Sometimes the players reference their (no-longer) fictional fancast podcast, where they discuss theories on what is happening within The Adventure Zone.
During MaxFunDrive 2016, the gang released an actual episode of The "The Adventure Zone" Zone as a bonus episode. No fooling.
"Summary" Summary Edit
Prequel Episode: Edit
Our heroes met.
Started off with us adhering to the adventure book. The three of you had to prove your salt. You were hired to transport Gundren Rockseeker's belongings from Neverwinter to Phandalin. He had a ward named Barry Bluejeans. You found that they were attacked by gerblins and abducted. You reached a cave that housed the gerblins that attacked them and you met Klarg, the Bugbear leader of the band and Yeemick, his second in command.
You were embroiled in Yeemick's plot to overthrow Klarg who, in turn, just murdered Yeemick. Taako charmed Klarg, (and we learned later, apparently permanently) to learn that Gundren had been kidnapped by a powerful wizard named The Black Spider, who wanted to use him to unlock Wave Echo Cave, a source of tremendous power near Phandalin. You rescued Barry Bluejeans who told you how to access the cave using Merle, who's Gundren's distant cousin, using Merle's blood.
After fighting through the strange fauna and machinery of Wave Echo Cave, you meet a few interesting individuals inside, including Killian, who is an extremely capable Orc woman who warned you not to meddle in her own pursuit of the Black Spider, and then you met the Spider himself, who was a Dark Elf named "Magic Brian", whom you kind of befriended, and then summarily killed.
The three of you, with Killian and a worse for wear Gundren Rockseeker entered the vault in the middle of Wave Echo Cave, not before Taako finds a powerful umbrella-shaped staff on a skeleton wearing a red robe. Inside that vault, you find a gauntlet which Gundren takes as his birthright, but it grants him a fiery power that he seems incapable of controlling. He flies from the room.
You pursue him back to Phandalin, stopping a convoy of Orc slavers and you free Kurtz, who is a young Orcish boy whose encampment had been destroyed by Gundren. You rescue him from a cage, although he leaves without thanking you. In Phandalin, Barry warns you that Gundren has grown too powerful before Gundren, who is now just made of Living Fire destroys Barry Bluejeans. You nearly talk him down from his rage but Kurtz, in retribution, shoots him with an arrow from the outskirts of town.
You three and Killian dive into a well at the last second as Gundren goes thermonuclear and Phandalin is reduced to a circle of black glass. Killian explains that she represents an organization designed to stop these things from happening and enlists you after you are able to reclaim the Gauntlet without falling prey to its Thrall. Killian summons a glass spherical vehicle from the sky which you ride up to a hole in the Moon.
You emerged into a hangar on top of the other side of the Moon, which you realize is fake. You got a wicked headache; you're nauseous for some reason but you're aided by Avi, the hangar manager, who offers you a stiff drink. You make your way across the quad of this strange outpost, and Killian puts you on an elevator in the center of the compound, where you meet Johann, a musician lamenting that few people planet-side will ever know his musical genius. He introduces you to the Voidfish, a gigantic jellyfish-shaped organism whose body seems to be filled with flashing streaks of light. It's capable of consuming information and removing that information from the world, save for those who drink its ichor.
After inoculating yourselves, you remember years of war and turmoil that you had forgotten, during which, nations, tribes, and individuals fought for control over powerful magical artifacts. The Bureau of Balance's Director, a tall, older woman carrying a white oak staff who does not reveal her name, explains that there are seven Grand Relics in the world, which are items of unchecked power created by a band of rogue wizards called the Red Robes.
Her organization, The Bureau of Balance, finds, recovers, and destroys these relics, which she demonstrates by having her servant Davenport, a gnome capable of only saying his own name, put the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet, which belongs to the school of Evocation, into a large spherical chamber where it is pierced by beams of light and seemingly destroyed. She offers you jobs with the Bureau as the Reclaimers, which is a sort of rare position dedicated to actually bringing those relics back without falling prey to their thrall, which is something few people can accomplish.
After passing an initiation test, you are fitted with Bracers of Initiation, and rewarded with tokens of the Fantasy Gachapon, and its operator, the Artificer Leon shows you how to get goodies out of that. You also are introduced to the Fantasy Costco, and its owner, Garfield the Deals Warlock. You level up.
