Jeff  0:04

…x4 critical hits – Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. Hello, it’s me, Jeff, the voice of Asher Halekh, welcoming you to our third episode of our day one release drops. From here on out, we are going to be one episode per week, releasing on Wednesdays, on all of your favorite podcast retrieval locations. So please like, subscribe on iTunes, and your favorite listening platforms. If you could leave us a review, that would mean a lot to us, especially here at the very beginning. And please tell a friend, an enemy, a loved one, a neighbor and a complete stranger. Listen as Sam, the benevolent GM, guides us along a warm journey towards fluffy bunnies and certain doom. Welcome to Episode Three. Welcome to Pod Against the Machine.

Sam  1:35

Once again, I’m Sam, also known as Monkeys, Bears & Robots and I’ll be your GM for the evening. Let’s go around the table and remind everyone who all is playing.

Jeff  1:43

Well, I did have the displeasure – I mean, pleasure of rolling first at the beginning and I’m therefore first for all six books of Iron Gods. I am Jeff and I’m playing Asher Halech, the blind gunslinger. The permanently blind gunslinger. and about hip height and equally as blind is

Zak  2:07

And about hip height and equally as blind is Brixbi Rentttail, played by me. Zak.

Izzy  2:13

Hi, I’m Izzy. I’ll be playing Kera, who is fully sighted, which makes her like 68% to 54% more sighted than me, Izzy.

Gero  2:23

And I am Gero and I am playing Grumpy Junk Fist, I believe was the name of the character –

Zak (as Brixbi)  2:32

Junkpunch

Gero  2:34a

Junkpunch. I am playing Vaargas, and he can also still see. So, that’s the one thing he has going for him after getting completely destroyed last week.

Sam  2:50

Well, for a little bit of a recap. Last week, you guys dove into the waters of the Weeping Pond and swam down into the caverns underneath through the rather smelly muck and dispatched some fire beetles quite easily with a crit and some massive damage and found the dead body of Kera’s friend Parda, and found another dead body that was in very bad shape, as it had been partly eaten by a horrible pink frog monster which proceeded to blind half the party and nearly killed Vaargas and took Kera pretty close to unconsciousness to before. We had some last-second heroics where Vaargas came back from unconsciousness and killed it with a junkpunch. And thus the legend of Junkpunch was born. So now we find our party sitting in the cave under the Black Hill, with very little healing in a half flooded room with a mangled corpse, a bloated pink monster that they just put away. And two blind party members. It’s wet and dark and reeks of mold in here. All of you are soaking wet, covered in foul smelling water. Along with cuts and bruises that you’re just starting to feel now the action is over and the adrenaline is dying back. A couple hours ago, you didn’t know any of the people that you’re with, and you just almost died right next to them. We’ve already found the bodies of two people who did die. So, I think since you all decided to take a minute or an hour or so to chill and get your bearings and hope that your sight comes back. We’re gonna check in and see what’s going through everyone’s heads. So, let’s start with Vaargas this time.

Gero  5:02

Well, he is…I think he’s a little shaken after getting almost murdered by this horrible monster. And he’s not quite sure how much he touch – touches…He’s not quite sure how much he trusts these other people yet. He has seen some things that make him more comfortable around them. He saw Kera showing respect to someone who appears to have died in battle. He likes that. Brixbi sharing his healing. And he saw that amazing shot on the beetle from Asher. So he’s starting to get along with them more, but he’s still a little reserved. And like I said, he’s just also kind of a little bit worried. He’s not exactly a young man anymore. He’s not used to his current moveset. And he’s worried he might be a bit in over his head after what just happened.

Sam  6:10

Why don’t we kick it over to Asher? What’s running through his head?

Jeff  6:16

What is running through this blind gunslingers head? Well, he, he hadn’t been in the Torch area for much more than a week. He had the you know the benefit of seeing the Torch before now, not to humble brag over Vaargas. But, uh, that that’s part of what attracted him there. He has traveled literally across Golarion starting in the southern continent of Garund, making his way all the way here to about as north as you can get. And now he’s blind. He had one good shot one. Apparently another shot he didn’t even see these here with these strangers trying to do some good, trying to get a little coin in his pocket. And I mean, within an hour of his adventure starting he is blind. So I think he is, he’s a little bit disappointed. But he doesn’t seem angry or scared. I think he is most, mostly disappointed because he wants to see these things not just experienced and hear them and have to confirm with his friends it. Did I get him? Is he up? So he’s uh, he’s still maintaining a positive attitude. But internally he is, he’s not worried, he’s just bummed that people need help. We don’t know if Khonnir Baine is alive. And by the time they get dragged back out to town, have to wait a whole ‘nother day to get the site back and come back a bit. That might be one more day than some of these people have. Eager to, to get back to work.

Sam  7:56

Okay, before we move on to the next one, I forgot one thing I wanted to do. Can Vaargas and Asher roll me a perception check?

Jeff  8:07

So I guess it’s a sound based perception check? It might be scent based.

Gero  8:13

We are starting the night off with a natural one on whatever I suppose to be perceiving. Vaargas is probably going to notice less than the blind character.

Jeff  8:26

I don’t know. Let’s give this dice and the dice here roll. Natural 13 with a plus zero perception for 13.

Sam  8:38

So, neither of you notice anything here going on. Let’s go over to Brixbi. What’s going on with our resident ratfolk in his head?

Zak  8:51

Well, based off of you know, the last episode, it’s clear, he’s not having a great time on a one to 10 scale of zero freaking out miserably and 10 partying hard, he’s a solid two to three right now. You know, within his normal work, he goes into dark caverns and explores with groups of sellswords, mercenaries relatively frequently. So, he’s a little unsettled that he’s with a group of people that, like, he doesn’t particularly trust, but that’s not necessarily getting to him. But there was just a definitive panic that sort of set in when he initially lost his ability to see inside of here. And he’s been relatively unsettled since they first found Parda Garr’s body. So yeah, I mean, right now, I believe at the end of the last episode, I said that Brixbi was going to sit up against the wall, and he’s doing just that with his head sort of down holding his necklace really tight, and not hyperventilating or anything but just sort of seeming to breathe deeply and calm himself. So almost the opposite. But yeah, not not having a good ass time right now, I would say is a good way to sum up how Brixbi is doing.

