• Quest Friends!

Ep. 19: Questionable Measures, Part 1

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Our heroes finally have access to the answers they've been seeking. They receive some of them.

Listen as they:

SLOUCH in the pout corner!

CONSIDER an ambush at a discount!

BERATE their brain boy!

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version)

Previously, on Quest Friends…


[Opening theme, “Friends” by Miracle of Sound, begins.]


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh, gross!


Tom (as Xoc)

Get it out, get it out, we have to get it out!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay, okay! How do you get spiders out of people?


[Laughter].


Kyle

He punches into the pillow, pulls out a handful of feather, and shoves them into Xoc’s mouth.


Kyle (as Mako)

Start punching him!


Emily (as Elee)

Punching him?


Kyle (as Mako)

Start punching him!


Emily (as Elee)

Um…

[Laughter].

Like, hard?


Kyle

And you see Sue, kneeling above the small, dwarf like man, who is bloody and battered and on the ground, motionless.


Kyle (as Sue)

No, no, no, no Marv, no, no, no no!


Kyle (as Loell)

Mama?


Kyle

A voice rings from outside.


Kyle (as Loell’s mother)

Yes, Loell?


Kyle (as Loell)

You moved the mirror to the end of the shelf again.


Kyle (as Loell’s mother)

It looks nice there!


Kyle

Everett pops out and says,


Kyle (as Everett)

Oh no, my hats!


Ari

What?


Hallie

[Laughter].


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh my God I will buy you a hat.


Kyle (as Everett)

[Sniffling] Really?


Hallie (as Hopper)

If you just shut up about it, yes.


Kyle (as Everett)

[Softly] Yay.


[Theme intensifies]


Kyle

Alright, so we are back with our latest arc. Our new arc, we’ve got one going on. So because of that, since we’ll hopefully have a couple of new people listening in, we should probably summarize the story so far. So I’m Kyle, I’m the GM for Quest Friends, and this is kind of what’s happened so far.


[Elevator music plays].


Kyle

So our party of four heroes started their heroic journey by releasing an ancient evil that included flying obsidian tiles, black spiders, and a big armored dude with a Viking horn helmet. You then went off and you saw a picture that had the dude in it called the Heroes of Navarene, and you also found a couple of other people in that image as well, including a-a mayor who had given you that job that accidentally released that ancient evil. Our good friend Xoc, who I pronounced as Jacques through most of the game so far, got bitten by a spider and got a whole lot of visions and a whole lot of deathly poison. Uh, they found one of the doctors who was in this picture, his name was Mako, and they freed him from a doomsday cult that believes causing world war will evolve humanity. He supposedly cured Xoc, who is no longer having the spider death poison. [long pause] So that’s the story so far, how did I do?


Hallie

Good.


Emily

It’s accurate.


[Crosstalk 02:22].


Hallie

It’s what happened, [Laughter].


Tom

Sure.


Kyle

It’s what happened in a way. Alright, so before we continue, I want to ask three basic questions. So one, when you’re first trying to get into Mako, this guy named Hairy Jerry, whose daughter you ended up saving by freeing Mako gave you a ruby. You never actually used the ruby, and you promised you would give it back to him. But you haven’t told me that you have yet. So did you end up giving that ruby back to Jerry?


Hallie

Absolutely, yeah. Sometime off screen.


Kyle

Okay, so y’all gave it back to him. The second is, The Jagged Dream, this doomsday cult that you saved Mako from, was creating a pseudo-scientific bioweapon called ANNEX. Now last we saw, Xoc had taken ANNEX, uh, and he had it. So Xoc, did you end up giving that to Mako, or are you still holding on to that?


Tom

I am still holding on to it, unless someone took it off my unconscious body, that is.


Kyle

Okay, did anyone creepily just steal a bioweapon from their close friend’s unconscious body?


Hallie

Nah.


Emily

Not it.


[Laughter].


Tom

Thank you, friends.


Kyle

And Mr. Mako, being an ethical doctor, also did not take that. Cool! And then the last question is that, the end of last session, Misha tried to just leave the whole party. They just tried to up and get out of there.


Emily

Rude.


Kyle

Xoc did stop them, but so far, according to me and the audience, you are the only two that know about that incident. Did you mention Misha’s attempt to leave to the party to everyone else?


Tom

Uhh-


Ari

Misha didn’t. Like, Misha wants to keep the whole thing secret if possible, but—


Tom

Xoc, uh, didn’t need words to know to keep it secret. Sure, Xoc wasn’t going to tell anybody.


Kyle

Okay, so Hop and Elee just thought they had a regular old fun, normal, happy-go-lucky day, no emotions there. Uh, cool. In that case, we are on the next morning. And after your vacation day of many misadventures, you all meet up with Mako, who has been set up in a wide, empty farm house.

As you walk in you can see that he and Shauna have been hard at work disassembling the whole poor place. Tubes and wires coil around the wooden posts on one side, like vines on a starved tree, and they’re connected to a variety of Numenera and two large vials. One is labeled Apocrita, and it’s filled with this deep, black fluid that has crimson flakes and rotates consistently around its cage like a pacing animal. The other, labeled ANNEX, is completely empty. On the other side, the posts have been just flat-out removed, and the ceiling is instead being held up by the Mauve and Mako covered wagon, which is lying on its side.

In front of you, Mako is sitting cross-legged on the floor, his eyes closed. He is reciting an endless stream of jargon, which we as listeners would recognize as 21st century chemical and biological names. But to the party it sounds like complete and utter nonsense.


[05:11]


As he’s reciting that, Shauna is standing nearby and translating this nonsense into more understandable, but still very complex, modern day notation. And by “modern day,” I mean modern for the characters. They’re—it’s like very, very futuristic notation for us as listeners.

And one last thing is Misha, you can feel the Datasphere’s presence in the room. It seems that Mako is retrieving this information by channeling the Datasphere.


Ari

Right.


Kyle

So you all step in and as you do, Mako pretty quickly stops what he’s doing, and he stands up and he happily points to all of you and he says:


Kyle (as Mako)

Oh, hello friends! How was your day off?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright.


Tom

Xoc is going to go sort of to the corner. Like, I’m imagining a doorway here, right?


Kyle

Yeah, yeah, yeah, [crosstalk 5:53] to the door.


Tom

Goes to like the side of it, like, along the wall, leans on it, like, arms crossed, huffing, like:


Tom (as Xoc)

[Mumbling] You know, went into town [?? 6:00].


Tom

Mutters-


Kyle

[Mocking] “You’re not my dad, whatever.”


[Laughter].


Kyle

Yeah, you stand there, uh, and actually as you go next to that corner, you see that Everett had been sulking in that corner—


[Laughter]


But now that somebody else is sulking in the corner with him, it’s no longer cool, so he gets up and he leaves the building.


Tom

I’m never allowed to have [crosstalk - laughter 6:22]. This is my fate.


Kyle

Well Mako says:


Kyle (as Mako)

Well that’s excellent. And by the way, Misha Jarvis, did you know that the Gendarme soldier that you threw into the bottomless pit of my boat is an excellent chef? I wasn’t able to get to him until late last night, and he was able to survive by turning an assortment of random metal objects into an exquisite crème brûlée. I believe I gave him a little recommendation over at the saloon, and he’s having a great career already.


