Dice and Pizza

Guardian Quest Ep. 5 - The Road We Walk

November 01, 2021 Dice and Pizza Season 1 Episode 5
Dice and Pizza
Guardian Quest Ep. 5 - The Road We Walk
Show Notes Transcript

With Tang Kai on the heels of our heroes, Zaba, Driftwood and Ernie are forced to make a difficult choice...
Ep 5 Transcript

Content Warnings:
Profanity, Kaiju

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @diceandpizza for updates on the show and check out the video version on Youtube

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

Derek: Dice & Pizza contains descriptions of peril, natural disasters, and kaiju. Content warnings can be found in the episode description.

[theme music starts]

Hello wayward listeners! Welcome back to Dice & Pizza, a Quest show that follows Zaba, Driftwood, and Ernie, a ragtag band of strangers who are chasing after the Sun Dragon Tang Kai, who was bent on bringing back the Hundred Years of Sun to the world of Mirios.

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 20-sided die also known as a D20. 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. And speaking of characters, let's meet our incredible cast!

Mya: Heya heya! I'm Mya Worrell, they/them pronouns please. I play Zaba, the party's Naturalist. He's the masked guardian of Kokuru chosen by the god Bainon at birth, and this responsibility makes him serious, but behind the mask you sense -- well right now a very frightened individual, but you know -- a curious individual.

Justin: What's up fam, my name is Justin, he/him pronouns. I'll be playing Driftwood, they/them pronouns. Driftwood is the party Doctor. People notice their sea-foam skin, tattoos, and luxurious dark 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 Worrell. My pronouns are they/them/theirs. I play Ernaeus, or Ernie for short, hailing from the mighty city of Tosu. They're a skilled Spy having some...difficulties in their career path of choice. They go by they/them pronouns and sport a pair of red-lens goggles and a long, flowing cape that drapes over one shoulder.

[theme music ends]

Derek: So, last we saw our heroes they were being, uh, crushed by rubble. No no no I'm going to start that over because they weren't being crushed by rubble.

Kyla: I would hope not.

Derek: Yeah, last time on Dice & Pizza our heroes helped the people that live at the temple of Mitra escape from the clutches of Tang Kai, who promptly destroyed the temple. And causing it to crumble on top of our heroes, who luckily found shelter underneath the statue of Mitra. And that's where we're going to pick up.

The three of you are underneath this sort of like protective barrier, this blue-energy sort of hued barrier, as rocks and rubble begin to crumble. And you see the long, snaking body of Tang Kai kind of snake around the rubble. As you can see, he's getting closer to you all.

Mya: We have to get out of here. [Kyla and Mya laugh]

Justin: Hot.

Mya: Hot?!

Justin: Are we in sneaking distance to each other?

[Mya mouths ‘What?’]

Kyla: I think -- 

Derek: -- Yeah, yeah. The three of you are close together around the statue. 

Justin: It's a little hot. [laughs]

Mya: Oh okay, yeah. I thought you were saying Tang Kai was hot. [group laughter]

Justin: Um...no.

Kyla: Is the kind of the protection from the statue, is that providing some shelter from the heat, or?

Derek: Yeah, yeah the three of you are safe, as far as you can tell. You can see that the rubble is kind of like falling off the sides as you're being buried by it. 

Kyla: Okay. 

Derek: And you can see like Tang Kai kind of snaking his body around.

Ernie: Well um...talking -- trying to talk with Tang Kai didn't work. [Mya chuckles, Justin busts out laughing]

Zaba: You don't say! 

Driftwood: It’s getting hot.

Kyla: Is there a distraction or something we can? I don't -- I don't want to try a second chance with that, with that fire.

Mya: Is there any, like easy access out of the rubble that we're in? Better question, is there any place that seems relatively sturdy enough? For example, like a place where two things fell [mimes two pillars] where we could kind of be able to dig our way out?

Derek: You know that if the three of you work together you should be able to dig your way out towards the front of the temple, or towards the catacombs, or really in any direction you want. There is like quite a bit of rubble, quite a bit of pillars that have collapsed. With a good dice roll, [Justin laughs] you could find a place where there's support sort of from the the rubble that's collapsed.

Mya: Okay well, the first thing I'm going to do is, I'm going to howl like a wolf [awoooo] and I'm going to use Wild Aspect: Wolf. “You howl imbuing up to six nearby creatures with haste. [Kyla laughs] Howl at the table. For the next hour creatures affected by the spell can outrun any other creatures while traveling by foot.”

Derek: Wow that's incredible. You howl [Zaba awoo’s] and imbue everyone. 

Mya: Who gets the wolf ears? 

Justin: Me! [Justin laughs, everyone follows suit]

Kyla: Ernie’s sniffing a lot. 

