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Transcript of The Audition (1.01)

BENNY DAVIS [voiceover]: Hello there listener and welcome to Dragon Friends! Thanks for downloading our first ever episode. My name is Benny Davis. I'm the bard for this show, who you will soon hear playing music and occasionally interrupting the actual game. Just a note that since we recorded these shows last year, we've gotten heaps better at recording podcasts. In comparison, some of these earlier episodes can be a little hard on the ears.


If you like the podcast but find the audio quality a bit frustrating, we promise it gets much better. You may even want to consider skipping our first campaign and jumping straight in at episode 2.01, "Indeed I Am Swole" with Edan Lacey, which is the beginning of our second season. Or if you're a completionist like me, by all means listen away, you just might need headphones and a hand on the volume dial. I'll be going through and remastering the first season bit by bit over the next little while but until then please bear with us and enjoy. 


BENNY DAVIS: Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome the Dungeon Master, David Harmon!


[cheers]


DAVE HARMON: Thank you very much! Thank you for coming out! My God, this is the first time we've ever done one of these, so it's really amazing to see how many people answered the summons when a Dungeons & Dragons Comedy Night is in. Can we please hear it for our Bard tonight, Benny Davis from the Axis of Awesome?


[cheers]


DAVE HARMON: I can't do this alone, can you please put your hands together for the man who will be helping me by playing every other character in this campaign, you know him from Story Club and from The ABC's The Checkout, it's Ben Jenkins!


[cheers]


BEN JENKINS: Thank you! I forgot that I already had a beer, and so...


DAVE HARMON: Now you have two beers.


BEN JENKINS: Now I have two. A lot of the characters will be drunk!


DAVE HARMON: We have three great Sydney comedians who have all--as I said-never played Dungeons & Dragons, but that's not gonna stop them giving it a red hot go. So first of all, can you please welcome to the stage... you may know her from Buzzfeed Australia... it is... Alex Lee!


Keep that going for National Theatre Sports Champion Simon Greiner!


And... the man from Good Game TV Well Played, it is Michael Hing!


Excellent. So. Why don't we meet the characters? Michael Hing! 


MICHAEL HING: Ah, yes. I have my character sheet here. I am... Freezo... ah, cool, yeah, that's me! I am Freezo the High Elf Warlock 1.


DAVE HARMON: We just say "warlock," buddy.


MICHAEL HING: Ah! And... a little thing about me is... I've never left the temple! So that's what's you've written into my character. I've grown up in the temple, I've never left it.


BEN JENKINS: So are you basically a home-schooled wizard?


MICHAEL HING: Yeah! In that respect, I am very similar to me as a person.


SIMON GREINER: Hey Michael, why don't you give us a taste of what the accent of Freezo was going to be until it got nixed by the Dungeon Master?


MICHAEL HING: Yeah, 'cause I thought Freezo could have been like a medieval Mr. Freeze? And it was gonna be like [SCHWARZENEGGER VOICE] “Hey Philge, Ice to meet you,” or whatever! And that'll be real good! And Dave was like, "That will be funny about half of one time."


DAVE HARMON: Can you do another Mr. Freeze joke and see if the laughter's a little less this time?


MICHAEL HING: Alright, ah, [SCHWARZENEGGER] “Hey Simon, I think you need to COOL OFF.”


DAVE HARMON: Yep, yeah, it definitely fades. Diminishing returns!


MICHAEL HING: It's trickling, yeah.


BEN JENKINS: That graph is exponential.


ALEX LEE: Also I'd like to point out that when we were getting our characters designed, Hing insisted that his character be fuckable.


MICHAEL HING: So I asked the artist, could you just--one thing--primo fuckable. This is what they've come up with, so, obviously between that and this… yeah, it's true.


DAVE HARMON: Let's keep it moving. Let's meet our next adventurer, played by Alex Lee. This is the half-orc barbarian Philge!


ALEX LEE: Hullo! Philge is a half-orc. She is a Barbarian 1...


SIMON GREINER: What's the other half?


ALEX LEE: Um, I think human?


DAVE HARMON: Yeah, we'll say human.


ALEX LEE: Yeah, I think human. Half-orc, half-human...


BEN JENKINS: All Philge!


ALEX LEE: All Philge, all the time! Um, I... do not have much of a character backstory...


DAVE HARMON: You gave me very little. I have a Facebook message from you that says, "I dunno, make me a half-orc fighter or some shit," so... this is what you get.


ALEX LEE: That's what I got. Um, she's very scary and very good at fighting.


BEN JENKINS: She's not very bright.


ALEX LEE: Not the brightest! But I'd also like to think that she's very body-confident.


DAVE HARMON: Yeah, totally.


ALEX LEE: She's really... you know, she thinks she has a body that was built for sex, if sex is smashing someone's head in with a hammer. Which it is! For her.


DAVE HARMON: Can I also point out, because you're so quick to criticize, Ben, that she is--yes it's true!--she is weak in intelligence, but she makes up for it with a bonus in natural wisdom. So, your challenge today is going to be portraying someone who is both stupid, and wise.


MICHAEL HING: [laughs]


DAVE HARMON: Last but not least, hailing from the city of Waterdeep, we have the greatest champion to ever grace this stage! It is Simon, playing... Bobby Pancakes.


SIMON GREINER: I'm a halfling, which is basically like a hobbit. I'm a thief, so I'm very very sneaky, and I'm just sort of chilling in this small town because I'm wanted by some big guys.


DAVE HARMON: So we have Freezo, Philge, and Bobby Pancakes. We are about to start our very first adventure. Let's get you some dice. So, are you ready to play DUNGEONS & DRAGONS?


🎶 [THEME SONG]


🎶 [WISTFUL PANFLUTE]


DAVE HARMON: The Sword Coast is a region of adventure, a light point in a world of a darkness in the world of Feyrun. Now you three are adventurers who currently reside in the town of Daggerford, a small farming community of about 900 souls, maybe three days' ride from Waterdeep, the capital of the Sword Coast. The three of you have been living the high life of adventurers. Each of you have come from lives you'd rather forget and you have found companionship in each other in an inn we'll call the Dragonback inn... for that is what it is called. Good stuff, Dave.