A Relic has been discovered by the reclaimer Leemann Kessler, who is unfortunately murdered in the town of Rockport after loading his precious cargo onto a train, the Rockport Limited, en route to Neverwinter. You are assigned the job of impersonating Leemann and seeing the train to its destination at which point you'll be able to retrieve the relic from storage. After a brief detour in a leech-filled swamp outside of Rockport, you make your way into this town of industry which is apparently home to hundreds of people who look like beloved radio personality Tom Bodett. You board the train after learning its security measures. The Relic is in the Cryptsafe in the last car in the train, which cannot be opened without an hour of prolonged contact from an employee of the train.
You're introduced to your fellow passengers on the journey including Hudson, the engineer who stays locked in his engine car, Jenkins, the magical attendant who operates the pleasure chambers (a kind of teleportation magic that can take you to any enclosed room as long as he keeps the door open), Jess the Beheader, a prize-fighter and all-around badass, Graham the Hedge Wizard, who didn't end up having that many interesting traits (he was Juicy), and Angus McDonald, precocious boy detective.
After meeting them, you're investigated by Angus who explains he's on the train in pursuit of a serial killer in Rockport who seems to be capable of tracking down objects of great wealth and collecting them from their deceased owners. After revealing this, you hear scream and find a beheaded and be-handed Jenkins between cars. Some sort of fiery crab monster destroys the crime scene before you're able to do much CSI work on it.
You work through a convoluted mystery to discover the truth: the body was not Jenkins', but the engineer Hudson's, who was spliced between portals by Jenkins' teleportation magic. Magnus does a daring maneuver outside the train and fights Jenkins. You throw him off the back of the train seemingly to his doom. You recover the Grand Relic which is the Oculus, which allows you to turn illusory images real, and with some quick thinking from Taako, prevent the Rockport Limited from running into Neverwinter, saving Graham, Jess and Angus in the process. The Oculus is recovered and destroyed.
Lunar Interlude I:
There's a harvest festival at the Bureau of Balance headquarters. Some fun stuff happens, but really the only thing of consequence is you witness an event where the sun eclipses, the sky grows dark, and you see millions of glowing white eyes in the sky. There's a deafening sound that incapacitates nearly everyone around you. Magnus eats a unicorn dick.
Another Grand Relic in the prosperous town of Goldcliff: The Gaia Sash, which gives its owner absolute power over nature. It's in possession of a master criminal named "The Raven". You arrive on the scene of crime in progress and scale the Goldcliff Trust, which is under attack by some giant vines summoned by The Raven. Taako, after blinking into the Ethereal plane, you see two figures with white eyes seemingly spying on you.
After intercepting The Raven on the top floor, she seems somewhat peaceful and not wanting to harm any of you. She also seems kind of out of control. You're saved by Hurley, a halfling monk lieutenant in the Goldcliff militia who seems to have some sort of relationship with The Raven and calls her by her true name, Sloane. The Militia Captain, Captain Captain Bane, who's also a Seeker in the Bureau of Balance, on the secret level, tells you to follow up with Hurley for more information.
You learn that Hurley and Sloane were teammates in the Battlewagon Racing League, an underground racing league in Goldcliff, where racers duke it out in the desert while wearing animal masks to hide their identities from spectators. Hurley believes beating Sloane in a race would convince her that the power given to her by the Gaia Sash is not infinite and tells you to sneak into the headquarters of a rival racing gang to steal their arcane cores which she would use to power her battle wagon. You do so, murdering a couple of their members in the progress like Barbara, and enraging their leader. During that race, you cleverly disable the wagons of your opponents, including the giant shark tank driven by said gang leader and beat Sloane in a neck-and-neck finish.
It's too late, though. The Raven has been completely corrupted by the Gaia Sash. Entombed in a tower of living vines and surrounded by a tornado, you crash your battlewagon into Sloane in an attempt to free her, but to no avail. She surrounds herself in silverpoint, a poisonous barb with no known remedy and Hurley throws the three of you to safety, jumping headfirst into the fray. You awake in the middle of the town. Sloane is holding a severely poisoned and wounded Hurley, and she gives up the Gaia Sash before using it one last time turn the two women in embrace into a beautiful cherry blossom tree.
