Sam  0:00

The sky is a blaze of color as the eternal, purple flame atop Black Hill blends into the reds, oranges, and darkening blues of the sunset. The work day is coming to a close. Workers of all shapes and sizes roll their carts, portable forges and foundries, water tanks, and caches of precious sky metal down the steep and winding road that leads from the summit to the town of Torch below. One by one, lanterns in the houses light as lanterns in the shops are snuffed. Parents greet their families, weary from a hard of work and sit down for a well-earned dinner. Life in Torch is good. Quiet, stable, prosperous, and safe, all in direct contrast to the harsh plains that surround the town. And all thanks to the flame at the top of the hill. A human man, his long, black hair streaked with grey, stands outside the entrance to the Foundry tavern, smiling warmly. He greets everyone who enters as a friend, clapping them on the shoulder, sharing hugs with those he hasn’t seen in a while, perhaps a kiss on the cheek with those he knows particularly well. The stream of citizens moves in and out – mostly in – as the sky steadily darkens overhead. When the flow of customers finally seems to end, and the tavern is quite lively indeed, the man turns towards the inside, content to leave his post, but he stops when the Torch catches his eye. He stares up at the flame high above the town, now the only light against a cloudy night’s sky. The huge purple flame flickers, then suddenly erupts twice as tall as normal. The flames die back over several seconds, flicker out, come back on again smaller than ever before. Reflexively, the man at the Foundry takes a single step towards Torch Hill. The flame sputters one last time before winking out entirely. The Black Hill looms, almost invisible against the starless sky. The Torch is out. Welcome to Pod Against the Machine.


Sam  2:39

Welcome to Pod Against the Machine! Not the only actual play podcast but the only one I’m talking about right now. My name is Sam and I’ll be your host and your GM and you’re going to hear entirely too much of my voice soon. So we’re going to get things started with the first of many, many rolls. I need everyone to roll for initiative.


Zak  2:58

So soon!


Izzy  3:01

I have a guess… Oh, that’s a nat one. So we’ll lay that out, let’s… let’s get started the right way.


Gero  3:10

I have a nat three to follow that up.


Sam  3:14

Alright, we got a nat three for Vaargas? What’s the total there?


Gero   3:17

His would be a four.


Izzy  3:20

I was wallowing in shame. Uh, Six total.


Sam  3:26



Zak  3:28

Brixbi rolled a six for a big nine.


Jeff  3:34

Uh-Oh, how did I… How did my natural eight end up in first place with a total of 12?


Sam  3:42

All right, well then with first place you get the honors of introducing yourself. First, we’re gonna go around the table in initiative order.


Jeff  3:50

Hey, I’m Jeff. And I am playing Asher. I don’t know how much info we are gonna reveal beyond that. And I am super charismatic and good behind a microphone. So yeah, it’ll be great. Why did I go first? As like the most awkward one? Listen, look back on this and think, ‘how did this rock star, this, this Tony Award winning person have such a terrible, terrible start to the podcast?’


Sam  4:26

All right, let’s roll to Zak.


Zak  4:30

I’m Zak. I’ll be playing Brixbi Renttail. And I’ve been playing role playing games for, I don’t know… on and off for about a decade and started with Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition. But I love Pathfinder. And I’m very excited to play with all of you.


Sam  4:51

All right, we’ll go to Izzy.


Izzy  4:54

I’m Izzy. I will be playing Kera, Kera Smyth, but spelt with a Y so that it’s you know, fantasy. I have been playing role playing games, mostly play by post since I was a kid. Tabletop has been kind of my quarantine sourdough. So instead of making food for my family, I just got really invested in various tabletop games, and I’m super stoked to learn more.


Sam  5:22

All right, and last but not least, Gero.


Gero 5:27

Not sure about the “not least” I am Gero and like everybody else I’ve been playing role playing games for quite a while, played a lot in school, then stopped for a long time, which may or may not had to do with a certain edition of the game coming out that I was not a super big fan of, got back into it later and then moved on to Pathfinder after that. And I am playing Vaargas, also known as “Vaargas No-Clan”, and “Vaargas the Broken.” He is a real delight, life of the party.


Sam  6:13

All right. As I said before, I am Sam, I’ll be the Game Master. So I’m playing all of the characters who aren’t important enough to name yet. And in case this is your first actual play podcast or your first experience with Pathfinder or tabletop role playing games in general, I’ll just go over the concept for a second. Pathfinder is a pen and paper, or in this case laptop and microphone game wherein the players, those wonderful people you just heard from, each play the role of one of the main characters in a world that one person, me, presents and populates with puzzles, perils, monsters and non-player characters. You’ve likely heard of Dungeons & Dragons. Pathfinder was spun off from that game about a decade ago by people who wanted to make sure that their role playing games had as much math in them as possible. I’ll also be adjudicating the player successes and failures according to the rules of the game, the numbers on their character sheets, and the numbers they roll on their dice. And together, we’re going to tell an epic story. The stakes are real, the characters can die at any time and I think anyone on this cast can tell you, can attest to the fact, that I don’t pull punches. I may accidentally kill characters from time to time…


The story we’re going to be playing is the Iron Gods Adventure Path from Paizo Publishing. It takes place in a unique part of Paizo’s primary campaign setting, the world of Golarion, in the nation of Numeria. Numeria is a rugged, barren country where few crops grow, few wild animals roam, and many of those who do are mutated, toxic and dangerous, if not outright alien. The land is scattered with strange artifacts and ruins, metal men who walk and think on their own, peculiar chemicals that warp bodies and minds and of course, nefarious power hungry people who are out to gather these artifacts, control the power they grant and destroy any who stand in their way. Just you know, your standard stuff. So, introductions aside, how’s everybody feeling?


Izzy 8:14

I mean, okay, we just… it’s not like we’re gonna die today. Right? That’s, that’s how that usually works, is what I’m told. So…


Sam  8:22

Theoretically, we’ll make it through at least the first session.


Jeff 8:27

I mean, if I roll as well as I introduce myself, this doesn’t bode well for Asher.


Izzy  8:34

We’ll be deeply entertained.


Sam  8:37

On the plus side, none of you rolled up in the double digits on your first roll of the podcast. So we got that out of the way.


Izzy  8:45

I feel like we’ve said that before.


Zak  8:46

Setting the tone!


