Dice and Pizza

Guardian Quest Ep. 1 - Prelude to a Storm

October 04, 2021 Dice & Pizza Season 1 Episode 1
Dice and Pizza
Guardian Quest Ep. 1 - Prelude to a Storm
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the first episode of Dice & Pizza! Follow three strangers, Zaba, Driftwood, and Ernie as they investigate the ruins of an ancient temple of a serpent they’ve never seen or heard of...

Ep 1 Transcript

Content Warnings:
Profanity, Kaiju, Gelatinous Creatures, Spirits

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Dice & Pizza is
Zaba is Mya Worrell @worrellmya
Driftwood is Justin Ricafort @sleepyjuppy
Ernie is Kyla Worrell @switchnow on Letterboxd
The Guide is Derek Aiello @derekaiello

Cover art by Jean Young (jeanyoung.me)
Music by Itamar Ben Zimra (https://soundcloud.com/itamar-ben-zimra)
Original Sound FX by Brian Kim (https://brianminjaekim.wixsite.com/briankim

Learn more about the show on our website! http://diceandpizza.com
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Derek: Dice & Pizza contains descriptions of peril, natural disasters, and kaiju. Content warnings can be found in the episode description.

[theme music begins]

Hello, hello wayward listeners! Welcome to Dice & Pizza, a Quest show that follows a band of strangers who may or may not be getting along at the current moment. My name is Derek, he/him pronouns and I will be your guide for today's journey.

For those who are unfamiliar with the game Quest or tabletop role-playing games in general, Quest is a game system that uses one twenty-sided die. A 1 is a catastrophe and a 20 is a triumph, with a gradient of successes and failures in between. Instead of skills you have abilities that you spend adventure points, or AP, to activate. The game focuses on character and world building. That's about all you need to know about the mechanics. What's really important is the story and of course the players.

Mya: Hiyah, I'm Mya Worrell, they/them pronouns please. I play Zaba, the party's naturalist. He's the masked guardian of Kokoru chosen by the god Bainon at birth. This responsibility makes him serious, but behind the mask, you sense a curious individual.

Justin: Heyo, my name is Justin, he/him pronouns. I'll be playing Driftwood, they/them pronouns. Driftwood is the party doctor. People notice their seafoam skin, tattoos, and luxurious dark-blue pompadour. Driftwood is an offbeat nomad from the island village of Noro looking to travel, and learn, and eat too much food.

Kyla: Hi, my name is Kyla. My pronouns are they/them/theirs. I play Ernaeus, Ernie for short, a skilled spy having some difficulties in their career path of choice. They go by they/them pronouns and sport a pair of red-lensed goggles and a long flowing cape that drapes over one shoulder.

[theme music fades out]

Derek: And with that, let's grab a slice and let's dive into today's adventure! For thousands of years the people of Mirios have not been united. They've been living scattered in different villages, cities and tribes. To the West, the isolated village of Noro, and to the East the militant city of Tosu at the base of Mount Ida. Our story begins in the Southern plains along the river Tygaris in a small rice farming village called Kokoru. Recently their guardian and protector Zaba has gone missing and today there are two strangers who have entered town seeking work. Ernie and Driftwood, the two of you have come by way of East and West roads into the center of this very small, one street town. You notice that at the center of town there is an elderly man with long flowing white hair who's wearing like an earth-colored robe, who's standing atop a tree stump at the center of town. There are lots of angry and confused villagers surrounding him as he tries to speak up, and he says, 

Goro: “Villagers, Zaba, Zaba is gone. But we must, we must gather and find our guardian.

Derek: And another villager shouts,

Villager: “Why? He's supposed to protect us, not run off.” 

Goro: “But please, please everyone, I plead with you, please we must find Zaba.”

Derek: Another guy shouts from the village, 

Guy: “We're no warriors, we're but simple farmers. We cannot face off with the beasts outside of the village.”

Derek: And thus this narrative, you know, you kind of hear a lot of these things being said as Goro is trying to like, you know, calm the village down. The two of you end up sort of on the outskirts of this sort of gathering of, of people standing next to each other.

Justin: Driftwood hears the commotion and, and kind of gets excited, because any opportunity for an ouster of the, of the guardian system, Driftwood wants to know about and starts - Driftwood walks up to each villager and is cavorting, he's like, 

Driftwood: “Guardians aren't so great, huh. This isn't, this, things aren't going right, huh. You know maybe we can think of a new system for this, this this, this is not working, right? Obviously, Guardians are bad, we should, we should be trying to, you know, do things ourselves. You're not just a simple farm worker! You're not just a simple carpenter! Like, we can, we can -”

Justin: - and then Driftwood realizes they're all just kind of not listening to this stranger who just came in to town. [laughter]

Derek: Yeah, they're all kind of looking at you. They're all looking at you really weird. One of them says like, 

Villagers: “Ugh, like, like what are you like, I don't, I don't, we love, we, we like Zaba. We don't, we don't hate Zaba. We just, we just, don't feel qualified to go out, to go out and find Zaba. You know like, we like Zaba, Zaba's really cool - 

Driftwood: “Well what do you know?”

