Dice and Pizza

Guardian Quest Ep. 6 - A Fragile Alliance

November 15, 2021 Dice and Pizza Season 1 Episode 6
Dice and Pizza
Guardian Quest Ep. 6 - A Fragile Alliance
Show Notes Transcript

Our heroes venture north to gather supplies but trouble finds them once again when they arrive in the village of Aleeda...
Ep 6 Transcript

Content Warnings:
Profanity, Kaiju

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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://www.diceandpizza.com
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Mya: Dice & Pizza contains descriptions of peril, natural disasters, and kaiju. Content warnings can be found in the episode description.

[theme music starts]

Derek: Hello wayward listeners and welcome back to Dice & Pizza, a Quest show that follows Zaba, Driftwood, and Ernie, a ragtag band of strangers who are chasing after Tang Kai, an ancient dragon 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. As usual for those who are unfamiliar with the game of Quest, or tabletop role-playing games in general, 

Quest is a game system that uses one 20-sided die or 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. That’s about all you need to know, and what’s really important is the story and of course, the players.

Mya: Hello hello! I'm Mya Worrell, they/them pronouns please. And 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, well, serious, maybe, but behind the mask you sense a curious individual.

Justin: Kumusta, cow pokes! 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-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, hailing from the mighty city of Tosu, a skilled Spy having some...difficulties in their career path of choice. They go by they/them pronouns and are never seen without their red-lensed goggles and a long, flowing cape that drapes over one shoulder.

Derek: So last time on Dice and Pizza, the party basically went through the ruins of the temple of Mitra after it was destroyed. And after going through their options on where to go next, they opted to go North to the small village of Aleeda. Zaba and Driftwood got into a fight at some point and are not talking, and Ernie decided to go get vegetables annnd food and at some point they got a sword put to their throat after they put a sword to someone else's throat. There was a conflict because someone else tried to eat their food. 

Ernie: “Steal, yeah someone tried to steal our food.”

Derek: Yeah. Ernie and this guy, who's wearing sort of like metal armor with like furs and with some purple accents who's like six feet tall has a sword at Ernie's throat and Ernie has a machete at this guy's throat. The village is kind of hushed and kind of backed away to make space for what appears is a standoff. What do you do? 

Kyla: I think I'm just sizing this guy, this person up. Yeah I don't know, are they are they making eye contact with me? 

Derek: Yes. Yeah, he's making eye contact with you. 

Mya: Normally I'd step in but I'm still miffed about what Driftwood said to me and I'm just, it's not, it's not my problem. 

Justin: Normally I'd step in. [group laughter] I kind of say to, to Zaba --

Zaba: “-- Oh, you’re speaking to me now.”

Driftwood: “Oh, well --” 

Justin: -- Kind of like off, off my shoulder, turned away:

Driftwood: “It looks like a Guardian thing. Shouldn't you, shouldn't you save people? Shouldn't, wouldn't a Guardian step in right now?” [group laughter]

Zaba: “You know, I've been a Guardian all my life. I think you can two, you two can can solve some problems for once.” 

Driftwood: “Well, prove it, prove it then! Prove how the Guardian system works.”

Kyla: To be fair, Ernie has not heard a single, like has not heard any of this because they're so focused.

Derek: Yeah as the two of you get to have your little back and forth sort of bickering about the Guardian system and doing something --

Kyla: I see you rolling your die. 

Derek: Yeah, I'm gonna roll a die --

Kyla: Hmmm.

Derek: -- because, oh Jesus.

Mya: I'm gonna roll a die too.

Derek: Um, okay. So he attempts to pull his sword back and like attack you.

Kyla: Oh, okay. 

Derek: But he rolled a one, which is a catastrophe [everyone responds with surprise]

Kyla: Maybe, maybe you two talking so flippantly like distracted them. 

Derek & Mya: Yeah. 

Mya: I mean --

Derek: -- Things go slow-mo for you, Ernie. You see like him pull back the sword, as he's gonna yell at them, as he's going to attack you, leaving him wide open for an attack. 

Kyla: I'm going to use the blunt edge, I'm gonna try and whack, whack them in the torso or try to get them -- or maybe the sternum, and get them winded.

Derek: Oh yeah, like knock their wind out? 

Kyla: Yeah.

Derek: He kind of stumbles back because of his catastrophe, he's really is caught off guard. And now you two kind of have space to begin dueling effectively. 

Kyla: Okay. Yeah I look down at the machete, I'm like:

Ernie: [sighs] “I really wish I had my sword.”

Kyla: I'm just trying to end the combat as quickly as possible.

Zaba: “Oh you are?”

Kyla: [laughs] Did you say that?

Mya: You didn’t know [laughs]

Kyla: You don’t know what I’m thinking.

Zaba: “Driftwood, why don't you solve something for once?” 

Kyla: Oh, well while they say that I'm going to charge. [group laughter]

Derek: Okay yeah go ahead. 

Kyla: And that's when, I'm going to charge.

Justin: Driftwood ignores, [Mya laughs] just continues eating and watching. 

Kyla: I think I'm going to throw the machete away because I, this is, this machete is kind of useless. I am going to try and grab their arm and I'm going to try and disarm them and take the sword. 

Derek: Roll that d20. 

Kyla: Please no fours. That's a two, god damn it.

Derek: You like run but because they're like bigger than you and then, they're and they're also trying to attack you at the same time, you end up just, you end up like thinking, ‘Oh yeah, I'll just like clap the sword between my hands and disarm them that way,’ but instead you grab the sword, like you grab like the handle of a sword [mimicks gripping a sword blade] and so you grab the blade. [Mya and Justin look shocked] So you take one point of damage.

Kyla: Oh. Yeah, well.

Derek: But you have a hand on the sword, you just didn't disarm him. 

Kyla: Can I wrench their hand down, just like -- 

Derek: -- Well it is his turn, so.

Kyla: Yeah. I figured.

Derek: He's, he's gonna try and remove the sword from your clutches. That is a nine, which is a tough choice.

Kyla: Okay. 

Derek: He lets go of the sword. And then tackles you. 

Kyla: Okay, so we're both just brawling at this point. [Mya laughs]

Derek: Yeah, yeah. He lets go the sword and jumps and tackles you to the ground. You are now pinned underneath him. 

Kyla: Can I like, can I go for his eyes. [Justin laughs]

Derek: Yeah. Go ahead and roll the attack.

Kyla: No holds back. [desperate laughter]

Kyla: Oh god, I'm rolling -- okay that's a nine, so that's a tough choice. 

Derek: Yeah you managed to punch him in the eyes. You can either hold on to the sword but you'll be stuck underneath him, or you can try and like dodge out of the way but you have to let go of the sword. 

Kyla: Oh come on. I'm trying to think how important this sword, sword is to Ernie. 

Mya: Is it your sword? 