Justin: So are we actually transformed with the animals [group laughter, Mya shakes their head] with these things, or do we just get the powers?

Justin: In -- so in, in Driftwood's head they have wolf ears.

Mya: Honestly, it's not like -- we could do whatever we want here. It just says, ‘I imbue you with haste.’

Justin: Ok, POV Driftwood I guess. Driftwood feels a sensation of like ears crawling up their neck and in through their popadour. Like animal ears [chuckles]  transforming into triangle animal ears. Has a sudden urge -- dominant urge to scratch. And starts uh, chasing a tail that they think they have. [group laughter] Very quickly we'll say kicks up a little bit of dust.

Derek: Are the three of you gonna try and dig your way out to like clear some of the rubble, to get out of here?

Mya: I wanna decide -- to decide where we're going.

Kyla: I mean, the canoe.

Justin: The canoe? Okay.

Kyla: Yeah. Cuz that's hidden. 

Justin: Right. Right right right right. Okay!

Derek: Go ahead everybody, roll me a D20.

[dice clatters, Mya laughs]

Kyla: That was quick.

[Mya sighs]

Kyla: Did we get our first one?

[dice clatters. Justin is shocked at his roll]

Mya: ...No. 

Kyla: Oh okay. 

Mya: It's not good -- it's not good though. 

Kyla: [dice clatters] Oh okay. 

Justin: Uh…

Kyla: Well I got a 17.

Mya: Got a nine.

Justin: Well...Driftwood got a one.

[loud group laughter]

Derek: Oh no!

Kyla: Oh lord! 

Mya: No!

Kyla: Oh lordy!

Mya: You're too impacted by the wolf -- sorry anyway.

Derek: Okay --

Kyla: -- You’re chasing your tail.

Derek: So we're gonna start with Ernie. You've done things like this before. You've been stress tested.

Kyla: [laughs] I've been afraid before. 

Derek: You know how to sort of get your way out of dicey situations; you've done it many times. So you immediately start like digging and weaving your way through some of the rubble. And you manage to blast out running out of the temple.

Driftwood you -- still kind of like frazzled by being sort of like you know -- In addition to all the stress from Tang Kai unleashing flames at you, from being a cat to now being wolf-like, you're experiencing a lot of things today. And you start to kind of dig your way through, but you're noticing that there's rubble that keeps getting in your pompadour, and then all of a sudden you push something and the wrong piece falls and traps you underneath some of the rubble.

Kyla: Oh shit do I see this or am I already like out.

Derek: You don't see it Ernie, you're gone. [Kyla sighs] You're out of the temple, but Zaba this is your tough choice. You begin to dig your way out, and you see that you can either escape, or you can help Driftwood out. But you also see Tang Kai's huge face right behind Driftwood. [Mya gasps]

Mya: Are you kidding me?

Kyla: Oh god.

Mya: Jesus Christ that's terrible.

Justin: Let’s have a moment here.

Derek: Driftwood has not noticed Tang Kai, but you notice Tang Kai.

[Mya sighs out]

Justin: Driftwood’s smiling. [nervous laughter]

Kyla: Just tongue out.

[Driftwood pants like a dog, tongue out]

Mya: Nooo, it's so scary. [nervous laugh] Well -- [laughs] I cry.

Justin: Clawing at my pompadour.

Mya: Um. I mean, I mean you gotta help -- I gotta help Driftwood. I'm gonna cry, it's so scary though. Can I ask Bainon for help?

Derek: Roll me a D20.

Mya: [heavy sigh] Bainon please, [laughs] I know I haven't been talking to you lately. It's been really busy. A 19?

Justin: Wow.

Derek: A 19. That is a success. You accomplish what you were trying to do without any consequences. You ask Bainon for help. And as you go to lift this pillar off of Driftwood you feel imbued with some strength you've never felt before. And you managed to lift the pillar right off of Driftwood. And you managed to free Driftwood. But Tang Kai's still there.

Driftwood: “What do you mean don't look behind me?”

[group laughter]

Zaba: “We gotta go.”

Mya: Oh wait, wait I'm gonna throw this, this pillar at Tang Kai. 

Derek: Okay.

Mya: And then I'm going to grab Driftwood's hand. 

Derek: All right, roll me a D20 again.

Kyla: You get a one?

Mya: I got a nine…

Derek: You got a nine. So you grab the pillar and you like just huck it with all your might at Tang Kai's face and it just smashes into his face. You hear him just snarl [rrrrrgrhhr] as he glances away, and looks directly at you, and makes eye contact. And in this moment, this is your tough choice. You feel a psychic pull from Tang Kai in your mind.

Mya: [whispered] What?