Justin: I'm gonna, I walk up to to Goro, who's still trying, who's like in the middle of all of this, right?

Derek: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s like,

Goro: “Oh please, please help me.” 

Driftwood: “Mmm, do you have any food? [laughter]

Goro: “Yes, we have food.”

Kyla: Okay, at that, if - does Ernie hear this? Do you think - 

Derek: Yes. 

Kyla: - Okay cause I was gonna say, Ernie's stomach audibly grumbles [laughs] at this point. And I think they hear, okay they hear, they hear food and they perk up at that. But they're at the edge of the, they're at the edge of the crowd so I think they're gonna wait before approaching. So they're gonna, they're gonna watch and see.

Derek: Cool. Yeah, Goro says,

Goro: “If it's food you're looking for, we can provide food and payment, and other kind of payment if you just help me find Zaba -”

Ernaeus: “Other kind of payment?”

Goro: “- But you must not be from around here.” 

Derek: Goro looks at you, Ernie. 

Goro: “A warrior! A warrior wearing the colors of Tosu! Oh goodness, we've been, we have someone who can, who can help us. Please! The both of you come down with me to the river and I'll, and I will tell you more. I can pay you in food and, and money. Very little money but we have some money.” 

Driftwood: “Hmm, okay. All right.”

Justin: I, I kind of glance over at, at Ernie and is like, 

Driftwood: “Oh, what's your name?” 

Ernie: “My name is Ernaeus or Ernie. And yours?”

Driftwood: “Driftwood. This place, this place doesn't have a guardian. This is ridiculous. Do you agree?”

Ernie: “Wait this place doesn't have a guardian?”

Driftwood: “I mean, their guardian isn't present. So currently, literally, this place doesn't have a guardian.”

Derek: Goro leads the two of you down to the river where there is only one canoe.

Kyla: Ernie's stomach is still grumbling as you walk down. 

Derek: Okay. [laughs] As he walked down Goro just eyes your grumbling stomach and says,

Goro: “Here, take this bun. It'll tide you over. It was supposed to be my lunch but if you're going to find Zaba you're going to need all the strength you can muster. And you too, Driftwood.” 

Derek: And he hands and he procures a second bun. 


Ernie: “Well, no. Elders must eat first.”

Kyla: I, I, I like, I cut off, I take out like three fourths and I hand it, I hand it back.

Justin: Driftwood eats the whole thing in one gulp. [eating sounds]

[more laughter]

Goro: “You are very humble, Ernie, I appreciate this but please, no, I, I must insist.”

Ernie: “I, insist. I, no.”

Goro: “Oh. Oh, okay.”

Derek: And then Goro just starts to eat the bun as he explains,

Goro: “Zaba took our other village canoe and was last seen rowing upstream the other day and I fear the worst has befallen him.”

Driftwood: “Hmm. Tough. I mean, let's, like, we can solve this. That’s fine.”

[even more laughter]

Goro: “Row up the River Tygaris -” 

Driftwood: “Yeah, absolutely.”

Goro: ”- And be careful of what lies -”

Driftwood: “Yeah. Yeah I have, I have boating experience. So should be, should be easy, easy as pie.”

Justin: Also did we not, do I know -

Driftwood: “- Hi, I'm Driftwood. Also, do I have, do I know your name?”

Goro: “Oh, my name is Goro. I'm the village elder.”

Driftwood: “Okay. Alright. Well, just remember the name Driftwood. You, this will be, this will be a snap. [snaps fingers] So we'll, we'll be back. Don't worry.”

Goro: “Alright. But be careful. Be careful with what lies ahead. I have not been that far from this village in a long time but there is something inauspicious, this day, and I, and I do not like this ill omen. So be, be wary.”

Derek: And with that he hands you the paddle to the canoe and walks away.

Driftwood: “Are you good to go Ernie?”

Kyla: Ernie's kind of waiting to see what Driftwood does, because Ernie doesn't know how to get into the canoe. 

Justin: Oh. So we just stare back and forth. Okay so Driftwood looks at Ernie as if to get into the canoe and I guess we're just staring at each other.

Kyla: Yeah Ernie’s just like, 

Ernie: “Go on. You're, you first.”

Driftwood: “No go sit, go sit in the canoe and then I'll, I'll push us into the the river and then we'll, I'll paddle upstream.”

Ernie: “Oh okay. Okay, okay.”

Kyla: I think Ernie like puts one foot in the canoe. Looks back, looks back at Driftwood. [laughter]

Driftwood: “- Uh-huh. Okay -”

Kyla: Puts their other foot in the canoe. [more laughter]

Driftwood: “You can do this.”

Kyla: It's just the most tediously slow process. It's like, 

Ernie: “We don't, we don't have rivers in Tosu.”