You've been staying there for a while, just waiting for adventure to come a-knocking, but sadly it has not come a-knocking. Your... oh, I guess we'll call him your patron for now, the proprietor of the Dragonback, a dwarf by the name of Grimm Saltback... is getting pretty fed up.

And Ben, what does Grimm sound like?


BEN JENKINS: I can do, like, two voices, so the dialect sounds very similar in these parts of town. He's all like--


🎶 [ROUSING KLEZMER MUSIC]


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Ah, ya lousy adventurers! Ya lousy adventurers in my inn! Always in here! Never paying ya tab!


MICHAEL HING: Is he from Brooklyn? Is that where he is from?


DAVE HARMON: The other capital city of the sword coast, yeah.


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Ya lazy... why don't you go and adventure yourselves some money? HA! He's got a dry wit.


DAVE HARMON: Grimm tells you that even his patience has come to an end, and he's going to need to kick you out of his inn if you don't settle your debts, which have become...substantial.


🎶 [DRAMATIC TOOTING]


ALEX LEE: So obviously, the first thing we're gonna do is call the Daggerford Tenant's Society and find out our rights.


DAVE HARMON: Excellent. So, this is a chance to make a roll, so, who here--?


SIMON GREINER: [singing] Our adventure never ends...


DAVE HARMON: Yes, let's start exciting and go from here!


[laughter and crosstalk]


BEN JENKINS: No, fuckin' Alex, you've made your bed!


ALEX LEE: Yeah, that's good!


DAVE HARMON: Can somebody please make an investigation check? That's an intelligence-based check, so...


MICHAEL HING: I think Alex should do it.


SIMON GREINER: Yeah.


DAVE HARMON: Let me explain this. Can I set this up, quickly?


SIMON GREINER: Please.


DAVE HARMON: Now, characters are better at some things and worse at other things, and we will get a sense of what they are good and bad at by watching how they play. Their abilities are controlled by six stats. You don't need to memorize them, there won't be a test: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. The higher their stat is, the easier it is for them to know things. So who thinks that they have a character...?


MICHAEL HING: Simon and I have said that we are electing Alex to do it.


ALEX LEE: Yeah.


DAVE HARMON: Ah, great. So, while you spend some time just sweet-talking Grimm Saltback, you go down to the local town planning office--


ALEX LEE: The tenancy tribunal? It's a small office.


BEN JENKINS: The fantasy tenancy tribunal. 


ALEX LEE: Within the town.


DAVE HARMON: Excellent. That's a DC check of 20, because it hasn't been invented yet, so we're gonna make it pretty tough. So, go ahead and roll!


ALEX LEE: Okay, roll my 20?


🎶 [OPTIMISTIC FLUTE]


ALEX LEE: 10!


DAVE HARMON: Alright! You come back and you say, "I've found a rat."


MICHAEL HING: Hey, cool rat!


ALEX LEE: Can we get the rat to represent us in this dispute?


MICHAEL HING: Does the rat have a law degree?


ALEX LEE: No.


SIMON GREINER: Does the rat talk?


DAVE HARMON: The rat is dead.


MICHAEL HING: Alright. Then I ask... how much we owe. That's what I'm gonna ask.


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Ah, ya lazy so-and-sos, you owe me 30 gold pieces!


DAVE HARMON: This is probably a great moment for you all to check your pockets. Each of you has scratchings left after a life of not-adventuring-very-well for weeks.


MICHAEL HING: Alright, but how much are those scratchings worth, do you think?


ALEX LEE: Are they pork scratchings?


DAVE HARMON: You have about 30 copper pieces each, which is about... ha, somebody here knows and just winced.


MICHAEL HING: What, is this like a decimal currency system?


DAVE HARMON: It is. Ten copper pieces is... one silver piece... and ten silver pieces is one gold piece. So you've got a percentage of a percentage of jack shit.


SIMON GREINER: Hey, Dave! It says here on my sheet that I have a bell, which I don't think I'll need later. How much is that worth?


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Wait, can I see that!


SIMON GREINER: Sure!


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Oh, my goodness, this bell! This bell is worth... NOTHING, ya fucko! And then he throws it at him.


SIMON GREINER: I catch it inches in front of my face.


BEN JENKINS: Well you better roll for dexterity, friend!


DAVE HARMON: Roll to see if you get brained by the bell.


SIMON GREINER: 5.


DAVE HARMON: Alright, you all succeeded in embarrassing yourself in front of your coolest friend, Grimm Saltback.


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] I'm in a Ska Band!


MICHAEL HING: What are they called, Grimm?


DAVE HARMON: Yeah, Grimm, what are they called?


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] They're called the... the... the uh...


DAVE HARMON: It's a dwarvish name, 'cause you're a dwarf.


🎶 [HARPSICHORD RENDITION OF "WALKIN’ ON THE SUN” BY SMASH MOUTH]


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] They're called "Grimm & the Magic Trombones."


DAVE HARMON: And they are GOOOOOD!


MICHAEL HING: Do you play guitar or trombone, or...?


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] I wail on the... 'phone, is what I call it...


ALEX LEE: While we're having this conversation, are you having, like, a band rehearsal? So your band are playing in the background?


DAVE HARMON: To be honest, this is why Grimm needs the tavern.


So, unless you can pay the 30 gold pieces that you owe him collectively, you are going to be out on the streets.


SIMON GREINER: Hey, Grimm! 


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Yeah?


SIMON GREINER: Listen. I'm a be straight with you. We don't have a whole bunch of money.


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM MAKES A MOCKING SAD TROMBONE NOISE]


SIMON GREINER: But...


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] That's a sound effect, but also me on the 'bone!


🎶 [BASS SLAP]


SIMON GREINER: Is there anything that maybe... we could do for you, that would help us square our debt?


BENNY DAVIS: [GRIMM] Well, you could find a job! And then Grimm points to the noticeboard with jobs on it.


UNISON: Ohhh!


BEN JENKINS: ...and it's empty! End of show. [LAUGHTER] No, there's shit on the board, it's fine.


MICHAEL HING: Hey Grimm, I don't have any money either, all I've got are these TWO MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES TICKETS!


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] Our archnemesis?!