Kyla: No. It's, I'm gonna roll to the side, this sword is not --

Derek: -- Yeah, you drop the blade and you roll off to the side. You manage to get up and he also gets up and grabs the sword and goes back to attack you. 

Kyla: Come on. I don't have my, where's my machete? [laughs] 

Derek: Yeah and he hits you for, for two points of damage as he slashes across your chest.

Kyla: Oof, okay. Well. 

Mya: Um, okay I'm gonna roll to see if, [Kyla laughs] this is, I mean there is fully blood on the picnic table at this point like -- before, you --

Kyla: -- I guess, yeah I guess I was closer to the picnic table, so. 

Mya: I, I mean -- I rolled a nat 20 so Zaba will at this point intervene. [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Derek: Okay. Oh a nat twenty to, to see if Zaba will intervene?

Mya: Yeah. [Derek and Justin laugh] Um.

Derek: Okay, yeah. How does Zaba intervene? 

Mya: -- Just my own, my own personal, a little. I'm gonna jab this combatant with, like in the shins with my spear.

Derek: Okay, roll a 20, a d20. [dice clatters]

Mya: Wait. Zaba turns to Driftwood and says, 

Zaba: “Fine. I'll do what a Guardian does best.”

Mya: And I rolled a six. [Kyla laughs]

Derek: Okay. The spear is stuck in the shin. [Mya laughs] You can either let go, or you can hang on and try and pull it out but you'll be vulnerable to an attack if you hang onto the spear.

Mya: I will let go of the spear. 

Kyla: Can I do a Sneak Attack? [Mya laughs]

Derek: Oh, oh yeah now there's another companion in combat.

Kyla: Yeah.

Derek: Yeah, yes you can do a Sneak Attack. You see the guy turn to face you Zaba, as he pulls the spear out of his leg and is now dual wielding a sword and a spear.

Kyla: Woo! 

Derek: So Zaba you get hit for three points of damage as you get slashed by the sword and the spear. 

Mya: Phew. Ouch.

Kyla: Oof. That’s, okay. Well okay yeah so now I'm going to do Sneak Attack. So 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 can make a basic attack, but I'm gonna do, ‘You incapacitate a commoner, a minion by touching one of their pressure points. They fall to the ground unconscious for the next 10 minutes or until they are harmed.’ 

Derek: You managed to find a weak point and the guy just goes limp just [Derek groans] and crashes to the ground. 

Ernie: “Should have done that earlier.”

Derek: There's a giant [Derek gasps] gasp from the crowd as he hits the ground.

Justin: So Driftwood, with half like a pita pocket, casts Mend on both of them.

Kyla: [laughs] That's sweet of you. 

Justin: Driftwood walks back to the table and keeps eating. 

Derek: At this point you hear the sounds of footsteps and more metal clanking as several more of guys dressed similarly to this guy come around the table, push the crowd back and surround you all  weapons drawn.

Kyla: Can I do a hostage situation kind of thing?

Derek: Sure. Yeah, yeah. You managed to prop him up and yeah without wounding him and you're surrounded by like 10 of these guys, and. There's just silence hangs in the air as they're just like waiting for a command.

Kyla: Oh dear. 

Mya: I'm not af -- don’t -- I’m not affiliated with you. [Kyla laughs]

Derek: Zaba just has his hands up, Driftwood’s at the table eating a pita pocket. Ernie’s like [looks around wildly] ‘Ah-ha! Got a hostage!’

Mya: I think I take a step towards Driftwood and away from Ernie.

Derek: Yeah.

Mya: Like this is, these are not my tactics. [Kyla laughs]

Derek: Ernie your danger sense tingles as like you kind of feel the tension rising as they inch closer.

Kyla: Yeah.

Derek: But right before like, what you would assume is an attack, you hear a, 

???: “Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.”

Derek: And you see a, a man push through the crowd, who's also about like six-ish feet. Wearing a mask. A crocodile, kind of like, carved wooden mask. 

Mya: Does Zaba recognize this as a Guardian? 

Derek: Yes.

Mya: [makes an audible breath]

Derek: Yes, you recognize instantly that this is a Guardian. He immediately catches eye contact with you, Zaba --

Mya: Mm.

Derek: -- And says: 

Zaba: “Fellow Guardian. What is the situation here? What is happening?”

Justin: Driftwood starts laughing. [Mya laughs] Really loud. 

Mya: Oh my god.

Kyla: Is it like, is it like when you're nervous that you start laughing?

Mya: Or is it, what kind of laugh?

Justin: It's like kind of a cruel laugh. 

Kyla & Mya simultaneously: A cruel laugh.

Kyla: Well okay.

Mya: Wooow.

Justin: Like slamming like their hand on the table.

Kyla: Oh cuz another Guardian, okay. I think, I think if I see there's a figure of authority who's here, I'm gonna lower my, I'm gonna lower the swords that I have pointed at this person's throat but I'm not letting go of them like completely.

Mya: I think I immediately feel ashamed cuz my behavior is not that becoming of a Guardian. I say,

Zaba: “Hello, my name is Zabia, um” --

Mya: [laughs] -- not Zabia.

Kyla: [laughs] Zabia? I’m like, who?

Zaba: “My name is” --

Mya: I imagine Zaba is so nervous that they -- [group laughter] -- Yes. Zaba mixes up Zaba, the word Zaba and Guardian and says:

Zaba: “My name is Zabia -- I mean, I am Zaba, Guardian of Kokoru village. These are my companions Ernaeus [sighs] …and Driftwood.”

Kyla: You're not gonna tell me to put the sword down?

Justin: Driftwood keeps laughing. [Mya laughs]

Driftwood: [high pitched] “Hahahaha”

Zaba: “I honestly, I'm at a loss of words for our behavior. For my behavior.”

Ernie: “I'm not.” [Mya laughs]

Derek: This Guardian puts a hand on your shoulder Zaba and says, 

???: “Are you a new Guardian?”

Zaba: “What do you mean, new Guardian?”

???: “It's okay.” 

Derek: Just, he pats you on the back and says -- 

Mya: I'm being pitied right now. I don't like it.

Derek: -- and he just, he just looks around and he says:

???: “All of you. Put your weapons away, get out of my village. Clearly you're causing trouble again. So all of you, get out of here.”

Derek: And he begins to like shoo them off.

Mya: Is Driftwood still laughing? 

Justin: Yeah, Driftwood -- well Driftwood's kind of like recoiled. Like they're trying to catch their breath.

Derek: The Guardian here says,

???: “I'll be right back. Just gotta go tell off these men and their [sighs] Champion.”

Zaba: “You didn't introduce yourself.”

Kurum: “Oh. My name is Kurum. I'm the Guardian of the village of Aleeda.” 

Derek: Yeah, he's like,

Kurum: “Just wait right here. I gotta go make sure they don't cause any trouble on their way out of town.”