Driftwood: “Do you need help? Are you, are you good? Are you in there?”

Ernie: “No I'm fine. I’m fine. Everything's fine. I can do this. I can do this.”

Justin: So Driftwood starts, [grunts] all the strength in the world, [grunt yells from exertion]

Driftwood: “AWUH. AWAA. UAHH.” [laughter]

Ernie: “Wait, are you gonna get on the, are you gonna get in the canoe?” 

Justin: Yeah. In the middle - 

Driftwood: “Don't worry, I know what I'm doing!”

Justin: Okay it's like, half the, half the boat’s going in there, the whole thing starts going in there, and then I, I, I take a couple steps back and then Driftwood just jumps into the, the canoe.

Derek: Driftwood as you jump into the canoe, the canoe rocks back and forth, and water takes in and it splashes and Ernie you are soaked [Justin laughs] as the two of you begin to row up stream. As you row you notice that the grass and wildlife begins to wane the farther North you go up the river. It gets eerily quiet and the water there appears to be, the river begins, appears to be lowering and lowering as you row all the way up to a sort of fork in the river where the rivers Acheron and Tygaris meet. And in the middle of the two is an ancient pyramid-like temple. Where an ancient door would have been is instead a hole in a wall leading inside.

Driftwood: “We got to go through there.”

Ernie: “Yeah. Yeah it’s the only thing, it's the only thing here.”

Derek: The two of you beach the canoe and make your way onto shore.

Kyla: Ernie gets out first this time, there's no hesitation.

Derek: As you peer inside the temple, you smell something acrid, the sound of a squelch and ooze as you see a blood red, gelatinous creature filled with bones, rusty armor and remains of previous adventurers. As you gaze at its imposing stature you see that it is holding a masked warrior that it is about to consume. [Kyla laughs] And it's at this moment that Zaba you come to, dangling upside down [Mya mimes being asleep, then waking up suddenly], full Luke Skywalker from Empire Strikes Back. You're in the air, you're like dangling, you like have, you can see your spear in the creature and you might be able to reach it.

Mya: Can I reach my spear? You said it I might be able to reach my spear.

Derek: Yeah go ahead and roll me a twenty-sided die.

Mya: Hoo boy, first roll. A nine.

Derek: That is a tough choice. You manage to grab your spear, but you do have to choose between two things. A, it's about to attack you and you'll take damage or B, you can stab it with your spear at risk of losing it again.

Mya: I will attack.

Derek: You, you plunge your spear into it and you prevent it from attacking you. You deal two points of damage.

Ernie: “Ugh, it smells awful in here.”

[laughter. Mya mimes stabbing the gelatinous creature]

Kyla: Sorry - 

Derek: Ernie

Kyla: - I just realized that’s the first thing I said - 

[more laughter]

Driftwood: “We have to help this helpless civilian.”

Zaba: “Excuse me, I am no helpless citizen. I am Zaba, Guardian of Kokoru village!” 

Kyla: Ernie's just, just retching at the smell. I don't think they can focus. Okay, okay but I think they're gonna follow. I'm gonna follow your lead, Driftwood.

Justin: Okay. 

Driftwood: “Are you hurt?”

Zaba: “I'm doing just fine. If you can help me battle this creature that would be nice.”

Ernie: “They're clearly in harm's way. [Mya laughs] The first, the first principle I learned in school is, is to always, always make sure the bystanders are okay before plunging into danger.”

Driftwood: “Absolutely, save the bystander! We have to save them!”

Zaba: “Excuse me!”

Justin: Okay Driftwood leaps into action with a, with a knife into a lunge, both hands up towards the jelly.

Derek: So the gel like, looks like a tidal wave holding Zaba by one leg and Zaba is upside down having stabbed it and it's sort of like arced. You can like jump onto like what looks to be like it's back and stab it.

Justin: Ooh okay, yeah. I'm gonna jump on the back and stab it with my, my knife comb.

Derek: As you get on the jelly’s back to stab it, roll me a D20. 

[Justin yells, unsure of the roll]

Justin: [gleefully] 18.

Derek: 18, that is a success. You succeed without any compromises and you deal the damage you intended to deal. So that is one damage with your dagger as you plunge it into the back of the jelly. [Justin mimes plunging, Mya laughs] At this moment it roars and it lets go of Zaba. Okay. Ernie what do you do?

Kyla: Yeah I think the creature looks distracted. Ooh wait, can I use, [gasps] wait. I think I can use one of my abilities. I'm going to do Sneak Attack as Driftwood attacks. Once per round when a nearby foe attacks a creature other than you, you may exploit their focus. You may immediately move behind them to perform one of the following actions. You make a basic attack on them or you incapacitate a commoner, which this is not. I'm gonna make a basic attack is what I'm going to do with Sneak Attack.

Derek: You sneak into the shadows and get behind the jelly and plunge your sword into it, dealing two points of damage. Zaba you're back, it's your turn. The jelly is sort of distracted as it kind of writhes around trying to turn to find like Driftwood as it realizes it's not alone anymore.

