• Quest Friends!

Ep. 5: The Clockwork City, Part 1

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Follow our heroes as they:

GAZE into the camera!

ASCEND the path of Ray Romano!

DIGEST small, venomous creatures!

Content Warning: Spiders

TRANSCRIPT (Downloadable Version):

Previously, on Quest Friends…

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

Kyle (as M.A.R.S.H.A.L.)

I am the Mechanically Automated Research and Study Lifeform. My purpose is just to unite all of us under one consciousness that can truly understand the universe.

Tom (as Xoc)

To overwrite consciousness with a single consciousness over a network goes against the ancient laws. But I must sentence you in the name of the Weal.

Kyle

Consoles across the room start fizzing and like sparking and eventually die dead. And in the center with these black spiders just crawling all over this stands a figure with like, just sharp, like this large imposing armor and kind of like the fake Viking helmet, so with like, you know, the horns. Eventually all you can really see is what looks like a cloud of these tiles, a torrent of them, as they spin around and start flying higher and higher into the sky. And Obsidian Bay is gone.

[Theme intensifies]

[Music fades out]

[Raindrops falling]

Kyle

The first time you entered Rhubarb you could hear it from a distance. I mean, it's a loud town full of loud people. But as you approach it you don't hear anything. As you come in the only sound you hear is like this chirp, as a broken hound is just kind chirping at a blood barm before noticing you and running really excitedly towards you. Well, not excitedly, but like running all up to you. And if you let it, it'll run up to actually Hop and just kind of sadly stick its head underneath Hop's hand in need of some sort of affection.

Hallie

Hopper is taken aback for a second but lets this happen and then, not knowing how else to proceed, pets the dog.

Kyle

The dog's tail wags a little bit and it actually follows you as you go into town.

Hallie

Alright.

Kyle

And for the first time you see people.

[Melancholy music box song starts playing]

Kyle

And all of them have these like horrified anguished looks on their faces, as they just stand there frozen in place.

Hallie

Are they unnaturally frozen or is just no one moving?

Kyle

It's unnatural. It was like some of them didn't seem - don't seem to have noticed but it's as if someone was being attacked, and then halfway through being attacked just there was a freeze frame of what happened.

Hallie

So it's like Pompeii but no one is covered in ash.

Kyle

Exactly. It's like Pompeii.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

They've all got like rigor mortis. Some of them have in fact fallen onto the ground. It seems like the wind has pushed them over.

[Music fades out]

Hallie

Okay. Hopper starts petting the dog a little more intensely because that's just how he's going to cope with this very discomforting scene, and then say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

So this isn't how we left the town.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Tom

Xoc is in a daze going to walk up to like one of the figures and see like if he can touch or manipulate it at all.

Kyle

When you push it you're able to move them but they stay in place wherever you do.

Ari

Misha is going to look also in a horrified daze and then say,

Ari (as Misha)

I believe we should try to see if we can find... Uhh... What's her name? Sue Armstrong?

All

Sue Strongarm.

Ari (as Misha)

Yeah. I want to find the person that identified herself as Sue Strongarm.

Kyle

Alright. So, you walk back to the bar, past a multitude of things, including an empty and vacant midnight hot hound stand, and I want all of you to roll perception.

Ari

I have rolled an 8.

[Dice rolls]

Ari

Because Misha just doesn't know these things.

[Dice rolls]

Tom

Six.

Hallie

Four. Hopper is sad.

Kyle

Ah, Misha, you look down to the ground and you see a line of those spiders, the same ones you saw at Obsidian Bay, walking towards the bar.

Emily

[Imitating Ron Weasley from Harry Potter] Follow the spiders.

Hallie

[Imitating Ron Weasley from Harry Potter] Follow the spiders!

Emily

[Imitating Ron Weasley from Harry Potter] Why couldn't it have been butterflies?

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And Elee, you hear screams from inside the bar.

Hallie

Oh no.

Emily

Elee's just gonna say,

Emily (as Elee)

Come on!

Emily

And book it.

Tom

Xoc will run too.

Hallie

Yeah.

Kyle

You book it inside the bar.

Emily

If the door is shut I will kick it in. I will not bother with the handle.

Kyle

You kick in the door to the bar and you see all the patrons similarly anguished and the screams seem to be coming from the office.

Emily (as Elee)

[Darkly] Sue.

Kyle

And you run into the office and you barge that door open and you see Sue with what looks like at least a hundred of these spiders crawling all around her and underneath her skin.

Ari

Ugh. Kuhh. Gross.

Kyle

And more of them are climbing up her, that the line seems to be going to her as she's groaning in pain and staring horrified at the space of ground beneath her. And between her groans you just hear her, you just hear her, like, muttering,

Kyle (as Sue)

Marv, Marv, Marv, Marv, Marv!

Kyle

And then she kind of looks around a little bit, like she'll snap out of it and look around and you see her reach for this photo on her desk and she's holding onto this pin in her right hand that seems to be--It's a pin with that logo you saw in Episode 1, the one that had an M on it, and then another smaller M that kind of looked like a moustache.

Tom

Yes.

Kyle

She holding onto one of those pins but the pin part on the back seems to have broken off. And she's just kind of moving back and forth, and she's trying her goddamn hardest to move but these things seem to locking her in place and she's just muttering to herself.

Tom

Xoc has got nothing.

Hallie

She's going after a picture on the desk you said?

Kyle

She seems to be looking for one, yes.

Hallie

Hopper has no idea what to do about the spiders, so he's gonna look--can I do like perception check to scan to see if I can tell what picture she's after?

Kyle

Err... yeah. Give me a roll.

[Dice rolls]

Hallie

Fifteen.

Kyle

Yeah. On the mantelpiece you see a handful of pictures but there's one that seems to be this--just the brightest picture you've seen and that seems to be the one she's going towards.

Hallie

Okay. I'm gonna pick it up and gesture to her like, "Is this what you want?"

Kyle

She's reaching towards it and then she's looking back at ground, she's like,

Kyle (as Sue)

Mar-, Mar- [gasps]

Hallie

Okay. And then Hopper's like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

I guess we should do something about the spiders. Umm...

Ari

Can I use a scan to scan the spiders and see if there's any weak thing, like a thing we can use to like, hit them?

Kyle

Yeah. Yeah. Give me a roll.

Ari

Sixteen.

Kyle

Those spiders are mother fucking small, man. You could probably block them with like a bucket and you could probably like squish them, the ones that are coming on, but the ones that are already on Sue are like underneath her skin.

Hallie

Oh!

Ari

Urgh! Gross!

Kyle

You can see these spots of black but in order to hit the ones that are already on her...

Emily

Mmm.

Kyle

...you would have to hit her as well.

Hallie

Okay. So, she's saying "Marv"?

Kyle

Yeah. As she seems to be looking at this photo and looking down and trying, like comparing what she sees. And like you see her, she's like,

Kyle (as Sue)

No! No! Not-Not again! Not again! Not again!

Hallie

Is the photo of a person?

Kyle

You take a look at that photo and you see a lot of things in that photo.