Sam  10:15

And give me a perception check as well.

Zak  10:18

Yeah. Well, true to form that is three on the die. And so I don’t know how that would intersect with my normal seven perception. So that’s a 10. Without any…

Sam  10:35

So, it’s 10 for sound, and then zero, I think…you automatically fail sight-based perception.

Zak  10:42

Well, it looks like I’m automatically failing this one, too.

Sam  10:47

And one more, let’s see, how’s Kera feeling in this time under the mountain?

Izzy  10:53

Sure. Let’s see, I would say, conversely to most of the other characters, she is very much inclined to trust people. I think she just likes to give people the benefit of the doubt. She loves meeting new friends, she’s very down for the idea of an adventure. And that persisted for most of the last couple episodes, clearly, until she found her friend’s dead body. And I think that kind of culminated in this, like, the events of the last several days kind of hitting her all at once. So you know, she’s, she’s worried about her family, she’s worried about the town. She has this headache that has become debilitating for everyone else she knows. And I think she’s kind of getting the point of like, what if I can’t fight anymore? This is all somewhat tempered by the fact that she’s in a cave with a bunch of strangers. And while she’s very much inclined to like, hey, let’s hang out, I don’t think she’d as inclined to be like, Hey, I’m having a crisis. Let’s talk about it. And her, her method of dealing with that is twofold. She would either I think, take it to her mother, who is not there, or to her friend, who is dead. And the other way, she’s like, Okay, cool. Well, then what can I do in the meantime? So, I think while everyone’s kind of sitting and recovering, she’s, like, just pacing. If she had, like, a broom, she would probably try and sweep the beach, which is not helpful because it’s sand. I think she’ll be offering people water, little snacks. I think it’s 110% like, what can I do that isn’t focused on the death of this person who was like a beacon in my life? You know, again, she doesn’t say any of that. I think she’s very much an action oriented person. Yeah, in sum. And I should probably make a perception check.

Sam  12:40

Yep.

Izzy  12:41

Fantastic. That is a 19 on the die, plus seven, 26. Right? Yes. Assuming that this is her dead friend is not causing her to panic. Which, I guess…

Sam  12:53

With a 26, at one point, while Kera is pacing back and forth in that room, she catches something out of the corner of her eye, down on one of the paths to the south. And it’s just like the tiniest flicker of movement, and then it’s gone. just seems like there was something and then there wasn’t.

Izzy  13:14

Yeah, I think she’s gonna lean hard into that. She’s not at all comfortable, like sitting here in the dark waiting for something else to happen. She’s like, “there’s something over there. I should go check it out.” But is probably also cognizant that yeah, that frog thing took her pretty low.

Gero  13:31

How realistic is it for Vaargas the character when she says, hey, there’s something over there to immediately flashback to a certain conversation with the village elder? And assume it’s one of those chameleon people? Because that feels like that’s probably what that it is.

Sam  13:56

I don’t know why you’d say something crazy like that. Just seems crazy.

Gero  14:00

I think what would actually happen is he’ll look at her and say, “What did you see? What was it exactly?”

Izzy (as Kera)  14:09

I don’t know. It was just, it was just like a little bit of movement. It was barely even anything, but I can go check it out. If you want because of how you know you almost got killed by that frog. Sorry, is that offensive?

Gero (as Vaargas)  14:21

No, we shouldn’t split the party. We need to wait longer to see if these two will heal on their own or if we need attention from clerics. Just keep an eye out. Make sure whatever it is doesn’t get closer.

Zak  14:38

Out of character, Sam, about how long have we been inside the cave? Or more importantly, since we’ve had water breathing cast on us.

Sam  14:48

At this point, you’re probably like 45 minutes to an hour into the casting of water breathing. So like the two fights you had and the journey over took probably about half hour. You guys sitting and waiting for your vision to clear and the water breathing is a total of six hours. So you still got a while.

Zak  15:09

Excellent.

Gero  15:10

Now, was that six total for each of us or was it six split between us?

Sam  15:15

That was six for each of you. He’s got that extended metamagic it’s like the whole value of the town right there in that regard. Alright, so if you sort of are keeping an eye out, but still hanging out for the rest of the hour, in cold, sort of drippy cave. As about an hour passes for Brixbi and Asher’s vision starts to finally return. It’s clouded and blurry at first. But you know, with some blinking and some rubbing, you sort of find your way back to being able to see the black and white of dark vision or the little glow from the glowing bug leg Vaargas is holding. Just like that you can see, blindness wasn’t permanent.

Izzy 16:04

Yay!

Zak  16:05

Excellent. I was gonna say probably at one time during the time while he was blind and freaking out, Brixbi would probably turn in the general direction of Kera provided that the alarm of seeing something had sort of subsided, being nervous. Hearing nothing but the silence of like the lapping waves and the pacing of his companions.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Kera. If you don’t mind, tell me about Parda Garr. Please.

Izzy (as Kera)  16:38

Why do you want to know about Parda?

Zak (as Brixbi)  16:42

Well, one of the worst things that can happen to a person is to be forgotten entirely. The things we remember, the things we say about them. It keeps them on, you know, just tell me anything. Doesn’t matter. Favorite color, funny memory.

Izzy (as Kera) 17:01

Her favorite color was purple. And it’s mine too. It was, it was one of the first things I asked her when we met. We grew up together. I don’t know, you know how, when you’re a kid, you just you bond over stupid things. And our stupid thing was, she’s, you know, also a half orc. And I followed her around all the time waiting, waiting for her to notice me. And she did one day, she finally just got so fed up that she turned around and was like, What do you want? And, and I told her everything that I could about me. And I don’t know from then on she helped, I guess? You know how there are those things you can’t like, tell your family because they’re, they’re really personal or embarrassing or your parents are like a different species than you. I, I could tell her everything. I wish I’d been here. But well, I guess I’m here now and I can find whoever did this. Oh, and a funny story. One time, We were out hunting and she tripped on a rock. And it was…That’s a lie. It was me. I lied. I’m sorry. But it was funny.