Derek: And you can choose to ignore it and escape with Driftwood, or you can choose to let Tang Kai into your mind and see what happens.

Mya: [whispered] What? 

Kyla and Mya: What the fuck? 

Mya: Oh this is a hard choice; this is a really hard choice.

Derek: Ooh tarot... 

Kyla: Oh the deck has returned. Mya’s shuffling.

Mya: Seven of Wands reversed. Seven of Wands is emergency preparedness, so I'm gonna run.

Derek: As you feel like this psychic pull from Tang Kai, you shake off and resist, and you grab Driftwood's hand. And the two of you bolted.

Mya: I can't say I wasn't sorely tempted.

Derek: So yeah, Ernie.

[group laughter]

You like get to the canoe and you're like, ‘Huh. I must have run really fast or they must have run really slow. [more group laughter] And it's like, you know like a minute goes by. Two minutes. Five minutes. Ten minutes.

Mya: TEN minutes?

Kyla: Okay at that point I start walking back [Mya and Justin laugh]. Yeah around like minute 12 is when you see, you see sort of -- no you don't see sort of. You just see Driftwood and Zaba running, hands clutched tightly, towards you, as you see Tang Kai sort of spiral back up into the sky and take off.

Derek: Driftwood, as the adrenaline in your system begins to like go away, as you are all safe and away from danger, your back really hurts. Take minus two to your Hit Points.

Justin: Oh god.

Kyla: Damn.

Derek: Yeah.

Mya: Shit.

Justin: Mitra why?

Derek: The three of you, as you sort of like gather as you're all covered in dust and rubble you all see sort of in the distance the rubble of the temple. And from the rubble is just sort of the statue of Mitra. Almost untouched. Little chips here and there. That's what's pretty much left of the temple. And silence begins to permeate the air as sort of -- 

Mya: -- Get the canoe.

Kyla: Yeah I think, as I see them in the distance I start to take the canoe out and like hurriedly like brush the --

Mya: -- Only now?! [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Derek: Okay so you have some options here. First things first, Tang Kai has sort of ascended beyond the clouds. So you can't see where Tang Kai is right now. You know that there is that village and city to the north. There's the library of knowledge that is back in Noro. There's also the village -- there's also the villagers and monks that you saved last episode.

Justin: I think I want to say goodbye to the villagers, I mean they clearly saw the same thing from maybe the opposite shore of what just happened and I don't know check in on them. Unless you think they'll be okay. I feel like they gotta get checked on.

Mya: I do think we need to restock our supplies, but I do want to go to Noro.

Kyla: Do you think we can resupply there? Or would it be, it's better to go --

Mya: It’s many day’s journey.

Kyla: -- Oh you’re right, the city is closer.

Mya: Actually, while Driftwood is going to the villagers. Can I become a bird [hold back chuckle] and fly up into the sky and see if I can see at least which direction Tang Kai is heading?

Derek: So yeah, okay. So Ernie are you just gonna like chill by the river, or is there something specific you wanted to do while Zaba’s flying up in the air and Driftwood was running off?

Kyla: I'm a bit of a fish out of water here, I guess. Um let's see, because I don't think I can track Tang Kai anywhere here... At this point Ernie's wishing that they'd went with Driftwood. [laughs] They're like, ‘ah shit, now I have to watch after this canoe.’ I think I'll just watch after the canoe.

Derek: Okay, I mean you could also go back to the site of the temple. If you wanted to like investigate that area.

Kyla: Oh okay.

Derek: You could do that.

Kyla: Yeah I think I actually -- well how long? Maybe I should wait until Zaba gets back or,  do you think --

Mya: No.

Kyla: No? Okay, I'll hide the canoe. I wait a couple minutes cuz I'm like, ‘oh maybe Zaba will come back.’ And I just see them getting higher and higher up into the sky. I'm like, ‘Mmm. You know I think I'll go back to the temple.’ I hide the canoe again, a little rougher this time.

Derek: Okay.

Kyla: Not as many leaves. and then I think I'll briskly walk back to the temple.

Derek: So Driftwood, you four-legged run your way down back to the beach. You kind of like shimmy down the sort of switchbacks on this cliff. And you make your way down to the beach.

Justin: Aw hell yeah, montage. 

Derek: And you kind of skid to a stop and stand up. You know, like sniffing around. Your ears are twitching. The villagers have like erected like a tent and they've started -- they're using the wok to make some food. They're boiling water. They're, you know, covering up scrapes people may have gotten on the way down. You see that La’Ura is sort of just sitting in some shade. Just sort of meditating. You see Gram Gram and Biri and all of Gram Gram's adopted grandkids running around, playing with seashells and playing with crabs on the beach.

