeah, please. JUSTIN: The three of us have been sitting around. And I don’t know what that would look like from the exterior, but it I think it would look like parts of our bodies were just like… growing. [Griffin laughs] For no reason. [Travis laughs] If you were watching from the outside. And then just as like, that’s concluding, there’s a knock on the door. And the door slowly swings open, and there’s uh, behind the door there’s a shadowy figure. And we turn and see the figure, and then we all go like “oh shit”. And then the figure, in a voice that is both masculine and feminine, old and young, says like, “you got that right”. And then credits. [Clint and Griffin laugh] TRAVIS : It's Samuel L. Jackson! GRIFFIN : And then, the beginning now, it’s a sneak preview of the next episode, and you look up and-- CLINT : [interrupting] Next time on... ALL: The Adventure Zone! GRIFFIN : --and it shows the figure and it’s an old man with a big bushy grey moustache and he goes uh, “[in hillbilly voice] Well looks like I’m in the wrong room, sorry gang.” And he turns and leaves.
[Theme Tune Plays]
Money Zone Edit
Personal message for Seth, from Mary Magdalene: Happy second week of being 21. The Jumbotron on your birthday got sold out, but still, here's a belated happy birthday from our favorite DM. Thank you for being on my side always, especially this year, through thesis breakdowns and graduation insecurities. You're a good boy and I love you. Now it's time to hit the bars, you and me, brother bear!
Personal message for Adam, from UCI Pals: Adam, you had a big boo-boo, but you're getting better now. Your recovery must be blessed by Poseidon. May your gills pump hard and your swim bladder be ever inflated. Mend well, and someday you too shall be a great champion in the Great Halls of Terr'akkas. I hope the McElroys left that last part in. Best fishes—or wishes—from your old fish buddies.
Featured NPCs Edit
- Angus McDonald
- Lucas Miller
- Leon the Artificer
- Garfield the Deals Warlock
- The Director
Featured Music Edit
Featured Locations Edit
DIRECTOR : I need to know something, and I need you to tell the truth. MERLE : Ah, wait. I cast Zone of Truth! TAAKO : No he doesn’t. MERLE : Ah ok.