Zak  18:09

Brixbi, for the first time since having this vision stricken from him by the horrendous pink frog, smiling a little bit. This seems to calm down a bit. “Thank you, Kera. I…I lost somebody in a cave long time ago. And well. You never really get over it.” And then you’ll probably just sort of press his head back against the wall and people think this necklace.

Sam  18:38

Alright, you’re all in this half flooded room now. been hanging out here for a while with the two dead bodies. There are three ways out back the way you came, the flooded passage to the north west. And in the way south where Kera saw the movement. There’s also a little bit of a channel running down from above, or water’s coming in, in the north, but looks like that’s too small to climb.

Jeff  19:06

Once Asher’s sight returns he sort of waves his hands in front of his gray eyes, turns them around. He takes off his hat. He looks at the inside of it and he smiles. And he puts his hat back on as well.

Jeff (as Asher) 19:10

That wasn’t so bad for an hour. I mean, all things considered, we could still be blind. That would objectively be worse. We do, however, have a ticking clock as it were on water breathing. I mean, seriously, with all of the gadgets, I believe that the priests did set a clock of some sort. And I don’t think it’ll help us when the six hours is up. So we should get a move on.

Zak  (as Brixbi) 19:49

I agree.

Zak  19:50

Brixbi will just sort of shake it off. Look a bit more composed and draws rapier back out, tighten his tailblade.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Where did you see that movement?

Izzy (as Kera)  20:03

It was, it was that path down to the south there.

Gero (as Vaargas)  20:07

“We’ll have to go slow. Careful. We’ve used up a lot of the healing we were given by the town already.”

Gero

And he kind of looks around a little embarrassed.

Gero (as Vaargas)

“I don’t seem to be able to do what I do with my arm again. I’m still getting used to this. I have some magic left, but I’m out of trump cards.”

Jeff (as Asher)  20:31

What do you mean? I was blinded instantly by that horrible pink frog. Did your arm do something?

Izzy (as Kera)  20:39

It was so cool.

Gero (as Vaargas)  20:41

It, it’s an ability. I can stretch it out, hit things further away.

Gero

But he looks down can tell he tries to concentrate for a second. His tattoo might glow slightly, but nothing else happens. Then he looks at it again. And all of a sudden the hand, like, lights up green. He goes…

Gero (as Vaargas)

Still figuring this out. I can do some things. But I can’t do that again.

Jeff (as Asher)  21:10

Well, should we live to see tomorrow? I hope to see that. And to not be on the receiving end of your junk punch.

Zak (as Brixbi)  21:18

You’ve contributed far enough from what I heard inside this room, versus…

Zak

…as he looks over to that awful pink frog.

Zak (as Brixbi)

…that. Don’t worry, I’m sure that you can handle yourself and it’s time that I at least contribute a bit in combat. So, to the south, you said?

Izzy (as Kera)  21:42

Uh huh. Um, maybe I should go first.

Zak (as Brixbi)  21:45

Yeah, no, I’m just kind of twaddling here, hoping you suggest that?

Izzy (as Kera)  21:51

Yeah, no problem.

Izzy

And arrange myself right here at the mouth of that passage. Is it too early to make a perception check?

Sam  22:00

Go ahead and make a perception check as you sort of standard, the end of this long, narrow hallway.

Izzy   22:06

14 plus 7, 21.

Sam  22:09

Looks like you’re just at the beginning of a much narrower cave than what you’ve been through so far. That leads south at about the same level, maybe a little bit higher than the flow of caves. There is no water here. But all along the walls there are chalk drawing depicting twisting, spiny plants. There’s one particularly large drawing of a strange three legged creature, hard to identify doesn’t really look like anything you could recognize. Doesn’t seem to be anything moving.

Izzy  22:48

Kera will nonetheless draw her greatsword.

Jeff  22:50

Looking down at the ground since there’s no water. Asher will look for tracks with a survival check here. Oh no. Four on the Neapolitan dice plus four for an eight. Any obvious, comically obvious tracks.

Sam  23:06

Doesn’t look like there’s anything fresh or obvious here.

Gero  23:11

Would there any sort of knowledge to try and figure out what’s shown on those pictographs?

Zak  23:19

Exactly what I was gonna ask, yeah.

Sam  23:21

It’s hard to say, there are pretty crude pictures. You could try a knowledge local.

Zak  23:28

I’ll toss a die to that.

Gero  23:29

MMy die may or may not have landed on top of all of my other dice.

Zak  23:34

So, 15 for my knowledge local over here.

Izzy  23:37

I got a two on the die minus one for a one. Those are chalk drawings.

Gero  23:43

A 21 for the guy who used to live around here, so that sort of makes sense.

Sam 23:51

With a 21, you can sort of recognize some of the spiny twisted plants as things you would see just out in the wasteland. There’s sort of some of the weird unique to Numeria plant species, but the three legged creature doesn’t look familiar at all. And as you get further along in this tunnel, there’s, there are a few more chalk drawings of extremely emaciated people, but they have these weird oblong heads, and four arms. There are several drawings of them.

Gero  24:30

I know what those are called. I can’t remember.

Zak  24:32

Yeah.

Gero  24:33

I almost played one of those.

Jeff  24:36

What about recognizing those creatures? Is that another local or is that something different?

Sam  24:43

Yeah, it’d be another local.

Jeff  24:46

All right. Don’t mind if I do. Uh oh, that’s a one. Don’t worry about it.

Gero  24:56

What about an 11?

Zak  25:00

We got a 17 here for Brix…Nobody knows.

Sam 25:06

Nobody knows. And these are weird things indeed. I mean, they don’t look real. What, what kind of creature would have four arms unreasonable?

Izzy (as Kera)  25:17

So we’ve, we’ve come to kind of a fork in the path here. And were I a more perceptive person, I might say this area to the north rightish seems perhaps less inviting then the place in the opposite direction. But also we could actually I guess, perceive that.

Sam  25:35

Well, as you come into this, this area where there’s a couple different ways to go, these scattered on the floor to both the northwest and southeast, you have collection of crates and boxes and rubble. And like trunks of scavenged metal like a bunch of Vaargas’s arms are waiting to be built here. Just thrown around on the ground, or all piled up. Like somebody. It kind of looks like Garrett scrap pile or a couple Garrett scrap piles on a much smaller scale with some of these dragged a bunch of salvage over. Everybody can make perception checks on this area.