[Melancholic plucking guitar music starts playing]

Kyle

It's a picture of Sue, much, much younger. She looks, you know probably late teens maybe? And the picture you see is of a group of friends in a blooming grassland that are at a bottom of a hill the camera's on. In the front of the photo is Sue and her arms are like around this burly, bearded, dwarf-like man and their faces are pressed together side by side in a sickening romance. To their left is a spindly man with a wire thin moustache and he's leaning on the shoulder of a bright woman sporting a forest green leather vest. This woman in turn is leaning with her elbow on a small floating pail which struggles a little bit underneath her weight. To Sue's right is an elderly woman sporting a mix between a lab coat and a trench coat and she has wide eyes staring intensely at the camera with other-worldly curiosity. Contentedly curled behind the group is this giant, vibrantly white xi-drake. And xi-drakes are basically these giant dragons but they--they've got like feathers and they've got shark fins coming out of their heads. And next to the xi-drake is a man and he's wearing a large, knightly armour. It looks remarkably similar to that armour that you saw on the Obsidian Bay mines.

[Music fades out]

Hallie

She holding a pin, right?

Kyle

She's holding a pin, yep. It's the pin with the two Ms on it.

Tom

I only half remember what she told us about this logo last session. I'm assuming Xoc would know more about this because it hasn't been a month for him.

Hallie

Yeah.

Tom

Yep. She said it was from Marvelous Marvin?

Kyle

It was from Mr Mako.

Tom

That was it!

Kyle

Who she described as a close friend of hers and a really good medic.

Hallie

Okay.

Tom

Why did she show us that again? I do not remember the context for this.

Kyle

She was showing that to somebody who had been beaten up in the bar fight. Was basically like, "Hey, go see this guy.--

Tom

Oh.

Kyle

--He's a good medic.”

Hallie

Okay. Hop is gonna motion to the picture, which has a lot of people in it and be like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Are we supposed to find Marv? Which--which one is Marv?

Kyle (as Sue)

No! No! Not, not again! Not again! Not again! Not again! Not again!

Kyle

Her finger slides over and you can see her kind of point to herself. Her finger slides over to that man to the right of her.

Hallie

The romantic one?

Kyle

Yeah, yeah. She's like,

Kyle

No. No. No. No. No. No. [Voice weakens.]

Hallie

Hopper is--he's really freaked out by this. He doesn't know what to do. He's gonna kind of push his hat back that way that people do when they're trying to think and look to the team for, like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

I'm lost.

Tom

This whole time Xoc has just been shaking and he just whispers,

Tom (as Xoc)

Don't--don’t touch the spiders. Don't touch the spiders.

Ari

Yeah Misha is also kind of just standing there, like not knowing what to do.

Kyle

As you're deciding, you hear,

Kyle (as Sue)

[Loudly, painfully.] Aargh!

Kyle

As Sue like curls down in pain and like stiffs up a little bit more and it looks like she's maybe got a minute left in her.

Ari

Is there a way that I can do the thing, like Google Images where you put an image into the thing and you look for similar images on the, on the interwebs, or is that too much a OP thing.

Kyle

It's a Google on Google as a reverse image search. If Google can do it you can do it.

Ari

Okay! Well, I want to do that with the picture so that I can see who this person is and if there's any way that I can, like... that we can go find him, or see what she wants us to do.

Kyle

Okay. When you see it you see the words, "The Heroes of Navarene", and a bunch of names appear but in no particular order. You see Sue Strongarm. You see Marvy Harvey Strongarm. You see The Professor. You see Aegon Stormbreaker. You see Mauve Rodirarche, and you see The Artist Currently Known as Mako.

Tom

It was Aegon Stormbreaker, correct?

Kyle

Aegon Stormbreaker, and that had the word "Party Leader" connected to it.

Ari

I want Misha to I guess scream at Sue and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Do you want us to look for the Navarene Heroes? Do you want--do you want a message to be transmitted to them?

Kyle

Yeah, can you give me a roll to see if she can get to her?

Ari

Nine.

[Music box song starts playing]

Kyle

Yeah. She's gonna turn over to you and she's gonna say two words. She's gonna say,

Kyle (as Sue)

The Apocrita. Help.

Kyle

And with that she dies.

[Music fades, long pause.]

Kyle

And now it's time for a GM intrusion. Everyone is stood around this area, correct?

Tom

Yes.

Emily

Mmm-hmm.

Kyle

To make sure I understood where everyone is, Hop is right next to Sue, Xoc is in the doorway, Misha is next to Sue and then uh...

Emily

Elee ended up pretty darn close to Sue. She was kind of planning on, like, stomping on the spiders until Xoc said don't touch them.

Kyle

Okay. So as you've been doing this, and this is a GM intrusion for Xoc. Xoc, who do you want to give your experience to?

Tom

I would like to give my experience to Misha in this case for being the only one sensible enough to get information from the datasphere.

Ari

Woo-hoo!

Emily

[Jokingly indignant] Misha's the only one who could get information from the datasphere, thank you!

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

That's fair!

Tom

I mean--

Hallie

None of us have that capability!

Tom

I mean, technically I also have that power but Xoc is not in a good state of mind.

Kyle

Xoc, you've been standing against the wall this whole time, and as you have, you haven't noticed it, but one of the spiders, as it leaves--

Tom

[Gasps]

Kyle

--was accidentally blocked by you.

Tom

Mm! Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm!

Ari

Oh fuck.

Kyle

...in an attempt to get out, climbed up your staff. But you don't notice this until you feel a stinging pain in your hand--

Ari

Nooo!

Hallie

Oh no.

Kyle

--as it buries underneath your skin. And I need you to roll intellect defence.

Emily

No!

Tom

Xoc is actually going to start screaming right now.

Emily

Oh no!

Tom

I rolled a five.

Kyle

So, as this thing hits you, you just fall to the ground in searing pain. And you don't take any damage but you feel this haze come over your mind and until this thing is out, every intellect roll for you is gonna be one step harder.

Tom

[Resigned groaning.] Ahhhhh!

Kyle

But there's a second thing you see. As you hit the ground the world in front of you phases away and you see Sue, specifically you see Sue and she is kneeling above this small, dwarf-like man, who is bloody and battered and on the ground, motionless.

Ari

Yeah, that’s what I figured.

Kyle

His once vibrant beard seems to be browning and withering like dead grass and you just hear Sue going,

Kyle (as Sue)

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

Kyle

And kind of climb around his body and try to do something. And then the vision goes away and you're back in the room with everyone else.

Tom

Well, Xoc is still screaming.

Hallie

Yeah, as soon as Xoc started screaming, Hop dropped the photo he was holding, first of all, because he was startled. And then he's gonna run over to Xoc and, the spider is inside Xoc, right? Like, it's under his skin?

Kyle

Correct.

Hallie

So, since Hop can't actually see any spiders on him, he's not taking any precautions really. He's just like, I mean, he's not, like, touching Xoc, he's doing that, like, "Oh my God! Is it okay to touch this person?" type thing. But then because Xoc is screaming he's gonna try like... Are you, like on the floor?

Tom

I assume I fell to the floor with that vision.

Hallie

Okay.

Tom

But yeah, Xoc's gonna hold up the arm where the spider is presumably like lumping around. [Distressed garbled noise.]

Hallie

So can I see it under his skin now?

Kyle

Uh... yeah, you can see it bubble in and out.