Like you know, the kids seem to be distracted; the adults are sort of like scratching their heads trying to figure out what they're gonna do next. You see that there are a couple of monks that have grabbed some sticks. And you know, strapped some pots and pans and knives to they're backs. And they seem like they're preparing to go out. To go like you know, whether it's go rescout the temple or go hunt for food, they're looking they're gonna go out to go do something. 

Justin: Okay.

Derek: It's very much, yeah, survival instincts here. 

Justin: Okay. So Driftwood wastes no time. Goes to La’Ura. Um just to check in.

Driftwood: “I'm back! Um. I see you saw what happened to the temple, uh. Uh are you okay?”

La’Ura: “Mm. Yes, I'm okay. My heart breaks a little, but we will find a way. We will rebuild. We will, we will continue.”

Driftwood: “Well last thing I saw, me and my companions at the temple saw, the protection of Mitra guarding us. And so I'm sure she, in her abundant beauty and wisdom, will guard you as well. Is your intentions to return to the temple as soon as possible?”

La’Ura: “Not as soon as possible. Some of the monks are going to go scout and see what they can kind of salvage first, and see where we can rebuild.”

Driftwood: “It was brief, but it was a pleasure meeting all of you. Knowing that you all will be safe here, it gives me comfort. Um is there anything else that I can do for you?”

Derek: They look at you dead in the eyes and they just say,

La’Ura: “Do what you must to stop Tang Kai.”

Driftwood: “Yep, yes uh. Yep. The mission lives within my heart. In the meantime, I'm sure we'll meet again La’Ura. We are off, supposedly to a couple of places to retrieve supplies, um but should we meet again, you have my protection.”

La’Ura: “Thank you Driftwood.”

Derek: Cool, anything else you'd like to do with the temple folk?

Justin: Uh on my way out, I guess I'm already prepared to leave. I'm pretty assured. I think I wanted to kind of have like a passing conversation with Gram Gram since none of us ever got to talk to her. To just kind of like say hello and know that she's seen us.

Derek: Yeah. She says hello back. She says,

Gram Gram: “So you're the one with the pompadour that Biri's been on about.”

Driftwood: “I indeed, indeed I am. Your Biri, he's a smart one. Very, very active. Keep an eye out for him for me.”

Gram Gram: “Yeah, he's kind of the ringleader of the kids.”

Driftwood: “Oh yeah, looks that way. I know what that's like.”

Gram Gram: “You're a little troublemaker aren't you?” [Justin laughs]

Justin: Uh, Driftwood starts to kind of sweat,

Driftwood: [chuckles] “How did you?” 

Derek: She smiles,

Justin: “You remind me of my own grandmother, you know. Um, having to deal with you know all these children can't be easy. Um, so you know with everything that's gone on, the evacuation, abandoning your home, uh it's -- it's difficult. And I see - I see you - I see the hard work that you do. And you have my best wishes and protection as well. 

Derek: She sniffles a little bit and she goes in for a hug.

Justin: Uh, Driftwood kind of goes in with confidence in the first half, but in the next kind of...kind of like melts. Kind of like somewhere, um, somewhere warm in their mind. And just is there giving a full embrace.

Derek: I think we'll leave on that. After that, you make your way back to the canoe.

We're gonna hop on over to Zaba now who's high in the sky. As a bird. Taking flight.

[Mya mimics a bird with their hands, Kyla shakes their head]

You fly beyond the clouds that have formed, that have been blocking your view of Tang Kai. [wind sfx] And you see Tang Kai quite far in the distance. Flying northeast to where on your map would be the Great Desert.

Mya: Noted. Interesting.

Derek: Is there anything else you'd like to do while you're up here, flying after Tang Kai?

Mya: Tang Kai is too far away from me to steal any whiskers...so I guess I might get a lay of the land again. I guess like now it's like, ‘Oh it's my map!’ but like, real. How far is -- can I see Noro from where we are?

Derek: You see some islands in the distance, but you can't quite pick out Noro. If you want to try and get whiskers you can. You just gotta roll me a D20.

Mya: Huh… [laughs]

Kyla: You really want to talk with that Tang Kai.

Mya: No I just wanna - I just wanna - I just wanna be an annoying little bird. It's a really hard decision. [laughs] Do I wanna be an ass or do I wanna be safe?

Kyla: [laughs] Do I wanna be an ass or do I wanna be safe…

Derek: Yeah how safe is Zaba feeling right now?

Justin: Are you going to pull a card? [laughs]

[Mya sighs]

Kyla: What'd you get? Queen of Swords...

Mya: I think I gotta try to get, try to get a whisker.

Derek: Alright.

Mya: It might be helpful in tracking Tang Kai. Who knows. 