DAVE HARMON: The Mighty Mighty Bard-tones, absolutely. 


MICHAEL HING: So we head over to the job board, then.


DAVE HARMON: Excellent, alright. There's a series of mundane jobs that don't pay very much...


SIMON GREINER: Aw look, some cats are missing.


DAVE HARMON: Somebody's favorite pet rat's been stolen... somebody's looking for a ska band...


MICHAEL HING: Wait, are they looking for a band to play, or are they looking to join a ska band?


DAVE HARMON: Actually, Grimm Saltback's put it up. He doesn't have a band yet, himself. It's been there for a long time. It's dust.


MICHAEL HING: He's advertising for, like, a drummer.


DAVE HARMON: He has been for years, it's really sad.


SIMON GREINER: I breathe on that piece of paper and it just disintegrates.


DAVE HARMON: Yes. But you do see a new sign with a Ducal Proclamation, for the Duke of Daggerford's 45th birthday is in three days' time, and as part of the traditional festivities of the Duke's birthday, a revel is to be held in the castle of Daggerford.


MICHAEL HING: What is that, like a party?


SIMON GREINER: Yeah, it's like a party, grandpa!


BEN JENKINS: Can I also say that on the notice, it's like a baby photo of the Duke, and it's like, "The Duke's turning 45... AGAIN!" [aside] Just... color and shade.


🎶 [REGAL MUSIC]


DAVE HARMON: And also, a wizard who's really good at magic sign spells has put beautiful clip art of balloons around. There's a lovely border. 


Anyway... "Entertainers, storytellers, and men and women with feats to recount are offered a chance to audition for the Duke to entertain at his birthday party. Inquire within." And then there's directions to the Duke's lovely castle.


SIMON GREINER: Hey guys, maybe we should start a ska band!


DAVE HARMON: I'm sorry, that sign has disintegrated.


MICHAEL HING: Alright, well... at the very least we can perform our ska music for the Duke, so let's go back to the hotel and see if Grimm wants to...


DAVE HARMON: It's not a hotel!


BEN JENKINS: [GRIMM] I keep telling you, just because you sleep on the tables...


MICHAEL HING: Well, let's go back there and see if he wants to take our ska band to the Duke, shall we?


ALEX LEE: How does performing for the Duke get us money? Is it a paid gig?


BEN JENKINS: Yeah, it's paid!


ALEX LEE: I don't know, maybe it says, like, in tiny writing, "No, it's really good for exposure." You've gotta be careful.


SIMON GREINER: "It'll be good for your portfolio."


MICHAEL HING: Hey Alex, I feel like there's a lot of animosity between your character and the Duke in the same way that there's animosity between you and Dave?


SIMON GREINER: Do you and the Duke have... history, Philge?


ALEX LEE: ...yes.


🎶 [ROMANTIC PIANO]


DAVE HARMON: Oh, tell us about that!


ALEX LEE: [PHILGE] Uhhh... me... and Duke... have... torrid affair. It end badly. Me break Duke heart.


SIMON GREINER: Like, physically?


ALEX LEE: [PHILGE] Me punched his heart. He has one of those... heart helping machines now.


MICHAEL HING: Like a magic pacemaker?


ALEX LEE: Yeah.


DAVE HARMON: You now do remember the fact that the Duke's father died under horrible heart exploding conditions. Luckily this is the new Duke.


SIMON GREINER: Could this be your son?!


[GASPS]


🎶 [DRAMATIC MUSIC]


MICHAEL HING: Is this duke, like... quarter-orc?


DAVE HARMON: You know what, I think you're going to have to go and find out!


🎶 [FANFARE]


MICHAEL HING: Alright!


ALEX LEE: We go, we go, we go!


MICHAEL HING: To the Duke we go.


🎶 [PERILOUS TRAVELING MUSIC]


DAVE HARMON: The weather is already starting to turn as you trudge out of Grimm Saltback's lovely, warm, enjoyable hotel... hotel? Now I'm calling it a hotel... TAVERN... into the cold, awful late afternoon of Daggerford. The rain is spitting down as you cross the bridge and you walk down the river. It takes a few hours towards the Duke's castle which is on a mountainous... sort of...


ALEX LEE: ...mountain?


DAVE HARMON: Well... island, is more the answer? Somewhere in the Galimbria river.


SIMON GREINER: Why does the Duke live so far away?


DAVE HARMON: He lives a couple of hours out! He needs the quality.


BEN JENKINS: He used to live next door to the tavern but he couldn't abide the horrendous ska band.


DAVE HARMON: Actually, the Daggerford tenancy organization was just very hard to get involved with.


So, you make your way up, and the rain is starting in earnest by about the time that you make your way to the castle. Now, there's a bridge. It's the only entrance toward the castle, and in the rain, it's already starting to look close to being overrun. The river is a fast river flowing into the sea, and it's looking a little bit dangerous.


🎶 [TENSE MUSIC]


DAVE HARMON: Are you guys going to continue on or are you gonna turn back with heavy hearts?


SIMON GREINER: No, keep going!


MICHAEL HING: Why would we turn back?


ALEX LEE: 'Cause we're scared of a bit of water?


SIMON GREINER: Yeah, water? Whatever!


MICHAEL HING: Is it... dark...? Should we...?


[CROSSTALK]


SIMON GREINER: Classic Bobby.


ALEX LEE: That's Bobby's catchphrase.


DAVE HARMON: It's not dark yet, it's the magic hour, a cinematographer would say. Well, who's gonna be going first? 'Cause this bridge is looking slippery as shit.


ALEX LEE: Me go first!


MICHAEL HING: Philge is leading the pack!


SIMON GREINER: Great, the heaviest of us all will go first. Great. Heaviest and stupidest.


ALEX LEE: Am I crossing the bridge?


SIMON GREINER: No, you're crossing the "not-bridge!"


BEN JENKINS: Another Bobby zinger!


DAVE HARMON: Philge, you're going first! Now, this is a slippery bridge in the rain, low light, at the end of the day, so this is a dexterity check. So, go ahead and roll a 20-sided die and add your dexterity bonus!


ALEX LEE: I got a 15 and my dexterity's 2 so 17.


DAVE HARMON: So Philge just sort of strolls across, all casual.