Derek: And you see him walk off and go into like one of these like, sort of like, because there's like a lot of huts and tents, and he goes into one tent and by the collar comes out pulling like another man who's not wearing a mask, but you get a sense that this guy is like the boss. He's got like a big sword on his back and is wearing like full metal armor like you've never seen someone wear like a full-on suit of metal armor.

Ernie, your analysis of this guy is that he's wielding a sword that is way too unwieldy for any person of reasonable combat intent. It's like a huge sword.

Kyla: A real Berserk situation over here.

Derek: Yeah, yeah and you can kind of see in the distance the two of them arguing --

Mya: Oh

Derek: -- as he kind of shoves this guy along.

Kyla: While they do that I think Ernie like stands up kind of uh, ramrod straight. Dusts off their clothes. I don't know if either you of can tell, but they're a little -- they're also feeling a little ashamed about what happened.

Mya: Oh really? [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Kyla: How that battle went down just because everything that they tried to do like went -- like basically if their companions had seen them, they would have been laughed out of the arena.

Mya: Oh, that’s -- that’s why you’re ashamed.

Kyla: Yeah. The battle did not go well. [laughs]

Justin: Driftwood leaves.

[Kyla and Mya stifle laugher]

Derek: Ok, where does Driftwood go?

Justin: Driftwood goes into -- towards the markets, like alone.

Kyla: Oh.

Derek: You are in like the center of the market. You're like in the food court center of the market, so you just go start to go around to the stalls around the way to peruse goods.

Justin: The posture is like, welp. Uh... I'm gonna go. And their hands are behind their back. Driftwood doesn't say anything. 

Kyla: Yeah, I think Ernie looked to the person with the -- because that person that they're arguing, with all the metal? They seem important right?

Derek: Yes they seem very important

Kyla: I think I look at the situation, I think a little, and I'm gonna tell Zaba,

Ernie: “I'll be back um... Keep us updated.”

Kyla: And then I also go towards the market.

Derek: Kurum comes back and he says,

Kurum: “So Zaba what brings you to our small, little farming village?”

Zaba: “My uh, my companions have left. For now, but you may see them later in the evening. Has word of the golden dragon in the sky reached this village?” 

Kurum: “Yes, yes we could all see it a couple of days ago, yes.

Zaba: “Indeed, that's good information to know, thank you.” 

Mya: [laughs] But I'm curious, I'm curious what y'all are doing.

Derek: So yeah, we kind of fade away from that to Ernie. You managed to find a blacksmith who is working on some like knives and stuff like that. And you know, it's not quite Okaran steel, but it is steel from Edysus, which they're one of the few places that makes top quality swords these days.

Ernie: “--That is good to know. Do you happen to sell like, hilts because this -- I think this sword is a, with the shape, it's --”

Smith: “A sheath. Yes.”

Ernie: “Yes. Oh I just said a hilt. Yes a sheath.”

Derek: He says,

Smith: “Yeah, do you have any Ruuk?” [Kyla laughs]

Kyla: Um, I think I'd get ripped off and I'd probably give them a Ruuk. [Kyla and Mya laugh]

Mya: And you only have two Ruuk left!

Kyla: That's an 18! Okay.

Derek: With an 18, the blacksmith hands you two sheaths. One of which has a sword in it and the other of which is designed especially for your sword. He says to you,

Smith: “You overpaid, so I'm throwing in another sword.”


Kyla: I take out the -- I take out the other sword from the sheath.

Derek: So the sword that you got from the guard has like a crossguard on it, which you've never really worked with. You haven't seen too many swords like that. This other sword does not have a crossguard. It's just kind of like a straight, almost like like a gladiatorial sword that you've seen in Tosu.

Kyla: I'm probably still getting ripped off, but Ernie doesn't realize. [laughs] I guess I nod my head and I head out.

Derek: So Driftwood, you're kind of perusing the stalls, kind of looking at the wares. There's two things that kind of catch your eye. One: some interesting looking chips that you've never seen before. You've probably seen a variety of it. Like back on Noro it probably would have been banana chips, but these are like a different kind of chips. They're like green and they're like fried. They look like they're made from vegetables versus fruits. You see a kind of snacky-snack like that.

Derek: Yeah, so Driftwood walks in, like waves at the store manager -- clerk owner,

Driftwood: “What are these?”

Clerk: “These are,” she says, “these are zucchini chips.”

Driftwood: “Zucchini. Is that like an onion?”

Clerk: “It's like a long, green vegetable.”

Driftwood: “Okay, very weird.”

Clerk: “Have you ever had a cucumber?”

Driftwood: “Um.”

Clerk: “Because I have these cucumber chips as well.”

Driftwood: “It's also long and green.”

Clerk: “Yes, but it's you know, like chips!”

Driftwood: “Hm.”
Clerk: “Have you ever had a pickle before?”

Driftwood: “Pickle crab?”

Clerk: “No, just just a pickle. Like, like a pickled thing because you can pickle things. Like I've got these pickled cucumbers over here.”

Driftwood: “Oh like uh like fermenting, right?

Clerk: “Yeah fermenting. Yeah.”

Driftwood: “Oh, well uh.”

Clerk: “And then I've also got pickled chips, over here!”

Driftwood: “Okay. You carry a lot of chips here.”

Clerk: “Yeah chips are the name of the game! It's gonna be the food of the future. Everyone's gonna be eating chips.”

Driftwood: “Food of the future.”

Clerk: “Yes, yeah that's my idea of a future.”

Driftwood: “I well, I love your enterprising attitude. Are you selling these outside of Aleeda?”

Clerk: “No um, but you know, if you are looking to bring them to other places, we can strike up a deal. You know, a little supply-demand kind of deal. I'm always looking for new, uh new vendors to bring my chips to.”

Driftwood: “You know the village I'm from, Noro, would -- I think they would love these actually. Um maybe -- you know we're used to plantain chips over there. Have you had plantain?”

Clerk: “No I've never had plantain.”

Driftwood: “It's uh, it's long and yellow. So it's not too different from what you’re, what you're eating.”

Clerk: “We'll have to trade sometime.”

Driftwood: “Yes. They're sweeter up front. Um, do you mind if I try some of these right now?”

Clerk: “Yeah, I have some samples.”

Derek: And she gestures to these wooden cups with samples in them and there's various like dipping sauces you see too.

Driftwood: “Wow this is quite the -- this is very exciting. This is, I've never experienced food in this fashion before. What - what do you - what do you call this? Is there -- do you call this anything? Is this just --”

Clerk: “Chips and sauce.”

Driftwood: “-- Sauce.”

Clerk: “Chips and sauce, yeah.”

Driftwood: “I feel like the sauce would go great on other stuff also.”

Clerk: “Like what? I hadn't considered that.”

Driftwood: “Have you tried just adding it like, to meats, to fried veggies?”

Kyla: [laughs] You ask that in a vegetarian village. [everyone laughs]

Clerk: “Well I'm vegetarian, but the fried veggies... like putting some of this like on one of those pita pockets. That sounds like a great idea!”