Sam  8:49

The town of Torch, where we’ll be playing tonight, has long enjoyed a singular claim to prosperity: a violet flame that burns atop Black Hill in the heart of the town. This flame burns incredibly hot and is usually the size of a bonfire. The violet energy is allowing the smelting of all manner of sky metal. Torch is one of the only locations where sky metals can be worked with relative ease outside of the city of Starfall. And its entire economy has risen around these purple flames. Traveling smiths come from across the continent to pay for the opportunity to work with them. Of course, Torch needs all the visiting trade and coin it can gather for while the town’s distance from Starfall makes it inconvenient for the Technic League to maintain a permanent presence here, the taxes and tariffs it charges the Numerian town on a monthly basis are significant. The town prospers but the bulk of its income does not belong to it. Which is why when the fire atop the hill suddenly goes out, the town is in trouble indeed. Eight days have passed without so much as a spark from the top of Black Hill. Rumors are starting to take hold and the townsfolk are growing uneasy. Skilled artisans are packing up their supplies and leaving town, taking the lifeblood of Torch with them. We join our story on a muddy Fireday morning the air smells of acidic rain and the bustle of market day more subdued than normal to be sure it’s just starting to fill the air.


Zoom in on the front porch of the Evercandle Inn. The proprietors have set up a station there for their guests to clean their boots after a day out in the Wastes. There are low wide buckets of water, brushes of varying stiffness, and pads of saddle soap and polish along with several sturdy wooden chairs. At this moment, only one of these chairs is occupied. Jeff, why don’t you introduce us to the owner of the muddy boots.


Jeff  10:38

The muddy boots belong to a strapping man. He’s tall, about six foot three and has brown hair underneath a leather, somewhat traditional looking, what we would know as a cowboy hat. And otherwise his garb, which really doesn’t match his hat to begin with, looks a little out of place here. If you just saw him, you might think he belongs in the desert and has no what… why on earth would he be this far from presumably where he’s dressed for. But nevertheless, he is here for reasons and he has sort of a half-smile as he wipes the mud off a mildly successful foray out into the surroundings.


Sam  11:35

Alright. And as Asher is sitting out on the porch, he hears a sudden thump from inside the building behind him.


Jeff  11:44

Well, then he would call out and say, “Is everything all right in there?”


Sam  11:52

And voice calls back, the voice belongs to the elderly proprietor of the in Soceal Musgrave calls out, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”


Jeff (as Asher) 12:04

Ah, I’ve never heard that phrase before, but I think it may catch on as both descriptive and potentially… nevermind, I’ll be right there!


Jeff  12:14

And he runs in to lift her up.


Sam  12:18

After a quick scan of the room, he finds her behind the front desk and she’s just sort of on the floor just trying to push herself up. She’s fallen off her chair.


Jeff  12:31

He’ll sort of respectfully and gingerly hold out his arm for her to steady herself on and carefully set her back up on her chair.


Jeff (as Asher)  12:37

Are you injured at all from the fall?


Sam  (as Soceal) 12:47

No, no, I’m quite alright. Thank you for, for your assistance. It’s just this, this headache is driving me mad. It’s three days now. I guess I tried to get up. I got dizzy.


Jeff (as Asher) 13:03

A headache for three days. Are you typically one to have such maladies? Is this normal for you?


Sam (as Soceal) 13:12

Before this never sick a day in my life. But, I don’t know… I’ve heard others around town complaining of the same ailment but Joram Kyte hasn’t been able to find a cause. He thinks it might just be a mental thing.


Jeff (as Asher) 13:30

A mental thing…out of concern?


Sam (as Soceal) 13:33

A stress reaction, perhaps to the torch being out.


Jeff (as Asher) 13:38

Yes, I know. That’s more than a small source of concern for the town.


Sam (as Soceal) 13:45

If you could help me back to my room I, I don’t think I’ll be able to prepare lunch today. You you’ll be better off going out to the market to find a meal.


Jeff (as Asher) 13:59

Of course, that’s nothing to concern yourself about.


Jeff  14:05

And he’ll walk her slowly back to her room.


Sam  14:09

And she’s very thankful and goes slowly back to her room accepting Asher’s assistance. And we zoom out from the Evercandle Inn and over on to the river that sort of bisects the town running just south of the Black Hill. The Sellen’s Whisper, a small barge, drifts further upstream than usual this morning, Captain Jorgo Danung frowns as he looks over the paltry market date crowds and drops anchor just a few 100 yards from the square. Normally coming into Torch at this time of day especially on Fireday, the barges would plug up the river into town so thick you could walk from one to the other and never see the murky, polluted water beneath your feet. Hells! Merchants would be setting up stalls on their decks rather than fighting for a spot in Market Square. This week though is different. The traffic is going, not coming. Space is plentiful. Merchants are few, far between and oddly subdued. Jorgo locks the anchor and wheel in place with a grunt, staring up at the Black Hill in the distance.


Sam (as Jorgo)  15:14

“Guess you’re right Brixbi,” He calls over to the other person standing on the deck. “Torch ain’t got no torch.” Zak, why don’t you introduce the person Jorgo’s talking to.


Zak  15:27

So Brixbi, kind of a four-foot one to four-foot two gray straight-haired ratfolk, or Ysoki, sort of waddles his not considerable but somewhat portly bulk over to the captain and regards the Black Mountain.


Zak (as Brixbi)  15:42

I told you captain, I heard that the torch was out. I’m… I’m afraid I’m not gonna get anything for what I’ve brought.


Sam  (as Jorgo)  15:59

Well, I’m afraid we might all be losing money today. But I’m here to pick up an order and I’m guessing if the torch is out and no one can work…my shipment won’t be ready in time and my buyers will be out of money and it’s just a nightmare.


Zak (as Brixbi)  16:21

Nothing seems to work, eh, Cap?


Zak  16:25

And elbows him right about shin level.


Sam (as Jorgo) 16:28

Jorgo smiles down at the ratfolk and sort of makes the last adjustments to the boat and looks out at the paltry crowd ahead. He says,


Sam (as Jorgo)  16:36

Well, you’re already paid up. Feel free to hop out here. And, uh, if you’re heading back south, oh, let me know. I will be leaving before nightfall.


Zak  (as Brixbi) 16:56

Well, thank you, Captain. I appreciate the safe ride and good company. I’ll see you if my luck doesn’t…run out.


Zak  17:05

And he ominously hops off the side of the boat.


Sam  17:15

And as Brixbi disembarks from the boat we zoom out once more and head over to the north side of town, up along the eastern edge of the Hill, where a bleachling gnome in absolutely filthy clothes is attempting to hoist an oversized burlap sack over his shoulder and drag it down the street leading south. Struggling under the weight for a few steps before sighing dropping it on the ground and tromping over to a nearby dilapidated barn and pounding on the door. He clears his throat and calls through the door.


Sam (as Garritt) 17:49

I know you’re there, Kera! Come on out and I’ll give ya silver if you carry my stuff to market.


Sam  17:56

Izzy, who is hiding in this particular barn?


Izzy  18:00

Kera is a half-orc, six foot, 200-ish pounds, technically mature by half-orc standards, but grew up with a couple of human girls and desperately emulates them. So, she will come out of the barn looking somewhere between disheveled and you know, like she’s been caught, but also wanting to help and just,


Izzy (as Kera)  18:25

Oh, sure, I was just.. umm.. looking for some, okay, yeah, I can help Sure.