ALEX LEE: And I've still got my dead rat on my shoulder but I've plucked a leaf and put it on top, to protect it from the elements.


BEN JENKINS: Wait, do you think this rat's alive?


ALEX LEE: Yeah.


DAVE HARMON: Okay, excellent. So, Philge makes it look easy.


MICHAEL HING: Okay, Bobby and I draw straws to see who has to tell Philge the rat's dead.


SIMON GREINER: Let's draw straws...


MICHAEL HING: I got a 17.


SIMON GREINER: I draw the short straw.


MICHAEL HING: You gotta tell Philge.


SIMON GREINER: When I get to the other side of the bridge, I will tell Philge.


DAVE HARMON: Roll your dexterity check!


SIMON GREINER: I roll a 12 plus 3... 15.


DAVE HARMON: Alright, you actually find it a little harder, maybe the rain is a little heavier... also you're smaller, and the winds are blowing...


SIMON GREINER: I'm VERY nimble!


DAVE HARMON: You make your way across that bridge, you are on the other side... do you have anything you'd like to say to Philge?


SIMON GREINER: Uh... hey Philge...


ALEX LEE: Please keep voice down... me rat sleeping.


🎶 [HEARTFELT PIANO MUSIC]


SIMON GREINER: Philge, um... about that.


ALEX LEE: I give it a little kiss on its head. Mwah, mwah, mwah!


SIMON GREINER: So... what's the rat's name?


ALEX LEE: Me rat name... Katie.


SIMON GREINER: Listen, Philge. Katie was a good rat. She was a friend to you. She was a friend to us all. But Katie's dead! [whispering] Katie's dead.


MICHAEL HING [abruptly]: I got a 12 and my dexterity's 3 so 15.


[laughter]


I grew up in a temple, I don't know a lot about how to interact with people!


DAVE HARMON: D'you know what? For blithely interrupting what was a quite important moment between Bobby and Philge, can you go ahead and make a charisma check to not ruin the moment? 


MICHAEL HING: Alright, I got a 16 and my charisma is 3, so 19. Yeah.


BEN JENKINS: Against all odds!


MICHAEL HING: I swan on through and they make me a martini. Alright!


DAVE HARMON: Alright, excellent! So... you guys manage to make it across the bridge. There are two guards, sort of stern-looking folks with spears.


BEN JENKINS: Can I just...? [trails off]


MICHAEL HING: No, what do they sound like? What do the guards sound like?


BEN JENKINS: Well, I was just gonna say that if you got knocked into the water, you were gonna meet a crocodile, and I had a great voice for the crocodile. So, just...


DAVE HARMON: Ben, just let it go, this is Dungeons & Dragons!


BEN JENKINS: No, no, no! As you cross the bridge, a crocodile puts its head up and goes Awwww, nuts! and then goes back again.


🎶 [CHEERFUL PIANO]


ALEX LEE: I just feel like, you said yourself you only have two voices, and you wasted one of them on a crocodile saying "Nuts!"


BEN JENKINS: So the guards sound like... Oy, I'm a [recognizing that this voice is identical to Grimm’s] ... dwarf... in a... ska band...


DAVE HARMON: And what does the other dwarf sound like?


BEN JENKINS: Awwww, nuts! No, I'm gonna extend my ah... they're two guards, and they're grumbling... [GUARD1] "Ah, I bloody hate being a guard." [GUARD 2] "Ah, I actually find it kind of quite rewarding!"


MICHAEL HING: Classic "good guard, bad guard," I see.


DAVE HARMON: The guards bar the door with their spears and they say, "Halt, peasants!" Unless you want to say it.


BEN JENKINS: [GUARD 1] "Halt, peasants!" and the other one says it with a bit more gusto, because he's into it. [GUARD 2] "HALT, PEASANTS! Jeremy, if you don't want to do this, you shouldn't be here." 


DAVE HARMON: "What business do you have with the Duke?"


MICHAEL HING: We are here... to perform... at his birthday party! In three days!


ALEX LEE: [PHILGE] And not punch his heart! I add, helpfully.


SIMON GREINER: I just add sparkle to the whole proceeding.


BEN JENKINS: [GUARD] Well, we'll see about that! First you have to pass the auditions.


MICHAEL HING: Ooooh, okay! 


SIMON GREINER: Bring it on!


DAVE HARMON: So the guards unbar the doors of Daggerford Castle and you walk into a quite tastefully decorated waiting room. Huge columns, tapestries on the wall, a roaring fire...


🎶 [HIGH SOCIETY MUSIC]


MICHAEL HING: Are there other sort of people waiting to audition?


DAVE HARMON: There is one other man who is sitting on a bench at the far side of the room.


MICHAEL HING: What's his, like... what's his...


DAVE HARMON: Do you want to approach him?


SIMON GREINER: What's he look like, first?


MICHAEL HING: Yeah! Let's size him up!


DAVE HARMON: He's a...


MICHAEL HING: Carny? Is he a carny? He's probably a carny.


DAVE HARMON: He's actually wearing bright but cheaply made clothes and a huge feather which is on a tiny hat.


SIMON GREINER: I like that hat. I like the look of that hat. Let's say hello to this guy.


MICHAEL HING: Do you want to steal his hat?


SIMON GREINER: Oooooh!


MICHAEL HING: I'll distract him while you steal the hat.


DAVE HARMON: There are guards posted all around the room, as well, I should mention.


ALEX LEE: But we want that hat! We need some 'x-factor' for our audition.


SIMON GREINER: I jump behind Philge and I cling onto her back so I'm unseen from the front, and we approach.


MICHAEL HING: But we approach so it's just two of us.


DAVE HARMON: Alright, I'm going to need you to make a hide check for me, this is a stealth check, dexterity.


SIMON GREINER: +7 stealthy, guys! 


DAVE HARMON: Excellent.


ALEX LEE: Wow.


BEN JENKINS: Real stealthy, boy!


DAVE HARMON: Beautiful, alright. The two of you approach the man who turns and paints a huge smile on his face, and says...


BEN JENKINS: Eeeeeeeeeh...


[SILENCE, LAUGHTER]


DAVE HARMON: It just contextualizes it immediately, doesn't it?