Derek: Go ahead and roll me a D20.

Mya: God don't give me another nine. 

Justin: Sky battle.

[Mya sighs and covers their face with their hands.]

Kyla: Zaba really did burn through all their luck last session.

Mya: It’s a three.

Kyla: It’s not a nine, hey. 

Justin: It's not a one.

Mya: Hmm.

Derek: You fly after Tang Kai. The sort of heat tendrils that are peeling off of Tang Kai and the sort of the wind current that he's causing is just a bit too much for like the small bird that you are and you get thrown off course and you like, you accidentally smack into Tang Kai. You take four points of damage [Mya laughs] as you're kind of like thrown off and you start and you're unable to like kind of keep up after that point. You do feel quite burned though. Your wings, they hurt.

What are you gonna do now? You’re gonna go back? 

Mya: [Sighs] Yeah. I'll go back. 

Derek: And last but not least we're going to hop over to Ernie. As you walk back towards the ruined temple site, there's smoke and you can smell the soot and smoke in the air, the ground is like, you know black from just being scorched. And as you sort of make your way up to the temple you know it's so quiet. It's so quiet. Compared to how it was just like not even a half an hour ago, with just the fire and the rubble. Like every you know sound of like your sandals clicking, you hear it so prominently as you walk up to the temple. It's a harrowing sight. 

Kyla: Yeah I definitely think the smell of smoke and ash especially with my heightened sense is like kind of overwhelming. Is, Mitra is not covered in rubble or is Mitra still, the statue covered in rubble? Or does it seem like it's slid off or?

Derek: Yeah. Like the rubble’s kind of like slid away.

Kyla: Okay. Yeah I think I poke around, but there's probably not that much that's remaining that's intact.

Derek: Roll me a 20-sided die.

Kyla: Um I got a 13.

Derek: A 13. A success! Okay, you begin to dig through some of the rubble. Just kind of like seeing just what's around. Most of what existed is pretty destroyed. You can see like, you have the footsteps of everyone. You're able to kind of see what happened like, oh Zaba and Driftwood they fell behind because Driftwood got trapped underneath something. And it looks like you know, you're able to kind of figure out like, oh this is where Zaba helped Driftwood up.

And then you follow the trajectory of what appears to be some sort of large rock that was thrown. And you make your way. And you kind of brush away some of the rubble. And you actually find what appears to be a long, golden hair lying on the ground covered in some stone rubble from something that must have been smashed onto what you can assume is Tang Kai's face.

Kyla: I'm gonna use the machete to kind of I guess pick it up -- try to pick it up and see if it’s -- is it -- like can I tell if it's hot to the touch?

Derek: You put your hand above it and it appears to have cooled down. It's like, it's warm when you touch it.

Kyla: Okay. [makes a sound of disgust and laughs] Okay.

Derek: It doesn't like burn you, but it is like warm. There's like residual heat.

Kyla: Okay, I pick it up. Um is it pliable enough where I can roll it up?

Derek: Yeah, you can like roll it up and put into like a bag --

Kyla: I’m gonna roll it up and kind of like tuck it --

Derek: Sweet.

Kyla: -- into my belt or something. I guess with that, I look around to make sure no one's there. And I'm gonna walk over to Mitra's statue and be like,

Ernie: “Hey Mitra.”

Kyla: I'm -- because because I've seen like Zaba talk to the gods I'm like,

Ernie: “Oh like, could just anybody talk to the gods?” [Justin laughs and everyone joins in]

Justin: Driftwood from far away feels like a little, like their temple starts to squeeze.

Kyla: I’m just standing at the statue I'm like,

Ernie: “What did Tang Kai mean by an old friend?”

Kyla: I just kind of stand there. There's like no response. [laughs] The dust kind of -- the wind kind of blows.

Derek: Yeah, the wind kind of blows. You don't really have much of a connection to the gods, so you wouldn't even know where to start with how to talk to them. Your wolf-like senses, uh pick up the sounds of approaching monks. Okay that's, I think that's my cue to leave. [laughs again]

The three of you rendezvous.

Mya: Who did I peck last time?

Kyla: You pecked Driftwood.

Mya: I’m going to peck Ern-- on the head and then I'm gonna turn back into human.

Derek: When you transform back uh into human form you notice that part of your arm is a little bit burned. Mark down one hit point. 

Mya: [whispered] Oh my gosh…

Derek: Yeah.

Ernie: “What happened to you Zaba? Are you okay?”

Zaba: “Tang Kai has magic powers. I tried to retrieve a whisker from Tang Kai and um...what's that?”

Ernie: “Well just um, you know, it's -- found this. Oh, do you know who threw that rock?”

Zaba: “No.”