Izzy  18:32

And she’ll go over and pick up a piece of metal


Sam  18:35

The gnome nods and waits for her to pick up the sack and then starts walking and sort of assumes that she’s following him without looking back.


Sam (as Garritt)  18:48

I heard you got mixed up in some trouble. I don’t blame you though, it’s those aliens, the aliens are pulling the strings, messing things up for everyone lately. Everyone but me. The people can’t smelt new parts without the torch. So they’re going to need my parts from the scrapyard!



Sam  19:09

He gives her a sort of a wise smile.


Izzy (as Kera) 19:13

Yeah, tell me again about, what did you say..,aliens?”


Sam (as Garritt) 19:19

That’s what I’ve heard.


Izzy (as Kera) 19:23

Oh, well. Is anyone… who did you hear that from? Is anyone in town gonna check that out?”


Sam  19:31

They sort of hunches down amongst his shoulders and reaches into one of his dirty pockets and pulls out a little metal hat and puts it on his head. He says,


Sam (as Garritt) 19:42

You didn’t hear it from me, and I didn’t hear it from you, that’s all I know.


Izzy (as Kera) 19:49

Yeah, totally. Where did you want me to put this? I’m gonna leave.


Sam (as Garritt)  19:55

Straight to the marketplace and you get your silver.


Izzy (as Kera)  19:59

Cool. Okay, thanks.


Izzy  20:01

She will hasten her way there.


Sam  20:05

All right, and we’ll zoom out from that road and pan down the side of the Black Hill across the street over a sprawling graveyard. And we see generations of Torch, Torch’s dead laying buried there. Their final resting place is marked with short, simple headstones. An ancient human man, his hair long and white climbs out of a freshly dug grave, the last in a row of ten, all still open, waiting for occupants. He wipes the sweat from his forehead with the back of his arm, picks up his shovel, and leans it against the nearby headstone. Muttering a prayer to himself, he moves his right hand in a spiral, nods solemnly, and turns back to the Chapel of the Wanderer. Ahead, he sees a man exiting the chapel, his boots pointed towards the center of town. Mylan Radli, the old Pharasman Grave Digger, jogs after his guest. Gero who’s the old man chasing?


Gero 20:59

He is chasing a late-middle age Kellid. Also, about six two, that seems to be a running theme here. Long kind of square face would normally have pretty normal features, except for the fact that the entire right side of his head appears to be horrifically burned. And his right arm appears to have been replaced with a poorly-made metal prosthetic.


Sam  21:40

Radli runs up to Vaargas as he sees him walking away and a little bit out of breath says


Sam (as Mylan)  21:48

I’ve heard rumors about you. Mister No-Clan, rumors that there’s troubles following you or that you bring trouble? I don’t, I won’t ask you if they’re true. I just want to point out that this is a dangerous time right now with the torch out. We don’t need any more trouble.


Gero  22:11

He will turn and he stares at the old man, kind of got a frown on his face.


Gero (as Vaargas)  22:22

Trouble is something…yes, that does follow me. However, in this case…


Gero  22:33

Then he turns and looks towards the center of town where the torch isn’t burning any more.


Gero (as Vaargas)  22:39

It looks like it beat me here.


Gero  22:43

He sighs, shoulders slumped down a little bit, and he starts heading back out towards town.


Sam  22:51

And the old man, will just sort of stand there and watch him go, do another spiral with his right hand, and then turn back and head back towards the chapel. As Vaargas is walking down the street, he’s walking at about the same pace as a man just a little ways up ahead in what we call now a cowboy hat, who happens to be almost the exact same height as him, as they’re both heading south in the road towards the marketplace.


The Fireday market this week is lackluster. Vendors are few and far between and none of the regular foundries and smiths have bothered to set up their carts and sell sky metal wares to the highest bidder. Instead, most of the vendors here are selling food, clothing, and traveling gear. And most of the customers filling up the Market Square are surly folks from out of town looking to get their supplies for the trip and head home. There are a few signs of what the market once was: Sanvil Trett, the traveling technology dealer, has set up a sizable stall and is entertaining a few customers with stories of the road. Aska Unterit, the smelt runner normally in charge of access to the flames at the top of the hill, sits up on her perch on the second floor deck of the tax collector’s office on the edge of the square, looking down at the proceedings with a perpetual frown on her face.


Brixbi, you’ve come into the market square from the pond on the north side. The rest of you are on foot heading into the square from the southeast. You all happen to be converging in the same place at pretty close to the same time. Tell me, what are you all doing?


Zak  24:32

Ah, so Brixbi is headed to Sanvil.


Jeff  24:38

Oddly enough, so is Asher.


Izzy  24:42

I think, is Kera still following your scrappy gnome?


Sam  24:49

Yeah. Garritt will just sort of lead Kera to the closest totally empty space in the market square and say,


Sam (as Garritt)  24:59

Just, just, dump it all out here. Just right here.


Izzy (as Kera) 25:04

Sure thing.


Izzy  25:06

She will do so.


Gero  25:07

And Vaargas is just basically kind of wandering in a mope. He seems like he’s just kind of lost. Like it feels like this is something he’s been doing every day since he got to town. He just wanders the streets and happened to head towards the market today.


Sam  25:32

Okay, Sanvil Trett has a little bit of a crowd around him as he’s telling some story from the road, doubtless exaggerated, though you could never tell: the man gets all over Numeria. So perhaps he’s seen the gargoyles and the walking machines that he claims to have. But he does, when he sees Brixbi, his eyes light up a little bit and he winds his story down and sort of implies to the customers surrounding him that show time’s over. He claps his hands together as the rat approaches and says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  26:10

Well, well, well. Hey, if it isn’t Ole Brix. Got anything special for me?


Zak (as Brixbi) 26:10

Oh, Sanvil. I didn’t mean to break up your show there! Didn’t realize you had such a captive audience. But yeah, I might have something special for you.


Zak  26:32

He smiles his cheese yellow teeth.


Sam  (as Sanvil) 26:35

Yeah, well, I was just passing the time. I mean, ain’t nobody here buying anything today and, and they don’t have anything worth selling, though. Of course, my luck could change if you found something out on the Wastes.


Zak (as Brixbi) 26:49

Well, mate, I don’t think many people in Torch would say that today is a day of good luck for them. But, Sanvil Tret, you may.


Zak  27:00

And he kind of pulls out this, wrapped in an oil cloth, object in his kind of fat rat paw, slowly undoing the four corners of it to reveal it to Sanvil, looking over his shoulder a bit to almost add an air of mystery to the value of the item that he is presenting.


Sam  27:25

Mr. Trett peers down at the item, adjusting glasses that he is not wearing. He says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  27:32

Well, well, well. What have we here?


Zak (as Brixbi)  27:36

Well, you know mate, anything that comes from up there


Zak  27:40

As he gestures towards the sky.