BEN JENKINS: Um, who am I talking to?


MICHAEL HING: You're talking to us!


ALEX LEE: Us two.


BEN JENKINS: He looks at the two of you and goes, [NASAL VOICE] Weeeeell, hewllo.


ALEX LEE: Hello, handsome!


BEN JENKINS: [CONT’D] Awllow me to intwoduce myself! I am Leonard Swiftfeatures! And then he doffs his hat, and goes, M'lady...


MICHAEL HING: May I just ask, this hat with a feather in it... is it a fedora?


DAVE HARMON: You don't know, what is a fedora? This is Feyrun, the magical world of...


MICHAEL HING: I'm asking you as the Dungeon Master. I just want to know how to paint the picture in my mind.


BEN JENKINS: It is very much a fedora.


DAVE HARMON: Yes. It's actually a trilby, but he thinks it's a fedora.


SIMON GREINER: I quickly decide that it's not worth it, clamber down off Philge's back, and just say, "Hey, mate."


MICHAEL HING: Hi, Leonard! We're here to audition for the...


BEN JENKINS: [LEONARD] OHOHOHOHO! ...yes.


ALEX LEE: Ah, we ask him... um, "What you do for audition?"


BEN JENKINS: He reaches behind Philge's ear and pulls out, quite clumsily, a bouquet of flowers, and goes, [LEONARD] "Magic, m'lady!" and then he gives it to her, and then goes, "I will need that back." And then he folds it up into a tube and then...


DAVE HARMON: Are these really wrinkly, folded flowers?


BEN JENKINS: Yeah, they're very, very old.


MICHAEL HING: ..can I cast a Witch Bolt at Leonard?


[laughter]


ALEX LEE: [chanting] Spells, spellls, spells...


DAVE HARMON: Ah, yeah... you can...?


MICHAEL HING: Alright! 


ALEX LEE: What does a Witch Bolt do?


SIMON GREINER: Freezo, what does that do?


MICHAEL HING: Ah, a Witch Bolt is, well, it's a beam of crackling blue energy...


ALEX LEE: Oh, it's like a lightning bolt!


DAVE HARMON: Yeah, it's just like a lightning bolt. It'll kill him.


SIMON GREINER: Fry him.


BEN JENKINS: Do it!


MICHAEL HING: Alright, I rolled a 4 + 5 = 9.


DAVE HARMON: Alright, that'll... alright, he... keels over, dead.


[laughter]


🎶 [DRAMATIC MUSIC]


BEN JENKINS: So like... he is super surprised... 'cause you just like murdered a person.


DAVE HARMON: The doors burst open! The four guards in the room take their spears and the they turn them, pointing in on you. Four more guards rush into the the room... at their head...


SIMON GREINER: Okay, guys...


DAVE HARMON: ...I'm not done yet! You brought this on yourself!


BEN JENKINS: Actions have consequences!


DAVE HARMON: At their head is a giant, larger-than-a-man, 6 foot tall... figure... wielding a giant...


[laughter]


DAVE HARMON: Sorry, how high are you? 


BEN JENKINS: You said, "Taller than a man, SIX FOOT HIGH!"


[laughter]


BEN JENKINS: With arms AS BIG AS ARMS!


[laughter]


BEN JENKINS: And FEET you can WALK WITH!


SIMON GREINER: And a HEAD roughly the size of a MELON!


MICHAEL HING: Whoaaaaaah!


DAVE HARMON: Taller than a dungeon master, perhaps. [nervous laughter] Wielding a giant two-handed mace, and he says... "My god, what have you done?"


MICHAEL HING: Uhhh.


ALEX LEE: Oh!


SIMON GREINER: I quickly... um... scoot through his head climb up his back, and hold my short sword to his neck.


MICHAEL HING: No, no no!


ALEX LEE: No, don't do that! ...he's SIX FOOT TALL, SIMON! HE COULD DO ANYTHING!


MICHAEL HING: No, I've got a better idea!


ALEX LEE: We've got a better idea.


MICHAEL HING: Alex had a great idea. So what we do is, we go... "TA-DA!"


ALEX LEE: And we all just start clapping and going, "WOW, this best trick ever seen since birthday party last year!"


[laughter]


DAVE HARMON: So... so let me just... if I could just... if I could lift the curtain for a second? You're going to pretend that killing Leonard was part of your act?


MICHAEL HING: It was our audition, yeah!


DAVE HARMON: Well... go ahead and make yourself a deception check!


SIMON GREINER: I'm good at deception.


DAVE HARMON: Well you know what, actually, I'd like to hear one of you explain why it was your trick, and if you do really well, I might give you a bonus.


BEN JENKINS: Can I just say one of the guards is like, [GUARDS] "Just before he says anything..." And the other one's like, "Oh, now you're into it!" and he's like, "Just before he says anything, I want to let you know what I saw, which was... he did a magic trick... and then that one killed him." And then the other one's like, "Yup, that's what I saw." And the other one's like, "Yup." And the other one's like, "Yup, we're all from the same place!" So. That's what you're up against.


SIMON GREINER: Head guard.... Hi. Bobby. Bobby Pancakes. Listen, we're here on a... very important mission... we'll be passing as entertainers to track down a saboteur... and assassin... this wizard here... who came to the castle... to murder the Duke. So, as far as we're concerned: mission done! And, ah, we'll take that gold. Thanks very much.


[laughter]


DAVE HARMON: Roll me dice.


SIMON GREINER: I have... 10 + 7. Oh, sorry, 10 + 5. 15.


DAVE HARMON: I don't think a 15 is high enough to sell that completely, but you've obviously confused him.


SIMON GREINER: Listen. We should talk to the Duke. This guy is...


DAVE HARMON: The Duke, you would know as residents of Daggerford, has been praying for the last 24 hours on his name day. You can speak to his brother, Davin Tyrell, if you want. The master of revels.


MICHAEL HING: Okay, can I just ask before we meet him... is he, like, susceptible to Witch Bolts...?


DAVE HARMON: This would be a good time to remind you that as a level 1 warlock, you have two spell slots. You've used one of them.


ALEX LEE: Worth it.


BEN JENKINS: [through laughter] I can't believe you killed him...