Ari

When Mako first starts saying like, “Did you know that the Gendarme soldier,” they are going to have like a split second panic look in their eyes. And then when they continue and they realize that it’s the one that they tossed off the boat and not the other one—


[Laughter]


—they are going to look visibly more relieved, and then they’re just going to be like:


Ari (as Misha)

Oh, well, I certainly look forward to tasting those culinary features at some point in the future.


Kyle

Oh, and you’ll have the money to do it, too. Hairy Jerry was super-grateful that we saved his daughters, and you got back a priceless family heirloom, apparently. And he and Fasten have contributed to give you a pretty substantial payment. And he points over to a table and you can see that, in nice little bags with little happy macaroni faces drawn on them, are four bags, one for each of you, and inside, if you pick them up, you’ll find 20 shins apiece.


Hallie

Aww.


Kyle

And after you grab your money, out of the upturned boat you see Mauve come out of it, and it looks like she’s wearing these like, thick, mechanic’s gloves, and she’s got oil all over herself, and she’s just dusting herself off. And she’s really tired, but she kind of weakly waves hi to all of you. And Mako says:


Kyle (as Mako)

Well, I suppose with all pleasantries out of the way, I assume all of you have quite a lot of questions. And after the wonderful favors you gave me by freeing me and helping stop a world-ending cult, I suppose that’s the very least I can do, is give you, hopefully, a couple of answers to the questions you might have.


Emily (as Elee)

We’d appreciate that.


Kyle

Wow.


Tom

Xoc is going to glance over at that and say,


Tom (as Xoc)

So what is it? The cloud thing that we woke up?


Kyle (as Mako)

Well, it’s bad news, more or less.


Kyle

Mauve will respond,


Kyle (as Mauve)

It’s called the Apocrita, and we don’t know much about it. It appeared 40 years ago, and it consumed everything it ran across. What did--what did you all see when you went back to Rhubarb?


Tom (as Xoc)

Everyone had frozen where they stopped.


Emily (as Elee)

Almost everyone.


Kyle (as Mauve)

That’s kind of the weird thing when we say it consumes everything.


Kyle (as Mako)

It’s actually really rather impressive if you think about it. You see, the Apocrita is a hive mind. Most hive minds you’ve heard about are the kind that will do something to the bodies once they consume them. They’ll either absorb them into themselves, or they’ll otherwise find a way of disposing of them. The Apocrita realizes it doesn’t need that. The most valuable thing we have is our minds. And so that’s all the Apocrita takes before getting up and moving to its location.


Kyle (as Mauve)

It took us awhile to realize that it did this. For the longest time, we just thought it was freezing people. But the more cities the Apocrita took over, the more we realized it changed.

[Melancholic music plays, invoking a reminiscent tone.]

When the Apocrita first appeared in this titanic black cloud that was cut into 1,000 pieces by streaks of frozen, green lightning, it would make soldiers. And when it first appeared, they looked pretty much identical: They were these large, rotund figures with joints that looked like they had been made out of vines or something. But, the more cities it took over, the more people started showing up.


[10:17]


Kyle (as Mako)

It seems that the Apocrita harnesses the memories of whomever it chooses as its temporary hosts, and, through its memories, it’s able to recreate an admittedly relatively imperfect copy of its victims. And then it uses that imperfect copy to create an army to add more spiders and make more victims, and so on and so forth. The cloud gets bigger, its database gets larger, and, well, eventually there is only one consciousness in the Ninth World.


Tom (as Xoc)

How did you stop this thing before?


Kyle (as Mauve)

[Scoffs]. We didn’t, Xoc. We didn’t stop it at all.


[Music resumes.]


The reason we were able to figure out how the Apocrita works is because every time it attacked a major city, it would immediately go to the city that was most related to it, the city that its inhabitants had the most memories of. And so once we figured out this pattern, we were able to predict where the Apocrita was going to go. We were able to predict that maybe it would start in Auspar and go to Shallamus, and then maybe, you know, skip over Fasten because Fasten was so small that no one would really have a lot of memories of it and go straight for some place like Charmonde or Qi.

We never fought it. We-we tried once, and almost all of us died. And so from that point on, all we did was go from place to place trying to evacuate as many people as we could.


Tom (as Xoc)

Then why did it stop?


Kyle

Mako is going to pipe in, and he’s going to say:


Kyle (as Mako)

To be honest, Xoc, we don’t know how it stopped. We were in Bodrov and trying another evacuation, but this time the mayor did not believe us, thought we were some sort of spies, if that’s a story that sounds familiar to you at all, and he refused to evacuate. And we didn’t have a plan. Bodrov is on top of a tall, thin tower. It’s very hard to get in and very hard to get out—[Clears throat]—if you’re coming from the ground. If you’re coming from the sky, however, you’re completely defenseless. The only reason Bodrov didn’t fall is because our leader, Aegon Stormbreaker, heroically flew into it, and [scoffs] he did something. I don’t know what he did, but he saved us all.


Tom (as Xoc)

Is he the guy with the armor? The helmet with the horns? The Xi-Drake?


Kyle (as Mako)

Well, I uhh, I suppose that solves that mystery. Yes, you, all of you and Aegon are at this point fairly well acquainted with one another.


Hallie

Um, at this point did we agree that Hopper has the picture that we took from Sue?


Kyle

You can if you want.


Hallie

I took the picture, because I want to have taken the picture. So I’m going to pull it out and then hand it to him and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

Is this, this all you?


Kyle (as Mako)

Oh, the picture of the Heroes of Navarene! When we first formed, Aegon was insistent that we had to take this picture. Apparently in one of his ventures out as an Angulan Knight, he ran across a townsfolk of people who believed that taking pictures would trap your souls. And most of them treated it as horror, but he thought well, if we’re going to be a combined unit and we’re going to work well together, then we might as well find a way to combine our souls together as best we can. So yeah, he had us take that picture pretty quickly. Silly superstition of course, but the sentiment was good.


Emily (as Elee)

Was it?


Kyle (as Mauve)

Aegon chose to overlook the trapped part of it. Uh, he was a little recklessly optimistic at times.


Emily (as Elee)

Oh, I uh, never met anyone who was recklessly optimistic.


Emily

Then I want to eye specifically Xoc and Misha.


Tom

Wow.


Hallie

This is some shade.


Tom

Bad enough that I get this shit from Kyle.


[Laughter]


Kyle

Ohh…


Tom

Xoc is going to say,


Tom (as Xoc)

You said he flew into the swarm?


Kyle (as Mauve)

Flew right into it. He didn’t wait for us to back him up, he didn’t wait for our opinion. He just, he went by himself. I think more than anything else this proves that only a fool would do something like that.


[Dramatic, ominous music rolls in.]


Tom (as Xoc)

That’s a pretty big assumption, don’t you think? We don’t actually know what happened to him, or if he’s really alive. We just saw his body in the center of the swarm underneath the mountains in the Riage. That’s a long ways away from where he faced the swarm, and we don’t know what happened in there. It might have been the only way to stop more people from dying, and whatever it did, it kept it asleep, at least for a little while.


[14:57]


Kyle

Mauve is going to look you straight in the eye.