Zak  26:16

Ooh, yeah. Brix has a 24.

Jeff  26:21

Natural 15 for a 15

Gero 26:22

And a 12 for Vaargas.

Izzy

Total 13 for Kera, so Brixbi it is.

Sam  26:30

Well Brixbi is the one with the experience in this particular department. And as he’s sort of sifting through the piles, finds a bunch of little disks that look a lot like his necklace actually. Series of seven silver discs scattered amongst the rubble.

Zak (as Brixbi)  26:50

Interesting. I’ve seen these before. Not up close. I think they’re called silver discs. Does someone want to hold on to these.

Izzy (as Kera)  27:03

Um, I can take them. What do they do?

Zak (as Brixbi)  27:06

I’ve only heard of people exchanging them, that’s it. Never given one. Never really seen one. Just the last time I was sailing. I just heard it mentioned in the pot for a dice game.

Izzy  27:24

Well, I can apparently carry another 206 pounds. So, sure.

Sam  27:30

Yeah, silver disks are kind of negligible weight. They’re like, they’re like the size of a watch battery.

Izzy  27:36

I’m just saying if we had literally 1 million, Kera is good.

Gero  27:42

Is it a watch battery? Can we check if it a little plus and minus?

Sam  27:45

There’s no little plus and minus on it. Unfortunately, they don’t make it that easy. So you find yourselves at a crossroads here. There are three different ways to go four, if you count, doubling back the way you came. Thank you can kind of see from where you’re standing that the path to the northwest kind of just stops after about 20 feet. It’s just that pile. But there are ways to go to the southeast or southwest.

Zak (as Brixbi)  28:12

All I’m interested in is southeast first.

Izzy (as Kera)  28:15

Why?

Zak   28:17

That is what you said there is debris scattered from the like northwest to the southeast, initially you mentioned?

Sam

Yeah.

Zak

Yeah. And Brix would be interested in following the debris. He’s got that kind of like bloodhound look on his face after seeing all of this assorted junk on the ground. And you see almost a complete reversal of the apprehension and fear that he was experiencing in the last room and he’s stoked, he’s in his element. So rolling around in garbage

Izzy (as Kera)  28:46

Southeast works for me.

Gero (as Vaargas)

Sounds good.

Jeff (as Asher)

Sure.

Sam  28:52

Okay. Climbing over some crates and rubble to get yourselves into or through this little passageway, you find yourselves in a vast chamber with a ceiling that rises nearly 30 feet overhead. So even taller than the other room. There’s a five foot wide ledge running along the western wall where you’re standing which slopes down to a cave floor 10 feet below. There are four ramshackle huts in this room right near where you’re coming in, made of what appear to be strips of metal, hides. Some sort of fibrous plant matter will create sort of hastily poorly constructed items. And for those of you who can see it on the south end of the room, there is a dark pit floor that yawns and you can’t see the bottom from here.

Jeff (as Asher)  29:47

That poor pit looks tired. I can see the yawning from here. We’d best not wake it from its slumber.

Gero  29:55

Could be hungry.

Zak (as Brixbi)  29:57

Kera, I may have wandered for a bit forgotten myself. I see tents up here and I’m a bit concerned.

Izzy (as Kera)  30:09

I will check it out.

Izzy

I feel like she’s going to be immediately drawn thing that looks an awful lot like a dead body. Couple of them.

Sam  30:14

As you step out into the open in this room, those things that look a bit like dead bodies looks give you a closer look.

Zak  30:27

It’s never good when he says, “Let’s take a closer look at this thing.”

Izzy  30:33

It’s never, “Let’s take a look.” It’s, “I’m going to shove this into your face.”

Zak  30:37

Yeah, just once I’d like you to pop up a big pile of – Oh god.

Sam  30:42

It’s not a pink frog monster. What you see, standing in this room are three gaunt, hairless people who are barely wearing any clothing at all, holding knives. Sort of stepping towards you as you come out into the room. There’s a total of three of them that you can see. And one of them who happens to be right by Kera, addresses you in a whispering voice, “You speak?”

Izzy (as Kera)  31:15

Yes. Uh huh. Yes. Do you?

Sam (as Gaunt Figure)  31:20

Good. We will speak with you, half your number to our leader. The rest will wait here.

Izzy (as Kera)  31:26

Oh, um, we just they just they just said we should, like, not split the party. So, we’re probably going to stay together. But everyone’s super nice.

Sam (as Gaunt Figure)  31:35

We will half your number to our leader. And half will stay here. Or we could kill you now.

Izzy (as Kera)  31:42

That’s like really, really bold. Can we talk about it?

Sam (as Gaunt Figure)  31:46

We’ll wait.

Izzy  31:47

She’ll immediately turn around and be like, “So, this seems not ideal.”

Zak  31:53

Can we roll in knowledge on these things?

Sam  31:56

Yeah, that would be a knowledge local. And they are totally just hanging out. Like right around you. They didn’t back off at all.

Jeff  32:05

17 total.

Zak  32:07

That’s a 17 from Brix as well.

Gero  32:10

24 from Vaargas.

Sam 32:11

These are skulks. These are probably the Darklands dwelling humanoids that were mentioned by Dolga, during your briefing. Camouflaged in dark places have some capacity to have a chameleon-like quality to their skin. And you guys can ask two questions about them.

Gero  32:41

Well, I asked my skulk question the last time I passed a thing back in the office, so I will defer to the two 17 rolls. If either of them can think of something they want to ask about them.

Zak  32:57

Do they have a general alignment?

Sam  32:58

Generally speaking, they tend towards the chaotic evil end of the spectrum.

Jeff  33:06

I don’t remember, the player. I’m sure Asher totally remembers. But which question did you ask, Gero? I can’t remember if it was special attacks or special defenses.

Gero  33:16

It was if they had any sort of defenses or weaknesses and he said they didn’t have much of either other than the camouflage.

Jeff  33:23

Cool. I was 60% sure at best. Any special attacks he’ll ask them.

Sam  33:30

Generally speaking, being sneaky individuals they might have the capacity to sneak attack.

Zak  33:38

Could we also roll a sense motive on that initial offer to bring half of the party to their leader knowing what we know now about their inclination towards chaos and evil?