SIMON GREINER: I take the guy's hat.


[laughter and applause]


DAVE HARMON: Can you write "smouldered trilby" in your equipment?


SIMON GREINER: Oh, I'm sorry! How intact is the feather?


DAVE HARMON: Miraculously untouched.


SIMON GREINER: Yas!


BEN JENKINS: Ohhh, perchance it is a phoenix feather!


SIMON GREINER: Ohhh!


DAVE HARMON: While you are robbing a desecrating a corpse...


SIMON GREINER: Oh yeah, does it have anything else in its pockets?


DAVE HARMON: Sycuran...


SIMON GREINER: I start pulling handkerchiefs tied to handkerchiefs tied to handkerchiefs tied to handkerchiefs...


ALEX LEE: And I take the flowers and I put the whole bunch behind my ear.


DAVE HARMON: Alright. While you are making a mockery of the situation, the guard indicates to the two guards to bring wide the inner doors to the castle. In walks a man who is clearly quality, who obviously has a lot of money.


SIMON GREINER: How big is the feather in his hat?


BEN JENKINS: SIX FEET TALL!


DAVE HARMON: I just don't know imperial! Which is great, 'cause this whole game is imperial! "Can I reach him, because he's 400 feet away?" "I don't see why not!" 


They have a rushed conversation, and the man you probably recognize as Davin Tyrell, the brother of the loved but slightly insane Duke of Daggerford, looks at you and says... apparently something about poisoners, my guard is confused...


BEN JENKINS: [ARROGANT VOICE] "Apparently something about poisoners, my guard is confused?" and he's all sneering.


SIMON GREINER: So Davin.


BEN JENKINS: [DAVIN] "Nyeeeeah!" and then he slaps him with a glove.


[gasps]


BEN JENKINS: [DAVIN] That's MISTER Davin! 'Cause... I don't have any titles, and I'm PRETTY upset about it! Oh, yes, my brother has about twenty, but it's just MISTER TYRELL!


SIMON GREINER: Can we do a perception check to see...


DAVE HARMON: One of the guards turns to him and says, "Hey, master of revels, it's a big day for you!"


BEN JENKINS: [DAVIN] "Eeeeyh," and he sneers, 'cause that's all he is.


SIMON GREINER: Can we do a check to see if he's orcish in any capacity?


DAVE HARMON: Yeah, go ahead, that would be an insight check.


MICHAEL HING: No no, that's a different one.


ALEX LEE: This is the Duke's brother.


SIMON GREINER: You didn't have an affair with the Duke's dad?


MICHAEL HING: Oh, so BOTH of them!


ALEX LEE: Whaaaaaat?


DAVE HARMON: Okay, everybody quickly make an insight roll!


ALEX LEE: Guys, guys, guys... I got 3.


BEN JENKINS: She got a critical miss.


ALEX LEE: What?


MICHAEL HING: I got 11.


DAVE HARMON: Okay, a 12 and 11, and Alex got a critical miss. Okay, so. Simon: Bobby is absolutely sure that there is no Orcish blood in Davin. Freezo, definitely a human. Philge... he's an orc! He's another orc!


ALEX LEE: Okay, so I walk over to him and I just hold him to my bosom.


BEN JENKINS: And I say, "Alright, put them in prison right now!"


ALEX LEE: And then I'm just weeping on his head.


🎶 [MOURNFUL “ROCK-A-BYE BABY”]


DAVE HARMON: That's the final straw for Davin.


MICHAEL HING: Before Davin goes, can we say... "Wait, Davin!" I mean, "Mr. Tyrell!"


ALEX LEE: I'm still holding him.


MICHAEL HING: Mr. Tyrell, how well did you know Leonard?


BEN JENKINS: [DAVIN] My... my godson? What's wrong with my godson?


[nervous laughter]


BEN JENKINS: [DAVIN] Where's my godson, where's my godson? 


MICHAEL HING: Would it surprise you to...


BEN JENKINS: [DAVIN] He was gonna come and perform for me, where's my godson? Leonard! Leonard where are you?


DAVE HARMON: What are those two guards doing right now?


BEN JENKINS: I don't know if they have the right clothes for it, but they're going like, [GUARDS] "Guhhhhh!"


DAVE HARMON: Tyrell has finally had enough of you and he says, get these--


SIMON GREINER: Swear words.


DAVE HARMON: --out of my sight. Sycuran, take them and lock them up, we'll deal with them in the morning, when the Duke has finished his fasting. Sycuran, for that is the name of the giant 6-foot-tall, larger-than-a-man Captain of the Guards. His guards all draw their weapons and they all say, "Drop your weapons, you're coming with us."


MICHAEL HING: Alright, so I guess we comply, or... do you want to fight...?


[nervous laughter]


SIMON GREINER: Let's comply.


ALEX LEE: Let's comply, because I've been all softened from my reunion with my son.


DAVE HARMON: Alright now...


ALEX LEE: And now I'm introducing him to my rat, I'm like...


DAVE HARMON: You can't take the Duke's brother with you, alright? He's gone.


MICHAEL HING: Simon and I pull straws to see who has to tell Philge that it's not her son. I got a 12... you got a 6... that's on you.


DAVE HARMON: Once again it's Bobby's job.


MICHAEL HING: Bobby's gotta tell Philge... so we go down to the prisons, I guess.


DAVE HARMON: Well actually you're kind of lucky. The Duke is fasting for 24 hours which creates something of a power vacuum in the castle, and it seems that Davin...


SIMON GREINER: [giggling] I was gonna make a dumb vacuuming joke...


DAVE HARMON: Go for it.


SIMON GREINER: I'm not gonna.


DAVE HARMON: Perhaps if Davin Tyrell cared more for administration then this would be dealt with more quickly, but because nobody really knows what to do with you, and because you haven't been charged with a crime, you are confined to--


ALEX LEE: Why not?


BEN JENKINS: Yeah, why not?


MICHAEL HING: Is it a crime to kill a magician?


[laughter]


DAVE HARMON: Is it truly a crime to kill a street performer?


BEN JENKINS: If it's wrong I don't want to be right!