Hallie

Gross. Um, alright. Hop will say that, he'll say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Aargh! Gross!

Hallie

Out loud.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

Xoc will give you--will give you a camera look.

All

[Laughter.]

Tom

So, like, quite literally, like will go,

Tom (as Xoc)

Urgh!

All

[Laughter.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Okay?

Hallie

Alright. Hop's gonna:

Hallie (as Hopper)

I'm sorry

Hallie

Um, um, okay, question for Kyle.

Kyle

Yeah?

Hallie

Uh, I have a skill in just, like, random history but I don't suppose Apocrita is something that Hop would have come across in random nerdy history tales?

Kyle

Err, you can try. It depends, how far back of history does Hop care about?

Hallie

He particularly likes ancient history.

Kyle

Okay. Then, no he wouldn't know about it.

Hallie

Then no? Okay. Well, uh, I assume Hop has, like a water canteen of some kind?

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

Can I just- Well, I'm gonna offer it to him first, for like this,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Will this help you?

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

Here's some water.

Tom

Xoc's just like,

Tom (as Xoc)

[Sobbing] Get it out! Get it out! Get it out! We have to get it out!

Hallie

Okay. Okay. And then Hop is gonna look at Misha and Elee and then scream, like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

How do you get spiders out of people?!!

All

[Laughter.]

Emily

Elee is gonna, like, drop to her knees, shove Hop over--

Hallie

[Laughing raspberry noise]

Emily

--Sorry if I spilled your water.

Hallie

That's canon now. That happened. It spilled everywhere.

Kyle and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Everyone has soggy socks.

Ari

No! [distressed noises] Nooo.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom

Hah.

Hallie

But aren't we wearing shoes?

Kyle

It gets through the shoes. It was a pretty big canteen.

Hallie

Okay. Alright.

Emily

She's gonna grab a hat pin out of her hat.

Emily (as Elee)

I'm so sorry.

Hallie

Hooo...

Emily

And grab his arm.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Wails]

Kyle

Give me a roll to see if you can see the spider.

Emily

I'm not gonna shove it in if I can't the spider, though.

Kyle

Okay.

Tom

Xoc is just whimpering right now.

[Dice rolls]

Kyle

Yeah, you think the spider is, like, right at his elbow.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Whimpering noise]

Emily

[Horrified] Ohh!

Tom (as Xoc)

[Whimpering noises]

Emily (as Elee)

Nod if I can do it. Just nod.

Tom (as Xoc)

Mmm, mmm. mmm, mmm.

Tom

He's nodding. He's nodding.

Emily

He's nodding? I stick--I stick it into his arm.

Kyle

[Disgusted] Give me an attack roll.

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

[Dice rolls]

Emily

[Victoriously] Hooo!

Kyle

Natural twenty. [Slow clapping]

Hallie

Oh!

Kyle

So she does this so great, that you can hear this thing squirm in pain as she digs it into your arm. And you can feel it crunch and squeeze. And the spider is dead. Unfortunately...

Tom (as Xoc)

[Whimpers]

Kyle

...its inside fluids are not.

Ari

Oh my God!

Emily

Oh no!

Kyle

And they spread around, and Xoc, you can feel as this infection spreads across the bloodstream.

Emily

I was trying to like, yank it out of his arm.

Kyle

Oh, I'm sorry!

Emily

No it’s...

Tom

No, it's...

Emily

It's like you stick the hat pin...

Tom

It's too late.

Emily

...and like dig...

Tom

It's happened.

Emily

...it out like a splinter.

Tom

It's happened.

Emily

No! It's like a splinter, Tom!

Tom

No, it's-

Kyle

Elee's having a good day.

Tom

[Resigned] It's too late.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Okay, okay, okay! Maybe we should find a doctor.

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And with that, can everyone roll perception.

[Dice rolls]

Emily

I'm screwing up everything guys!

[Dice rolls]

Hallie

Five.

Tom

Fifteen.

Ari

Five.

Emily

Nine. Is he at least not in pain anymore?

Kyle

Uh... I mean you stuck a needle into his arm.

Emily and Hallie

[laughter]

Kyle

So he's in a little bit of pain!

Emily

But like, the other pain. The other pain.

Kyle

No, the other pain is gone. Now it's just needle pain.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Whimpering]

Kyle

So that, that's a bonus. [Laughter.]

Tom (as Xoc)

[Whimpering]

Kyle

So-

Emily

I'm gonna like-

Kyle

In your-

Emily

Pat it.

Kyle

In your anguish you see a bo-- [Laughter.] In your anguish Xoc, you see a box on the ground with kind of like tissue paper in it, that's been opened up. And you see a letter on it, a letter kind of opened up.

Tom

Xoc will slowly reach out for that letter, take it out and open it.

Kyle

Okay! And you see this letter and it is, it is written in small caps, so you know when you do like, it's all caps but when the capital letters are drawn bigger than the rest of them? You know what I'm talking about?

Tom

I'm not sure.

Emily

Capital letters are bigger than small letters.

Kyle

It's essentially written in all caps. But you denote upper case and lower case by making the upper case letter also capital but like bigger font.

Tom

Okay. I know. I understand what you mean.

Kyle

Alright. And the letter reads as follows.

[Playful music begins]

Kyle (as Mr. Mako)

Sue! Wonderful to catch up with you again! It's been too long! I'm glad to hear your town is going strong. Not enough people appreciate the delicacy of blood barms. Now, before you hear the rumours and get impassioned, I did take a job with Queen Armalu in Charmonde. But--but!--I think I'm onto something both you and The Professor will want to know about. The wife and I also worked together to give you this pin. If you ever need to reach out to us for any reason do not hesitate to use it. Much love, pal!

Mako

P.S. If you have any battered or bruised residents, keep sending them my way. I get stir crazy without new projects.

[Music fades]

Tom

Wow! I read that in such, such an interesting imagination of his voice. Truly incredible. It's like I can visualize him here saying those words.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I'm the voice letter! in Numenara we attach audio to our letters!

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Isn't that a crazy technology?

Hallie

Is that a thing now? Did we know what's in the letter? Is it to Xoc?

Tom

Yeah, yeah. Xoc will like tell everybody, like show the letter to everyone.

Hallie

Okay.

Tom

As he's like, tries to stop hyperventilating.

Emily

[Imitating a character from Harry Potter] Look everybody! Xoc's got a howler!

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Ha! Uh, Hop's gonna take a big gulp and then go over to Sue's corpse and try to find the pin that she was holding.

Kyle

Alright. You got the pin.

Hallie

Cool. Um, and it's broken, right? Like, the part that would connect to your shirt is?

Kyle

Yeah. It looks like if you look on the back there's- in the center like where a little cylinder rod pin thing would be.

Hallie

Right.

Kyle

And that's broken off.

Hallie

Okay. Is there a way, could I roll like some kind of knowledge check or perception check to be like, "Yes! This is how pins are used to contact people"?

Kyle

Yes. Give me a roll.

[Dice roll]

Hallie

Ten.

Kyle

Why the fuck would someone contact someone with a pin?

Hallie

I don't know!

Kyle

There are so many better methods. Why the fuck would somebody do that? That's stupid!