Zak (as Brixbi)  27:43

We can only guess what it does. But I think I’ve managed to figure this one out. it uh….


Zak 27:50

And he holds it up to his face.


Zak (as Brixbi, distorted)  27:53

Does something to your voice.


Zak  27:56

And then he puts it back in Sanvil’s hand.


Sam  28:00

He laughs and takes it looking it over, says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  28:04

Wow, I haven’t seen one of these before. Very interesting, very interesting.


Sam  28:12

He holds it up. Up, like, into the sun to sort of look it over. And he reaches into his pocket, and you can hear coins jingling in there. And then he seems to, he stops himself and sort of bites his lips and cocks his head to the side. And he says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  28:31

You know, I’m kind of saving my money today for something. ‘Cause I hear rumors that as beautiful as this little contraption you’ve brought me is, I hear rumors that a full-fledged automaton came out from under the Black Hill a few days ago. Somebody in this town has got what they call a gearsman. Only one I’ve ever seen or heard of outside of Starfall and I’d love to get my hands on that.


Zak (as Brixbi)  29:06

Mate, I think you and a good part of this country would like to get their hands on a gearsman. Not being in the hands of one.


Zak  29:15

He pulls on his non-existent fat rat collar.


Zak (as Brixbi) 29:20

But that said, I mean, I…like you said if no one’s buying I’m happy to pack this up, and you know, see what that gnome down there might be willing to pay for it.


Sam  29:33

He glances over at Garritt who is arranging his pile of scraps on the ground with his feet, sort of just kicking pieces this way and that to spread them out. And then he says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  29:46

Well, I could give you let’s call it…Let’s call it 15 gold for this.


Zak (as Brixbi)  29:55

Sanvil, you know, as a rat, my eyes might not be great, but these…


Zak  30:03

He flips one of his ears.


Zak (as Brixbi)  30:05

Are fantastic. And I heard that jingling in your pocket. It sounds like you could part with 20.


Sam  30:13

Hummm…Why don’t you roll a diplomacy check.


Zak  30:19

First roll and it is something with a negative one. Ah, fantastic. We got a seven here. That’s an eight on the die from my brand new Die Hard Dice. Die Hard Dice.


Sam  30:35

So he kind of frowns and says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  30:38

Well like I said, Brix, these are lean times and I’m holding out hope that I can get my hands on that automaton.


Zak (as Brixbi)  30:46

Well, maybe lean for you.


Zak  30:49

He grabs his stomach.


Zak (as Brixbi)  30:51

But not for me. I’ll take 15 gold. I gotta stay fed.


Zak  30:55

And he, with a little bit of defeat in his face that he’s trying to hide, thrusts the piece out, holds out another paw.


Sam  31:04

And he pulls the coin out and hands it over in return for the item which he’ll place off in his cart. Then, yes, Kera did get the silver piece from the gnome. He parted with it rather reluctantly. See, you guys are rich.


Zak (as Brixbi)  31:23

Pleasure as always, Sanvil.


Jeff  31:27

And Asher, who is standing sort of nearby, patiently waiting. Does kind of lean in and say,


Jeff (as Asher)  31:37

Did I, and of course, apologies if I overheard something not meant for others to hear but…you say a full-fledged automaton has appeared in town?


Sam (as Sanvil) 31:54

That’s what they say. They say Khonnir Baine himself pulled it out from under the hole in the…over up yonder.


Sam  32:02

He points along the river over toward towards where it ends at the base of the hill.


Jeff (as Asher)  29:32

When did Khonnir do this? When did he locate this gearsman?


Sam (as Sanvil) 32:16

Just a few days ago from what I heard, but they say he went back under the Hill and he hasn’t come back.


Gero  32:26

Vaargas is going to kind of wander by playing with a thing in his left hand kind of looks almost like a little black credit card. And without really looking up at anyone. He just says,


Gero (as Vaargas)  32:39

Automatons. They’re always bad luck. He should have just left it in the damn ground.


Sam (as Sanvil)   32:46

Oh, that’s no way to talk. This, this country was built on the backs of those metal men.


Zak (as Brixbi)  32:53

I don’t know if those are the backs this country was built on, mate. But I think those metal men did the building.


Jeff  33:03

Asher will look down at the ground and look back up and shake his head.


Jeff (as Asher) 33:08

I certainly don’t see the backs of any metal men here on the ground. Perhaps…it’s eroded over time,


Sam  1:19

Sanvil stares at Asher and kind of cocks his head like a like a dog who’s just trying to figure out what you’ve just said.


Izzy  33:28

Alright, so I think by this time Kera’s walking by, has taken the alien news not necessarily to heart, but is very much still trying to figure out. Something is changed, and she wants to know what it is. So, I think she’ll walk past probably Asher and hear that and be like,


Izzy (as Kera)  33:46

Heh heh, I like your hat.


Izzy  33:48

And then continue to keep going because she wants to get out of here.


Jeff  33:54

And he’ll tip it, sort of respectfully, as she passes. I don’t know whether she notices. But he’ll say, uh,


Jeff (as Asher) 34:01

Thank you. I like your…colorful…outfit.


Izzy  34:08

Yeah, that was it. Yeah, you got her. She will stop short and be like,


Izzy (as Kera)  34:12

Oh, really? Thanks. I made it with my mom’s help. She, she and I kind of do this thing where we take some of my dad’s old stuff, and then we’ll take it back. So, it like sort of matches my sisters. But now I’m talking too much and you probably don’t care about that. Hi, I’m Kera. I’m kind of looking for work around. You don’t happen to have any…do you?


Jeff (as Asher)  34:36

Hello, Kera. I am Asher Halekh. As far as work to offer, I am not native to this town. The only thing that has caught my attention is that…well, I guess I should say two things. Apparently, there’s been an automaton that’s been found but of greater concern to me is that the man who pulled it out has not yet emerged from the hole from which he found the automaton to begin with. Khonnir Baine is missing, or presumed missing.


Izzy (as Kera)  35:12

Well, has anyone gone to find him?


Jeff  35:16

And he’ll look to Sanvil.


Sam  35:19

Sanvil shrugs. He says,


Sam (as Sanvil)  35:20

Well, you know, I just rolled in this morning. I think that’d be a better question for the…just about anybody here. I’d think you guys would know more than I do. I’m just just a guy who talks to people.


Sam  35:35

It’s about that time Oskah Unteret, the squat, uh half orc, who was known throughout town as the smell runner in charge of access to the torch under normal circumstances, stands up on the balcony. She’s overlooking the marketplace and clears her throat and cups her hands around her mouth, making it, herself able to be heard throughout the square. And she says


Sam (as Oskah)  36:03

Attention! The town council has asked that I make the following announcement. Their award for re-lighting the torch has been doubled. 8000 gold is available to brave souls willing to take on this great service for their town. Interested parties should report to the town hall and register with the council in order to be eligible for the reward. Please be advised in advance, we have reason to believe that this is a very dangerous undertaking. The town of Torch itself assumes no liability in the event of any personal injury and or loss of life resulting from the pursuit of this quest. Thank you.