Ernie: “Huh...that's weird. [pause] Well anyways --”

[Mya and Justin bust out laughing. Kyla laughs]

[pause for group laughter]

Kyla: -- I take it, I take the rolled up whisker and like,

Ernie: “I found this. It looks like a hair of some kind.”

Zaba: “Can I have it? [Kyla and Mya laugh] Can you, can you pass that to me please?”

Ernie: “Sure, I hand it over.”

Zaba: “Thank you.”

Mya: [laughing] I put it in my pocket.

Ernie: “Hey, I found that!”

Zaba: “Are you sure?”

[brief group laughter]

Zaba: “Maybe this will be helpful for tracking Tang Kai.” 

Derek: The three of you are now going to make your way up to the village upriver right?

Justin: Yes.

Zaba: See if we can make our way to Noro. They might have better boats as well if they do a lot of river commerce.

Justin: So I think this is the first time Driftwood's hearing about a plan to go to Noro, and is kind of like,

Driftwood: “Wait, we're going to Noro?”

Kyla: I look at Zaba. [Mya laughs]

Driftwood: “Why?”

Zaba: “The libraries. [Driftwood sighs] We need more more information. Tang Kai is heading to the Great Deserts.”

Driftwood: “Well, if they're going to the desert then why are we going to Noro?”

Zaba: “If we face Tang Kai again, we will die.”

Driftwood: “If we face Tang Kai in Noro we will die.”

Zaba: “Tang Kai is not coming to Noro, at least not immediately.” [Mya laughs]

Driftwood: “So Tang Kai is coming to Noro.” [Justin laughs]

Zaba: “Who knows, Tang Kai could go anywhere. But it doesn't seem Tang Kai is following us so. If Tang Kai had wanted to go to Noro, Tang Kai would be there.”

Driftwood: “It just seems as if trouble seems to find us.”

Ernie: “To be fair, we were following Tang Kai last time around.”

Justin: I don't know what to say, though...I don't know if I'm ready to go back to Noro. 

So, Driftwood doesn't say that. Driftwood says that in their head. Uh Driftwood says instead,

Driftwood: “Stay out of my town, guardian scum!” [group laughter]

And kind of knows that they're out of line, [laughing] and kind of like angry cries and stomps away. 

Driftwood: “Let's just get the canoe into the boat -- into the water. Just. Let's just go!”

Ernie: “Are you crying Driftwood?”

[group giggle fit]

Mya: Zaba’s miffed.

Driftwood: “Just. Let's, let's go!”

Zaba: “I saved you for this?” 

Ernie: “Hey any help here pushing this canoe? No? No, okay.”

Justin: Yeah Driftwood returns angrier than ever and just pushes it.

Mya: I'm just glaring daggers at you like --

Driftwood: “Don't look at me like that!” [Kyla, Justin, and Mya laugh]

Kyla: I’m like, I like switch sides. So you all can’t see -- I'm like trying to go in front of you both while I'm pushing so you’re not looking at each other.

Derek: Ernie and a crying, angry, crying Driftwood push the canoe in with Zaba in it. [Mya laughs] And the both of you hop in and begin to row upstream, towards this village that lives on the river. Yeah it's a little -- it's a bit of an awkward silence.

Kyla: I have to paddle this time, because like if you both tried paddling it would not work out. [Justin laughs silently]

Derek: It takes you all a little bit longer, because the both of you are just kind of [makes angry noise] in the back.

Mya: Yeah on either side of the canoe.

Derek: You begin to paddle upstream. It takes a little bit longer, because there's just one person paddling, [everyone else is muffling their laughter] but eventually --

Mya: But the stream is pushing us along.

Derek: -- Yeah, the stream is pushing you along. You all begin to see this village off in the distance and as you're kind of rowing upstream, you eventually get to like a sort of dock where you're able to kind of like park your canoe. And you see that there are you know people in this village. It's probably the biggest village you all have seen. 

Kyla: Well. The biggest village they've seen. [laughs] Sorry.

Derek: Yes yes yes the biggest village that uh Driftwood and Zaba have seen.

Mya: I mean, I'm sure Noro is big. 

Driftwood: “Yeah. Who -- who would. [sarcastic] You would know how big Noro is.”

Kyla:[laughs] I think at this point as well, like we're all hangry too, because we haven't eaten all day.

Derek: You notice that there's sort of like lots of goats just wandering around. There's people in sort of like green robes and long flowing, almost like togas, but they're more just like draped cloths. It's a lot of flowing cloth, and there's sort of like a market in the center as you're wandering around.