Driftwood: “Yeah actually, I have one.”

Justin: Driftwood pulls one out of the pocket, [Derek, Kyla, and Justin laugh] out of their pocket.

Kyla: -- Napoleon Dynamite. --

Driftwood: “Here you can um... take it! I appreciate your hospitality. You can have this -- I swear I just got it, still warm within the past hour.” [Kyla laughs]

Clerk: “Thank you, what was your name again?”

Driftwood: “Uh my name is Driftwood, from Noro. I'm uh traveling with my --”

And then Driftwood kind of like,

Driftwood: “-- I'm traveling. Um.” [Mya laughs] “And I don't know. I just felt like I needed to get some air. Uh, you know. What is your name, dear purveyor?” 

Mijira: “My name is Mijira.”

Driftwood: “Mijira that's a, it's a lovely name. Is that -- are you from here?”

Mijira: “Yep, born and raised.”

Driftwood: “Mijira I'd love to continue this conversation, but I am actually looking for something specific. I was wondering if you knew where to get a fishing rod around here?”

Mijira: “You want to. Fish?”

Driftwood: “Yeah um, you have a lake over there, correct?”

Mijira: [laughs nervously] “Yeah, but nobody fishes.”

Driftwood: “Why is that? How come no one fishes around here?” 

Mijira: “You've probably heard some folks talk about it around -- y-y-you know it's a thing. But we try not to disturb the Buwaya.”

Driftwood: “Buwaya…”

Mijira: “The guardian of the lake. It, you know, could be a myth but [chuckles] I'm a bit superstitious. You know, sometimes I hear and see things at night. There's like this island in the middle of the lake, but I swear sometimes it moves. And uh I don't want to mess with the lake with a moving island, if you know what I mean, [chuckles nervously] so if you want to get a fishing rod you’d need to go to the -- to like Edysus, which is across the lake.

[sighs] Um but I don't know. I don't really like the people over there. They're a bit -- like I'm all about like sustainable, you know, preserved food for the future! They're kind of about, ‘Well why don't we just turn everything into food sludge that people can drink so they can eat faster? Let me - let me you know create a utensil that has both a spoon and a fork and a knife.’ Two knives!

And it's just a little bit too -- it's like, it's like this octagonal thing? It's - it's - it's got like a fork, a spoon, a knife -- it's. Like you'd think they would just put little jagged edges on the spoon to make it like a spoon-fork or a forked spoon? Instead they've - they've made it so it's like a pair of nunchucks effectively! And it's a little bit unwieldy to eat with.”

Driftwood takes out their knife comb,

Driftwood: “Like this?”

Mijira: “Oh my goodness, yes! Exactly like that, but with a spoon and a fork!”

Driftwood: “Hmm I don't know what a spoon is, [Mya and Kyla suddenly laugh] but I'm very interested in what you're talking about.”

Like Driftwood's trying to be, like empathic to what they're saying, because there's like some level of anxiety, but they're also really curious? [laughs] About this sludge food.

Driftwood: “Uh, Mijira. Thank you for sharing all this with me. Um I don't mean to encroach or anything. Does anyone...is anyone allowed by the lake…?”

Mijira: “Go to the lake at your own risk.”

Driftwood: “Okay. Um, which way is the lake?”

Mijira: “The lake's just,” 

Derek: She just points in a north direction, yeah.

Driftwood: “Okay. Um Mijira, thank you so much for your time. Ill see you soon. I'll return I swear it.”

Mijira: “Of course, it was very nice to meet you Driftwood. Oh! Take some of these chips before you go.”

Derek: And uh --

Justin: Driftwood runs back, stuffs it in the pockets.

Derek: -- She hands you a sampler pack of chips in these, they're in these nice like cloth bags. You theorize that these would actually be pretty great rations. They probably wouldn't go bad for a while.

Justin: I gesture like some chips that I'm trying [mimes waving a bag of chips], as I leave the store.

Derek: As you sort of walk sort of back around the rest of the market. And you kind of get, you kind of come to like a road opening where like you're able to see the lake. You actually feel a sort of spiritual energy emanating from the lake, that is very strong. It's not like beckoning you towards it. But you know that whatever the villagers are afraid of in the lake, perhaps they have a right to be afraid of what is in the lake.

I guess now we'll cut over to Zaba and Kurum. So Zaba, while you were with Kurum he explained that there is this magical grove that only shows itself once a year deep in the mountains.

Kurum: “Down there, there's this mysterious grove that once a year shows itself and that's where the Guardians will all meet.”

Zaba: “How does one call a meeting?”

Kurum: “We never had a need to call a meeting because we just knew this one day, every year, was the day we'd have to be there. So I suppose you'd have to go to each village, one by one, and ask every Guardian to show up at the sacred grove. Which I can't imagine what sort of problems your village has to deal with, but the problems that I have to deal with I don't have, I can't - I can't leave my village for that long.”

Zaba: “Even so could you...I have this map here.”

Mya: And I take out this cloth map that we've been using that's like embroidered with the continents. I say,

Zaba: “Could you mark down on this, where that grove is?”

Kurum: “Yeah I can - I can mark it down, but my goodness this is an old map!”

Derek: And he begins to pencil in other things [Derek and Mya laughs, Justin gasps] on your map, like other cities, other landmarks. He like adjusts some of the topography. He's like,

Kurum: “Yeah this actual like cape thing doesn't exist anymore. [Kyla, Justin, & Mya chuckle] These islands don't exist anymore.”

Zaba: “How does an island disappear?”

Kurum: [sighs] Stranger things have happened...I mean. You know, these islands actually appeared recently! [Mya laughs] Um, things be a’changing. Uh but--”

Zaba: “Noro must have so many problems if islands just disappear and appear on a whim.”

Derek: Most importantly though, he kind of pencils in like other things across the map. Because like your map is pretty big. Like this is a huge, kind of continent map. He kind of gives you a rundown. Like,

Kurum: “Yes like this Great Desert that has always been at the center, that's where the legend has it that Tang Kai originally brought about The Hundred Years of Sun. And that's you know, where the ruins of the Okaran empire are, you know. Like their cities are all destroyed and somewhere in there.”

Zaba: “If there's still a way to pass information along to other Guardians, I would warn them that um...Tang Kai was headed toward that location. If there are any Guardians who are able to go to that meeting, perhaps we can restart the old ways again.”

Kurum: “That might be nice, but what you saw this morning with you -- with your companions. What happened to you and your companions is a pretty normal occurrence. The people of Edysus they're rapidly, rapidly expanding. And expanding not only their territory, but their land and their power. And that is something that, for my village, is not great. There's been conflict and we are fighting over resources.

And I'm just one Guardian against -- there's more people like those guards and thugs you fought. That you know, that your friend fought earlier. Uh you know, the old ways are great and I think it would be great to have them back, but until I cannot make any promises. But if any other Guardians come this way, I'll let them know that you would like to do something like that but. Unfortunately, times are tough.”