Sam  36:41

And then she sits back down in her chair, her frown returning at the earliest possible opportunity.


Jeff  36:48

Asher will look to Kera and say,


Jeff (as Asher)  36:50

I’ve certainly not heard of a more promising business opportunity. If you’re not averse to danger that sounds like more than enough reward to, why to set us all up for life.


Izzy (as Kera)  37:03

Yeah. And well, I don’t know about meeting the council, but this is a good way to help people and that’s um that’s, that’s super important. Let’s…or I will do that I guess you can do whatever you want. I don’t know you were looking at the ground before and that also seems fun.


Jeff (as Asher)  37:20

Ha! Well, I do find many things on the ground from time to time. But I, for one, will accompany you to see the council and register. I would hate to not register, relight the torch, and find myself contractually ineligible for the award. Such a technicality would be a seriously unfortunate undertaking. But yes, the whole town of torch need our help. And if we are the only brave souls to take on this task then I guess that’s fewer ways to split the pot.


Zak (as Brixbi)  38:02

Right, so speaking of looking at the ground there…fantastic hat by the way. I’m interested in heading in the direction of this well-timed venture. Perhaps you wonderful large folks would be willing to clear my way in the crowd and I’ll follow behind. Brixbi, by the way,


Izzy (as Kera)  38:26

I’m Kera, nice to meet you. I like your…um…fur?


Zak (as Brixbi)  38:35

Aw, thanks. I’ve had it forever. It’d be kind of weird if I didn’t.


Izzy (as Kera) 38:37

Oh, you can’t even tell.


Gero  38:43

Vaargas, uh, is just, he seems kinda interested after hearing that announcement but he doesn’t speak up or anything but he is still standing with them. He hasn’t wandered off.


Jeff (as Asher)  39:02

Well met, Brixbi. I believe my height being slightly taller than the height of anyone else around, I am ideally suited to part the crowd before you. And what of you, quiet and disgruntled man. Are you looking for a chance to save the town and or seek fortune?


Gero (as Vaargas)  39:28

Neither, but the idea of relighting the torch,


Gero  39:36

And he kind of rubs his temple.


Gero (as Vaargas)  39:38

That does sound promising. I’ve traveled a long way to see this torch and to, find out it’s not lit, well…I’d rather it was lit.


Izzy (as Kera)  39:54

Too, kind of my dad’s job. Not to light the torch, obviously, but it’s kind of important to everyone here, so if we can fix it, that’s cool.


Izzy 40:12

And as she’s saying that she’s doing that, like the thing where you like compare height with the person next to you with Asher.


Jeff  40:13

Six three.


Izzy  40:19



Jeff  40:21

Says it on my sheet, sheet don’t lie.


Izzy  40:24

It’s canon.


Jeff  40:25

It’s true.


Jeff (as Asher)  40:27

Well, then. Whether it be for fortune, or to help the town, or just because apparently you want it to be lit. I don’t mean to disparage your travels, I, I have also traveled a fair distance myself. Perhaps we should head towards the council then.


Sam  40:49

Sanvil will snap his fingers, and give you all finger guns, and say


Sam (as Sanvil)  40:54

Well, if you goin under there, good luck. And remember: first robot you find, come looking for me. I’ll give you top dollar.


Jeff (as Asher)  41:06



Zak (as Brixbi)  41:08

Don’t you worry, Sanvil. Any robot comes after me, I’ll send him your way.


Zak  41:14

And he winks.


Izzy  41:17

They start walking, I would assume Kera can lead them there?


Sam  41:22

Yeah, Kera would know where the Town Hall is, she’d be pretty familiar with it. When she finds her way in, the place is mostly abandoned this time of day. It’s a market day, mostly people would be shopping, or they’d be home, or you know, they’d be working. But they find there’s a receptionist sitting outside the main council chamber and he’ll just sort of look up at them tiredly and wave them in. The main council chamber is a large room with one big table at the center with six chairs around it. All of the table itself appears to be forged from sky metal. And you know, the chairs are nice. But there’s only one person in here. She’s an elderly looking dwarf by the name of Dolga Feddert. Kera would recognize her. No, but none of the others I believe have ever come across her. But she’s the head of the town council and the oldest town councilor who was present when the town itself was founded over a century ago. She sort of snaps up from her reverie from sitting in a room by herself in the middle of the day, when she realizes people are in there and her eyes scan the, the group as you all walk in. And as she sees Kera, she smiles and she says,


Sam (as Dolga)  43:00

Fry’s hammer girl! Did your mother send you in her stead?


Izzy (as Kera)  43:04

Um. Yes, yeah. Yeah. Or, or no, no, no, these are my friends, kind of, I guess. We wanted to help…fix the torch.


Sam (as Dolga) 43:17

Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place for that. I assume you’ve heard today’s announcement that the reward is being increased.


Izzy (as Kera)  43:28

Yeah, and you know, rewards are super important. But also, I just want the town to go back to like it was right, you get it?


Sam  43:36

She nodded solemnly. And she says,


Sam (as Dolga)  43:40

well, now the truth is, we need that help more than then you can know. As Khonnir has gone under the hill to try to relight the torch twice now. And the second time, two days ago, he did not come back out. We’re afraid that he’s not coming back out, if you understand my meaning.


Jeff (as Asher)  44:11

Does he enjoy living there, perhaps? I haven’t been there myself. But some people, you know, they go to visit a place and just decide ‘I like it here. I don’t plan to stay’ or leave, rather.


Sam (as Dolga)  44:25

I’m afraid from what he’s told me of the caves under the hill, it’s, it’s not a place anyone would like to live. Chances are, he, he told me of some of the dangers under there. And chances are he found something beyond that was just too much for him and his group to handle. Now, this town depends on Master Baine more than anyone save the torch itself. Without the flame burning, he’s our only hope of keeping the Technic League off our backs until we can figure out what to do. With him gone…


Gero  45:06

At that, Vaargas is going to perk up quite a bit more. And he’s going to kind of muscle his way to the front, like basically shoving through the other three without caring too much about. And he says


Gero (as Vaargas)  45:23

The League. What’s this town’s relationship with the league?


Sam (as Dolga)  45:29

We pay tribute to the league every month in taxes, a large sum of what we collect from the smelters, and artisans who use the torch. Without the torch itself, we’re unable to collect enough taxes, and without enough taxes, we will draw the league’s eye on us. They don’t keep a formal presence here. But if they’re not getting their money, they will come.


Gero  46:03

You can see he’s kind of clenching his fist, and Brixbi would probably be the only one that would notice, but the fist on his right side really doesn’t look like it should be able to clench, but he’s clenching it anyway. Like mechanically, it doesn’t look like it should. And he just nods and says,


Gero (as Vaargas)  46:25

This girl orc. Whatever she’s doing, I’m helping now. If it’s going to help you with the league, I’m in.