DAVE HARMON: It is a crime to kill a street magician, but it's not a crime to perform a strange illusion to pretend to kill a magician as an audition, and because nobody's quite resolved what you're doing yet, they don't want to let you out, so they've locked you in quarters. So they haven't summoned the Sheriff's office, they've just locked you inside the castle in what would be quite nice rooms considering you're all murders.


MICHAEL HING: Are these nicer rooms than we had at the hotel?


[laughter]


MICHAEL HING: Just want to see. 'Cause if we're already gone up in the world.


DAVE HARMON: Can I answer your question with a question, which is: "Is a nicer room a room where you can't hear really loud ska music coming through the floor at all times?"


SIMON GREINER: I don't know, I kind of got used to it!


DAVE HARMON: I'm just saying, if the whole point of this is we were getting kicked out of our house, and we've got a new house in a castle...


SIMON GREINER: What's in this room?


ALEX LEE: Any rats?


DAVE HARMON: There are four beds--


MICHAEL HING: Four beds!


DAVE HARMON: There are chamber pots, currently empty.


MICHAEL HING: So there's 3+1! So we can bring a friend for a sleepover.


ALEX LEE: No, that's for Katie.


BEN JENKINS: Wonder who the last bed was for...


[laughter]


MICHAEL HING: There's a top hat and a cape on the last bed.


SIMON GREINER: And engraved in the bed head is an 'L' in the wood with beautiful woodland creatures around it.


DAVE HARMON: And then there are strong, very functional wooden doors that are locked, and then there's a bowl with some water and some rags. That's it.


SIMON GREINER: I bags the rags.


MICHAEL HING: I study the door to see if it's susceptible to Witch Bolts.


DAVE HARMON: It's definitely not.


MICHAEL HING: Okay.


ALEX LEE: I just jump up and down on the bed 'cause I'm really excited.


MICHAEL HING: Okay, should we try and escape?


ALEX LEE: Yeah!


MICHAEL HING: Or should we maybe complain... to someone?


DAVE HARMON: What are you gonna do, are you going to write a bad AirBnB review?


SIMON GREINER: Freezo, talk us through how that's gonna go!


MICHAEL HING: Well, I have heard of this thing, now, it doesn't exist yet, but...


DAVE HARMON: If you bring up the Daggerford tenancy agreements... I swear to god...


MICHAEL HING: We could start a tenancy tribunal! I'm just saying, as three people who are lodging here, we haven't been charged with anything yet, I know my rights! Our rights! We shouldn't be paying for the lightbulbs, is my point. 


[laughter]


DAVE HARMON: ...right. While Hing is ranting about consumer affairs, why don't the other two of you make some insight checks?


ALEX LEE: Um, I... roll a dice... and I... get the number 6?


DAVE HARMON: Actually these will be perception checks.


MICHAEL HING: Alright!


DAVE HARMON: No, not you Hing, you're busy.


MICHAEL HING: AUGHHH.


SIMON GREINER: 17.


ALEX LEE: 11.


DAVE HARMON: This has been a couple of hours, everybody has been asleep, Freezo is just ranting about landlords and tenements, and his rights. 


BEN JENKINS: Witch Bolts can't melt steel beams!


DAVE HARMON: And you suddenly become aware of something that at first you can't understand but then recognize, which is that the patrols of guards haven't come round. You deduce from this that something's happened to the guards in this area outside your rooms. 


SIMON GREINER: Are these doors--functional wooden doors as they are--what kind of a match are they for the shoulder of a half-orc warrior?


ALEX LEE: Yeah, let me give it a go! I'm gonna run at the door and headbutt it. I recon I can take it.


SIMON GREINER: Um, can I just mention that you have a hammer?


BEN JENKINS: No, they took that.


ALEX LEE: They took our weapons.


BEN JENKINS: That is conventionally what happens when you are arrested.


MICHAEL HING: No, you'll find we haven't been arrested! We haven't even been charged!


BEN JENKINS: Whatever happened to habeas bloody corpus?


DAVE HARMON: Actually, do you want to quickly make a sleight-of-hand/dexterity check?


SIMON GREINER: Oh... 3?


MICHAEL HING: Critical miss!


[nervous laughter]


SIMON GREINER: So they've taken my hat with a ginormous feather?


DAVE HARMON: No, they let you keep that.


SIMON GREINER: Do you think maybe I could use the end of that feather to pick that lock?


🎶 [MUSIC BUILDS]


ALEX LEE: Um, I still want to try headbutting it first.


SIMON GREINER: Okay, that a 9 + a 3 dexterity.


DAVE HARMON: No, actually it's your sleight-of-hand.


SIMON GREINER: Sleight-of-hand... +5!


MICHAEL HING: 14!


DAVE HARMON: 14! You start working on the lock and quickly you realize that this has the magical quality of supple yet rigid enough that you can use it to pick the lock. And you have almost succeeded when an orc comes crashing toward the door!


MICHAEL HING: 18!


ALEX LEE: I got 18 + 5 strength?


DAVE HARMON: ...and the door goes down!


[applause and cheering]


MICHAEL HING: Nice!


🎶 [VICTORIOUS MUSIC]


DAVE HARMON: Alright, the corridor is empty. It's leading away, you're at the very end of the corridor and you can continue to sneak down the corridor. Is this what you're going to do?


SIMON GREINER: Yes.


DAVE HARMON: Excellent, who's leading?


SIMON GREINER: I am, because I am nimble and small.


ALEX LEE: Is Freezo coming, or is he still ranting?


MICHAEL HING: Oh, c'mon!


ALEX LEE: He's on to Beyonce and Jay-Z and how they're part of the, ah...


SIMON GREINER: Illuminati?


MICHAEL HING: Why did they organize the TOUR if they're going to split up ANYWAY it's RIDICULOUS! It's all part of it, man!


DAVE HARMON: He's actually moved on to about how, there was a vast conspiracy that the Zhentarim created a conspiracy to fake the planar walkings, and that there's actually only one plane of existence. That's a Dungeons and Dragons joke! YEAH!


[faint woos]


Yeah, look at those! Fuckin'... droppin' references!


BEN JENKINS: There's not a lot of 'em, but they cheer loudly.


[laughter]


DAVE HARMON: So, you guys continue along down the road. Are you scouting the way or are you--


SIMON GREINER: I'm scouting the way.