Tom

Hallie, I don't think it--I don’t think it's tech. I think it's just a pin.

Hallie

Hop is saying something to this effect out loud.

Kyle

That's stupid Mr Mako! That's stupid!

Hallie

It said use the pin to contact me in the letter!

Tom

I think we just need to show it once we arrive in Charmonde.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Oh, that makes sense. Alright, let's go there then.

Ari

To be fair, I also thought it was like a magical tech thing.

Hallie

Yeah! This is Numenera. We just made a joke about voice reading letters guys.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Alright. Are we going to Charmonde?

Hallie

Yes please.

Tom

Err, I mean Xoc will--Xoc will say,

Tom (as Xoc)

I suppose I don't have any other choice but to go see this doctor. I don't know of any other specialists who understand things and maybe he has encountered these spiders before.

Hallie

Alright. And then Hop is gonna say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Alright. Let's take Xoc to <insert location that was just said that I can't remember>.

Tom

But Xoc is actually gonna look surprised when Hopper says that, and says,

Tom (as Xoc)

You're going to come with me?

Hallie

Uh, Hopper then realizes that he kinda spoke for everyone there and then says,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well I am.

Ari

Misha has been motionless throughout all of this, kind of shocked at everything that's happening, but then finally they are going to approach Xoc and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Why, of course! Of course I am coming! I have designed you as one of my friend companions and I have to keep monitoring your vital symptoms, make sure that they don't waver along the way.

Kyle

[Voice rising in volume] Awwwww!

Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Yeah. And Hop does like a point at Misha like the way that people do, like... Yep, that.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Like in a chat if you were to put like a caret over someone, something someone said, like, yep.

Emily

Elee's going to scratch her hat, not her head but her hat, sheepishly.

Emily (as Elee)

I...I didn't stick a pin in you just to leave you now. Like, it was pretty gross.

Tom

Xoc is speechless.

Emily

She kinda shrugs.

Emily (as Elee)

Come on.

Tom

Yeah. Xoc will let himself be led out of the room to wherever the party goes from here.

Kyle

Alright. [Singing] Let's all go to Charmonde. Let's all go to Charmonde. Let's all go to Charmonde... To cure Xoc's poisonous wound.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I'm gonna get some water. One second.

Tom

Sure.

Hallie

That was really nice.

Emily

So can I like carry him on my back?

Kyle

You ab-so-fucking-lutly can!

Emily

Can I carry you on my back?

Tom

I, I- Xoc's not gonna fight back. He doesn't have the strength to fight back even if he wanted to.

Emily

[Laughter.] Okay. You’re my backpack now.

[Thoughtful guitar music begins playing]

Kyle

Charmonde is the capital of Navarene, which is the country you're in. It's about a day or two's walk from where you are. The city isn't that far. It's right on the Jeribost River.

Tom

Mmm-hmm.

Kyle

So I'm going to assume, unless you tell me otherwise, that that's how you got there, you essentially walked to the river and then followed it west to the capital city.

Hallie

Yeah. Whatever would be quickest and easiest.

Kyle

Oh, one thing I forgot to tell you. While you were there, you found five pouches of gold with sixteen shins in each of them.

Hallie

Woo!

Tom

Hmm.

Hallie

So, we each get one of those and then-

Tom

That would have been our pay, that's what you're saying.

Ari

Uhh...

Kyle

Yeah. So, er... there were four for you and then one for Bill Turing. So, if you split it evenly you all get twenty shins. That's the money. Shins are money. That's what they are.

Hallie

Oh wait! On the walk to the place. Can I talk to Misha about her kazoo?

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

His-

Emily

Their!

Hallie

Their kazoo.

Kyle

Their kazoo.

Hallie

Their kazoo. Their kazoo.

Hallie

Alright. So, like we're walking. Elee's got Xoc on her back. I'm gonna I just gonna sidle up to Misha and be like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Hey! So, you mentioned back in Obsidian Bay that you've got, um... a... a kazoo was it?

Ari (as Misha)

Uhh...

Hallie

Are we calling it a kazoo?

Ari

Did I call it a kazoo?

Kyle

I think you did. I think you called it a kazoo but I can't remember.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Kyle

I can quote the episode if you want.

Ari

No. I mean... I, I-Yeah, maybe I did. I don't know.

Hallie

No. That's fine. I'm just gonna motion then. The um... the um... the really expensive thing you bought.

Ari

Misha's going to kind of look a little bit... They were deep in thought due to all of the things that happened, so they're going to be a bit surprised at referencing something like that and they're going to look at Hopper and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Oh! Yes. I... I suppose I did, didn't I? Why are you asking about it?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Can I see it?

Ari (as Misha)

Oh. Um... I will need to warn you that the vendor who gave it to me has told me that it is quite a unique musical instrument that is known to soothe any of the ailments of the diseased. It soothes negative emotions in humans. It seems to be to quite magical. So, it seems to be quite delicate and despite me trusting you, I do not feel comfortable just handing it out to you, but you can certainly see it and I certainly play some melodies. I haven't had really the chance to test it out on an audience that weren't my vendors, who seem to be so enthralled by the music that they ran away really, really fast as I started playing it. I believe it was because it was such a beautiful melody.

Hallie (as Hopper)

[Skeptically.] Yeahhh...

Ari (as Misha)

I suppose this might soothe Xoc's ailments as we get to the town.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie (as Hopper)

No, no. I wouldn't play it. I wouldn't play it for Xoc.

Tom (as Xoc)

Why not? Anything is worth a try. I have seen stranger things.

Ari (as Misha)

Excellent.

Ari

Hang on because I actually do not... Give me like one second. ‘Cause I actually don't-- [Trails off into the distance.]

Tom

Also, for the sake of setting the scene can we say that this is happening that night as we camp?

Hallie

Yeah.

Emily

So you're not on Elee's back?

Tom

Uh... yes and also because I have a bit of role-play I wanted to use to fill in like the travel time.

Ari

[Talking indistinctly in the background, searching for something.]

Kyle

Okay.

Ari

[Turning back to the microphone.] So I was actually referencing a thing that I actually bought for this roleplay. Yes. So are we like sitting in a circle? Like, is this conversation a thing that everybody's hearing?

Tom

I figure this would be around a campfire at night.

Hallie

Yeah. Circle round a campfire.

Ari

Okay. So, okay. So Misha's gonna take out their kazoo and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

This is a warning I have heard that this instrument is quite... It--it exerts quite an impression in humans. I honestly cannot tell the effects of this, since I'm not a human myself. But, I do believe that this might help Xoc who is partially human.

Kyle

Then play it.

Tom

Do it.

Ari

Alright. [Plays an off-tune version of “My Heart Will Go On” the kazoo]

Emily

[Laughter.]

Ari

[Laughter.] [Tries to keep playing through laughter.] I can't do it! It's the Titanic song!

All

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Keep going!

Tom

Keep going!

Ari

[Finishes song.]

All

[Conversation pauses as everyone laughs harder.]

Hallie

Hopper just got--his brim is pulled out a little bit above his eyes and his hand is like--oh my god--like on his forehead, like--Oh, Jesus Christ, how do I explain what is happening right now.

Ari

Misha's gonna keep playing the song unless Misha is stopped.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

He will let Misha keep playing.