Izzy  33:55

21

Gero  33:57

can’t find my bonus but that definitely beats mine.

Jeff

Beats my 19.

Zak 34:01

Excellent time for that one.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Well, I know one thing: if it’s chaotic and it’s evil, it’s trustworthy.

Sam  34:09

They do appear to intend to take half your party to talk to their leader.

Izzy  34:14

So Kera, not quite whispering but doing her best will go,

Izzy (as Kera)

It doesn’t seem like they’re lying. But I don’t think we should split up. Dolga said they were like, I don’t know kind of scared of people. Maybe I can make them let us all come.

Sam  34:34

As mention of making them let you come their hands do drift to the swords on their belts.

Zak (as Brixbi)  34:41

Well, how far away is your leader?

Sam (as Skulk)  34:46

She waits in the next room. Not far, not far.

Izzy (as Kera)  34:50

What happens to the other two of us if we stay?

Sam (as Skulk)  34:54

You wait. If there’s no trouble from you, there will be no trouble from us.

Zak (as Brixbi)  35:02

Why are you bringing us to your leader in the first place? We’re just traveling down here and happened upon you. Who’s to say that we need to make a whole social affair out of this?

Sam (as Skulk)  35:15

Our leader wishes to talk to any who intrude on our territory.

Zak (as Brixbi)  35:21

Have others intruded down here recently?

Sam (as Skulk)  35:26

That is a question for our leader, not for me.

Izzy  35:28

Can we tell? Or is there something I can roll to see if their little tiny dagger guys match the ones we saw on Parda?

Sam  35:39

You could roll a heal check.

Izzy  35:41

Dirty 20.

Sam  35:43

They definitely look similar. Parda had a whole bunch of small stab wounds. And these guys have short swords and daggers on them.

Izzy  35:54

Okay. So care will see that and say,

Izzy (as Kera)

Look, I appreciate this little democracy, you’ve got going. But it’s been kind of a long day and my sword is way bigger than yours. My friends are going to come with me to see your leader, or we’re going to have a problem.

Izzy

And I would also like to roll an intimidate check. Oh, that was not great.

Gero  36:17

Is there a way could Vaargas like stand up behind her and kind of look menacing and try to give her a bonus?

Sam  36:24

You could roll to aid.

Izzy

Please do.

Gero

No…that is a five out of a needed 10, so I do not aid.

Izzy  36:33

Yeah, I rolled a four plus seven. But that’s still an 11.

Sam  36:38

11’s not gonna do it.

Izzy 36:39

Okay.

Sam 36:40

So they creep still closer to you and say,

Sam (as Skulk)

The deal is simple. Half of your number come speak to our leader now or we kill all of you. This decision should not be difficult.

Izzy (as Kera)  36:56

Okay, I guess I’ll go.

Izzy

Kera will volunteer herself. I don’t know if that makes the most sense. Strategically.

Zak  37:05

Bixby looks up at Asher.

Zak (as Brixbi)

I think one of us should go with them. I’ve seen you have a way with words. I do too. Sometimes.

Jeff (as Asher)  37:17

Yes, well, I would certainly hope things can be resolved peacefully. But should anything go awry in tight spaces. I believe you’d be the better choice strategically. So perhaps you and Kera should go and have a nice and agreeable chat with these fine folks’ leader and Vaargas and I will stay here and be patient.

Zak (as Brixbi) 37:49

Absolutely. And, you know, knowing you I’m sure that if something was wrong, I’d hear it.

Zak

He looks at his hip quickly and turns back to Kera.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Well, big stuff. Guess you’re with me.

Jeff  38:02

Asher will look to Vargas and say, “he’s very confident in his hearing.”

Izzy (as Kera)  38:07

All right. Creepy, bald people. Let’s go talk to your friend.

Sam  38:13

The one that had been doing the sort of talking will beckon for you to follow after her. The other two will stay back, hands on the swords watching Asher and Vargas.

Gero  38:25

Vaargas will be watching this one to the north back, just keeping an eye on and making sure he can’t try to blend into the scenery.

Sam  38:34

The skulk leading the way takes an abrupt left around the turn and heads into a cave to the north, leading you into a small and cramped cave, which is filled with metal junk covering almost every inch of the ground. The back of the cave is a precarious pile of rising heap-like into a bit of a hut. And perched in front of that hut is another one of these skulks. She’s emaciated, has even more daggers than the rest of them, bone thin, completely bald and staring out at you from her perch on top of a pile of junk. The skulk who lead you in sort of steps off to the side to let you step towards her.

Sam (as Sef)

What have we here?

Zak (as Brixbi) 39:27

Hello.

Izzy (as Kera)  39:28

Hi, I’m Kera. This is my friend Brixbi. You summoned us so maybe you talk first.

Sam (as Sef)  39:36

I am Sef, the leader of these people. I do not wish to kill you. There has been far too much killing you of late. I can offer you a deal. You can have free passage through my caves into the ruins beyond if you leave my people unharmed. And you clear out the nest of gremlins to the north. This is agreeable to you?

Izzy  39:58

Can we sense motive?

Zak  39:59

I would sense that motive if there’s a motive to sense. That is a 16.

Izzy  40:08

Sure can’t. That’s a seven total

Sam  40:10

With a 16, it seems like she’s being forthright. If anything, there seems to be a sort of bit of desperation in a voice that she’s kind of trying to conceal, but she does seem to be making you a genuine offer.

Zak  40:26

Brixbi turns to Kira, and doesn’t try to conceal that he’s whispering.

Zak (as Brixbi)

My people, no one close to me, but my people have had dealings with with their people before and they have upheld bargains. Not everyone is to be trusted, just like all humans.

Zak

He looks quickly at the skulk and then back to Kera.

Zak (as Brixbi)

But it seems a deal and I would agree. So far, we’ve already seen more death in this cave than we intended.

Izzy  41:01

Yeah, I think Kera just kind of stares at him for a little bit, and then sort of thinks about it and then nods.

Izzy (as Kera)

I think one of them or probably a lot of them, hurt my friend. But if she were here, she would say it doesn’t make sense to keep hurting other people to fix that. I don’t want to risk one of you guys going the same way because I was upset.