Mya: I scan, I guess I'm now, I'm scanning cause I'm out of, I'm out of danger. I see these two, these two rude figures. I'm going to, [hums] I want to use the zero level Freeze, which says you blow cool air creating freezing winds that swirl around a nearby creature or object. Affected creatures feel a deep chill in their bones and are hit for one HP. Both of you are not affected, but you do feel like this cold, biting wind swirl past you and then go around the jelly creature. [Justin & Kyla mime shivering] 

Derek: As the creature like, this is what you could imagine it shivering as it sort of ripples throughout it, you notice, Zaba, that the creature begins to kind of like slump as it's struggling to retain its form. Seeing that you did that it slings out some of, some of its gelatin at you. It strikes you for three points of damage Zaba as parts of the jelly kind of burn away at parts of your clothing and skin.

Mya: Okay. [makes a sizzle sound]

Justin: Okay, so my, am I still in the, the back? Where am I positionally.

Derek: You’ve kind of like, so you’ve kind of like slipped down it because it's, it's jelly, it's -

Justin: Got it. [sliding sound]

Derek: - so you're like back on the ground next to Ernie.

Justin: Yeah, okay. Alright, on the ground. I, I still have my knife comb, correct? It didn't get stuck.

Derek: Correct, it did not get stuck.

Justin: Yes. Thank you. So I see, I see the gel, the jelly attacks this, this person. I scream at the jelly, 

Driftwood: “How dare you!”

Justin: So, mmm, thinking brain, did you say there were skeletons in the gel?

Derek: Yes.

Justin: Okay. Like intact skeletons, kinda?

Derek: Uhh, like, more like bones, more like bones - 

Justin: Okay. 

Derek: - not like a fully intact skeleton -

Justin: Alright.

Derek: - just like bones.

Justin: Are there skulls?

Derek: Yeah, there's like a skull, yeah.

Justin: Okay, alright. So I am going to use Reanimate. And so Reanimate is one AP. It says you, you animate a nearby corpse or skeleton, making it your thrall. It can move around but it cannot leave your scene. The spell ends when you leave the scene. You control the creature telepathically. It is not conscious and it only follows your commands. The creature has three HP and can attack for one HP. Okay. So I cast Reanimate on, on the skull that I see inside the gel. And I say, 

Driftwood: “Chew!”

Zaba: “What magic is this?”

Derek: As you reanimate the skull, you just hear it go, “Ah! Arh Ah!” And then it goes and it like tries to bite as you command it. But then the jelly kind of just like looks. It flips, it spins it's, what would be a head towards you and crushes, the jelly as it, the, the skull is it and it crushes the skull as it does so and, and destroys your, your, your reanimated friend.

Driftwood: “You did your best buddy.”

Ernie: [pause] “What the.. Fuck?”

Derek: It is Ernie’s turn.


Kyla: I, I just, I'm I'm, I'm think I'm gonna, I'm just gonna stab the, I'm gonna give a, a, a look at Driftwood but I'm gonna stab the jelly again.

Derek: Cool, roll to hit.

Kyla: Ten.

Derek: Ten. Okay that is a tough choice. You succeed in your action but there's a cost. So you go and you swing your sword into the jelly but you do, what happens is, you slay the jelly as your blade pierces it. The jelly begins to kind of wither away but you didn't account for that so your arm is still swinging. You can choose between hitting a friend or your sword smacking into the ground and breaking.

Ernie: Oh, man. Oh, god. Okay. No, can't do any harm to bystanders. I'm, I'm letting the sword break. [quiet laughter]

Derek: Cool. You bring your sword down and you slash into the jelly and as you cut through it like water, you smack your blade into the ground and the blade tip snaps off and the sword breaks.

Kyla: Ernie’s taking a moment with the broken pieces of their sword.

Justin: Driftwood starts to slow clap.

Driftwood: “Wait were you supposed to break the sword? Was that part of it? Good job though.”

Ernie: “Thanks, I guess.”

Zaba: “What theatrics are you two playing at.”

Driftwood: [pause] “Are you okay, citizen?”

Zaba: “As I just said, I am Zaba, Guardian of Kokoru village.”

Justin: A frown develops on Driftwood's face, 

Driftwood: “Hm. A Guardian, huh. Oh, you probably think you're all that, huh.”

Zaba: “Oh, I see. You're not going to introduce yourself. This is, this is the introduction you give me.”

Ernie: ”Uh, well I’m Ernie -”

Zaba: ”Pleased to meet you.” [laughter]

Ernie: “- Ernaeus, Ernaeus for full but you know I'm Ernie.”

Zaba: “Welcome Ernaeus.”

Ernie: “Ernie, Ernie.”

Driftwood: “Ernie you don't have to give your name.”

Zaba: “I've, I have given my name. You will not return, return that in favor?”