Izzy (as Kera)  46:40

Also, it’s Kera. But you know what, we’ll get there.


Sam (as Dolga)  46:44

Well, it’s as, as you’ve likely been told the reward is 4,000 gold for reigniting the torch. It’s an additional 4,000 gold for rescuing Khonnir from whatever fate has befallen him beneath the hill. If you can bring him back alive, there’s a scroll of resurrection that we keep in reserve that we’re prepared to use on him if, if heavens forbid, he is no longer on this plane. But if we don’t need it for him, we can pass it to whoever who rescues him.


Zak (as Brixbi)  47:27

Right. So you mentioned…um, pardon me


Zak  47:31

And he moves Vaargas’ huge metal fist from in front of his face so they can see him down there.


Zak (as Brixbi) 47:38

You mentioned Khonnir came out of the torch mountain at least once? Did he say that he saw anything odd, anything out of sorts?


Sam (as Dolga)  47:54

Khonnir was, he wasn’t even the first into the cave. He was actually led the third group in the, uh, he’s the only one who returned and of course, he’s gone back a second time. Hasn’t reemerged. But he, he said that he found enormous vermin and horrible scavengers, strange humanoids who could blend into the walls and into shadows. He believes that the caves were connected to the Darklands. But of more immediate interest was his discovery of a wall of solid metal deep in the caves, a wall made of the sky metal alloy known as Glaucite. He said it was like the kind we mined from the hills in the surrounding plains, but formed into a structure with doors. It was near one of these doors that Khonnir found the broken automaton that he brought back after his first expedition.


Zak  48:57

The mention of the Darklands, Brixbi kind of has a similar response to Vaargas, and he’s more intensely focused. That’s something who’s a bit more familiar with.


Zak (as Brixbi)  49:16

Yeah, I’m game.


Jeff (as Asher) 49:18

Seems we’re all in accord then. I, for one, would like to help this town. And a little extra coin never hurt. In my line of work, things can get expensive rather quickly.


Sam (as Dolga)  49:34

Well, if you’re officially registering for the job, I can give each of you a writ that you can show to the merchant in town for a flat 20% discount on any gear you need to purchase. I wish I could offer you better than that, but it’s the best we could negotiate. Everyone’s hurting in these times. Further, Val Baine, Khonnir’s adopted daughter, has closed down her father’s tavern, the Foundry, for the time being. She told me that any group that’s going into the caves to look for her father can use the tavern free of charge as a headquarters and a place to rest between forays. And the entrance to the caves is underwater. You’ll need to be able to swim a bit to get into the caves. Joram Kyte has agreed to cast water breathing on any group to aid entering the caves – free of charge, of course. You can find him at the temple of Brigh or up at crow feather park – palace – when you’re ready to go.


Jeff (as Asher) 50:34

Swimming. Well. That’s certainly not something I have lots of experience doing. But I catch on quickly. Yes, I believe we are officially registering, is that not right, my new companions?


Izzy (as Kera)  50:51

Put my name down.


Zak (as Brixbi)  50:54

Me as well.


Gero (as Vaargas)  50:57

Like I said before, if it stops the league from destroying this town, I’m in.


Sam  51:02

She nods and pulls out four little sheets of official-looking torch town government cardstock, writes her signature on them, and slides them over on the table towards you.


Sam (as Dolga)  51:17

Just, just put your name on these and you can show them to any vendor in town. They’ll give you a discount. So, anyone who’s from in town, the ones that are from out of town, may be a bit harder to negotiate with. Do you have any other questions about what you might face down there?


Izzy (as Kera)  51:36

Did anyone else come back from that other group? The first time Khonnir came back?


Sam (as Dolga) 51:43

His, his whole group came back the first time. There were several of them. But he took all the same people back and several seasoned adventurers, and none of them have emerged. There was a group of halflings who went in the day after the flames went out. We’ve never seen them again. The second was a group of, of local thugs from the Therophys, they never emerged. And there were, there were worshipers of Brigh from out of town went under as well. And as I’ve said, none of them, none of them ever returned.


Jeff (as Asher)  52:40

Perhaps the vermin you mentioned were attracted to those seasoned adventurers. Those odors may very well have been their undoing.


Izzy (as Kera)  52:46

Kera thinks that’s very funny.


Jeff (as Asher)  52:48

It’s a dark matter, I don’t personally find the humor in it.


Zak (as Brixbi)  52:52

So, um, attendin’ to the question I asked earlier about what Khonnir mentioned that he faced down there. Have you any recommendations of what we might use this quite generous discount card to purchase to best prepare ourselves?


Zak  53:17

Additionally, if there’s any like knowledge rolls that I or anyone can roll, I would be down to do so.


Sam  53:26

I would say that it’s tough to roll much of a knowledge roll based on just hearing what she’s she said secondhand. You could roll a knowledge engineering on the glaucite wall with a, you know, fully formed structure with doors. As far as the vermin under the mountain…and maybe a knowledge local for the people who can blend into the walls.


Gero  54:01

I can do local.


Zak  54:05

Yeah, I have engineering…engineering and local. I can do whatever. Do we want to roll on the engineering first?


Gero  54:14

That is a adjusted 20 for the local for the chameleon people.


Sam  54:22

Yeah, with a 20 knowledge local, you’d say that based on her references to the Darklands, this sounds like they might be Skulks, which is a humanoid race of Darklands dwellers with smooth skins and penetrated eyes that, they seem to shift and change to mimic their surroundings. And I can answer one question for you.


Gero  54:53

weaknesses. Is there anything that they’re particularly weak to?


Sam  55:01

Uh, they don’t have any particular weaknesses. I would say that they generally known as cowardly, sort of survivalists in society. They’re sort of not as high up on the Darklands food chain.


Gero  55:18

So he’ll say


Gero (as Vaargas) 55:52

The creatures, the ones that she was speaking of who seemed to blend into their surroundings. I think they’re Skulks. Cowardly lot. We shouldn’t have any trouble from them.


Zak (as Brixbi)  55:36

Yeah, I’ve unfortunately heard of them. I’ve had proximity to the Darklands before, where I’m from.


Zak  55:47

I rolled a 19 on knowledge engineering


Sam  55:54

19 on that wall that sounds like the kind of structure from a more fully formed chunk of Numerian ruin than anybody had ever thought was out this far from Starfall. Sure, in the in the Fell Dales and in the area around the capital, there are plenty of really big pieces of Numerian ruins but this sounds like if it’s got doors, the kind of thing you might be able to walk inside.


Jeff  56:32

I doubt one point makes a huge difference, but I did get an adjusted 20 on knowledge engineering. So what about those wicked awesome secrets that Brixbi doesn’t quite put together?


Sam  56:46

You know all of the exact same things, and you know that that glaucite is an ore of adamantine and iron mixed together.