Zak (as Brixbi)  41:32

You deserve answers. We are considering your offer. But on the basis of trust, we’d like a question or two answered to begin a relationship, a working relationship. You feel me?

Sam  41:48

She sort of frowns but holds up a hand out where there palm up like she’s signaling to go ahead.

Zak (as Brixbi)  41:57

We found the body of a half orc warrior over you just north of these caverns and to the east. She was covered in small stab wounds.

Zak

He looks pointedly at daggers.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Now, I know there are plenty of dangers under here. But I think my friend here would like to know, did you have anything to do with her death.

Sam  42:22

She takes a moment and kind of measures her words carefully, looking down at the ground in front of her says,

Sam (as Sef)

I do not know who specifically struck the blow. But I do not deny that my people have killed several of the people who came into these caves. There was a half orc among them. I do not apologize for this. This is my territory. We were protecting our place here and fulfilling in agreement that we have with another.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Which other?

Sam (as Sef)

There was the first group to come through here. The largest one, there were, there were orcs. They were people like you, rat people. And there was a woman with purple hair. She paid us the treasure, told us to kill any who come through behind them. There would be more treasure. And they would leave my tribe alive. We made the agreement or the leader before me did. Things have gone poorly since then, for us and for a great many people. But when we killed that half orc, we were honoring that agreement.

Zak  44:08

Brixbi will look up at Kera just waiting for a response.

Izzy (as Kera)  44:12

When did you make this agreement?

Sam (as Sef)  44:15

It was some two weeks ago.

Zak (as Brixbi)  44:18

All these people still down here? The ones who made the agreement. You said to not let anyone follow them?

Sam (as Sef)  44:26

We haven’t seen them come back.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Does that mean – ?

Sam (as Sef)

They went up to the caves through the north where the gremlins nest may have not returned.

Zak  44:35

I don’t think Brixbi would feel comfortable providing like a decent physical description of Khonnir. But he would look again to Kera and say,

Zak (as Brixbi)

I’m not quite sure what Khonnir looks like. Could you ask? I hope he’s had better luck than Parda.

Izzy (as Kera)  44:52

That half orc woman that someone killed, she didn’t come down here alone. Who was she with? Was she with a description that Sam will provide of Khonnir?

Sam  45:02

She shakes her head.

Sam (as Sef)

She was amongst the second group to come through. They were completely unprepared. We dispensed with them easily. The man you describe was much more formidable. He slew my, our clan’s former leader. Most of our numbers, honestly. Left us here licking our wounds. When he came through a second time we hid and let him pass.

Zak (as Brixbi)  45:29

Did he head in the same direction? North, toward the gremlin caves?

Sam (as Sef)  45:35

No, he went through there.

Sam

She points back towards the southeast back into the big room.

Zak  45:44

Brix will turn again to Kera.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Well, unless we’re looking to follow suit, it seems like we’ve got to make a deal.

Izzy (as Kera)  45:53

I would love to leave you with a parting gift that maybe indicates something of the person that you took from me. But it sounds like there’s been plenty of loss here already. So I will let you sit with that. And we can call this a deal. I’m not happy with it. But I guess no one really wins here.

Sam  46:20

She nodded slowly. She says,

Sam (as Sef)

Clear out the Gremlins from the north. As I said, we will not impede you in any way. We can offer you some portion of the treasure that the woman with the purple hair gave us recompense for your loss.

Izzy (as Kera)  46:39

Sure, thank you. We love treasure.

Zak (as Brixbi)  46:42

Yeah, I’m quite sure you can find all sorts of ways to be helpful to us after we’re helpful to you. So these gremlins, are they…

Zak

And he points to this cavern that they’re in to the east and sees the caverns go north from there.

Zak (as Brixbi)

This way to the north? Or do we backtrack from where we first found your people?

Sam (as Sef)

These passages are all interconnected. They’ll all take you to the same places.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Well, if you’ll allow us the company of our companions, I’m quite sure Kera doesn’t want to stretch out this interaction longer than it needs to be.

Izzy (as Kera)  47:27

Yeah, you suck. Respectfully.

Zak (as Brixbi)  47:30

It’s a surface thing. It’s a very neutral statement to say.

Sam (as Sef)  47:35

I see. You suck as well.

Sam

And she waves away the skulk at the back who will head over to the other ones.

Sam (as skulk)

An accord has been reached. You’re free to rejoin your companions.

Sam

And step out of the way so you guys can get by.

Jeff  47:53

Asher finished his story that he was telling Vaargas and says,

Jeff (as Asher)

And I never did figure out how those two goats got in the tree. But we ate like kings that night.

Gero (as Vaargas)  48:04

If it weren’t for that horse, we never would have spent that year in Rahadoum.

Jeff (as Asher)  48:09

Anyway, looks like we’re gonna join the others.

Gero  48:11

Also, Vargas cannot see very far. Which direction were the others in?

Sam  48:16

Northwest. There you go. As you come into that room, the emaciated skulk, sitting atop the pile of junk will say hello, hello. You suck. You suck.

Jeff (as Asher)  48:29

Ah, yes. You suck, too.

Sam (as Sef)  48:31

Thank you.

Zak (as Brixbi)  48:34

This northern passage. She also mentioned that she needs us to handle a nest of gremlins. Do any of you know anything about gremlins? I don’t. I lack knowledge nature.

Izzy  48:52

What is a gremlin?

Gero 48:55

You’re not supposed feed them after a certain time

Zak  48:58

We turn back to the skulk.

Jeff  49:01

Yeah, we ask Sef,

Jeff (as Asher)

Could you describe the damage resistance if they have any, as well as any special attacks.

Sam (as Sef)  49:11

Tiny, pesky creatures. Steal least expected sneak all around, climb into your space harass you but they’re very difficult to harm.

Izzy (as Kera)  49:26

We’re pretty good at harming things.

Zak (as Brixbi)  49:28

Well, let’s not draw this happy meeting out longer than it needs to be.

Zak

He looks grimly back towards Kera, who is out of the room.

Izzy  49:41

Bye.

Gero  49:41

As we’re moving out, Vaargas is going to walk up to Kera and Brixbi.

Gero (as Vaargas)

We only have about four and a half hours left on this water breathing and you two are picking up side quests?