Ari

Okay.

Hallie

He's not gonna be an asshole about it.

Tom

Xoc will watch in rapt attention. No one has ever played him a song before.

Emily and Kyle

Aww!

Ari

After the song is done, Misha is going to look at Xoc and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

So how...how are you feeling now?

Tom

Er... He's going to try to far step to the other side of the campfire. And it'll splutter because of the one step increased difficulty.

Ari

Aww!

Hallie

Sad.

Tom

And he'll say,

Tom (as Xoc)

Well, my head's still foggy, so I'm not certain that it's had any effect on the spider but it was a very wonderful song, and I'm very glad that you played it for me.

Emily

Aww!

Ari

Misha's going to smile and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Well, I do believe this instrument does work after all.

Hallie

Seeing how happy Misha is right now, Hop is just gonna say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Since you're so good at finding things, let me know next time you're at a vendor.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh! Certainly! This is the first item that I have ever had the opportunity to purchase and I'm quite lucky about it, since it seemed to be quite unique in its availability.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well I got the impression it was a first purchase, but you know, if you ever find yourself another vendor come get me; I'll come with you.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, I certainly will. By the way, how are you two feeling after this melody that I've heard has such an impact on human beings? Perhaps it didn't have as much on Xoc because he is part machine, as I am.

Hallie

Hop is gonna say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

I feel...nice.

Hallie

And then look at Elee, like, "Play along".

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Emily

You know, it could use a little practice. I bet Hop would love if you played it for him sometimes.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, well...

Ari

Uh, Misha was like,

Ari (as Misha)

Well, certainly, if seeing how it has such an effect on everybody, I was thinking of perhaps playing soothing melodies before bedtime in order to give us strength for the next day.

Emily (as Elee)

Oh, I'm old and deaf! I don't think you should play it for me.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

Don't--don’t waste its power on an old lady. I'm gonna die soon anyway.

Ari (as Misha)

Perhaps it will slow down that process. I really don't know how many qualities this has.

Tom

[Laughing in the background.]

Ari (as Misha)

I couldn't find a lot in the databases when I looked at it.

All

[Laughter.]

Ari (as Misha)

It seemed quite unique.

Emily (as Elee)

[Clears throat.] Imagine that!

Tom (as Xoc)

You shouldn't say such things about yourself Elee. You're not--you’re not going to die soon.

Ari

Oh yo.

Emily (as Elee)

[Sputtering on the background]

Tom

And then Xoc-

Emil (as Elee)

Th-thank you.

Tom

Xoc is going to actually say,

Tom (as Xoc)

Well I suppose I should get some sleep.

Tom

And he's going to go a short distance from the fire, like sort of away from everybody else a little bit. And he's going to find, like a suitable rock-or if there's like a piece of scrap metal on the ground nearby-and like set up on that. And then, like, pat down a surface that's mostly flat and then just curl up in a ball like within his robe on top of that and immediately start sleeping, which is also part of an ability of mine that we'll keep in mind for the future called austere, where in because I can be satisfied with such simple beds and food I give a sense of comfort to my companions and everyone except me gets +1 on recovery rolls that take an hour or longer.

Ari

Oh, nice!

Emily

Aww!

Hallie

Aww! Can I note that when Elee was like, "Oh, I'm sure Hop would like to hear more music, but I’m an old lady and would die soon" he was just glaring at her the whole time. He is very upset with Elee right now. There was also like a zoom in on his face.

Emily and Ari

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Like a camera zoom in. He was doing another camera look.

Emily

Elee smirks and goes to offer him the rat as a pillow.

Hallie

Offer Hop the rat?

Emily

Yes.

Hallie

Hopper will hold the other hand and be like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

No, no. You keep your rat. I have a sleeping bag.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

Suit yourself.

Hallie (as Hopper)

It's fine.

Hallie

And then I'm gonna be like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, since Xoc is, you know, trying to sleep now, maybe we should wait to play more music until tomorrow. That sounds like a good plan.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Alright. We're all going to sleep?

Tom

Uh, yes.

Hallie and Emily

Yes.

Tom

I'll just say, for the remainder of the journey, however many days it takes, Xoc will attempt to rise as early as he possibly can, like before the sun even comes up sometimes, and will attempt to, like, take a bath in the river even though he doesn't, like, have soap or any other materials to actually clean himself with. And so he can be awake and waiting for everyone when they wake up, to greet them.

Kyle

Give me roll about your baths?

Tom

My what?

Hallie

What?

Kyle

Give me a bathing roll.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

A bathing roll?

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Yeah, a bathing roll.

All

[Laughter.]

Hallie

It's like a roll but for bathing.

Emily

I hope no one's a light sleeper.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom

A sixteen.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Yeah, no, you feel like you're doing pretty well. Like, you feel clean and everyone else is like, they’re like, "Y-y-yeah, you look nice." Like you clean yourself well enough that people don't remark on your deathly appearances much.

Tom

Alright. Well...

Hallie

I don't think Hop would notice anyway.

Tom

That's the thing.

Kyle

What were you saying Misha?

Ari

Well, so, um, since Misha doesn't really need sleep. Like Misha, they're sort of otherwise recharging and stuff.

Kyle

Yeah.

Ari

Then Misha will like ehh, see... they will rest, but they will also try to keep an eye on Xoc throughout the--like sporadically throughout the night in case something bad happens, or this--the condition worsens or stuff, so that they can be ready to help.

Kyle

Alright. Sounds good. I want to let you know, Misha, that you got a new ability.

Ari

Ooh, I do? What is it?

Kyle

It is called Prevailing Heart.

Ari

Okay.

Kyle

Once, as a free action, you can heal Xoc.

Ari

What!

Kyle

For four p--you can play your kazoo to heal Xoc for four points of intellect but at the cost of pulling two points of intellect from Elee and Hop.

All

[Laughter.]

Ari

Amazing! I love this!

All

[More laughter.]

Kyle

So that's a new ability of yours. Practice your kazoo some more and you might be able to increase the effect.

Ari

Amazing.

Tom

[Laughter.] Oh my God! That's amazing.

Hallie

Oh God.

Kyle

Yeah, each additional song I will give you a new ability to help Xoc and hurt your allies.

Ari

And it's every day?

Emily

Aww!

Ari

Like, I can only do it once per day?

Kyle

Oh, it's every... It's whenever you want. It's an action.

Hallie

[Strained] Oh my God. Elee what have we done?

Kyle

So you can like, in the middle of combat... or like for example when the spiders were chasing you.

Ari

I can do it in the middle of combat?

Kyle

Yeah. If Xoc didn't have enough you can just pull out your kazoo and start playing it. You're essentially-

Emily

What? No!

Kyle

You're now a kazoo bard...

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

...that also has some necromancy powers because you are pulling from other people in order to do this.

Ari

Amazing!

Kyle

But no, Misha is now a kazoo bard wizard.

Ari

That's--that perfect. I love this!

Tom

The best part is it isn't even magical. It's just invigorating Xoc and annoying--

Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

--Hopper and Elee.

Hallie

Yes!

Kyle

Hence why intellect.

Alright. So you continue towards Obsidian Bay. Not Obsidian Bay. You continue towards Charmonde. You're travelling via the Jeribost River.

