Freezo the warlock, Philge the half-orc and Bobby Pancakes find themselves out of coin and out of luck while overstaying their welcome in Dragonback Tavern in the town of Daggerford. Unable to pay a mounting debt to the tavern’s proprietor, they agree to try their luck as entertainers by auditioning to perform at the Duke of Daggerford’s birthday revels.
After crossing a slippery bridge and bypassing two gormless guards the heroes find themselves inside the duke’s castle. From this point a string of completely unprovoked and incredibly violent murders leads to them being locked up under guard and framed for the Duke’s murder – possibly the only crime on the premises that night that they definitely didn’t commit.
Three rookie adventurers calling themselves the Dragon Friends had been staying for a short time in tavern of Grimm Saltback, a friend-slash-creditor. At the start of the episode Grimm declares that they have to pay their tab or he'll kick them out. Their first instinct is outrage and Philge's is determined to consult the local tenant's association. She is not successful in finding one (because they have not been invented yet) but she does encounter a dead rat who she names Katy.
With no other options, the Dragon Friends are forced to seek employment.The Tavern's job board is all mundane and low-paying tasks except for one: performing at the Duke of Daggerford's birthday celebration. Auditions for entertainers are to be held shortly at Daggerford Castle and without any other options they are forced to give it a shot.
A rainstorm kicks up on the way to the castle. The bridge across the river becomes quite slippery but they persist nonetheless. Bobby attempts to explain to Philge that her pet rat, Katy, has been dead this whole time, but their heartfelt conversation is interrupted by Freezo.
Upon arrival, two guards usher the Dragon Friends into a waiting room where they meet another would-be entertainer named Leonard Swiftfeatures. Something about this young magician apparently rubs Freezo the wrong way because Freezo immediately murders him with a Witchbolt in full view of many castle guards. The party then uses the moment of shock and disbelief to declare, "Ta-da!" and pass it off as though this were the magic trick. This was such a bold and bewildering gambit that it succeeds in confusing the guards.
The Duke's brother Davin Tyrrill is summoned to the murder site, as the Duke was currently deep in prayer in the chapel. Davin orders them to be confined to quarters until it can be determined what had really happened. The Dragon Friends break down the door and escape into the castle only to find several guards killed by a mysterious assassin. Trying to make their way to an exit, they instead stumble across the castle's chapel... and the freshly-murdered corpse of the Duke.
The episode ends with guards bursting into the room and Freezo weakly declaring, "Ta-da!"
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- Philge first found Katy in this episode
- Two Guards
- Death By Witch Bolt - Leonard Swiftfeatures, Freezo's first kill (that we know of)
- Woke Freezo - Freezo has an extended rant about tenant's rights
- Hanna-Barbera Voice Reel - The crocodile has a Snagglepuss voice
- Bridges Are Hard
- Ta Da!
- Ancient Rule of Bagsing
- "Thank you, thank you! I forgot that I already had a beer, and so now I have two. A lot of the characters will be drunk!" - Ben Jenkins
- "Your challenge today is portraying someone who is both stupid and wise." - Dave Harmon
- "I just want to point out that you told us that you have two voices... and you just used one on a crocodile saying "nuts." - Alex Lee
- "We crave chaos! Let's head north." - Michael Hing
- "You see that the room is a kind of anteroom; an audience chamber." "Whew, I thought you meant like a black hole." "Time and space end. Goodnight, everybody!"
- Benny apologizes for the audio quality and suggests that struggling listeners might benefit from skipping to Season 2, but also that he is going through and remastering
- Freezo almost had a Mr. Freeze voice. Per Alex, he also insisted that his character design be "fuckable."
- In a live Q&A session broadcast with The House of the Crocodile (TOA.01), Dave revealed that the inexplicable murder of Leonard Swiftfeatures forced him to completely throw out all the plans he had for this session; basically everything that happens in this episode after that point was improvised by Dave and Ben on the spot.