Zak (as Brixbi)  49:59

From what I’ve understood the reason why Kera’s friend lays dead, metal man, is because of these wall-blending, knife-wielding nightmares. One creature nearly took all of us out. We don’t know how many there are. Their permission to move down here is crucial. We can always get more magic, but there’s only one of you, Junkpunch.

Gero  50:27

He’s gonna just kind of glare at Brixbi but he’s not gonna say anything because he realizes that he’s right.

Sam  50:35

All right. As you head out of her layer sort of to the right, you find yourselves into a series of narrow interconnected caves if you want to roll a perception check figure out which way to go.

Jeff  50:48

Would survival fit in here at all?

Izzy  50:53

Oh! That’s a natural 20 plus seven.

Sam  50:58

it looks like for the most part the activities up to the north, not really to the to the east here and the south takes you back down to that big room where you first encountered the skulks.

Izzy 51:11

So Kera will turn around to everyone, except for Brixbi, who’s gone on ahead. And as she’s turning, Kingsley, her scorpion, will crawl out from under her hair and just kind of settle on top of her head and she’ll be like,

Izzy (as Kera)

Kingsley says we should go this way.

Izzy

And she’s just gonna brush past Brixbi here and be like, “no offense. You’re just so small.”

Sam   51:31

Okay, as you step into that square, let me just see what my what I roll here you as you brush through a tripwire.

Izzy

Okay.

Sam

And a spike comes shooting out of the wall. Does a 22 hit your flat-footed AC?

Izzy  51:53

It absolutely does.

Sam 51:55

A spring loaded spike shoots out of the wall and hits you for seven damage.

Izzy  52:00

Kera looks immediately very very bad.

Sam  52:04

To the north, something laughs uproariously.

Zak (as Brixbi)  52:07

Oh, perhaps I should go first. This sort of trickery, traps, snares…I’m familiar.

Zak

Brixbi will say, “It’s just ‘cause you’re so big,” as he pushes by her. Yeah, back to the front.

Izzy 52:26

Can we see that? Oh, that’s, that’s just a skulk, right? This up to our west?

Sam  52:33

That appears to be the source of the laughter.

Izzy  52:37

Got it. If it’s not immediately attacking us, I should maybe heal. I have one hit point.

Sam  52:43

It’s just sitting there laughing.

Gero  52:45

They really are gremlins.

Sam  52:47

There we go.

Izzy  52:47

That was uncalled for.

Sam  52:50

So little gray. Yeah, it’s a tiny gray little goblinoid creature or goblin looking creature with a tiny little knife. And a terrifying toothy grin, sitting on the ground laughing its head off at the spike that impaled Kera and seemingly without a care in the world.

Izzy  53:11

Awesome. I’m gonna kill it.

Zak (as Brixbi)  53:13

Yeah, heal up so we can give it a care.

Gero  53:15

The thing that’s most terrifying to it is Jason Bowman’s copyright lawyers.

Jeff  53:20

Love you, Jason.

Izzy  53:23

Cool. Yeah. Is it, is it like, are we in initiative?

Sam  53:29

I think this is probably a good time to roll for initiative. So, let’s see. Who wants to go first to tell me when they’re going?

Izzy  53:40

That’s a 12 for Kera.

Sam  53:43

All right, 12 for Kera. Brixbi, what do you got?

Zak  53:46

I rolled a 12 for a 15.

Sam  53:51

Vaargas, how are you?

Gero  53:52

Rolled a 17 for a 19.

Sam  53:57

Vaargas is feeling quick today. And how about Asher?

Jeff  54:00

Rolled a 10. First roll the night on the Portal dice from Cozy Gamer Shop. That was only a natural 10 for a total of a 14.

Sam 54:13

Well, Vaargas is up first. You got a laughing gremlin over the way to the north. Yeah.

Gero  54:19

Yeah, how narrow is this? Would it be just normal movement to squeeze past my allies?

Sam  54:25

Yeah, these are all sort of normal with squares despite looking a little bit…

Gero  54:30

Okay. So he’s going to look at that thing. He’s going to go, “Don’t laugh at us.” And he’s going to step right up to it and take a swing. Not going to hit more likely than not, that is an 11.

Sam  54:52

All right, that will not hit it’s flat-footed AC. The gremlin just laughs its head off as you fail to strike. And Brixbi is up.

Zak  55:05

Bixby drew out his rapier and tail blade out and say, “We’ll say we’ve had that you can add to it to people space, but have you heard about me?” And he takes a step to the northwest entering into Vaargas’s space. Mechanically, this is the Scurrying Swarmer feat, which allows me to occupy the same space as my ally, getting the benefits of flanking for myself. So with that five foot step he’s going to take a full attack. First with the rapier. That is a 12 versus flat-footed.

Sam  55:41

12 does not hit flat-footed.

Zak  55:43

All right, and then he will take a attack with the tail blade, this is a negative one. Oh, that is not gonna hit, that’ll be an 11.

Zak (as Brixbi)

Right, small and ineffectual hopefully just like you.

Sam  55:57

All right, and he’s still laughing his head off, as we roll over to Asher.

Jeff  56:01

And Asher looks and sees that he can barely even get into that space, he will move 5, 10, 15, 20 feet to the northwest, 25, 30. So there is a little spot there for Kera. So we can all try and you know, dogpile on this little gremlin. And in melee range, since he’s going before this creature. He’s gonna say, ‘Cover your ears.” And he will fire point blanket this gremlin with the Portal dice. No, that is a four on the die for not enough.

Sam  56:43

And we’re on to Kera as this little thing keeps dancing out of the way of seemingly everybody.

Izzy  56:50

Sure. Um, as much as she would like to go and attack, I would like her to not die. At least not in episode three. So I think she’s going to take out the potion that they stole off that corpse and drink it. That’s a three plus one. That’s four. That’s fine. We’ll take it five HP. Doing great.

Sam  57:14

Now this little gremlin is gonna say hehehehe and it’s going to jump into the same square as Vaargas and Brixbi. So you both get attacks of opportunity on him.

Zak  57:29

Yes. Nope, it’s a two on the die.

Gero  57:36

For Vargas it is a 16 on the die. So a 19.

Sam  57:41

A 19 will hit.