ALEX LEE: Wait, where are we going?


MICHAEL HING: Wait, we haven't got out of the castle have we?


SIMON GREINER: No, we're going down the corridor.


MICHAEL HING: Oh, down the corridor. He said road!


BEN JENKINS: No, this is not a jail in the middle of the fucking meadow.


DAVE HARMON: It's a road-ish corridor.


MICHAEL HING: A road-ish corridor. Okay.


ALEX LEE: And are we gonna go and wake up the Duke and audition for him?


[laughter]


MICHAEL HING: No.


DAVE HARMON: You instantly realize, by the way that something is wrong. Slumped on the side of the corridors are two guards, their spears beside them, small puncture wounds in their necks... they've...


SIMON GREINER: GUYS, VAMPIRES!


MICHAEL HING: Maybe the only thing keeping us safe was Leonard. These hands... these hands...


SIMON GREINER: No time for that! You guys, pick up these spears!


MICHAEL HING: Okay, you guys should take the spears because I got my Witch Bolts.


DAVE HARMON: You mean Witch Bolt.


ALEX LEE: Where do they keep our weapons? We've gotta get em back.


SIMON GREINER: Who are you asking?


ALEX LEE: ...GOD?! I dunno.


SIMON GREINER: Is there anything else beside the small puncture wounds that is... suspicious?


DAVE HARMON: It's not twin puncture wounds...


SIMON GREINER: A one-tooth vampire!


DAVE HARMON: It's as if they've been killed by a one-toothed vampire. Also the torches have been extinguished recently, they're still smouldering. It seems that someone is sweeping through methodically, taking guards out.


SIMON GREINER: Freezo, at least take this half-burnt stick.


DAVE HARMON: ...right. Arming yourself with a half-burnt stick, while you both use functional spears, you creep forward. Make yourself a stealth check.


SIMON GREINER: Ah, 17 + stealth is 7. 


DAVE HARMON: Excellent.


MICHAEL HING: 11. Oh, wait, just him?


DAVE HARMON: Just him. Okay, you manage to scout the area out and you're realizing that this entire floor of the castle is looking pretty empty. You motion for the others to come with you.


SIMON GREINER: [whispering] "Guys..."


DAVE HARMON: On this floor you also find, very closeby, some shelves which contain your gear. So you are able to all quickly pick up your weapons and your equipment.


MICHAEL HING: Oh, goodness, I was missing my 'scholar's pack.' And my 'incense sticks.' 


ALEX LEE: I was missing my... 'clothes'?


[laughter]


BEN JENKINS: This whole time, everyone was being so... [serious sounds]


ALEX LEE: And my backpack... there's lots of things here. 


SIMON GREINER: Do tell.


ALEX LEE: Uh, studded leather, maul, javelins, clothes, healer's cat... kit, healer's kit...


🎶 [UPBEAT PIANO MUSIC]


ALEX LEE: ...backback, bedroll...


MICHAEL HING: We grab all our stuff.


ALEX LEE: I grab all my stuff. 


DAVE HARMON: You continue and now, you've got options. You can go down the stairs where the lights still seem to be on, or the extinguished torches, and indeed, direction of the carnage seems to be winding upstairs, into the tower of the castle.


SIMON GREINER: Now, this might be counterintuitive, but if we go upstairs at least there's nobody there to bust us.


MICHAEL HING: But if they're going down, and we're going up, we're gonna cross paths with them. We don't want to cross paths with them, do we. We want to follow them.


SIMON GREINER: So follow them up.


MICHAEL HING: Oh, so they're headed up, are they? We crave chaos, let's head north!


DAVE HARMON: Alright, can you all quickly make stealth checks for me?


MICHAEL HING: 11


SIMON GREINER: 19.


ALEX LEE: Uh... 6.


MICHAEL HING: Put your clothes back on!


🎶 [SNEAKY MUSIC]


DAVE HARMON: You sneak your way up the stairs and Bobby, hearing naught but the pitter-patter of tiny feet, and the clank-clank-clank of a half-orc that refuses to take their boots off.


SIMON GREINER: And has tambourines for hands.


MICHAEL HING: When you get to the top of the stairs Bobby, you crack the door open and you can see that the room is kind of an anteroom, an audience chamber.


SIMON GREINER: Oh, I thought you meant like a black hole!


MICHAEL HING: Time and space end, goodnight everybody!


DAVE HARMON: Actually it looks like a spiritual place. This is an area connected to a chapel inside the castle. You can see a figure slumped in front of an altar at the far end of the chapel.


ALEX LEE: I say, [PHILGE] "WELL, THIS ALL CHECKS OUT," and walk out of the room.


SIMON GREINER: Like, unnaturally slumped?


DAVE HARMON: You're going to have to get closer.


🎶 [SPOOKY ORGAN]


SIMON GREINER: Okay. Guys, let's go in and check this shit out.


MICHAEL HING: Alright.


[long, awkward pause]


SIMON GREINER: ...then we're agreed! 


DAVE HARMON: The three of your walk forward into the chapel. Actually, votive candles are still lit, so there's still some slight illumination but the torches are still extinguished. You get closer and closer, and as you get closer, you realize that this is in fact the Duke himself, Alexander Tyrell, Duke of Daggerford, praying in anticipation of his nameday in three days time. As you get towards him, a wind rustles through the room, and some of the votive candles flutter, and are extinguished. 


🎶 [WHOOSHING]


DAVE HARMON: And the body... 


ALEX LEE: [mimicing wooshing]


MICHAEL HING: S'good.


DAVE HARMON: ...slumps to its side, and at that point you see again the tell-tale droplets of blood falling from the neck, with what also looks like kind of a viscous green liquid staining underneath his ear, which almost immediately evaporates.


SIMON GREINER: Um. 


ALEX LEE: I say, [PHILGE] "My son, he is sleeping peacefully!" and I give him a little kiss on the head.


MICHAEL HING: Simon and I draw straws again to see who has to tell. 17!


SIMON GREINER: 20!


DAVE HARMON: The doors behind you burst open and Sycuran and his guards burst into the room.


MICHAEL HING: ...ta-da!


🎶 [THEME SONG]