No one really pays attention too much to the three of you. Like, they noticed that Zaba, you're wearing a mask and they're like, ‘Hrm that's interesting,’ but no one's like really too surprised. And the three of you kind of get to the center of this marketplace where you kind of see all sorts of like lots of vegetables, lots of fruits and, surprisingly, no meat in this sort of village market. What are the three of you hoping to sort of explore in this sort of marketplace?

Kyla: I mean I'm gonna offer to get the both of them food.

Ernie: “Come on, like can we just make up? You know, eat some food, you know?”

Justin: Driftwood's kind of like, knows definitely they're out of line a little bit, but there's also, there's something -- there's a reason why they're upset.

Derek: Yeah.

Justin: So they're like,

Driftwood: “I don't know. Let's just do whatever.”

Ernie: “Okay. Well.”

Driftwood: “I'm hungry.”

Ernie: “Okay, brunch on me.”

Derek: What about you Zaba, are you just following suit, finding a -- sitting at a table with Driftwood on opposite sides, looking away from each other while Ernie gets food, is that what's going on? 

Mya: Zaba is silent. Let other people lead for a change. 

Derek: So yeah, Driftwood and Zaba you two, or I guess, Ernie you like plop Driftwood and Zaba down on a table. [Kyla laughs] Like there's a sort of picnic tables, sort of like in the center of this marketplace where people are eating. It's like a food court. You two are just like sitting away from -- looking away from each other as Ernie you go off to go find some food. 

Kyla: There's no I -- I am concerningly noticing that there's no meat. 

Derek: Yeah, there's no meat. 

Ernie: “I'm not used to this.” [Justin laughs]

Derek: There's like, so there's like these interesting bowls --

Ernie: “How come there are goats in this village and no meat?”

Kyla: Anyways. There are bowls? 

Derek: Yeah so it's like you see these bowls of like vegetable, these like shredded leaf plants with these like white chunks of what you think is cheese, and other fruits in it. 

Kyla: There's not even like fish or anything? 

Derek: There's no fish.

Kyla: Okay.

Derek: There's like pita wraps with like vegetables in them, just all sorts of like -- there's a lot of cheese, a lot of breads, a lot of like different spreads and a lot of like vegetables and fruit.

Kyla: Okay. 

Derek: You notice that they are paying in Ruuk here. 

Kyla: Okay.

Derek: You kind of get the lay the land that like one Ruuk could feed an entire family. 

Kyla: Is there -- there's no chance I could really break my Ruuk into anything right? Like there's no smaller currency?

Derek: Not from what you're seeing. 

Kyla: Okay well um.

Mya: [laughs] You're gonna be the asshole who gives someone like a hundred dollars and try to break a hundred dollars.

Kyla: Well Ernie's not really thinking, doesn't really know, doesn't really think about like, ‘oh hey maybe I shouldn't buy a shitton of like perishable food.’ But I just get like whatever I can get for one Ruuk. And I'm thinking like probably the pita bread because that seems yeah that seems very like filling. 

[Mya mouths ‘Pita bread?’]

[Justin laughs]

Kyla: No like pita bread filled with vegetables or things like that. 

Derek: Yeah.

Justin: I love this because Driftwood and Zaba probably just didn't want to tell you what to get just, “Just get whatever.”

[Everyone laughs]

Kyla: Yeah. 

Mya: “Figure it out.”

Kyla: I'm trying to look for, I'm trying to look for fish, I'm trying to look for meat. I'm like,

Ernie: “Okay I guess I guess Zaba will be okay with like, the vegetables but.” 

Zaba: “What do you -- why me specifically?”

[Everyone laughs] 

Ernie: “You live in a forest, right? There’s like plants everywhere. I mean I guess they don't have rice here, right?”

Derek: Oh there is rice, there's rice.

Kyla: Okay I’ll get a rice dish for, um --

Mya: You get a rice dish for --

[Kyla and Mya laugh]

Derek: Cool. 

Kyla: The worst. 

Mya: Horrible. You don't know how to choose food.

Kyla: No I literally don’t. 

Mya: Zaba should have been the one who did this.

Kyla: I -- yeah, Ernie literally doesn’t know how to buy food like literally you threw them to the wolves here.

[Everyone laughs]

Derek: Oh yeah. So Ernie yeah you like toss a Ruuk at this sort of merchant that's selling all these different kinds of food and you kind of like pick and choose a variety. The merchant’s just like, ‘Hm. Hm.’ Nodding, grunting like agreeing with like all your selections.

[Mya laughs, followed by Kyla] 

And eventually you have this sort of like arm full [Kyla grunts like they’re heavy lifting] of a selection of the whole menu basically. 