Kyle (as Mauve)

Are you really going to fight me on this, Xoc?


Tom (as Xoc)

No, I’m not fighting.


Kyle (as Mauve)

No, are you really going to fight me on this? Are you going to say that it was a good idea? He ran off by himself, he didn’t have his team to back him up, and now he’s either become the Apocrita, or better yet, he’s dead and his body is used as some sort of hellish host for this thing that he so desperately wanted to destroy. He may have prevented it by 40 years, but we’re not much better off than we were earlier.


Tom

Xoc will just sort of look down and say,


Tom (as Xoc)

Well I’m not the one who tried to blow up a city.


Kyle

Mako is going to look at you for a second, and actually right next to him, it looks like Shauna wants to pipe in and like correct you on something. But he kind of like raises his hand and he’s like, I’m not--I’m not going to fight him on this. Like you can kind of tell he’s like, this is kind of like, I’m not going to fight him on this, this is fair. And he’s going to say:


Kyle (as Mako)

Well, I can’t argue that I’m anything other than a pale imitation of the kind of hero Aegon was, but there are few people who would hold up to that kind of greatness. Are you all familiar with the Angulan Knights?


Hallie

Hopper nods.


Emily

I’m probably vaguely familiar with them.


Hallie

[jokingly] I wore their armor once.


Kyle

For a caricature that we had with your dads.


Hallie

[Laughter]. For a caricature, yes.


Tom

Xoc nods but like doesn’t say anything.


Kyle (as Mako)

All the Angulan Knights have a very interesting way of thinking.


Kyle (as Mauve)

They’re bullies. They’re horrible, horrendous white knightin’ bullies who just walk into any place they can, defeat the big bad guy and then walk away with little care of what disasters they’ve made. They practice a kind of morality that favors purity over what’s actually ethical and empathetical. I mean, you can even tell it in their motto, “No force too great, no cause too mighty.”

What that motto doesn’t say is that there definitely are people too small and causes not nearly glorious enough for these wonderful white knights. And Aegon, he was as bad as the rest of them. He went from place to place going and beating the big bad guys and often leaving whatever poor city he passed by worse than it started off with.


Kyle

But, Mako is going to put his hand on Mauve’s shoulder, and you can see that she is beat red at this point. She sounds very, very calm, but you’re pretty sure that like--actually, a fly comes by and buzzes right by her ear, and she just whips out a rapier and without any hesitation stabs it. Um, she is in a very bad place right now.


Emily

Elee is going to look thoughtful, be like,


Emily (as Elee)

I think I might have stabbed one once.


Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, I wouldn’t say they didn’t deserve it. So Aegon was one of these Angulan Knights, and for awhile he was pretty bad.


Kyle (as Mako)

But we soon found out that he was a little bit different from the rest. You see, Aegon’s priority was not beating the bad guy. It was saving the good guy. Helping protect people as best as he could. And that’s what he did.


[Upbeat music begins]


As soon as he was able to, he got out of the Angulan Knights and went from place to place saving people and, well, picking up a couple of us he saved along the way to help him out. We were called The Heroes of Navarene. I was the medic, Mauve was the muscle, Sue was the diplomat, and then Marvy, good ol’ Marv Strongarm, was our mechanic. And of course, there was finally the Professor. And she is—she’s interesting. She was our connection to the Datasphere, to other worlds, to our own selves—she often knew us better than we knew ourselves.

And Aegon, he was our leader, and he led us so many places. I think that’s why he left us with the Apocrita. A success with the Apocrita still meant half of a city was lost. There was no saving everyone in that case. I think after awhile it started to get to him.


Emily (as Elee)

No offense, but leaders don’t leave people behind.


Tom

Also, it’s worth pointing out that since his little bicker with Mauve and Mako, Xoc has like slumped into the corner, where before it was like a defiant, pouty lean, now he’s just sort of like, trying to shrink back into his cloak and pulling it down over his head and just staring at the ground.


Kyle

Aww.


Tom

Like he feels kind of ashamed of what he said.


Hallie

Classic acting out. Hopper will say,


Hallie (as Hopper)

So what do we do now?


Kyle (as Mako)

Well, that’s the big thing. It’s whatever you want. I suppose the first thing I need to ask is, Xoc, do you still have ANNEX?


Tom

He nods.


Kyle (as Mako)

Would you be willing to hand it over?


Tom

He reaches into his cloak, or his robe I should say, and pulls it out, extends it, walks over and hands it to Mako—


Kyle

Okay.


Tom

—but doesn’t meet his eyes.


[20:00]


Kyle

Mako is going to give it to Shauna, who is going to stick it in that jar that’s labeled ANNEX, and you’re going to hear—


[High-pitched wailing.]


—this horrible crying out, as if like ANNEX itself is screaming, begging to be let go and released and then, within moments, it’s going to fade and disappear—


[The wailing fades out and ends.]


And Mako is going to pick it out and he’s going to throw it back to Xoc and say:


Kyle (as Mako)

Keep that, it might be helpful for you.


Kyle

What you have is this little orb that it can basically store—it can store light and gases, if they’re effectively funneled through. So you can’t like, lift it into the air and be like, come to me light, come in my little device. A lot like in Charmonde they had those little things where they were able to funnel that kind of liquid light through—


Tom

The keys.


Kyle

—the keys. This is basically one of those keys. So it could work on one of those things, or you could maybe find some way to jury-rig it so you can put some other substance in it.


Tom

To be clear, this is an orb and not a rod or a cylinder, right?


Kyle

No, this is a little orb. It kind of looks like a snail, so it’s got this little like, snail shell thing which is glass, and then where the snail head should be, there’s this little metallic funnel that’s used as the keyhole. So that’s just a little artifact that you got that you can use.


Tom

[Nancy Drew voice] I should hang on to this!


Kyle

[Laughter].


Hallie

Can’t use that yet.


Ari

I got that reference.


Kyle

Alright, and then as he throws it back, he says


Kyle (as Mako)

Well, we beat ANNEX, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that the Jagged Dream probably has a plan B. they’ve been working on this for years. About five years ago, they had this massive Coup of Ancuan, and from what I can tell they’re trying to get a war between them and the Pyranthion Empire brewing.


Kyle

And outside of character, I do know it’s called Pytharon, but we’ve been calling it Pyranthion and we like how that sounds, so it’s the Pyranthion Empire now.


Kyle (as Mako)

They’ve been causing trouble over the Steadfast for the last couple of decades. Starting that war between Qi and Navarene was endgame, and I know that they have at least one other plan they’re putting together in case this one fell apart. So that’s what I’m doing. That’s where I’m going. And you all—you can leave if you want.


Kyle

And he points to Xoc and he says ,


Kyle (as Mako)

Xoc, I was able to get out most of the Apocrita from your blood, and by my estimates, whatever small amount remains shouldn’t be more harmful than aging itself. That being said, with your consent I would like to keep what I extracted to develop, let’s say, less barbaric methods of recovery.


Kyle

And as he says that, you can still feel the bruises from your ribs—


Hallie

[Laughter].


Kyle

—from when Elee was punching you, and you can’t taste the feathers anymore, but their texture somehow has stayed on your tongue for the past 48 hours.