Jeff  57:01



Izzy  57:04

That will be helpful for any local quizzes.


Sam  57:07

Yeah, if you find yourselves in pub trivia,


Jeff  57:11

I mean, Val Baine might be bored. She could run a trivia name for us to kind of ease her mind during the worry about her dear old adopted dad.


Zak  57:22

I guess I also kind of stopped my question to ask if I could roll a knowledge roll. But I did want to see if she had any recommendations of things that we should pick up to bring down there with our cool discount card that she gave us.


Sam  57:33

Well, Dolga looks over the lot of you. And she has kind of the appraising eye of somebody who probably did a fair bit of this sort of thing in another life, but certainly settled down for the last several decades, she says,


Sam (as Dolga)  57:53

Well, based on the look of you, I’d buy some healing, you don’t look like you’ve got a holy person between you.


Izzy (as Kera)  58:03

That’s subjective, but probably true. I mean, I don’t know I just met these guys, but it seems like…


Sam (as Dolga)  58:12

Personally, I wouldn’t go under there without a cleric. You’d have to be mad. I’m not complaining if you’re willing to try.


Jeff (as Asher)  58:21

Perhaps we can convince that Joram Kyte to come along with us on our journey.


Sam  58:29

She gives you a look and says,


Sam (as Dolga)  58:32

I’m not losing another of this town’s most important citizens. No offense, of course, to that hill. I’m afraid Mr. Kyte will not be following you. He’s long past adventuring age much like I am anyways.


Sam  58:54

Now, she, she pauses again. And then she gets up out of her chair and heads over to a bureau in the back of the room and flips it open. She says,


Sam (as Dolga)  59:06

This is…consider this an advance on the reward.


Sam  59:10

And she pulls out for potions and brings them over.


Sam (as Dolga)  59:16

Wouldn’t want you keeling over too easily under there.


Jeff (as Asher)  59:22

You’re most kind.


Sam  59:27

I won’t make you identify those. Those are four potions of cure light wounds.


Zak  59:32

Much obliged. Thank you.


Sam  59:35

Okay, anything else for Dolga? Or…


Izzy  59:45

if the party’s about to leave, Kera will hang back a little and ask Dolga privately-ish,


Izzy (as Kera)  59:52

Have- Have you heard from my mom at all?


Sam (as Dolga)  59:56 7

She’s been, she’s been laid up with a terrible headache for the past couple of days. She insisted on going with Khonnir on the second journey but came down with a headache, with that awful headache that’s been crippling a third of the town before they could leave. I suppose it’s for the best given that they haven’t emerged. As far as I know she’s, she’s alive and well just struggling with that pain from whatever is causing this.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:00:21

Yeah, I’m familiar. Okay, I just wanted to check in, thanks.


Izzy  1:00:37

She’ll walk away.


Zak  1:00:40

Um, and Brixbi turns to the rest of the group.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:00:46

So, when I came in to Torch, I wasn’t exactly prepared to go delving under some rock, not to say that I’m not excited to.


Zak  1:00:57

And he visibly is.


Zak  1:01:01

That said, I do work of this nature on a regular basis. So I don’t need much. Although healing sounds prudent. Um, do we want to shop?


Jeff (as Asher)  1:01:18

While I am grateful for the discount provided, I have little in the way of coin for that to make much of a difference, I’m afraid. I don’t mind for accompanying you on your riveting shopping adventure. But I won’t be doing any purchasing myself.


Izzy  1:01:38

Kera is gonna offer him a single silver piece and be like,


Izzy (as Kera)  1:01:41

I just got this. We can split it.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:01:47

You’re very kind, Kera.


Izzy (as Kera) 1:01:50

Does that…does that mean no?


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:01:52

Well, you know, I’d like to think that that could be the start of our party coffer right there. That could be the beginning of communal riches, perhaps. But I do think that even with my acquisitions today,



Zak  1:02:11

And he jingles his pocket cautiously.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:02:14

I don’t really have, um, enough to purchase the magical healing was lacking. I am quite thankful for that potion, though.


Gero  1:02:27

Vaargas will say


Gero (as Vaargas)  1:02:32

So, the three of you call yourself adventurers but none of you are kitted out for an adventure.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:02:42

Oh, I consider myself more of a local explorer. But yeah, I mean, I don’t mind adventuring.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:02:49

Look down here, mate. I bring a specialized set of skills that healing falls outside my wheelhouse and is usually picked up by a comparable specialist. But I wouldn’t consider myself not kidded for adventure there, Junk Punch.


Gero  1:03:12

And he just kind of glares at you.


Zak  1:03:15

I do like your arm, I think it’s neat. I’m also terrible at nicknames.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:03:22

That one wasn’t terrible.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:03:25

No, perhaps we should all call him Junk Punch. From now on, henceforth. But no, I, I do not need much in the way of wares as far as adventuring goes. I journeyed far and wide. The land provides.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:03:46

I will say the one thing I am not well suited to deal with. And please don’t look at me like I’m talking about myself, but she mentioned vermin. Sometimes vermin can be so small you can’t cut ‘em, you can’t squish ‘em. I’m not quite good at handling anything like that. I’ve seen acid, fire be thrown before, perhaps that might be worth picking up.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:04:23

I’m sure if anything like that comes along, Junk Punch can smash it with his fist. Something tells me nothing can withstand his might.


Gero  1:04:37

Actually at the mention of you saying punch it and him talking about acid, Vaargas is actually going to, for the first time that you guys have seen, smile slightly. Still doesn’t say anything, but he just gets a little bit of a smile on his face.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:04:55

Oh, now there’s the looker.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:04:59

He must like his nickname.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:05:03

I can’t say I’ve done too much adventuring. But, you know, I sometimes go on the local hunting parties. And I’ve gotten pretty good at smashing stuff or slashing stuff, I guess whichever one we need.


Sam  1:05:15

Right. So, I guess the question is, where do you all go?


Zak  1:05:21

I might regret this later. But I mean, like legit, I have 18 gold. I could buy some minor beneficial alchemical items, I suppose. But I mean, if people don’t think that’s prudent, I’m because, I mean, I don’t really know the capabilities of anybody in the party yet. I’m, Brixbi would be just as inclined to waddle on and assume that he can handle anything he’s handled before, this is so his wheelhouse.


Gero  1:05:50

I’m going to say Vaargas the character doesn’t think we need anything, but Gero the player knows that we don’t have any healers. So, I don’t have much gold myself left. I have exactly one gold piece. But I am happy to put that towards anything we think we might want to purchase before heading out.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:06:16

Yeah, I again, don’t want to brag but I do have one silver piece in addition to my one remaining gold. So guys, if we need something that’s very small and cheap. I got it.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:06:20

I’m willing to throw in my six silver pieces.


Zak  1:06:34

I don’t even know why we’re adventuring with wealth like this. We should just retire, become landed gentry.