Driftwood: “Fine, fine. My name’s Driftwood. I'm from Noro, we saved the day, let's go home.”

Driftwood: “Welcome Driftwood of Noro.”

Driftwood: “Yeah, yeah. Thank you.”

Zaba: “How did you get here. Why are you two here?”

Driftwood: “Goro, your village elder sent us over here to save you.”

Zaba: “How long - what day is it?”

Driftwood: “Tuesday? Tuesday, Wednesday? Is it, uh -” 

Ernie: [whispers] “I don’t know, don’t ask me.”

Driftwood: ”- Ok, I think it’s Tue - Tuesday.”

Derek: Zaba, you went in on a Sunday.

Zaba: “I see. It, it seems I’ve, I've been out for several days. I see why you are here.”

Ernie: “Yeah. Goro, Goro seemed very panicked when we were at the village.”

Driftwood: “Have you been here the whole time?”

Zaba: “I, I went to investigate this structure on Sunday and it, it seems that something, I was attacked, or something happened and I blacked out and now it is Tuesday.”

Ernie: “I can see why Goro was panicked.”

Zaba: “Yes. Well, I hope Goro gave you a proper welcome to Kokoru village.”

Driftwood: “Eh. Yeah, he kind of just put us on a boat and then we got here, so.”

Ernie: “He did give us food.”

Driftwood: “And promised us money. So you can, can you confirm?”

Ernie: “Did he promise you money? I thought he promised me money.”

Driftwood: “Well I'm assuming that we're splitting both. But you know what, I'd rather take the food. So if you want to give me all your food -”  

Ernie: “No, no. No, mm, no. We can split.”

Driftwood: “Okay. Alright, sounds good. Can you confirm on Goro's trustworthiness, Zaba?”

Zaba: “If anyone should be suspicious, it should be of you two.” [Driftwood gasps]

Driftwood & Ernie: [doubtful] “Hmm? Hmmm.”

Zaba: “But yes, I will vouch for my village elder’s trustworthiness.”

Justin: I go to Ernie,

Driftwood: “I don't like this guy.” [laughter]

Ernie: “I don't, I mean, I don't, I don't think you like any Guardian. I think that's kind of -”

Driftwood: ”Correct.” [Justin laughs]

Zaba: “What are you two whispering about? What are you talking about?”

Ernie: “Oh, just, Driftwood’s - ”

Driftwood: “I don't like you.”

Zaba: “I see. Well the feeling is mutual.”

Driftwood: [shocked] “You don’t like me?

[everyone laughs]

Ernie: “C’mon, hey.”

Zaba: “Why would I like you? [Mya laughs] What, what reason have you given for me to have -”

[continued laughter]

Driftwood: “Exhibit gel, which is dead.”

Ernie: “Well this is awkward.”

Driftwood: “Ernie what, what do you think? Who's right?”

Derek: Vwommm. Vwommm. And it's coming from, at the very back of this temple pyramid you see there's a sort of hallway descending down. Zaba you remember that this is the hallway you had followed before you blacked out.

Ernie: “What was that?”

Justin: “What was that.”

Zaba: “It is a, there's, it is a passageway. I, my memories are not as sound as I would like them to be but I, I remember before I blacked out that I went down that passageway.”

Ernie: “Sounds like a pretty safe passageway to me.”

Driftwood: “Sounds, not to me.” [Kyla and Justin laugh]

Ernie: “Yes, that was sarcasm, Driftwood.”

Driftwood: “Oh. Nice one.”

Zaba: “Well, I came to investigate this structure because I wanted to make sure that my village was safe. That, that whatever was in the structure would not come out and attack us. I don't feel safe leaving without making sure that there is nothing here that would threat, would threaten my village. We've, we've gotten rid of this, this gelatinous thing.”

Mya: I kind of kick, I kick some of the like, the bones and the armor. 

Zaba: “And for that, I thank you. For helping me with this. If you would, if you would like to return to the village I'm sure you would be handsomely rewarded with what little we have. If you would like to assist me with investigating this further, we would be very thankful.”

Driftwood: “I'm down for going down there as the, the faster we can get to the village, the better. Zaba, we have growing pains to deal with. But you look hurt. I will mend you. Would you like to be mended before we go down there? You took a nasty slash from the, from that jellied...jelly.” [Kyla laughs. Justin laughs.]

Zaba: “Oh. Yes, if it would not be too much trouble.”

Kyla: I think Ernie's gonna sneak closer to the hallway while they're talking.

Justin: So Mend is one AP. You gently touch a creature, immediately restoring five HP and mending minor wounds like cuts and bruises. The spell does not remove impairments, heal permanent wounds or cure disease. You cannot use the spell during combat.

Derek: Cool. So Zaba, you feel your, your wounds magically seal up and you feel much better as you return to full hit points. Ernie at the, at the edge of this pathway you see that it descends down into a cave underneath the temple and that there is, appears to be some kind of running water down here and a bright light that is fluctuating. I'll get closer to the pulsating light.