Emily

Elee looks a little bit guilty, and like,


Emily (as Elee)

H-he told me to!


Tom

Xoc briefly considers asking what on earth they did while he was unconscious and/or dead, but thinks better of it and says,


Tom (as Xoc)

[Exasperated sigh], but w-what about the Apocrita? We woke it up! It’s all happening again! They’re going to kill everyone if we don’t do something.


Kyle (as Mako)

Yeah, and we’ll find a solution, Xoc. But I mean, we can’t go into the Apoctita if it’s going to kill us or turn us into some zombie or whatever it is it needs to plan. We need to develop an inoculation before we try to fight it.


Tom (as Xoc)

Hmm. Did Aegon ever keep a journal or notes or anything?


Kyle

Mako is going to think to himself, he’s going to be like,


Kyle (as Mako)

N-no, his only notes were in his brain, and well, the only two people with access to that would be the Apocrita itself and, I guess the Professor.


Tom (as Xoc)

Hmm…


Hallie (as Hopper)

Where is the Professor?


Kyle (as Mako)

Last we checked, she’s doing some sort of professorship in Qi. We’ve been keeping tabs on account of the upcoming war, although I don’t think she’s been putting as hard of a focus on it as we have.


Ari

Um, Misha is going to say,


Ari (as Misha)

Would this professor have further information that we could use to help you in defeating this monster?


Kyle (as Mako)

She might. I think she might. But we need to develop that inoculation first. With this thing going around everywhere we need to have that insurance before we can do anything.


Ari (as Misha)

What is needed to develop this inoculation?


Kyle (as Mako)

Well I’m glad you asked!


Kyle

He’s going to go over and you’re going to see kind of what looks like a medikit, you know like the defibrillation kits that you can open them up and then inside there’s the defibrillator and all their stuff? He’s going to say,


Kyle (as Mako)

So I’m pretty far along in the process of creating the inoculation. I think one more day or so, I should have it together. But the thing is, when delivering this inoculation, you’re going to have to have some armor yourself against the spiders. I’d be very careful to make sure none of it got on me, and that really impeded my process to help Xoc. What I’m currently working on is a flexible glove, made out of azure steel--


Kyle

Which Elee would recognize as what her claws are made out of.


Emily

She’s going to like, wave her fist.


Kyle (as Mako)

Now the issue with azure steel is that it needs a very high surface area to meld. So I need granulated azure, which, I mean, we could find in Charmonde, but I don’t think we’d be welcome back there.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Hmm, probably not.


Tom

[Chanting, hushed, quietly pounding on the table] Heist, heist, heist, heist, heist.


[24:58]


Kyle (as Mako)

But, Mauve and I know of a black market.


Kyle

And Mauve’s going to say:


Kyle (as Mauve)

It’s a trap, Mako…


Kyle (as Mako)

And, we got something conveniently this morning with coupons for it.


Kyle (as Mauve)

It’s a trap, Mako.


Kyle (as Mako)

So, these five-finger coupons, whoever they are, have given us some pretty convenient things that I think we might just want to go shopping for. And there’s a whole lot more than just this pliable azure.


[Whimsical music begins .]


Kyle

And he pulls out this little packet of coupons and there are five things on the packet. So the first is “pliable azure: create an indestructible suit of human armor.” The second one is what’s called the Macy Day Hat Pin. It’s a small hatpin of a mace. And because this is our version of Numenera and things that are written can talk, assume that anything I say is verbally spoken by the coupons. So this mace pin has googly eyes on it, and a little word bubble that verbally says, “Hi! I’m Macy Day! I sure love … to kill!”


Hallie

[Laughter].


Emily (as Elee)

I want it!


Kyle

And there’s a little thing that says,

Sentience not included in this otherwise still very deadly hatpin.

The next one is a coupon for rap-tap-tatters, which are dark business shoes that make delightful tip-tap sounds when worn. The sound has actually been written in on the coupon as onomatopoeia, so you’re able to hear what it sounds like. They also have small wings coming out of the heel that occasionally flutter and light up.

The next thing is the Historical Adventurer’s Journal. It’s a complex book that even when brand new just has a dizzying assortment of loose papers and Post-It notes scattered across it. It includes pages made for maps, pages made for notes, pages made for fluctuating lists of enemies, and best of all, it claims to have been used by a whole host of historical adventurers throughout history. And you know those CDs where like, it has these songs, and then the song list comes up and it occasionally plays the song that’s highlighted? It has that, and then like it has the voice of the adventurer narrating whatever thing they did.

And then finally, the last thing, which actually doesn’t make any noise, there is a picture of a small locket, which is about the size of a pocket watch. There’s no exciting description for this one.

All this is under a banner of Five Finger Coupons, which is centralized in a city you’ve never heard of called Roulettia, and they all have the tagline, “Buy none, get one free deal!”

And beneath all of it, it says:

“Terms and conditions will apply.”


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh, this is...a trap. [Laughter]. This is …


Tom (as Xoc)

So, someone is trying to lure you two into a trap in this place?


Kyle (as Mako)

You’re exactly right, Xoc. Someone is trying to lure us into the trap of spending more on things we don’t need, by trapping us in with good, good savings!


Kyle

And Mauve has her head in her hands by this point.


Tom (as Xoc)

And you two both know best how to contact the professor. So we could go pick up the materials you need while one of you somehow gets a message to the professor, and we could all work on fixing this?


Kyle (as Mako)

Sounds like a plan to me! But I really wouldn’t worry! Roulettia is deadly enough as is! It is the black market. Somebody is going to try to kill you anyway.


Hallie

Hopper will just shrug at that and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, that sounds about right.


Ari

Misha is going to say,


Ari (as Misha)

I do not understand why the color of a market reflects whether or not someone will try to kill us, however I will strive to be careful regardless.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh, it’s a phrase, Misha. A lot of illegal stuff goes on there.


Ari (as Misha)

Are all of the materials black?


Hallie (as Hopper)

No, [Laughter].


Kyle (as Mako)

Roulettia’s stock is so vast that if you want something in black, I’m sure they have it.


Ari (as Misha)

I will attempt not to buy anything black to be extremely careful about this endeavor.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay Misha.


Emily (as Elee)

So-so I just want to clarify really, really quick: Mako, you know this is a trap, right? You’re aware that this is definitely a trap?


Kyle (as Mako)

I mean, this is a city that’s basically a giant casino, and as we all know, casinos are massive traps.


Kyle

Mauve is going to put her hand on his shoulder and just mouth to you:


Kyle (as Mauve)

I’m the one that’s coming with you.


Emily (as Elee)

Oh, thank goodness.


Hallie

[Laughter].


Kyle

And she’s going to turn over to Mako:


Kyle (as Mauve)

Well, since this is their first time in Roulettia, we should probably gear them up with something.


Kyle

And he says:


Kyle (as Mako)

Oh, of course! Feel free, just grab anything from my stock that you’d like!


Kyle

And he points back to that covered wagon, and you can see that trapdoor that he retrieved all his gear from when you were escaping. You see that trap door is completely open and he kind of encourages you to go inside and get a couple of cyphers.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Cool, thanks!


Kyle

Do you want to do that?


Emily

Yeah.


[Ominous music begins.]