Tom

Mmm-hmm.

Kyle

And it takes, uh, I--I know I said it took only a day. I'm gonna say it takes a couple of days.

Tom

Seems reasonable.

Kyle

As you get closer, you notice yourself walking towards this plateau.

Hallie

Huh.

Kyle

Which you would recognize as Charmonde. Once you get up to the plateau, you realize that the water is continuing, even though it's a very steep cliffside, the water's continuing to move up the cliff towards the city. You know the entrance is to the south, so when you turn over to the south of Charmonde, you see this large, steep, like golden staircase that goes up about three hundred feet to the top of the plateau and as you climb it you see on each side there's a giant statue. The one on the left is of a young woman who's holding an outstretched hand full of beans. And the one on the right is a young man playing a lute and bearing a cocky smile. And he has this small, squirrel-like animal hanging out on his shoulder. It's like a squirrel-rat. Think of a combination between those two is kinda what it looks like, a scrat.

Hallie

Scrat.

Ari and Tom

Scrat!

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Ari

Oh!

Kyle

Oh no!

Ari

Oh no!

Kyle

Oh no!

Ari

Oh no, is that how they made the name up all along?

Kyle

Is that?

Tom

What?

Ari

What? Did I say squirrel-rat thing?

Kyle

Oh my God!

Hallie

Did I say something? I didn't think of it when I- I was just combining the words squirrel and rat.

Kyle

Oh my God.

Hallie

And not realizing this is probably how they named it.

All

[Laughter.]

Tom

Named who? What?

Ari

Scrat.

Hallie

Scrat. From Ice Age.

Ari

The--the--the thing. The like--

Tom

Oh! I totally forgot about this thing.

Ari

The squirrel-rat.

Kyle

Oh my fucking God!

Ari

From Ice Age! It's a pun all along!

Tom

Ohh!

Kyle

Alright.

Emily

What have we done?

Kyle [laughing]

So he has Scrat from Ice Age on his shoulder, yes? [Laughter.]

Ari

God!

All

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Yes. [Laughter.]

Kyle

It's holding an acorn. It's happy. And he's playing a lute.

Hallie

Okay.

Kyle

Alright. So, uh we're gonna fucking die.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Alright. So--so--

Kyle and Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle

So you climb the ladder. Alright. So you climb to the top of this plateau and when you get to the top, you notice that the plateau, despite being three hundred feet high, kind of has this basin inside of it that goes down two hundred feet. So the majority of the town is only, like, one hundred feet above sea level and in front of you a large ornate bridge extends down into the town, which is comprised primarily of multiple adorable buildings made of white washed stone and separated by streets of clear water. So kind of like-

Hallie

Like--like Venice.

Kyle

Yeah. Yeah, like Venice. It's Venice in a giant bowl. There's artistry everywhere. Statues in colored domes glitter your view and in the distance you see a giant hill with a beautiful white washed dome palace on top of it and to the left and to your right are two giant statues that are wearing ornate regal dress. So you walk forward towards this bridge and you see this man who's sporting a large harness and a badge and he has two small capsules on his shoulder, but, more than any clothes, he is sporting a moustache just large and thick enough to hide his grimacing face. And he turns over to you and says,

Kyle (as Guard)

Alright, come on over!

Tom

Xoc is just looking around, like, "What? What's happening here?"

Hallie

Hop shoots a questioning glance at who I assume is like a border security type.

Kyle (as Guard)

Come on! Come on! Show me your bags! Show me--show me your--show me your stuff.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Oh. Yeah, o-okay.

Hallie

And then he takes off his backpack compliantly.

Kyle

He pulls through and he starts looking through Hop's bag and he says,

Kyle (as Guard)

And what brings you to Charmonde?

Hallie

Alright. Hop takes a second to consider whether he says, "We're looking for a doctor for my friend", and they're gonna be like, "We don't your infectious diseases in this town". So he's just gonna say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

We're looking for Doctor <name>.

Kyle

Dr. Mako?

Hallie

Dr. Mako!

Tom (as Xoc)

Mr. Mako.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Thank you. Dr. Mako. Mr. Mako. We're looking for Mr. Mako.

Kyle (as Guard)

So, you're looking for trouble?

Hallie (as Hopper)

No. I'm looking for Mr Mako.

Kyle (as Guard)

[Long-suffering sigh.]

Ari (as Misha)

Is--is the name of Mr Mako also trouble?

Tom (as Xoc)

I don't think that was his name. I don't know why this guard is so confused. Hopper clearly explained who we're looking for.

Kyle (as Guard)

Tourists I'm assuming?

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, no.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, I guess.

Tom

[Laughter.] “Yeah, I guess.”

Kyle (as Guard)

If you're coming to look for Mr. Mako, I promise you you'll only get trouble.

Kyle

He motions over to Misha to request their stuff to look through.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, please do be careful. I have certain items here of high value.

Kyle (as Guard)

Like a knife?

Ari (as Misha)

Oh! That too!

Hallie

[Laughing raspberry noise] That too.

Kyle (as Guard)

I think I'm gonna hold onto this.

Kyle

And he takes the knife and he pockets it into his back pocket.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh... Uh... Certainly... if that is the safest situation. As soon as I have it back when we get out.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Yeah, do we get that back?

Kyle (as Guard)

Why would you care so much about a knife?

Ari (as Misha)

Well, you see there's a certain valuable piece that I have been carrying for a long time. I-I-I suppose you humans call it value with sentiment.

Kyle (as Guard)

Sentimental with a knife?

Ari (as Misha)

Uh...

Kyle (as Guard)

I think I'm hearing enough.

Tom (as Xoc)

Are we breaking any laws, Sir?

Kyle (as Guard)

Well, technically not, I suppose. Fine, take your damn knife!

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, kind regards!

Kyle (as Guard)

But I am going to have to take a look at that hazard, Ma’am.

Kyle

And he points towards Elee's hat.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

[Clears throat] S-so, sentimental value...

Kyle (as Guard)

[Skeptically.] Riiight. No, I'm gonna need to take a look at that hat.

Ari

[Laughter.]

Emily (as Elee)

I'll help you.

Emily

I'd like to start pulling things off of my hat. I'll start with the rat and plop it into his hand.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Give me... I'm assuming you're trying to get him not to want to look at the rest of it?

Emily

I mean, if he looks, he looks, but I want to gross him out.

Kyle

[Resignedly] Alright, give me a gross out roll.

Emily

[Laughter.] It's a dead rat. I don't know how high I'm gonna have to roll for this.

[Dice rolls.]

Aww! Darn it!

Kyle

Yeah, he looks at it. Shrugs.

Kyle (as Guard)

Circle of life I guess.

Tom

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Guard)

Keep going.

Emily

Do you want me just to go through pulling out all of these things?

Kyle

Yes. Elee keeps pulling things out of her hat.

Emily

Yeah. I'll start with the bird wing.

Tom

Heh.

Emily

It's got a couple of like little dried up sinews on part of it.

Kyle

Okay. We're gonna just flash forward until you get the contents of the hat out. Are you gonna put everything in the hat in his arms?

Emily

Not the things that he can't see...?

Kyle

Umm... [sighs exasperatedly] okay. Make a slight of hand, or slight--uh, sorry--give me a slight of hat roll.