Zaba: “I understand.”

Kurum: “Feel free to stay the night. And um...we can help with supplies.”

Zaba: “Uh that would be. That would be much, much, much appreciated.”

Mya: Yeah there's just foods. [gestures to the food-laden picnic table]

Kurum: “Yeah well. I'll send someone to stock your canoes by morning.”

Zaba: “Well, I should. Find my companions.”

[sfx plays indicating a scene change]

Kyla: Do I bump into Driftwood on the way out, is the question.

Derek: Yeah, you actually see Driftwood staring at the lake. As you kind of walk out with your two swords on your back.

Kyla: I suddenly walk next to them, but I did it really quietly so they don't notice I don't -- at least I don't think they notice that I'm there.

Justin: Are you right behind me? [Kyla, Justin, and Mya laugh]

Kyla: I'm like next to you, but slightly behind you.

Justin: Driftwood like suddenly turns, and then [laughs] knocks into Ernie, and they fall like on their ass.

Kyla: Oh no! Can I try and grab you before you fall?

Derek: Roll me a d20.

Kyla: Roll so that Driftwood doesn't fall on their ass.

Mya: I was hoping one of you would scream.

Kyla: [laughs] Why would I scream?

Mya: I don’t know. Maybe surprise?

Kyla: I got a 17.

Derek: Yeah, yeah Driftwood. Yeah so Driftwood you like turn and you bump right into Ernie and you fall back. And Ernie you like reach your hand out and grab them by the shirt and pull them back up.

Justin: So a loose chip like flies into the air and Driftwood tries to catch it in their mouth. [everyone laughs] 

Kyla: I'm just holding --

Justin: I'm gonna roll.

Kyla: -- I'm holding you by the, I'm holding you by the, I'm holding you by the shirt and you're just kind of like [mimes Driftwood caught in place].

Derek: Yeah. 

Mya: Oh my gosh.

Justin: I rolled an eleven. [everyone laughs]

Kyla: Oh, hard choice.

Derek: That's a success! That’s a success!

Kyla: Oh it’s a success! Ohhh ok.

Derek: Yeah so - so as you're getting pulled up, Driftwood you flip a chip into the air and catch it. [laughs]

Justin: Are there like kids or someone to impress walking around?

Kyla: I mean you impress me! [laughs]

Justin: [laughs too]Yeah.

Derek: You like glance back towards the chip stall and you just see Mijira just staring at you. She looks very impressed. [laughter. Driftwoods flashes a thumbs up.] She's got like her hands, like she puts a second hand on her face as she's watching you eat the chips. [mimes cupping her face]

Justin: Yeah!

Kyla: Nice reflexes.

Derek: She gives you a thumbs up.

Driftwood: “These are pretty good you want some?” [chews]

Ernie: “Um, sure.”

Driftwood: “Do you want me to --”

Justin: Driftwood throws it. [Justin and Kyla laugh]

Kyla: Do I have to roll to catch it?

Derek: Yeah, roll me a d20.

Kyla: Oh my god.

[laughter continues]

Kyla: I rolled a 17 again.

Mya: Woah!

Justin: Woah...

Derek: Yeah you catch it effortlessly.

Mya: So now you're you're getting your good rolls, huh?

Kyla: [laughs] I hate it here. It's because I have, it's because I have my sword now. I have my swords.

Justin: So what's the parkour move? I want to know how this chip is caught.

Derek: Ernie does a gainer -- [group laughter]

Justin: Holy shit!

Derek: -- He catches the chip.

Kyla: That's so, so unnecessary.

Justin: I'm stunned silent.

Derek: Yeah.

Justin: And then I look at Mijira to see what their reaction is. [Kyla laughs]

Derek: Mijira’s like, “.......” [shocked silent, eyes and mouth wide]

Justin: Driftwood collects themselves,

Driftwood: “Um uh. So have you heard anything weird about the lake here?”

Ernie: “The Guardian was mentioning...the guardian of the lake?

Mya: [softly] You - you - you didn't hear that. [group laughter] You didn’t hear that. You went --

[pause for more group laughter]

Kyla: Uh...never mind. Ernie’s like,

Ernie: “The who? The lake?”

Justin: Yeah Driftwood's like,

Driftwood: “Yeah...the lake. [Justin laughs] Have you heard anything?”

Kyla: I look at the lake,

Ernie: “Hm. [pause. Mya and Kyla laugh] It's uh. It's pretty big, huh.”

Driftwood: “Apparently that island moves.”

Ernie: “There's an island?” [Ernie bobs their head and squints at the lake]

Justin: Oh yeah, Driftwood’s not wearing the go -- [group laughter]

Mya: You’re still squinting. [laughs]

Ernie: “I'm never gonna get used to seeing bodies of water.”

Driftwood: “Uh well, yes there is an island that moves. Um, that's odd! And from this spot I can already feel this chaotic sense from the lake.”

Kyla: Ernie tries really hard to feel the chaotic sense...and gets nothing.

Justin: Driftwood goes, actually just stands up. And starts going to the lake.

Kyla: Okay I mean, I don't stop them I guess. I'm sitting on the bank, so I guess I just watch.

Justin: Driftwood turns back and says,

Driftwood: “I'll be, I'll be right back. I just want to check something.”

Ernie: “Um, don't go too far out of sight.”

Justin: Is there anyone around is, or there's like no one around?

Derek: There's just Ernie. Just Ernie's around, like behind you.

Justin: Okay. Okay, can I see the island?

Derek: Yeah, you see…you see this sort of like dark-looking like land mass out in the lake.

Justin: And is it moving?

Derek: It's less so moving and it looks like it's more drifting. Like you can't quite tell if it's planted in the ground or if it's drifting as sort of the water moves.

Justin: Uh-huh okay, can I sense anything since my feet are already in the water. Can I sense anything that I haven't sensed already?

Derek: Go ahead and roll me a 20-sided die.

Justin: 15.

Derek: 15. Okay you sense the presence of an ancient sort of magic, magical creature. Like you feel that the lake is in fact home to something you can't quite -- you're a bit too far away to communicate with it, but you do know that there is that the villagers are in fact correct. Like there is something in the lake.

Justin: Driftwood puts both of their hands in the water and casts Relief.

Derek: As you dip both your hands into the lake and you cast Relief. I feel like almost a sort of blue, luminescent light kind of emanates and like ripples through the water. Um and like through this island, whatever creature lives here, you do sort of feel it relax. And you start to see the island at the center, you begin to see it like sink a little bit…and eventually it disappears beneath the surface of the lake.

Justin: Driftwood does a short -- closes their eyes and gives a short -- prayer for Mitra,

Driftwood: “Goddess Mitra, I know you may be far from your site, from where you were receiving your prayers. And I know your temple has recently just been destroyed by Tang Kai, but I am calling in hopes that you're able to relieve the spirit that is in this lake.”