Kyle

So you go down a cold ladder into a large, empty space. At the bottom of this space is an inch of water with a very thin sheen of ice on top of it that breaks up in chunks, kind of like the top of a fresh mug of root beer. On the end, you see this massive table of a variety of Numenera, and on the corner of it, a large, massive pile of well-worn pulp romance novels. Tready is inside there too and he seems to be going around looking for parts and picking them up and throwing them inside of himself.

So I need everyone to roll me—


Ari

Oh, boy!


Kyle

—a one D12.


Ari

Are we using dice?


Hallie

D12!


Kyle

We’re using dice!


[Dice rolling in background.]


Hallie

Deese!


Tom

My beautiful one D12. Away to me, die!


Hallie

This is a 20.


Emily

I found my 12!


Hallie

A two!


Emily

Five!


Tom

I also got a five.


Ari

I rolled a three.


Kyle

Hop, when you look around, the first thing that catches your eye is a homemade gauntlet version of the vest used by the Gendarme soldiers.


Hallie

Neato!


Kyle

With a harpoon extending out from the top of the wrist, and a breakable capsule at the palm.


Hallie

Okay.


Kyle

Kind of like Spider-Man. You know how he has to put his fingers there by the palm? It looks like that.


Hallie

I want it. Okay.


Kyle

Ari, you got a three, right?


Ari

Yeah, yeah.


Kyle

Alright, so you find something that’s really neat and not at all distracting: You find a flashlight that, when turned on, lets the shadows it casts interact with physical objects.


Hallie

Oh, no!


Ari

Ooooh!


Tom

No!


Hallie

No.


Ari

Am I like Dr. Facilier now?


Kyle

And I should say, these are all cyphers. Emily, you find an orb that sends out physical ripples as the beat of quiet music plays. It has a small dial or button extending out from its otherwise smooth surface.

And then finally, Xoc, you find a mostly empty container for a substance that is simply called “Flashback Powder.”


Tom

[Nancy Drew voice] I should hang on to this!


Kyle

Are you just Nancy Drew now?


Tom

Uhh, I mean, out of character, I am. Tom in real life is probably just Nancy Drew.


Kyle

[Laughter].


Tom

Uhh, when we come back out, Xoc is going to mention,


Tom (as Xoc)

You know, it’s not really that save to hold that many cyphers close together. They do stuff to you. There’s radiation.


Kyle (as Mako)

I don’t know what you’re talking about!


Kyle

And as he does that, his moustache seems to twitch on its own accord, and actually one half just falls off. You know like in animation when like, something gets off? So his moustache like goes down two inches, like broken animation, before just popping back up onto his face. Alright. And then, are you going to do anything before kind of like leaving this room and getting set-up for this adventure?


Ari

Uh, not really.


Emily

No.


Hallie

Ehh.


Tom

Xoc just sort of like, keeps his head down. Like, “alright, I’m in trouble.”


Kyle

So two things happen before you leave this room. The first is, as you come out, Mako actually turns to you, Hop, and says:


Kyle (as Mako)

Oh, Hop, I forgot to ask; that pin of yours, that you’ve been using, what did you think of it? I’m really rather proud of its effects.


Hallie

[Laughter]. There’s a brief moment of silence—there’s a beat before Hop takes the pin and is like:


Hallie (as Hopper)

Mr. Mako, you’re obviously very brilliant, but this pin is one of the worst things I have ever used. I am so sorry to be so brutally honest. It would be really cool if you didn’t have to prick it every time to make it work.


Kyle (as Mako)

Oh, why didn’t you tell me that?


Hallie (as Hopper)

I just did!


Kyle

And as Tready comes out, he reaches inside and he pulls out a bunch of just random, mechanical things, and he takes the pin and he puts them together. And as he does, you can see what looks like kind of those old-fashioned tape recorder speakers and you can see the pin. And between them, there’s this weird kind of, I’m going to say, weird, purpleish tube. And he says:


Kyle (as Mako)

This is the key. This will connect any input—


Kyle

And he points at the pin—


Kyle (as Mako)

To any output.


Kyle

And he points at the speaker.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Okay.


Kyle

And he sticks it down and he hands it back to you and says:


Kyle (as Mako)

Now all you’ve got to do is press the button and talk into it, and anyone with a pin should be able to hear you.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh, that’s so much better. Thank you! I can keep this, then?


Kyle (as Mako)

Absolutely!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Thank you! Yeah, this is much better.


Kyle

And as you leave, one last thing happens. So you all make your way out, and Xoc, you’re trying intentionally to keep your head down, correct?


Tom

Mm-hmm.


Kyle

As you do, you hear Mako say:


Kyle (as Mako)

Oh, Xoc! I am so sorry, I absolutely forgot to check in. What kind of doctor am I? You haven’t been having sort of any weird side effects or encountering anything weird since you’ve woken up, have you?


Tom

Is Loell here right now?


Kyle

Loell is not here.


Tom

Oh, damn. Would have been really cool if he was just like, sitting on the side, waving.


Kyle

[Laughter].


Tom

Uh, he’ll look around for Loell, and then say:


Tom (as Xoc)

[Voice rising as the word trails] Nooooooooo?


Kyle (as Mako)

Excellent! Let me know if anything pops up!


Emily

Elee eyes him suspiciously.


Ari

Misha is going to do it as well.


All

[Laughter].


Kyle

From deep in the Datasphere, you can see the Datasphere spirits go:


Kyle (as Datasphere Spirits)

[Skeptically] “Mmmm…”


Kyle

And look at you. But Hop is oblivious, Hop notices nothing.


Hallie

Like, no, like Hopper has been like, he’s noticed that Xoc is being edgy. I was going to talk about it as soon as he left, but he’s not giving him a suspicious look. He’s giving him space.


Emily

What is space?


Kyle

Alright. It’s about an hour before you gear up and get ready for Roulettia. It looks like you’re going to have to take the boat out from the barn, and they’re going to have to re-put on some posts so the whole thing doesn’t fall down. So is there anything that you do in that time?


[34:57]


Hallie

Well, on the way out of the thing, if we’re like, leaving, I wanted to just go up to Xoc and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

You okay?


Tom (as Xoc)

Ummm. Mmmm. Mmmm. Well. I don’t know. Because I was seeing things that weren’t there, back when the spiders were in me. And now I still am. But it’s a very specific person.


Hallie (as Hopper)

What do you mean?


Tom (as Xoc)

Uh, he said his name is Loell, and only I can see and hear him.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Huh. Why didn’t you tell Mako?


Tom (as Xoc)

[Sheepishly] Uhh, I don’t—I dunno. I, uhh, I didn’t want to.


Hallie

Hopper will shrug at that and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

That’s your choice, if you don’t want to tell him.


Tom (as Xoc)

I’m a little worried. I don’t know, I don’t know what it is. Maybe—it’s fine. We’ll figure it out.


Hallie

He’ll nod.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, we’ll figure it out. If anything is bothering you, you can say as much or as little as you’d like. But we’re all here.


Tom (as Xoc)

Thank you, Hopper Scotch.


Emily

Thanks, dad.


Kyle

Is anyone else going to do anything in this time?


Emily

Umm, I think I’ll do my thing on the boat.