Kyla: Yeah I just come back and I set it down the table. [Laughs]

Justin: Table shakes. [Justin makes the sound of a table shaking]

[Kyla laughs]

Derek: So yeah yeah. So you're like walking back and you begin to set it out in front of them. Driftwood and Zaba you begin to smell the warm smell of bread and rice and greens and fruit. There's like some tangy fruit that you smell.

Do the two of you turn around and start to eat? [Justin begins to shake his head] Or do the two of you grab food and look away from each other and continue to eat? [Kyla laughs] While Ernie's like standing at the front of the table? 

Justin: Driftwood looks at all the food and is like,

Driftwood: “Mmm.”

Like kind of only speaking to Ernie. [Mya, Kyla, and Derek laugh] Like you tell they're definitely not trying to send any like vocals or expressions to Zaba. Not that they send any back. [Justin laughs] Um uh and is like, 

Driftwood: “Oh I see you're trying to stimulate the local economy here.” [Kyla laughs] 

And gets a mouthful of like the pita bread.

Driftwood: “What is this?”

Ernie: “Uh..” 

Justin: [laughs] Yeah I'm asking you the stuff you don't know what you want.

Ernie: “I, I don't know. I asked if I could break my Ruuk and they didn't know what that meant [Mya laughs] so I just kind of got whatever. I got everything on the menu.”

Driftwood: “Looks good to me.”

Justin: Turns away from Zaba, eats by themselves again. [chuckles] 

Mya: Zaba’s still turned away like obviously listening in to this and is like [mimes confusion]

Ernie: “Hey, hey Zaba! I got some rice for you.” [Kyla laughs]

Mya: Zaba turns, and you get the full scorn of their glare, like,

Zaba: “Rice.”

Ernie: “Well like rice, a rice dish, like --”

Zaba: “Rice.”

Kyla: Like a full serious face.

Zaba: “For me. [pause] Do you think I exclusively eat rice?” [Derek laughs]

Ernie: “It's a rice dish.” [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Driftwood: “I think it's great, Ernie. Thank you so much my friend.”

Zaba: “Well Driftwood can have the rice.”

Driftwood: “No. Don't talk to me.”

Zaba: “I'm not talking to you! [crosstalk] I’m talking to Ernie!”

[Everyone laughs]

Driftwood: “Ernie, could you tell Zaba that they should sit further away from me.”

Zaba: “Ernie, can you tell Driftwood to not eat all the food?”

Driftwood: “I'm not eating all the food!”

Zaba: “Oh really?”

Driftwood: “There’s plenty of food.”

Ernie: “Yeah there's plenty to go around.”

Zaba: “Oh, I'm sure there's plenty to go around seeing as you seem to don't know how to buy any food.”

Derek: And --

Driftwood: “It's not their fault! They don't live here.” Ernie doesn’t --

Zaba: “-- What are we gonna do with all this, this perishable food?”

Derek: -- And it's at that point that Ernie, a big guy just shoves you to the side and is like,

???: “Hrm. I'll make something of this.”

And just reaches --

[The party responds with surprise -- Justin hides from the camera] 

-- like a filthy hand into like the food pile you have and begins to like chomp on it.

Kyla: OK. I’m, can I get up and I, I'm gonna take out the machete and I'm pointing it at their throat. 

Mya: [audibly gasps] What?! When did you have a sw...?

[The party responds with even more surprise.]

Derek: Yeah. So you like pull the machete out --

Kyla: I had the machete this entire time, it’s been in my belt!

Derek: -- and point it at their throat.

[Justin laughs]

Yeah. And you see that this guy is like really tall, like -- 

Kyla: Okay. 

Derek: -- Like you know like a solid like six foot and --

Kyla: Ernie’s like... 

Derek: -- unlike the rest of the villagers, they're wearing like a lot of cloth and sort of like just wool like sort of blankets and it's very flowy, this guy's wearing like full-on like furs, and this like plated armor almost.

Mya: Ooh.

Derek: He does not look like he's from around here.

Kyla: Yeah and I’m going to be like [mimes holding out a sword],

Ernie: “If you had asked, I would have given it to you. But you didn't. Put the food back down.” 

Derek: He takes the food and he just hucks it onto the floor and he reaches down to his belt and pulls out a sword and puts it at your throat. [Kyla and Derek laugh]

Ernie: “Ah, goddamnit.”


[theme music fades in]

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

You can follow the show on Twitter and Instagram @diceandpizza for updates on the show, and you can check out the video or audio version on Youtube or wherever you get your local podcasts.

Man, what a doozy this week. Will Ernie get into a fight? Will Driftwood and Zaba ever become friends again? Who knows. Who knows. Hopefully they will. I don't know. [Derek chuckles] Thank you for tuning in to our show this week and our next episode will be coming to you in two weeks. We will see you then.

[theme music fades out]


END