Justin: Uh, so Driftwood leaves. And opens their eyes, like recollects themselves. And then once they get out, they're really cold. [chuckles] Like their feet and their hands are very cold. Like ice-cold. So they run back to Ernie um and they're like,

Driftwood: “Oh my god! That water's so cold!” [shivers]

[Kyla and Mya laugh]

Kyla: Oh my god, can I try and like rub your hands to warm them up?

Mya: Can Zaba have come - come - come looking for y'all and find y'all at that moment?

Zaba: “What are you two doing?”

Ernie: “Um.”

Driftwood: “Uh.”

Ernie: “Driftwood, uh...took a swim.”

Zaba: “That explains nothing.” [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Ernie: “Zaba do you have anything warm? Driftwood’s freezing.”

Mya: I have like a cloak. It's like a long, rectangular piece of cloth that can be like wrapped around…I think I have it around my belt right now. But I say,

Zaba: “Um...well I have, I have this. The the canoe is a little far to go back to right now.”

Mya: So I untie the belt which is uh. It's a piece of, a long piece of cloth so I sometimes use it like a scarf and I. [pause] I mean…[laughs].

Kyla: Do you just hand it to me, instead of…? [laughter]

Mya: Yeah, I give it to you,

Zaba: “Here.”

Ernie: “Oh, okay.”

Kyla: I think I drape it over your shoulders, Driftwood.

Driftwood: “Blasted Eridus! [shivers] This --”

Ernie: “Eridus?!”

Driftwood: “I feel foolish! Foolish.”

Ernie: “Oh, okay. Eridus played a trick on you. The waters here don't seem to be as warm as the ocean.”

Driftwood: [still shivering] “N-n-n-n-n-n-no.” [Justin laughs]

Ernie: [Kyla laughs] “Um…let's, let's get Driftwood someplace warmer.”

Derek: Yeah as the three of you re-enter the village Kurum greets you all again and leads you to a tent that they've set up, and set up for the three of you. Inside, there is a bonfire and some wool-like bedding, some blankets, some snacks, some chips. There's like a little basket, Driftwood on your bed in particular, that has like chips in it. All kinds of chips. More chips.

Justin: Aw…

Derek: Ernie on yours there's a lot. There's a bucket and a washcloth. [Kyla laughs and so does Derek] And some like first aid supplies. And then uh Zaba, yours has a curtain that you can pull around...yours so you can sleep without your mask. Yeah

Kyla: Can there also be a sewing kit in mine, because my shirt?

Derek: Yeah.

Kyla: My entire day I'm walking around, there's like, there's like a gashing hole in my shirt. 

Derek: Oh! There's like some new clothes. There's like, straight up new clothes for everybody too. There's some fresh, wool cloths.

Kyla: We get new clothes every single village we go to. It's very nice of them. This place is known for their wool though... so.

Derek: Yes exactly, yeah there's some nice cloaks here. 

Mya: Ooh. They're much warmer than --

Kyla: I dump my, I dump my cloak over Driftwood. 

Derek: Yeah.

Kyla: Even though it's already a bonfire so now it's like really warm.

Derek: Yeah, Kurum says,

Kurum: “Feel free to keep these clothes and these blankets. Uh…we have plenty.”

Driftwood: “Th-th-th-thank thanks Kurum.”

Justin: They go back on their bed, they like cover themselves in like all of the the clothes. But before they kind of like lay down and become catatonic, Driftwood uses their knife-comb to open up one of the bags of chips. And then says,

Driftwood: “Zaba.”

Zaba: “Hm?”

Justin: So Driftwood throws a handful of chips over to Zaba. [Mya and Justin laugh]

Kyla: It’s a mess.

Derek: Roll me a d20, Zaba, to catch some of these chips.

Mya: I'm - I'm - I’m not trying to catch them! I just all -- I see is Driftwood --

[Kyla mimes chips falling. Pong p-p-p-pong]

Derek: You just get hit in the face with chips! [laughs] 

Mya: Yeah. Driftwood, obviously had noticed maybe that Zaba was looking the chips, but now I'm picking them up off the floor and eating them [laughs, Derek and Kyla also laugh].

Derek: They're really good, Zaba. Like these would make great rations.

Zaba: “Do you have any more of those?” 

Justin: Driftwood's kind of like, too tired and cold, but like underneath the blanket like a bag of chips falls out.

Zaba: “Mm.”

Kyla: I like -- you’ve just been stockpiling them next to you, like.

Justin: Yeah, they're on the bed they're like covered, they're like warmth with me right now. 

Zaba: “We'll keep these in our travels.”

Justin: “Don't eat them all.”

Derek: So I'm assuming the party goes to bed? Is there anything that the party does to prepare for bedtime? 

Mya: Oh no.

Kyla: I think Ernie's still mending their shirt. 

Derek: Okay. 

Kyla: Just because, they have new clothes but you know it’d be good to have lighter clothes --

Derek: Mhmm. 

Kyla: -- if needed. And I think they actually sleep outside.

Mya: What? 

Kyla: The desert air was very, they're used to sleeping in cold temperatures, so the tent is a little too warm for them. Yeah. But they sleep right in front of the entrance so if you have to, if you have to go outside, you have to be careful not to step on them. [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Zaba: “I don't, I don't know whether, what the purpose of this is.” [Kyla laughs]

Mya: But I, Zaba just very quickly gets ready for bed and just closes the curtain. 

Kyla: Yeah. 

Derek: Yeah. 

Derek: So Ernie you do not sleep that well outside. [Mya laughs] The air up here is a lot more humid and cold than you're used to. It's not as dry as you thought it would be so, you're actually like a little bit more cold than you anticipate so you did not sleep that well come morning when you all wake up.

Driftwood, you feel like a lot more rejuvenated, you're feeling a lot more yourself.

And Zaba, as you're getting dressed you notice that the burn you suffered from Tang Kai still hasn't fully healed. It doesn't like, hurt it doesn't sting, it doesn't feel like the skin is damaged, but like you are noticing you are sweating a little bit more than normal.

Justin: Driftwood starts doing their stretches.

Driftwood: [yawns] “What's happening today?” 

Zaba: “Well. We were going to go to Noro.”

Driftwood: “Mm. Who, we?” [Mya laughs] 

Zaba: “Yes, we.”

Ernie: “Mm. I think we should save Noro for later.”

Driftwood: “I feel like we should go to Edysus, actually.”

Ernie: “Hm, nevermind. I think we should go to Noro.” [Mya laughs]

Zaba: “Mm? You, you're really --”

Ernie: “-- Edysus and Tosu don't.. Uh, anyways. Nothing. 

Zaba: “Mm? No, you said something.” 

Driftwood: “Well I was told that they have some interesting wares over there. They have a relationship with the lake that is very different than Aleeda does, and I'm curious about this lake and what's going on here. It it leads me to believe that there is something worth seeing over there. The folks around here, the, the merchants don't seem to have...”