Ernie you're the first to enter the room. As you walk down into the room you see that there is a sort of like, like sort of sandy kind of like ground to stand on and that there is sort of like a, what appears to be like, like part of a river that runs through this cave. And you see a sort of ball of light at the center, kind of on the border of like the sandy beach and where the water touches just floating in the air and it's pulsing. And you notice that there's water floating up like reverse into the orb and disappearing.

Surrounding the room, you see that there is an altar. Around the whole wall you see carvings and paintings that depict the four gods Oolee, Bainon, Thalla, and Mitra. And at the end, which is right around the time when Zaba and Driftwood enter, you see this giant depiction of this giant painting of a golden serpentine-looking creature that you've never seen before.

Ernie: “We weren't taught... Do either, do either of you recognize this painting?”

Justin: Does Driftwood recognize anything distinct about the painting? Or do I have the same knowledge as, as Ernie currently?

Derek: Currently you feel like your grandparents may have mentioned something about like an ancient creature that was like a serpent-like, but you don't really remember. Like there's a lot of serpents, there's a lot of serpents in, in mythos.

Justin: Right.

Derek: Like this could be any serpent. 

Justin: So I, I kind of casually walk over to the the serpent and I kind of look at it for a good amount of time and I'm like,

Driftwood: “Could it...could it be? - Nah, I don't know what this is.” [Kyla laughs]

Ernie: “Okay.”

Kyla: I think Ernie kind of shrugs their shoulders and continues walking around the perimeter of the room.

Derek: Zaba you remember that this was the room where you touched the orb and blacked out afterwards.

Mya: I see.

Zaba: “Do not touch the orb.”

Kyla: Ernie has both of their hands on the wall and they're like, [gasps]

Zaba: “I, I it comes back to me, it comes, comes back to me now that I'm in this room once again. I, the last thing I remember actually is to-touching that orb attempting to, to move it and that was when I fell unconscious for, for some reason.”

Driftwood: “This place looks old, first of all. Well it must be pretty serious if you were unconscious for two days. Did you just come to when we came to save you?”

Zaba: “Y-yes. I, I woke up at that point. Right before you came in.”

Ernie: “Have you eaten?”

Zaba: “Have I eaten. [Kyla laughs] Did I eat. While I was unconscious?” [laughter]

Ernie: “I'm assuming that’s a rhetorical, [everyone laughs] I’m assuming that’s a rhetorical question.”

[pause for laughter]

Kyla: I start rooting around in my bag for like, I, I pull like an old hardtack that's kind of crumbling, like,

Ernie: “Would you like something to eat? Or I mean, are you hungry?”

Zaba: “Um...”

Driftwood: “Sure.” [even more laughter]

Zaba: “Um. Oh.” 

Ernie: “No -”

Derek: Driftwood just takes it.

Ernie: “- No, Driftwood you just ate.” [laughing]

Kyla: No, I don’t let you take it. I’m like,

Ernie: “Driftwood, Driftwood you just ate -”

Mya: It crumbles between both of your fingers. [laughter continues]

Ernie: “Driftwood!”

Kyla: I, I think I take out a skin -

Zaba: “It’s fine.”

Kyla: - skin of water and just -

Mya: Okay. Does some of the water start to leave towards the orb?

Derek: Yeah, actually - 

Kyla: Oh shit.

Derek: - The water begins to like float up and into the orb. It disappears.

[long pause as everyone laughs. half of the cast is out of screen, doubled over]

Ernie: “What the, what?”

Kyla: I think, yeah. Ernie just looks at the. [sic]

Ernie: “I - I tried.”

Justin: Driftwood's stomach grumbles and sees the water float towards the orb, feels a flash of panic.

Driftwood: “We should, I don't think we should be here. [Justin laughs] Also I'm hungry.” [Kyla laughs]

Mya: I have a few rations but I'm just gonna very quietly like, like unobtrusively take a little bit and kind of, I'm wearing a full -

Derek: A snack?

Mya: - a full face mask - 

Kyla: [still laughing] I forgot that.

Mya: So I'm, my hand is going under the face mask. [laughs]

Kyla: I think Ernie just watches this very curiously. [Mya laughs. Justin has been laughing this whole time]

Mya: Just the mask, the mask kind of like -

Derek: [hah] Like, it like flaps a bit as you're like.

Mya: - As I'm eating. Because you can like, my mouth is chewing so it's like very slightly moving.

Justin: [has recovered composure] Is there like crumbs coming out of the mask? [loses composure]

Derek: There's like crumbs just coming out of the bottom of the mask. [everyone laughs] Oh god. So the three of you are standing in this room having just had your snack fiasco and you notice that the water is moving up into this glowing orb that is beginning to pulsate. And you are right, Driftwood, this room does feel very ominous in a way that all three of you haven't really felt ever in your life before. Something is quite wrong with this room.