Izzy  57:42

Yay

Gero  57:42

Much better than my eight last time. Plus two because I don’t have any magic bolts. That will be five points of damage.

Jeff  57:49

Boom.

Sam  57:50

All right, and as you punch this little creature for five points of damage, it’s like punching this weird little rock. It’s like it didn’t do anything at all. And it just keeps laughing and laughing and now that it’s in your space, it’s gonna try to stab you. So that is going to be a 15.

Gero  58:13

Against Vaargas? That is a hit.

Sam  58:15

All right. That is a massive one damage with the short sword. Just kind of stabs you with its tiny tiny little weapon goes right back to laughing.

Jeff  58:27

Make three fortitude saves. One for paralysis…

Sam  58:33

No fort saves. No, that comes later. And Vaargas you’re up. You are in the most crowded square in the history of Pathfinders right now.

Zak  58:42

We’re like a matryoshka doll.

Gero  58:47

He is going to sort of concentrate, close his eyes. You can tell he’s annoyed by this thing poking at him and he is going to use up a point from his arcane tool to make his golem fist hit a little harder. So, that will give me plus one to attack and damage, so let’s see if that can possibly get through whatever DR or hardness or whatever it is this little bastards got on that is a 19 to hit.

Sam  59:21

19 will hit.

Gero  59:24

That is three, that is going to be five damage again, though I imagine that once again does not go through.

Sam  59:32

Yeah, once more. It’s, you know, you feel like you landed a good blow and it just it totally no sells it. It’s sandbagging it, bouncing all around your square.

Gero  59:45

Because I had to activate that this turn, that is his turn.

Sam  59:50

All right, Brixbi, you’re up.

Zak  59:53

All right. Brix is gonna take another attempt at a full attack in his incredibly full square. I somehow have been rolling less than less than I’ve hit the bottom so that’s a nat one with the rapier so I can only go up from here everyone. Tail blade negative one modifier that would be a 16, 17 on the die.

Sam  1:00:16

16 will not hit.

Zak  1:00:19

Oh, rough. Yeah, Brix is just struggling.

Sam  1:00:24

This thing is a slippery little bugger. All right, back around to Asher.

Jeff  1:00:31

Asher will grab a bullet off his bandolier and chamber in the round and take a five foot step back I think I can kind of wedge myself and that is his entire turn.

Sam  1:00:45

All right, and Kera is up.

Izzy  1:00:48

Okay. Let’s see, Kera is pretty upset because this thing is laughing at her and she also just got caught by that trap which was, like, super embarrassing in front of her new friends. Okay, so I think this works, please correct me if I’m wrong. She’s going to drop her greatsword and draw her Lucerne hammer. None of you know this yet, but its name is Lucy and it’s, you know, bedazzled with ribbons and glitter. Mainly in purple and pink because again, branding is important. That’ll give her the extra reach and having seen all her friends try and fail to hit this thing mostly, she’s and you know, seen a friend die. She’s come in here. She’s very tired. She’s kind of hurt. She’s pissed. She is going to rage. Let’s see that is 12 plus 7, 19 to hit.

Sam  1:01:40

19 will hit.

Izzy  1:01:41

Five on the die plus nine for 14.

Sam  1:01:45

All right, it doesn’t feel like all of it goes through. But it does feel like the gremlin’s head still gets squashed by the end of Lucy the Lucerne hammer. And the goblin falls to the ground in a crowded, crowded square.

Izzy  1:02:01

If she were a different type of person, she might like flip it off, but she’s not so instead she’s just gonna Yes, and end her turn.

Sam  1:02:09

Okay, and after your turn ends you do see another goblin, or another gremlin, I’m sorry, step down into the cave, wave to all of you, laugh uproariously and then disappear in a poof of purple energy. And it is Vaargas’s turn.

Gero  1:02:32

Vaargas is going to go after that so that he doesn’t waste to this minute of enhancement bonus he’s got. So 5, 10, 15 and he is actually going to stop off to about 15 feet to the northeast and use his action to make a perception and see if he can figure out which direction that they might be in. That is going to be an 11.

Sam  1:03:03

Okay. With an 11, it could go either way. It’s hard to say which way it went because it didn’t exactly leave a trail.

Gero  1:03:07

Then he is going to ready an action to just punch out if it shows up in his square before his next turn.

Sam  1:03:22

Okay, and Brixbi, you are up.

Zak  1:03:23

Right, Brixbi will take a 5,15 foot diagonal step following Vaargas into his square and ready this, a similar, if something comes into striking range that I can see, I will hit it with my rapier.

Jeff  1:03:46

And Asher will follow his compatriots, heading southeast first. He will, though, as a free action as he passes Kera say, “Now that was a good smash.” And then he will continue 20, 25 now heading up to the north and he’ll actually park it five foot north here. And if something appears, if another gremlin appears within 25 feet, in his touch increment he will shoot.

Sam  1:04:22

As Asher steps into that square, he feels a wire snap on his leg and does a 23 hit?

Jeff  1:04:35

Yeah, I wish I could come up with a witty way to say no, but it totally does.

Sam  1:04:41

A hidden spike shoots out of the wall and digs deep into Asher’s shoulder for nine damage.

Jeff  1:04:48

Oh dear, that is indeed deep into the shoulder.

Zak  1:04:52

Man, this party could use a rogue.

Sam  1:04:55

It’s fine. There’s surely a finite number of traps.

Jeff  1:04:58

North was a bad choice. Boy howdy.

Sam  1:05:00

Well, I’m afraid you’re gonna have to find out after I go to bed. Goodnight, everybody.

Zak  1:05:06

Goodnight, Sam.

Izzy 1:05:07

Night, Sam.

Jeff  1:05:08

Night, Sam.

Gero  1:05:08

Night, Sam.

Sam  1:06:11

All right, we’ll call that episode one or three as it were. Yeah, I think of them as like the, the Honey Crisp Bear from the cereal?

Gero  1:06:23

What is that? Is that like a beaver?

Sam 1:06:24

They occupy the same space in my head.

Gero  1:06:28

Oh, it’s a bear. Yeah. Yeah, now that I’m looking at it bigger, I think it is bear.

Zak  1:06:34

This is guerrilla warfare, or gremlin warfare or whatever. Hopefully there aren’t gorillas here.