Zaba: “Well, if you need time to prepare for us to go to Noro.” 

Driftwood: “Let me just say that, Noro is never asked if folks are going over there, and if I have anything to say about it then I will be your guide to Noro. And so if you want to go to Noro you have to, you have to do what I say.” [group laughter]

Kyla: [laughing]You have to go through me.

Zaba: “Well of course, of course we’d be guests. Just as you two were guests in Kokoru.”

Driftwood: “Okay. Well then, I'm trying to buy a fishing rod. [Mya laughs] I'm just gonna be straight up, they don't sell any fishing rods over here.”

Kyla: I think Ernie takes off their goggles and packs them and they're like,

Ernie: “Okay. If we, if we have to, I'll go to --”

Justin: “Why, do you not, do you not want to go over there?” 

Ernie: “-- I don't really want to run into the people that we ran into yesterday morning.”

Zaba: “I'm surprised that you, you're intimidated by this.” [Kyla and Mya laugh]

Ernie: “I'm not, I'm not intimidated. I'm --”

Zaba: “You, you just.”

Ernie: “-- Okay fine. Let's go to Edysus, okay. But I am not intimidated by those punks, okay?”

Zaba: “Mm, but you just said --”

Driftwood: “Um well, well I just hope we don't have a repeat of what happened.”

Ernie: “I have a sword now.”

Driftwood: “Looks like you have two swords.”

Ernie: “Yes.”

Zaba: “Do you know how to use that sword? 

Kyla: Ernie doesn’t even answer that. [group laughter] I’m so insulted.

Justin: I look at Zaba. I'm like,

Driftwood: “I don't know if there's many other ways to use a sword.” [laughs]

Derek: Roll me a d20. 

Mya: [dice clatters] 11.

Derek: You read that it has, it's sort of like a blacksmith's stamp is on the blade and it's a name, Manu on it. 

Mya: Oh yeah, I think I'll look at it.

Zaba: “Hm.  Manu.” 

Ernie: “Oh, is that what it says?”

Derek: Ernie you recognize that name as an old blacksmith from before your time from Tosu.

Ernie: “This is a Tosu sword.”

Zaba: “Driftwood, come look at this inscription.”

Kyla: [chuckles] For what reason?

Driftwood: “Oh, yep that is a sword. And there’s writing on it.”  [Mya and Kyla laugh]

Zaba: “Driftwood, do you need a sword?”

Ernie: “E-Excuse me.”

Kyla: I grab it back from you.

Mya: I don't know if I want you to have two swords.

Justin: Driftwood’s watching a sword go in front of their face, back and forth. [group laughter]

Ernie: “Do you realize how precious this sword this is? This is --”

Driftwood: “-- Hey, careful with that.”

Zaba: “It's an old sword that you paid one whole Ruuk for.”

Ernie: “This, this sword is worth, this sword is priceless. This sword is worth more than any everything that your, your village could give in Ruuk.

Mya: I'm so offended.

Ernie: “For a piece of Tosu heritage? From, from Manu the, the storied blacksmith? Ugh, okay.”

Zaba: “I don't want to talk to you anymore. Can we leave?” [Kyla and Mya laugh]

Justin: Driftwood’s like,

Driftwood: “Whoa whoa whoa.”

Justin: Driftwood's pompadour almost gets like, sliced in the process of the sword going back and forth.

Driftwood: “Okay Ernie, you have two swords, right?” 

Ernie: “Yes, and?” 

Driftwood: “Why, I don't, I don't know, I don't need a sword. Zaba would you be comfortable if I had a sword?”

Zaba: “I'd be more comfortable with you.”

Ernie: “The only sword I'm willing to give is the wavy one.” 

Driftwood: “Okay. So, so you the Tosu one, you want the Tosu one right?”

Ernie: “Of course.”

Driftwood: “Okay, fine.”

Justin: And Driftwood like kind of takes it.

Ernie: “I mean, you don't have to take this sword if you don't want to. This is,”

Kyla: Ernie does not --

Mya: -- It's like, going back and forth back and forth in front of Zaba now.

Mya: Ernie is a little, is, doesn't seem super happy about this, but is only doing it because Zaba feels more comfortable with that.

Zaba: “I, I just don't want you to impale someone with two swords.” [group laughter]

Kyla: Ernie just gives a long stare at...

Zaba: I just start walking. I just start walking.

Derek: Okay, cool. Yeah, Driftwood you just take the sword?

Justin: Yeah Driftwood and Ernie's hand I'm sure are on the sword right now and I look directly at Ernie and I'm like,

Driftwood: “If it'll stop Zaba's shouting, [Mya laughs] I will give you the sword back, I promise.”

Ernie: [whispers]“Okay, fine. Thank you.” 

Driftwood: I just give you, I just give you the the sheath and everything. 

Derek: Great. The three of you begin to walk along the edge of the lake. Driftwood you notice that the island is not present in the lake today like it was yesterday. The water is very still, very still. And the three of you begin to make your way around as you begin to get closer and closer to this ever-growing city that appears to get bigger and bigger the closer you get

There are these walls made of stones that have been like sort of cemented together, piled high and. There is a huge portcullis gate, actually, and it's a very medieval looking castle. This is like unlike any architecture the three of you have ever seen before. It feels like very industrial to your eyes --

Kyla: Hm.

Mya: Mmm.

Derek: -- in a way that feels very unsettling. They are flying a purple flag above in one of the parapets.

Kyla: Ah, it’s purple.

Mya: Oh.

Derek: Yeah. And --

Mya: -- The person we fought wore purple.

Derek: Yes.

Kyla: And all the other, other people that came out after. 

Derek: Correct, and as you get closer you see more of those same kind of like guards dressed in like these furs and metal armors with like these metal caps.

Kyla: Ernie just stares at all of them. 

Zaba: [whispers] “Stop, don't -- stop looking at them.” 

Derek: And the three of you arrive at the portcullis which has been raised and there's just two guards at the front that put these long sort of, they're, they're longer than your spear, Zaba but they have these like axe heads on it --

Mya: Ooh. 

Derek: -- and they, yeah like halberds --

Mya & Justin simultaneously: Halberds.

Derek: -- yeah and they put them, they cross them in front of the three of you.

Guard: “What is your business here in the city of Edysus?”

Driftwood: “Fishing rod.”

Guard: “Very well. For you and your party, please pay the toll. It is one Ruuk --”

Zaba: “One Ruuk?”

Guard: “-- for access to the city. Yes, one Ruuk.”

Ernie: [whispers]“Do you think we can like sneak around the back or something?”

Zaba: [whispers] “I can turn into a bird.” 

Driftwood: “Wait, wait.”

Justin: I say,

Driftwood: “Hold up. You know we have a Guardian present.” 

Guard: “What village are you the Guardian of?”