Kyle

Then one last thing happens before you gear up. So you find out, as you’re kind of packing up, that you are being accompanied by two people on this trip. So Mauve is going to be kind of driving you there ‘cause she knows the boat best and she’s also very protective and cautious, which is kind of what you need in Roulettia. But also there was one person who heard about shopping and absolutely jumped on board with the idea. So you’re going to be having Everett come along with you as well. Jesse really isn’t into the glitz and the glamor and kind of wants to stay back and do some research with Mr. Mako. So you’ll be going with Everett and Mauve on this adventure.

And as you’re packing up and kind of walking back, Hopper, you hear a voice say:


Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, Mr. Hopper! Mr. Hopper! Do you have a second?


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, what’s up Jesse?


Kyle (as Jesse)

Um, so I heard about, uhh, I heard about the nice thing you said to Everett when you guys met up, that you were going to get him a hat?


Hallie

Hopper will spend a second trying to remember and go,


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Slowly, with dread] Ohhh. Yeah, I did promise him a hat. I did promise him a hat.


All

[Laughter].


Kyle

Fuuuck.


[beat]


Uh, well Jesse gets super excited, and they say:


Kyle (as Jesse)

Actually, it’s a really fun coincidence! I’ve been saving up for—ever since I went out to get all those artifacts for the Queen, I’ve been saving up and collecting shins to get Everett a hat. So I was wondering if Roulettia, uh, since it has the biggest assortments of hats anywhere in the Ninth World, if you would be willing to get him one for me? I have money!


Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely, Jesse.


Kyle

And they pull out 11 shins, which they give to you.


Hallie

Okay. Hopper will pocket the 11 shins from Jesse in a separate area from where he keeps his own money.


Kyle (as Jesse)

Everett doesn’t like to admit the things he likes. He thinks they make him uncool or something like that. So if you show him hats, there’s going to be some that he claims to like—he probably doesn’t like those. There are going to be ones he claims to hate, and he definitely hates those. But if you find a hat that he is like, no, never, not in 1,000 years, I hate that hat! That hat is the worst! That’s exactly the one he wants.


Hallie (as Hopper)

[Uncertainly] Okay. I’ll keep that in mind.


Kyle (as Jesse)

Thanks so much, Mr. Hopper. I-I really appreciate it. Everett’s been acting all weird since the clock, so I think he really needs a win.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright, well, I’ll try to find him a good hat that he detests.


Kyle (as Jesse)

[Laughter], exactly!


Hallie

Alright.


Kyle

Uh, Jesse gives you the money, and then like, sits there for a second and is like, you can tell they want a hug, but they’re not sure if they’re at that point yet.


Hallie

Uh, okay, um. Hopper will extend a hand and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

It was very nice to meet you, Jesse.


Hallie

And then when they shake hands, he’ll pull Jesse in for a bro-hug.


Emily

Aww.


Hallie

A good bro-hug.


Kyle

Uh, Jesse is like:


Kyle (as Jesse)

It was super nice to meet you too, Mr. Hopper.


Kyle

And they start jumping up and down, they’re like:


Kyle (as Jesse)

Oh, by the way, I’m going to have the pin if you ever need to reach out to me.


Hallie (as Hopper)

Great!


Kyle

And they’re super excited, and they start hopping down the street.


Hallie

Hoppin’.


Kyle

And then, you’re feeling super good. You’re like, man, I’m going to do a great thing for Jesse.


[Upbeat music begins]


Hallie

Yeah!


Kyle

And then you round the corner and you see, leaning against the wagon, you see the sulking face of Everett, and now you remember what you have to do to make Jesse happy.


Hallie

[exasperatedly] Alriiight…


[Music intensifies]


Kyle

Hello, and welcome to the episode break for Episode 19 of Quest Friends. I’m Kyle, your GM and brain boy, and today we’re going to talk about stuff like we always do. As always, our intro and outro songs are Friends and Hitoshio both by Miracle of Sound. For any of you who might be new who aren’t familiar with Miracle of Sound, Gavin, the guy who makes it, is really, really great, and his stuff is amazing, and I would absolutely encourage you to check him out. He lets us use this music for absolutely free, which is incredible.


[39:56]


Other than that, our call to action this week is to check out questfriendspodcast.com. That’s our website, where you can find episodes like this one, although I suppose if you’re already listening to this you don’t need another place for them. But you can also find super cool things like episode summaries, if you want to just get a refresher of what happened, or you want to catch someone else up to speed, and things like character sheets and artwork and just all the other kind of goodies you would find with a website like this. So again, that website is questfriendspodcast.com.

Thanks for joining us on this exposition-heavy episode. We will be back with more shenanigans on Monday, July 23. I will see you then.


[Upbeat music begins]


Kyle

Alright, so you all get on the boat, and you start kind of driving out into the plains of Navarene. It’s a couple hour long drive. Do you all do anything during this time?


Emily

I want to. So, are we all kind of in the same area? Like, it’s not a huge boat, right?


Kyle

Yeah, it’s like a covered wagon. Like, one of you can maybe be hanging out in that like, little watery area with all the cyphers under the trap door, if you wanted isolation.


Hallie

Is that where Everett is?


Kyle

I bet Everett has been there at least once.


Hallie

[Laughter].


Tom

In radiation. [Laughter]. Isolation and radiation.


Kyle

Radiation is rad … ical, dude.


Tom

Get the fuck off our boat!


Kyle

[Laughter].


Emily

Are you all sitting down?


Hallie

Yes. I am.


Tom

Uh, Xoc is leaning against the rail.


Ari

I was going to say that Misha is doing that too!


Tom

Can we both be leaning against a rail, together?


Ari

[Laughter], yes, let’s just do it!


Emily

That’s perfect. I’m going to turn to Hop and say:


Emily (as Elee)

Stay.


Emily

And then I’m going to grab Misha and Xoc, their collars, each in one hand, and pull them over and sit them down a little bit roughly. And I’m going to look at all three of you:


Emily (as Elee)

You heard what happened to Aegon. He went off on his own, and now look where it got him. I’m on this boat. I am on this boat now. And you all are on this boat. We are all on the boat together. If any of you think about running off on your own, I will come after you. We are at that point. We are all on the boat.


Tom

Xoc will do one of those scared, hmmm nods. Like,


Tom (as Xoc)

Uh, uh-huh, yeah.


Ari

Misha is going to briefly look at Xoc and then avert their gaze completely.


Tom

Ohh! Xoc is going to look back at Misha like, put a hand on their arm.


Hallie

Hopper is noticing this one.


All

[Laughter]


Hallie

And then he’ll just turn back to Elee and be like,


Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright.


Kyle

[Laughter].


Tom

[Laughter].


Ari

So good.


Emily (as Elee)

So, don’t go off on your own. Just don’t do it. We’re stuck together now. You’re stuck with me, I’m stuck with you, deal.


Kyle

And as Elee goes away, we as the viewers kind of pan left to right, and we see Hop, who’s, I’m assuming, like, confused.


Hallie

He’s confused, but he’s like, a happy confused. He’s kind of smiling a little bit and thinking like, ‘well this was unexpected, but not unwelcome.’


Kyle

So we see Hop. And then we pan over and we see Misha, and what is Misha looking like?