Emily

Eyyyyo!

Tom

Ehhhh!

[Dice rolls.]

Hallie

Eeeeey.

Kyle

Yeah, no you have to give him everything. That was a one.

Hallie

Co-ho-ho!

Emily

But I have pockets!

Kyle

In fact after a while he gets sick of it and says,

Kyle (as Guard)

Ma’am just give me the damn hat!

Emily (as Elee)

I have hat hair.

Kyle (as Guard)

Give me--the damn--hat--or you're not getting into town!

Emily (as Elee)

Then everyone else goes. I'm not taking off my hat.

Kyle (as Guard)

Nobody enters! Ma’am I don't know why you're making such a big deal out of this hat. Either you give me the hat or nobody comes in the town.

Emily (as Elee)

Okay. What if I sit down and let you look at the hat?

Kyle (as Guard)

Ma’am, give me--the damn--hat.

Hallie

Uh, can Hopper intervene?

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

Okay. Uh... Hopper wants to ask,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Why are there such stringent border security checks for...Chardonnay...?

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

...Shanduhnay. What?

Emily

[Laughs harder.]

Kyle (as Guard)

We're not a wine, Sir. We're a city.

Ari

[Laughter.] Chardonnay?!

Kyle (as Guard)

We do because-

Hallie (as Hopper)

Right.

Kyle (as Guard)

Because stupid ass tourists like you and your good friend Doctor Mako always to be a causing a trouble of things. Now you're gonna make my day harder and your day harder or are you gonna let me look at the damn hat?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, it's just that it's a hat, so it feels a little unnecessary to be looking at it.

Tom (as Xoc)

I wonder if it might be more helpful to inform us what objects are not allowed within the city limits, since we are only travelers, who are coming to the city for the first time.

Kyle

Hop and Xoc give me persuasion rolls.

Tom

Mine will be one step harder.

Hallie

Alright.

Tom

Uh, because I have an inability with interacting with any humanoids.

Hallie

Um, I have trained in pleasant social interactions. Does that help me at all?

Kyle

This is not pleasant. [Laughter.]

Hallie

Does that not count as this persuasion? That’s fine.

Tom

I mean, hold on a second.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom

Hold on a second.

Hallie

Okay.

Tom

That's a wording thing, because that's how they phrase persuasion in the Numenera core rulebook, as pleasant social interaction.

Hallie

I'm trying to be polite. I'm just saying,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Sir, is this really necessary?

Emily

If you fail I'm gonna use intimidate.

Kyle

And then just change that into your rulebook as persuasion.

Hallie

Okay.

[Dice rolls.]

Hallie

Uh, I rolled a six.

Tom

I rolled a four. Incidentally, does the--does the penalty to intellect rolls count to this persuasion check as well?

Kyle

I'm gonna say yes.

Tom

Alright. So it's two steps harder and I rolled a four.

Emily

Really?

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Alright. S-so, so we--we failed.

Kyle

He turns over to Xoc and says,

Kyle (as Guard)

I don't gotta explain a god damn thing! But, I suppose, if you give me some sort of reason to make me believe that I can trust you folks, I don't want to look at this hat. I'll be honest, I just wanna go fucking home. It's the end of my hour. Please, Sir, give me a reason to let you pass.

Tom (as Xoc)

[Whispering.] What is he's asking for?

Hallie

Can we show him the pin? Would that work? No, he doesn't like Mr. Mako.

Tom

Out of character, he's almost certainly asking us for a bribe.

Hallie

Oh.

Tom

In character, Xoc doesn't know about bribes.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Alright. Hopper opposes bribes by their very nature of them being bribes.

Tom

Oh no! The one person who could have given him the bribe! Oh!

Hallie

What? [Laughter.] What?

Tom

I mean, Elee could give the bribe too I suppose.

Emily

Elee’ll bribe him.

Hallie

Yeah, I mean Hopper's not gonna fight against it, it's just that he has got to think about whether this is worth it. Can Hopper ask what kind of trouble has been happening in town? Can I backtrack a little bit.

Kyle

Yeah.

Hallie

So, Hopper's gonna say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

Well, that depends. I mean, what kind of trouble are you trying to avoid?

Kyle (as Guard)

Same trouble we always try to avoid, Sir. Traitors and thieves. And murderers too I suppose, and--and shady businessme--just any kind of crime really.

Ari (as Misha)

Well then you're in luck, Sir, because luckily, none of us are either of those things so you don't have to worry about us committing any of those felonies.

Kyle (as Guard)

Right.

Emily

Elee's really quiet all of a sudden.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Emily

She has committed all of those crimes.

Hallie

Hopper's gonna note. He feels like Elee would have done that. I think Hopper is aware enough to be like, "Elee might be in trouble here." So he's just gonna say,

Hallie (as Hopper)

What do people normally do to get into Char--chardonnay? Chamberlay.

Ari

Ch--chamomile.

[laughter]

Kyle

He takes a look at you for a long time and says,

Kyle (as Guard)

Fuck it!

Hallie and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And he just waves his arm to the side and drops all of Elee's things that he's had in his hands.

Kyle

And he points to his left and says,

Kyle (as Guard)

Just take the damn tour.

Hallie

Yes!

Kyle (as Guard)

Fucking tourist. Wasting my goddamn time.

Hallie

We got there through sheer irritation. [Laughter.]

Emily

Elee's gonna give him a vicious--

Hallie

Hah!

Emily

...victorious look and slowly start placing everything very carefully back in her hat.

Kyle

Alright! So, you have-- [Laughter.] You have, I guess, beaten security, I suppose?

Emily and Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Anyways, as he walks away in a huff, and trust me, he will remember this--

Tom

Uh.

Hallie

Mm.

Tom

No.

Kyle

--and you look and you see this group of people clustered around where the river--the right, by what looks like a tour boat that's tethered right where the river meets the plateau.

Hallie

Okay. Um, would he notice if we just like did not go there, if we just went into the town?

Kyle

Yeah. He would notice.

Hallie

He would notice? Um--

Kyle

No. Sorry. He wouldn't notice.

Hallie

Oh. Okay. Because like I--we gotta get Xoc to Doctor Mako.

Tom

I mean the tour might know where we're going but, ehh, we'll figure it out.

Hallie

Well Hopper is gonna say, like,

Hallie (as Hopper)

We--we gotta find Doctor Mako.

Hallie

And if anyone was like, "No, I want to take to take the tour", he'd be like, "Kay", but he's gonna suggest just going straight to Doctor Mako.

Tom (as Xoc)

Where are we going to find Doctor Mako?

Hallie (as Hopper)

Uhh...

Kyle

All you know is that he works for the queen. [Laughter.]

Hallie

Alright. Hopper sighs and then heads towards the tour.

All

[Laughter.]

Hallie

So that he can learn where things are.

Tom

We've railroaded ourselves.

Kyle

[Laughter.]

Hallie

We really have. Can I just ask the tour guide for directions?

Kyle

Okay. So as you turn over you see this tall woman, probably in her like forties or something. So you see this woman, she's wearing the official Charmonde, like kind of like uniform. It looks like she's an official employee. And as you walk over she's like,

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Oh, and they're the people that filled the last four slots of our tour. We can finally go on it!