After debriefing with Captain Captain Bane, he seems to insist you drink a suspicious cocktail he's whipped up. You wisely refuse and see him taken over by a figure who seems to be a floating Red Robe. Under his command, Bane drinks his own drink and dies instantly. The figure explains that Sloane, Magic Brian, Bane, and Jenkins all fell power to a hunger for power that eventually consumes all, before he disappears.
Lunar Interlude II: Edit
You are promoted and selected as the organization's only reclaimers. You get a new sweet dormitory and learn that your prior roommate Robbie has been arrested for unknown reasons. Angus the Boy Detective becomes your sort of personal aid while on the field. You are given information on Captain Bane and told to feed it to the Voidfish, as it is custom for Bureau of Balance members who die to be forcibly forgotten. During your visit to the Voidfish's Chambers, you meet Lucas, a scientist and consultant to the Bureau who seems to want to study the Voidfish back at his laboratory, which Johann refuses. Their argument is interrupted by the Voidfish who sings a mournful song which Johann swears he did not teach it. Magnus and the Voidfish share a touching moment.
The Crystal Kingdom: Edit
It's Candlenights. You're celebrating in your dorm with friends at the Bureau giving and receiving presents including a set of strange badges emblazoned with an unreadable type given by an anonymous donor. The Director is contacted by Lucas, who calls her by her real name, "Lucretia." He explains that he has a Grand Relic, The Philosopher's Stone, which belongs to the school of Transmutation magic. Something in his lab has taken it and used it to turn the exterior of his lab into pink tourmaline. The spell is still being channeled, meaning everything that the crystal touches is also turned to crystal. His lab is sinking into the Stillwater Sea, and if it touches it, the world will get crystallized and destroyed.
You are sent to his lab with another party in tow; a team of regulators sent to arrest Lucas for his abuse of confidential information. That team includes Boyland, a gruff dwarf fighter, Killian, and Carey Fangbattle, a dragonborn rogue and sister of Jeremy "Scales" Fangbattle, a bard introduced in the Flophouse Switcharoo Episode. The team of Regulators is separated during the fierce winter storm. The three of you enter a conservatory which has been crystallized, and are attacked by a golem which has self formed out of the shards of crystal. You escape and hear a song sung by a synthetic voice but you can't quite piece together what is going on there. After besting a few traps, including the puzzle robot Hodgepodge, you meet Noelle, a helpful floating robot powered by a large glowing fuse in the middle of her chassis.
You find a peculiar mirror in Lucas' private chambers which show you sights from OUR world (the real world), and find an abandoned bedroom belonging to Lucas' deceased mother, Maureen. You meet a family of bugbears which Klarg once belonged to, all of which have behavior modification chips which make them pretty chill. You also find a very dead Boyland who has been crystallized after having a smoke by an open window in the lab. After a few run-ins with the golem which seems to only want to attack Merle, you regroup with Killian and Carey, and Merle is tricked by the golem who speaks with a man's British accent impersonating Pan, Merle's god. He entices Merle to grab a crystal which shatters and pierces his hand. Magnus quickly chops off his arm to stop the crystallization from spreading through his whole body.
You're whisked into the med-bay where Lucas treats his wounds and gives him a new arm made of soulwood, a living wood with psychic capabilities. He takes you to the Cosmoscope, a room filled with gemstone windows to other planes of existence, which he crafted using the Philosopher's Stone. The room is designed to allow the user to study those planes and perhaps see what lies beyond them. The seven of you, including Lucas, Killian, Carey and Noelle, make your way towards the elevator in the center of the complex, but Killian and Carrie turn on Lucas to arrest him before he can get closer to the relic. The crystal all around you changes forms a few times and Lucas disables your whole party by activating a trap in your null suits, which is protective outerwear which has protected you from getting crystallized this whole time. Lying paralyzed on the floor, the golem appears in front of you once more.
Featured Episodes Edit
- The idea is first mentioned in Ep. 20, when Travis asks if the party thinks the mysterious eyes from Ep. 17 and the shadowy robed figures present for only an instant when Taako used Blink in Ep. 18 were related.
- A whole entire 102 minute-long freaking bonus episode is based on this concept. Listen on Maximum Fun.