Ari

Misha is just kind of embarrassed and averting their gaze from Elee, and then just occasionally darting looks to Xoc.


Kyle

And then we’re going to keep on moving over and we’re going to see Xoc, and what does Xoc look like?


Tom

Xoc is mostly just like, looking to see that Misha is okay.


Kyle

Alright. And then, we keep panning, and we see next to them, looking kind of wide-eyed and confused, Loell, who leans over to Xoc and says:


Kyle (as Loell)

Are we in trouble?


Ari

Oh boy.


[Whimsical music begins]


Tom

Xoc will stiffen and like, sit up straighter.


Hallie

I’m going to try to catch his eye and raise a quizzical eyebrow.


Tom

Xoc will look around at the rest of the party, see Hopper’s look and just sort of give like a, mmm nod, like, yeahyeahyeah, and just say:


Tom (as Xoc)

Alright, so I should probably mention before we go any further that we’ve got a new tagalong now. I was seeing different visions before, but now I am seeing Loell.


Kyle

Loell is going to wave over and say:


Kyle (as Loell)

Hello! Oh, wait, shit, they can’t see me.


Tom (as Xoc)

They can’t see you.


Kyle (as Loell)

Oh fuck, um—


Tom (as Xoc)

Only I can see and hear you.


Kyle (as Loell)

Can you tell them—can you tell them I’m waving?


Tom (as Xoc)

He’s waving.


Kyle (as Loell)

Hello!


Emily

Elee is going to wave at like, just like one sarcastic wave, hopefully at the wrong area.


[44:57]


Kyle (as Loell)

Oh no, I’m over here. Um, can you tell her I’m over here?


Tom

Xoc doesn’t actually tell her where Loell is. But he’ll be looking at Loell so people will probably figure out where he is.


Kyle

Alright. And then Loell’s going to say:


Kyle (as Loell)

Alright, listen, Xoc, buddy, I did some research, I looked it up, and I’ve got…nothing. I’ve got no idea why you can see me and why I can talk to you.


Tom (as Xoc)

Huh.


Kyle (as Loell)

Like I mean, I’ve seen people before, but they’ve never been able to talk back to me, so I don’t get what’s going on here.


Tom (as Xoc)

People have been able to talk back to you. Who was the woman?


Kyle (as Loell)

Hey, what are you talking about?


Tom (as Xoc)

I saw you before, when I still had the spiders. You were in a house.


Kyle (as Loell)

Ohh—


Tom (as Xoc)

There was an artifact on the wall that you were putting there. Someone was calling you outside.


Kyle

Uh, he’s actually going to look a little bit like, kind of a little bit unsettled that you’re creeping into his brain. But he’s going to be like:


Kyle (as Loell)

Ohh, oh! I get it! No, I got it. I got it! Yeah, no, uh, what you saw, that was my mom! That was my mom. That was my home. I grew up in the Pyranthion Empire. That little orb was something that, it was like a gift my mom got, some sort of award for like, really good farm work. I don’t know, the Pyranthion Empire gives out shitty rewards. I mean, she loved it so much, but she would always put it right on the edge of the counter, and so it would fall over and like, it would get a couple of scratches and I was convinced the thing was going to break. So, every day, I would get up and she would’ve put it out there and I would have had to stick it on back in the back again.


Tom (as Xoc)

See, that’s a thing that you could have told me earlier.


Kyle (as Loell)

Well you didn’t ask, man. You just asked, [mocking, gruff voice] why am I here now? Who are you? What do you want? I don’t know, I want to get to know you! So yeah, that’s where I come from. I’m from the Pyranthion Empire. What about you, buddy? Where are you from?


Tom

Xoc turns to the rest of the party, since they’ve been only seeing one half of this conversation.


Hallie

We’re listening to Xoc, right?


Ari

Misha is going to ask:


Ari (as Misha)

Can you only see him, or can he physically hurt you?


Tom

Xoc will look back at Loell:


Tom (as Xoc)

Well, can you?


Kyle (as Loell)

Hurt you? Buddy, we’re just getting to know each other. Come on, we can’t have this kind of suspicion if we’re stuck together, and I think we are stuck together. But here, let’s try it out!


Kyle

He’s going to like, put out his hand for a handshake.


Tom

Xoc also raises his hand, but like, does it sideways because he still doesn’t know how handshakes work, and just tries to stick it through his hand.


Kyle

Um, it stops. It stops when it’s there, and he’s like:


Kyle (as Loell)

Oh, hey, look at that. Let’s try it again, high five!


Tom

Xoc genuinely looks afraid now and does it.


Kyle

They go for a high five, and what everyone else would see—actually, everyone else, give me a perception roll.


Ari

Alright.


[Dice rolling]


Hallie

Deese!


Ari

Five.


Emily

Also I think I’m—my descriptor is perception.


Hallie

I’m trained in perception now!


Emily

15.


Hallie

17.


Kyle

In that case, I’m going to say, both Elee and Hop both see this. You can see that like, as they slap their hands together, Xoc’s is stopping, but there’s no like, physical interaction, right? Because you know like when you hit your hand like, it would at least indent in a little bit?


Hallie

Yeah, it would get red from like, the slap.


Kyle

Yeah, it would get red or you’d feel something physical. Well, as he does that, you don’t notice anything of that. It kind of just looks like he went and he stopped, and maybe his muscles are tense a little bit, like he’s—


Hallie

Like he’s hitting a force.


Kyle

Yeah, like he’s trying, or like his muscles are tense like he’s trying to pretend he’s hitting a force, but he’s not actually, there’s no like physical indication of that. But to you, Xoc, it feels completely, absolutely real. Like, you feel a little ting of pain that comes when you high five, and you hear the sound. But to the outside observer it just looks like Xoc just raised his hand and then stopped it. Like he’s pretending to use the Force.


Ari

Can Misha try and like, slash karate thing, like right in front of Xoc’s hand to see if they can feel anything? Or just some sort of thing, or moving their hand in front of Xoc’s hand?


Kyle

Yup. Mmm, well, you notice nothing. And Xoc, you also notice nothing. The hand just kind of phases through Loell and, like, I would say he gets a little bit translucent. You know how like when you go through a ghost, the ghost might look fully opaque but then you put something through it and it gets a little translucent so you can see the thing on the inside?


Tom

Like slashing through a hologram.


Kyle

Yeah, it’s like slashing through a hologram, that’s kind of what it looks like.


Emily

You know, when you do that common thing of going through a ghost.


Ari

I know, and I was like, that’s why I was like— [sarcastically] Every day experience for Kyle, like, hey now! Yesterday, when I went through my friend.


Hallie

Every single day!


Tom

Look, adventurer analogies!


All

[Laughter].


Tom

So yeah, Xoc is going to recoil a little bit, like, in fear of Loell.


Hallie

In seeing the fear in Xoc’s face, Hop’s going to ask:


Hallie (as Hopper)

What does it want?


Tom (as Xoc)

What do you want!?


Kyle

He’s going to shrug his shoulders, and then like:


Kyle (as Loell)

I don’t know, beats me. Uh, what are you up to? You doing anything?


Tom

Xoc is going to make like a serious frowny face at him, and then say:


Tom (as Xoc)

My screw-ups have already caused a lot of trouble.