Sam  1:06:39

We’ve already made it.


Zak  1:06:42

Nobles such as ourselves. Yeah, I mean, I don’t know, meta, but I can’t think off the top of my head of loads of healing that our party could use because I mean, with the amount of money that we have, we could pull off buying a scroll. But we don’t know what we would do with a scroll of anything. Even say, Infernal Healing. So, I’m going to be honest, I mean Brixbi as a character would be more inclined to hold on to his gold if he doesn’t know what he’s going to spend it on. But at the same time, if anybody in the party could come up with a thing that they themselves lacked or that they felt that we needed, he would not be too conservative with the purse strings.


Gero  1:07:34

I think in terms of like, actual gear, like, I got sun rod, I got torches, I have rope. So, the only thing I could really think of would be like we said before, like healing, but we don’t really have enough for healing, like, even a potion’s 50. So…


Izzy  1:07:55

Kind of feels like that decision’s been made.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:07:59

A Desnan friend of mine used to say ‘the road will provide’. He ws kind of an idiot, and he asked for food and gold quite often, but on occasion he was right. So perhaps what we need, we can’t afford, we’ll find.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:08:21

If only we could locate this automaton, our friend merchant offered to pay us handsomely for it.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:08:29

I have a feeling that merchant might pay for a good deal for what we find under there, if there is an entire structure made of glaucite. So, shall we?


Izzy (as Kera)  1:08:41

I’m ready.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:08:43

Indeed. Sounds like we should stop by the temple of Brigh and find Kyte so that we can,


Jeff  1:08:50

And he’ll look a little bit less confident for a moment, As he says,


Jeff  1:08:58

S-swim…into this cave.


Gero  1:09:01

A waterproof bag.


Zak  1:09:05

I was gonna say


Zak  1:09:08

Don’t let the confidence drip off you too much there, but it doesn’t look like you’re the one who’s gonna rust about 20% of their body. No offense. Cool arm.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:09:18

Little offense.


Gero  1:09:21

Yeah, and about the arm. Like I said like, Brixbi’s probably the only one who would notice it with your whole like Junker type thing. Like, it does not look like a normal prosthetic arm. Like, it doesn’t look like it has joints or anything in it. It looks like, like there’s like a shoulder pauldron maybe from a piece of armor, and then just like strips and chunks of metal. And it does not look like it should be moving at all. But it’s moving exactly like a normal human arm. Like you’ve probably never seen something that works like that.


Zak  1:09:56

You’ve got my interest.


Sam  1:09:59

All right, the temple of Brifh is pretty close to town hall. It’s the largest religious establishment in the town of Torch. Inside, there’s very few people in there just now. It’s the middle of the workday, it’s a busy place, even if the market isn’t busy. But there is an older man at the back of the main part of the temple working at, working on a series of cogs and widgets trying to assemble something, and he doesn’t seem to notice you as he come in. It’s a old bald human man.


Jeff (as Asher) 1:10:53

Well, Kera, do you recognize him? Is that the man we’re looking for?


Izzy (as Kera)  1:10:59

I guess so. I don’t think I’ve ever met him. But he’s definitely the guy we’re looking for.


Izzy  1:11:06

And she’ll go up and kind of like, tap on a shoulder.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:11:10

Um, excuse me. Hello. Can you please make my friends and I breathe underwater?


Sam  1:11:18

He jumps a bit when you touch his shoulder and spins around, one hand on his chest, and goes


Sam (as Kyte)  1:11:24

Oh, oh, my. Whew. You mustn’t sneak up on someone like that here.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:11:29



Sam (as Kyte)  1:11:32

Yes, yes. You’re coming from the town hall. You’re, you’re the,, going under the mountain. Is that correct?


Izzy (as Kera)  1:11:41

Yep, that’s the plan.


Sam 1:11:45

Sort of mats down his, what little hair he has on the sides of his head, and slides the little assemblage of gears off to the side and rustles through his pockets a bit. Then he says


Sam (as Kyte)  1:11:59

Very well. Very well, let me.


Sam  1:12:02

He pulls out a rod and he says


Sam (as Kyte)  1:12:06

You must be careful. In the, in the, the water is quite, quite dirty. You’ll, you’ll be able to breathe it. But I’m afraid I can’t do anything to make the experience more pleasant.


Sam  1:12:22

And he will close his eyes and mutter a prayer to Brigh, the Whisper in Bronze, and call down water breathing on all four of you. With his considerable power as a caster and his rod that he’s wielding, each of you now has the ability to breathe underwater as if breathing air. And you can also speak underwater. It doesn’t make you any better at swimming, though. And he says,


Sam (as Kyte)  1:12:58

That, that should be good for about six hours for each of you. So, make sure you don’t stay under the mountain longer than that or you’ll, you’ll have to hold your breath on the way back. And, and I can I can cast it for you again tomorrow if you need me to and, and so on and so forth. Because I’m quite prepared to help in any way needed if for the rescue of our dear friend Mr. Baine.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:13:28

Did you do this for him too?


Sam (as Kyte)  1:13:31

Oh, yes, yes, yes.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:13:33

So it’s a long swim, then?


Sam (as Kyte)  1:13:36

It’s not far, but the, the six hours should cover your explanation and the return trip.


Izzy (as Kera)  1:13:45

Cool, thanks.


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:13:47

Yeah, I appreciate the help, Father. We may be calling upon you for assistance in the healing arts performed, that we lack.


Sam (as Kyte)  1:14:00

Yes, yes. Well, I can always provide healing in, in the event that it’s needed, hopefully, accompanied by a small donation to the temple of course, but


Zak (as Brixbi)  1:14:14

Right, yeah, beyond risking our lives. Absolutely. I’ll be sure to


Gero  1:14:18

Give him Kera’s silver piece.


Sam (as Kyte)  1:14:23

I wish you all good luck under the mountain.


Jeff (as Asher)  1:14:28

Thank you.


Sam (as Kyte)  1:14:29

I fear you may need it.


Zak  1:14:44

I have no other questions for him. So…


Izzy  1:14:48

Save! I think.


Jeff  1:14:54

She said it. It’s official.


Izzy 1:14:57

Pencils down. Pens down.


Sam  1:14:59

All right. So, we heading to the, what’s it called the pond that leads to the…Weeping Pond at the north end of the river town.


Jeff  1:15:13

Sounds lovely.


Unknown Speaker  1:15:15

Okay. When you find your way up into this sort of seldom traveled part of town, where the river comes to an end and, the perhaps murkiest part of the murky river that runs through town, polluted as it is with the fluids that kind of plague all of Numeria. It’s…you find a pond that looks like surprisingly well-trafficked. There are tracks everywhere. And it looks like people have been going every which way in and out of the pond and all sorts of things. And you find the water there waiting for you. And before you step in to that pool…I’m going to bed. So we’ll catch you next time.