Driftwood: “Zaba -”

Justin: I've like regained myself, 

Driftwood: “- What compelled you to move the orb when you were here?”

Zaba: “What compelled me? I, myself. Because I, I thought that perhaps moving this orb might affect it or stop the water from moving into it.”

Justin: Driftwood takes a huge sigh, it gets a little emotional, gets more real. 

Driftwood: “I, I don't like what this, what this foretells. The consequences of an orb like this, this artifact taking water fills me with dread. What was your original plan?”

Zaba: “Oh, admittedly I didn't, did not have much of a plan beyond investigating this orb. My, my village is a rice growing village and we're just about ready to flood, flood the fields. Water is of importance to us and the, yeah the river levels are beginning to go down for some reason.”

Driftwood: “For decades I have observed that the waters around Noro have been getting more and more shallow and for the first time I seem to have witnessed something that provides somewhat of an answer. I have no idea what kind of magic is happening that is taking this water, but I can only connect it to the consequences that have happened. Our whole village's life cycle is connected, our spiritualism is connected to all of the water and I fear that this is a sign of corruption.

I, I don't know if we should move this, but I am in agreement that we need to intervene in what is happening right now or get some sort of answer. There must be a reason why we were all brought here in the first place.”

Zaba: “I see. Yes, I do believe that it seems that this may have some connection to perhaps what may be happening in your village. I, this is beyond my, my capabilities to address. I'm not - perhaps collectively we can come to a conclusion…?”

Kyla: Are there any rocks in the room? Like, okay I'm gonna pick one up and throw it at the orb. [Kyla laughs. Mya laughs. Justin tries not to laugh] Sorry.

Derek: Okay. How big of a rock are you grabbing?

Kyla: [laughs again] Sorry. Like a pebble.

Derek: Yeah. With ease you throw the pebble at the ball of light and you hear a ting as it clanks off of a glass-like sound, like a glass-like orb, like at the center of it. Like the pulsating shutters a little bit when you do that.

Kyla: I'm picking up another pebble. [laughs] I'm going to throw another pebble. I just want one more, just one more time.

Derek: Ting. Vrmm, vrmm, vrm. You notice the light does, like, shimmer when that happens in the room, like it dims a little bit.

Kyla: Does anything happen to the pebbles that are on the ground, or do they just seem like pebbles?

Derek: They look a little bit smoldered.

Mya: Smoldered?

Derek: Or like, smoky, you know, like they're not like burnt in half but they are like, there is a little bit of smoke coming off of them.

Mya: Interesting.

Derek: This orb is very hot.

Mya: Oh. Can I again use Freeze, which blows freezing winds that swirl around a nearby creature or object, and I do that around the orb?

Derek: Yeah so you begin to blow freezing air around it. The light is still pulsing it's, it's kind of dimming a little bit as the temperature cools.

Justin: So I have Death Sense. It's, you naturally sense whether any remnants of the dead, spirit, creatures are nearby but not their positions. Is, is there any, you know spirits or presence of the dead around?

Derek: There is a presence of a spirit.

Justin: Okay. So I'm gonna cast Commune with the Dead. So Commune with the Dead is one AP. If you are aware of one or more spectral creatures nearby like ghosts you may communicate with them. You do not need to be able to see a spirit as long as you have sensed it’s presence, like with Death Sense. You may have a conversation with the spirits for up to a minute and you communicate with them telepathically. You must share a language to understand each other. Spirits must want to respond. If they choose not to speak to you, your Adventure Point is refunded.

Derek: Yeah. Describe to me physically what Driftwood does.

Justin: So Driftwood closes their eyes, gets down on their knees, puts their hands out on their thighs, bends, bows their head slightly towards the orb and starts to speak in their Bayali dialect, just key phrases.

Derek: In the Bayali dialect, the spirit responds and says, 

???: “Hmm, interesting. A mortal being. What brings you here?”

Derek: “We three here come with peace. We don't mean any harm to this place. We want to know what is going on with the water. Why, what is this artifact that is here? Is this meant to be here? Is there anything that we can do to ease any pain you may have, if you have it?”

???: “Ease my pain you can. The orb is both a prison and a tool. It is a weapon and a cage. It once belonged to a man named Tang Kai, and I'm trapped inside of it, his prisoner.”

Justin: And then I, Driftwood, I don't know if we all hear it, but Driftwood you know recites it back to everyone as if they, they had heard it.

Ernie: “Tang Kai.”

Driftwood: “Tang Kai.. Is that, is that name familiar to any of you? It isn't familiar to me.”

Mya: I don't think it would be familiar to Zaba unless this was a -

Derek: It is familiar to none of you.

Driftwood: “Okay, so this, so what we know is that, that there is a spirit trapped in here. So should we break it out?”

Ernie: “Is that possible?”

Driftwood: “There is, we can just - we can find out.” [nervous laughter]

Kyla: Do we, do we know, did the spirit introduce themselves?