Tom

So then he’s going to turn to the rest of the party and say:


Tom (as Xoc)

Probably shouldn’t discuss anything super important around me so that Loell can’t hear it. We don’t know what he wants. He might be part of the Apocrita.


[50:00]


Ari (as Misha)

Is this Loell always present?


Tom (as Xoc)

Not always. But I can’t like, keep him away.


Hallie (as Hopper)

We’re not going to leave you out of the loop.


Ari (as Misha)

How car from you can he step? Could we ask this Loell to leave?


Hallie

We’re just like, you go stand over there.


Kyle

I’m actually going to answer that with a GM intrusion for Tom. So Tom, who do you want to give your other experience point to?


Tom

I want to give my other experience point to Ari for karate chopping this terrible brain boy.


Ari

Thank you!


Kyle

So as you’re asking like, oh, how far can you go, you see him standing right behind where Mauve is, and on the passenger seat, you see Everett. And Everett is holding out a brochure. And he turns back and says:


Kyle (as Loell)

Oh, so we’re going to Roulettia? I hate that place!


Tom

How distant away is the cab?


Kyle

Oh, it’s a handful of feet.


Tom

Alright, so that doesn’t really answer the question.


Ari

Right.


Tom

Xoc’s going to say:


Tom (as Xoc)

And that doesn’t really prove anything. You could go farther and just be lying to us.


Kyle

He turns back and shrugs his shoulders and is like:


Kyle (as Loell)

Well, I can’t be lying if I don’t know.


Tom (as Xoc)

Yes, you could be lying!


Kyle (as Loell)

Well, I mean, it’s pretty hard to read back here, it’s getting kind of fuzzy. My guess would be, I can kind of go far, but at the core you’re my eyes and ears, buddy. So probably no more than an immediate distance.


Ari

Misha is going to try and mentally reach to Xoc and ask him:


Ari (as Misha)

Can Loell hear when I talk to you like this?


Kyle (as Loell)

Hi!


Ari

Misha’s going to recoil.


Tom

Did Misha actually hear that?


Kyle

Yeah.


Ari

Okay. Misha’s going to be like:


Ari (as Misha)

Oh, so this is what he sounds like.


Emily

What is going on?


Tom

Xoc closes the mental channel for now, even though normally it’s always open.


Kyle

Do you—one question: Ari, do you let him close the channel?


Ari

Can I not let it entirely? Can I like, allow—


Tom

You can try to prevent it, yeah. That was a rule we decided earlier.


Ari

Okay, Misha is going to try and prevent it, because they want to keep an eye on things.


Kyle

Alright, give me competing intellect rolls.


Ari

Oh boy.


Tom

I won’t spend effort on this.


Ari

Can I spend effort on this?


Kyle

Yeah, how much do you want to spend?


Ari

Um, one level of effort. No, actually two levels of effort, since I have, my pool is full. So that would be like, minus five, right?


Kyle

Yeah.


Ari

Okay.


Tom

Although that’s subtracted by your edge.


[Dice rolling]


Ari

Yeah, oh, that’s true! I got a, hang on—


[Dice rolling]


Ari

I got a 20!


Tom

That definitely beats me.


Kyle

That motherfucking channel stays so open. In fact, it is so open that for just a split second, you can kind of see um, a faint gaseous shape where Loell is standing. And you can actually hear Xoc as he’s like, oh man, I’ve got to close down this channel to protect my friends.


Ari

Aww.


Kyle

Or, what exactly runs through your head? Because that’s what I said ran through your head. But what’s like, the split-second sentence Misha hears as you’re trying to shut down the channel?


Tom

Uh, it would be something to the effect of:


Tom (as Xoc)

Can’t let the virus spread.


Ari

Aww.


Kyle

And with that, then the channel goes back to as it is usual.


Ari

Okay, Misha is going to just tell Xoc:


Ari (as Misha)

I’m not going to leave you alone with whatever that thing is. I’m sorry.


Tom

[Exhales]. Xoc looks down at his feet and says:


Tom (as Xoc)

I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have tried that. I’m— [Sighs] I just don’t know what it can do, and I don’t want it to get inside you, either.


Ari

Misha is going to be like:


Ari (as Misha)

I’ll make sure he doesn’t.


Kyle (as Loell)

A-a-actually, it’s a he, and my name is Loell. Did I not say that?


Tom (as Xoc)

You have given us very little reason to trust you so far. And you can’t explain how you got in my head either.


Kyle (as Loell)

I mean, the way I see it, we’re both in each other’s heads. I mean, listen: you’re the one who got into my memories, not the other way around.


Tom

Xoc doesn’t really know how to respond to that one.


Ari

Misha is going to just think to themselves:


Ari (as Misha)

I wonder if we throw him off the boat.


All

[Laughter].


Hallie

Try it, try it, try it!


Tom (as Xoc)

What, you mean throw him off the boat?


Ari (as Misha)

Yes.


Kyle(as Loell)

Woah, ho, ho, ho, hey, hey, hey.


Tom (as Xoc)

He just sort of blinks around. I don’t think that would do anything. I’m not certain I could throw him off the boat, even.


Ari

Hmm.


Emily

Are you saying this in your mind, still?


Ari

Yeah. Well, I suppose Misha can say it out loud and tell it to the others:


Ari (as Misha)

I do not know what would happen, since we don’t know if there’s a limited distance, if we just tried to toss him out or put him on a remote island of some sort, away from us.


Kyle

He’s giving like a “Dude, what the fuck” look. Like what the fuck, guys?


Emily

I’m going to eye Xoc and say:


Emily (as Elee)

I don’t think Xoc could throw him off the boat.


Tom (as Xoc)

My arms are very weak, it’s true. Who are you? Tell me about yourself, please.


Kyle (as Loell)

I told you, buddy. I’m Loell. I grew up in the Pyranthion Empire, then my mom got an award. And that’s a hell of a lot more than you’ve been telling me. So how about this?


[Mysterious music begins]


You want me to be helpful? I want to get to know you. Next time we see each other, let’s figure that out, okay?


Kyle

And he blips away.


Tom (as Xoc)

He is gone now. Ugh. I know I should have told Mako, but I don’t —I don’t want to turn into whatever Aegon is. I was just worried maybe I’m not—maybe I’m not really cured.


[Music intensifies, fades into end of episode tag]


Kyle

Alright, let’s pause for Hallie, unless you want to say something?


Tom

I didn’t know what I was going to say yet, so that makes it easier.


Kyle

Okay. [Sing-song voice] She was going to chew you the fuck out. Hallieee!


Ari

She was taken in by the swarm.


Kyle

No!


Emily

Hallie, come back! [despondently] She’s an Apocrita soldier now.


[Episode ends – 55:33]

26 views

Follow Us!

  • Facebook Basic
  • Black Tumblr Icon
  • Twitter Basic

Numenera and its logo are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC. Content derived from Monte Cook Games publications is © 2013-2017 Monte Cook Games, LLC. Read the full disclaimer here.​

Intro/Outro music by MiracleOfSound

Intro: "Friends" (YouTube, Bandcamp)

Outro: "Hitoshio" (YouTube, Bandcamp)