Zaba: “Um.”[Mya laughs]

Guard: “And what business do you have with our Champion?
Zaba: “Business? I am Zaba, Guardian of Kokoru village, chosen by Bainon at birth. I have no business with your Champion.” 

Justin: I whisper to Zaba last minute,

Driftwood: “We're, we're setting up a trade channel.” 

Ernie: “Yeah, or we want to learn more about the dragon.”

Zaba: “Oh, well yes. I have, I have no business with your Champion because my fellow travelers and I are setting up a trade route for our villages. We are, we've been traveling. I've been providing protection for them.”

Ernie: “Driftwood, do you have any more of the chips?”

Driftwood:: “Yeah.” 

Justin: Driftwood, Driftwood finds a loose bag of zucchini chips. 

Driftwood: “Yes, we're, we're trading these.” [Justin laughs, followed by the rest of the group]

Justin: It looks kind of unimpressive.

Ernie: “No. No give them -- here.” 

Kyla: I, I take one from Driftwood and I like pass them out to the guards.

Ernie: “A free sample.”

Zaba: “Our rations.” [group muffles laughter]

 Derek: They begin to kind of munch, like ‘Hm, not bad, not bad.’ [group laughter] Zaba, roll me a d20. [more group laughter]

Kyla: Yeah, RIP. We did give them, that was our rations, huh.

Mya: We have food, but I’m like ‘Nooo!’ 

Driftwood: “We have more at the tent.”

Zaba: “We're running out of money.” 

Mya: [dice clatters]Um, 14. 

Derek: That is a success. The guards pull back their halberds and they say, 

Guard: “Very well. The three of you may enter. Enjoy your stay in Edysus.”

Derek: And then go back to guarding the gate. And the three of you enter into a town. All three of you like almost simultaneously step onto like this sort of dirt road and you just hear a [squelching sound] as you step into like mud. And you realize like the roads here are just like, very muddy, very dirty. There's like a wagon that rolls by that splashes you all with like water and mud.

The city is like these very narrow roads with these very tall buildings that are sort of like haphazardly constructed. You hear a lot of noise. There's a lot of people shouting, screaming. You see people pushing mine carts. You see all kinds of people peddling wares and talking and socializing and like running around. Lots of these guards everywhere. All with all kinds of weapons. You don't see the guard that you fought the other day.

Justin: We stick out? 

Derek: Yes the three of you very much stick out.

Mya: None of us are --

Derek: -- A Guardian.

Mya: [laughs] A Guardian. Yes

Derek:  A Guardian and a, and a villager from Noro definitely would stick out. Ernie kind of blends in. 

Driftwood: “Fishing rod.” 

Justin: Driftwood kind of is like singularly focused. Like this is all pretty gross. 

Ernie: “Yeah. I mean, did we want to talk to the Champion?” 

Zaba: “No.”

Ernie: “Okay, me neither.”

Zaba: “That's not a Guardian.” 

Derek: The three of you make your way down to the marketplace where you see just people packed shoulder to shoulder haggling for goods. And after some searching you're able to find a fisherman who's selling fishing rods, and he's willing to trade. So what can you offer him to trade for the fishing rod?

Justin: Ugh. Um, I still have chips. [Mya and Kyla laugh] Do I, I'm trying to like -- 

Derek: Yeah. 

Justin: -- remember. 

Zaba: [whispered] Our rations! 

Derek: Okay, you've got chips.

Justin: So Zaba’s like, I pull it out, the instant I pull it out, Zaba’s like, ‘What are you doing?!’ [Mya laughs]

Mya: Yeah. [continues laughing] 

Ernie: “We can go back to the chips vendor.” 

Zaba: “Our chips.”

Driftwood: “Yes, we have a great relationship with them --”

Zaba: “Okay.”

Driftwood: “-- so it's we're fine. Would you, how would these, how are these to trade for you?”

Fisherman: “Hmm.”

Derek: He tastes one of them. Roll me up a d20.

Justin: 20. 

Mya & Kyla simultaneously: “Yeah!” “Yes!” 

Derek: He's like, yeah. He just hands you the fishing rod, no words, takes the bag of chips.

Driftwood: “Well...” 

Justin: I kind of like whisper over to Zaba and Ernie,

Driftwood: “I, I feel like we did everything we needed to do here right then and there.” 

Ernie: “Yeah, I kind of want to get out of here too.” 

Driftwood: “Yeah it's kind of, kind of smells for sure.”

Mya: The last thing I ask, what is this person's name?

Derek: Aah.

Mya: I'm gonna make you come up with a name. [group laughter] 

Derek: His name.

Mya: Right now. 

Kyla: The threat! 

Derek: Teorz.

Mya: Teorz?

Zaba: “Teorz, what can you tell me about this Champion of yours?” 

Teorz: “I mean the people like him. He's not part of the root royal family, so you know he's kind of like the people's Champion in a lot of ways. Can be probably a bit brash or a bit you know rough around the edges, but he's, you know, not a bureaucrat, so I kind of like that.”

Zaba: “Absolutely.”

Mya: Zaba doesn't know what a king or bureaucrat is. [Kyla and Justin laugh]

Zaba: “Mmhmm. I see. Well, we've taken up enough of your time. [whispers] Let's go, let's go.”

Derek: As you're making your way out, you see the Champion, Jak, the guy in the full suit of our metal armor bringing in Sidon. Sidon, your pal from Tosu, the runaway heir of Tosu. The man's eyes go wide with joy and he says:

Sidon: “Ernie my friend.”

Derek: Then he like goes to like try and hug you, but then at that point Jak yanks the chain, and just you see Sidon just go ‘Aah!’ [Mya laughs] and he kind of like falls over and gets like, dragged up. And he’s like,

Sidon: “Ernie, it's not as bad as it looks. I'm doing quite well. It was good to see you, oh my goodness!” 

Ernie: I like mouth,

Ernie: “What are you doing here?!” 

Mya: Just being dragged on the ground.

Sidon: “This is where I ended up after we parted ways, good friend. You know you should come visit me sometime. Hahaha.” 

Ernie: “Yeah, talk later.” 

Sidon: “Isn’t that right, Jak?”

Ernie: “Please be quiet.” 

Sidon: “Ahaha, Ernie, it's so good to see you.”

Ernie: “Lower your voice!”

Zaba: “You know that person?”

Ernie: “Let's get out of here first.”

[theme music fades in]

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, with additional sound design and sound effects by Brian Kim.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @diceandpizza for updates on the show, and check out the the video or audio version of this on Youtube or wherever you get your local podcasts.

What a wild ride that was, from combat, to learning more about the Guardians, to discovering chips and going to Edysus, the biggest city that Zaba, Ernie and Driftwood have been to, ever. Thank you so much for tuning in to our show this week. Our next episode will be coming to you in two weeks on Monday, November 29th. We'll see you then. And hopefully Ernie will see Sidon again.

[theme music fades out]