Justin: They did. Well it's all I know so far and honestly you know my, my spiritual powers, you know we can keep using them until we get more answers. But I think that now is the time to act.

Mya: It seems that - this object seems to be, to be quite hot looking at these pebbles. It, the, my wind seemed to affect it. I could freeze the object and then perhaps that might make it easier to, to hit and damage.

Ernie: I like take out, I take out my sword at the ready.

Mya: Okay. So I'm gonna cast Freeze but at level, costing two AP points. Which it says you freeze a nearby commoner, minion or object, encasing it in ice until you leave the scene. So. Okay. Yeah. So I'm hoping to both like weaken it so that, and to help with destroying this.

Kyla: All righty. Um, I guess I look to Driftwood and say like,

Ernie: “Did you want to also, did you want to attack at the same time? I'm fine with, you know.”

Justin: “Honestly, I don't want to attack it. I only have my, my shark tooth comb knife and ideally I don't want to get that close if anything happens.”

Zaba: “Here's my spear.”

Justin: “Oh. Let's do it.” [Kyla and Justin laugh]

Kyla: I, I. Okay. Wow, perfect.

Derek: Okay. So both of you are going to attack.

Kyla: Yeah.

Justin: Yep.

Derek: So, Zaba, you begin to twirl your arms, summoning cold air from up above and down into this chamber and as you begin to swirl the air around the orb, the orb freezes. Light refracts off of it as it begins to dim as it can only see, it can only seep through little parts of the ice and it's at that moment that Driftwood and Ernie like slam their weapons into the orb, shattering and smashing the orb. And it's at that moment that everything goes dark.

Ernie: [pause] I don't know what we expected there.

Derek: And all of a sudden from somewhere, someplace, a large, bright, golden blinding light blinds you all as you all kind of fall backwards [crew mimes shielding their eyes] and look as, from this, from where the cracked orb lays, [brief whooshing, roaring sfx; a low wind hum sfx starts] a giant serpentine-like creature, this, bigger than anything you've ever seen, as big as something up in the skies, big as the clouds, as long as the river, flies up and blasts through the ceiling of the temple, destroying it.

And as it flies up, it's long, long, long this body must be at least a mile long. As it flies out of the orb, it's golden scales reflecting light everywhere and it spins around as it comes down, it's giant serpent, almost lion-like head, which you all come to realize you have come face to face with a dragon. A mythological dragon, none of the likes that you ever thought could have ever have existed. And the creature looks at you, Driftwood, and all of a sudden [wind hum sfx gets louder] the three of you all hear this at the same time,

Tang Kai: [low, loud voice] “Foolish mortals. You have freed me from my prison and for that I will spare your lives for now. But begone. The world belongs to Tang Kai now.

And the dragon takes off with a thunderous flight [wind sfx gets louder] up into the sky, [wind sfx lowers] the light reflecting off his scales and he disappears.

[shocked silence from the crew. all that can be heard is the wind sfx]

Crew: Uhhh...

Ernie: “I can't see.”

Mya: Can I use Animal, Animal Form to transform into a hawk and just fly up and and like, yeah.

Derek: You transform into a hawk and take off into the sky. You fly up and up and up and up. You feel a hot breeze up at this level that you're flying, as the dragon flies at quite a fast speed. From up here you see the world as it stands. It is quite large, quite big and quite shocking and terrifying as this mile long dragon flies.

Mya: This, the full scale of the dragon can kind of be seen at this vantage point where we, when we were like up close it was like so big that you couldn't like really get a sense of it. [wind sfx fades out] But now I can see how, how the, how the dragon spans across the land.

Ernie: “I don't have a good feeling about this.”

[theme music starts]

Derek: Dice & Pizza is Mya Worrell as Zaba, Justin Ricafort as Driftwood, Kyla Worrell as Ernie, and Derek Aiello, myself, as the guide. Cover art is by Jean Young, music is by Itamar Ben Zimra, original sound effects are by Brian Kim.

You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @diceandpizza for updates on the show, and be sure to check out the video or the audio version of this show on Youtube or any podcasting platform you might be listening to. Thank you so much for tuning in to this very first episode of Dice & Pizza. I am so happy to be - that we are finally here bringing the show out into the world, and what’s that?

Oh my goodness, Episode 2 is out right now - yes! Why are you still here? You can go listen to that - you can go listen to Episode 2 right now, it is in your feed, it is uploaded somewhere, go listen to it, and find out what happens next on Zaba, Driftwood and Ernie’s journey as they try to figure out a way to fix the mistake that was letting Tang Kai go.

So yeah, if you like the show, we would really appreciate it if you could rate the show on Apple Podcasts, share it with a friend, or tweet about the show. We could really use all that, of that kind of support, since we are a baby podcast just starting out right now, and yeah. Thank you all so much for listening, and we will catch you next time.

But seriously, we’ll catch you next episode, go listen to it right now. Thank you so much for listening to our wayward show, we will catch you all later.

[theme music ends]