Hallie

Oh no.

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Hello! Thank you so much for coming to the official Charmonde tour. Please join us as we show you all around the town.

Hallie (as Hopper)

Actually, we were just wondering if we could get directions to a specific place.

Kyle

As you say that you hear all the people around you groan--

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

--In, like, anguish. And you hear some guy say,

Kyle (as Tourist)

I've been waiting here a month!

Hallie (as Hopper)

A month?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Are you sure you don't wanna go on the tour? We wait until every person is available to go! And I can give you all the information you need.

Ari (as Misha)

Uh, would we be able, if we desired, to leave the tour at a specific location, say if it stops by a hospital, well if it stops by a certain location that we want to visit, can we abandon the tour afterwards?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Well, I don't see why you would abandon the tour. After all, if you leave, we can't have the tour unless all seats are filled. So if anyone leaves we'll have to wait for them to come back.

Ari

Hmm...

Tom

Nuh-uh...

Ari

That seems...

Hallie

That seems circumspect.

Tom

Aargh.

Kyle

Actually one guy turns over to you and he's like wearing these giant glasses, and he's like,

Kyle (as Tourist 2)

Please, for the love of God, go on the damn boat! They won't let people take the tours until every spot is filled. I've been here for a week! I need to see my mother! Please help me!

Tom and Hallie

Uhhhh...

Ari and Tom

[Uneasy noises.]

Hallie

There are a lot of logistics question that Hopper has. He's gonna refrain.

Ari (as Misha)

Unidentified humans. I have a proposition to make you. If anybody could tell you-

Kyle (as Tourists)

[Angrily.] Ughhhhh!

Ari (as Misha)

That--eh--jus--just hear it, please. Please do listen to me to me out. If anybody could tell us the directions we're looking for we can promise you that we will join this tour after we go to our desired location.

Tom and Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

[Quietly.] Noo...

Kyle

[Exasperatedly.] Alright. Give me a persuasion roll.

Ari

I am no good at persuading people.

[Dice rolls.]

Ari

I got a six. I got a six.

Kyle

So you got a six. They turn over to you and you can feel the imaginary torches and pitchforks, just like illuminate in their minds.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Tom (as Xoc)

Wouldn't it make more sense,

Tom

Xoc says,

Tom (as Xoc)

For everyone to leave the tour and just go--go home instead of taking the tour.

Ari

Oh God. I feel like this is going to go worse.

Kyle (as Tourist 2)

What!

Kyle

You just hear this rabble as these people are ready to just kind of like--you think they might jump you out of fury. And this woman says,

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Now, now everyone, calm down. Please! These people have been come--some have come from across the entirety of the Ninth World to see our beautiful city of Charmonde. The tour's only twenty minutes and you'll be able to see everything you need.

Tom

Hmm.

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

After all, these seats are just for you.

Ari

Just for us?

Hallie

[Uneasily.] Mmm! That's the part-

Tom

Hmm.

Hallie

That's getting Hop like, "No."

Tom (as Xoc)

Based on the global projections I've seen, that seems highly unlikely.

Ari (as Misha)

In any case, why are people so interested in this particular city and this particular tour? For you to wait that long amount of time, my data suggests that humans are not patient enough to do this.

Kyle

The woman goes to speak and she's about to say something, and you hear a guy go,

Kyle (as Tourist 3)

Because it's a freaking maze!

Ari (as Misha)

A maze?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Our city is ornately crafted. While other cities go with normal streets and alleyways we like to treat Charmonde as if it's a work of art. We don't worry about street signs and directional methods because we want your Charmonde experience to be your own experience.

Ari (as Misha)

If that is the case can our own experience begin reaching the direction that we're looking for?

Tom

Xoc will go and sit down in one of the seats on the boat.

Hallie

Alright. Hopper, upon hearing that bullshit city experience stuff--

Tom

[Laughter.]

Hallie

He's very upset by the lack of like street names and directions.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Tom

If only Hopper Scotch had been the city planner for Charmonde.

Hallie

[Pause, then loudly,] Yes! That's what he's thinking though! So he's gonna mutter to himself and get out like a pen and paper and then sit on the boat next to Xoc and during this tour--I don't know if it's possible, if we up going on the tour--if I could roll, like, an effort to pay attention or something-

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

So that I can draw a map myself.

Kyle

Okay. She would say,

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Please, just twenty minutes and you will be able to get wherever you need.

Ari (as Misha)

Is this a promise?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

This tour was handcrafted by--well I don't mean to brag but-the queen herself has given it the highest approval.

Kyle

And you can see like her eyes glimmer with like approval and gladness, and she's like,

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

So I would say that it's a pretty good tour.

Ari (as Misha)

Is it a promise that you will take us wherever we want if we take this tour?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

I promise that you will be able to get wherever you want.

Emily (as Elee)

Just--show us Chardonnay! Get it over with!

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari

Misha will then walk and sit next to Xoc, and say like,

Ari (as Misha)

Well, it has been promised, so I believe we will get to find your doctor soon.

Hallie

Uh, at the top of Hop's list, by the way, he's gonna write, "The Town of Charmander"

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

Because he can't remember this town name.

Emily and Hallie

[Laughing harder.]

Kyle

So essentially you're on the river, and you're gonna take it a slow decline down into the town and you're gonna go on this boat and essentially you're gonna be weaving between these buildings. The town is a mixture between these walkways, which are primarily bridges--so these land bridge walkways--and small little plazas that are also connected by this very clear water.

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Welcome to Charmonde, the capital city of the great country of Navarene, home to a proud 94,999 citizens and one perfect human! We have harnessed the power of the Jeribost river to create a centre of culture in a bastion of progress led by the visionary Queen Armalu.

Kyle

She points to one of those statues, one of the two big statues you saw when you came in--not the one with Scrat from Ice Age--the two that were in these regal robes at the top of the plateau, and she says,

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Our city is protected by these four towers of our great former leaders. Each of them, when activated together, create a protective barrier that prevents any threat from getting in or any thief from getting out.

Emily

[Uneasily] Mmm.

Ari

Is--Question: can the tour be interrupted, like can Misha interrupt?

Kyle

You can interrupt as much as--You can be as much of asshole as you want.

Tom

Xoc has also had like his hand raised for a while now until he's called upon.

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

She doesn't notice but if you interrupt her she will.

Ari

So Misha actually interrupts and is like,

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, uh, excuse me. I do not mean to be rude to your wonderful tour but I was wondering, what is it that you meant by a perfect human and why would you have one?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Well, of course! Our Queen Armalu, who has lived so much longer than most other humans would, leads the city of Charmonde with wondrous grace and great power, and she has made the country of Navarene the richest country in all of the Ninth World through her great grand wisdom.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, I see. Interesting.

Kyle

As you're going through, uh, you start to see some men and women and non binary folks swinging around in that, uh, you know that vest that you saw that the man was wearing with the two capsules when you came in? You see individuals wearing those harnesses shooting grappling hooks out of their arms and kind of swinging through the arches above you like Spiderman.

Hallie

Amazing.

Ari

Ah.

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

As you can see, our city is protected by the elite police force known as the Gendarme, which use their special grappling systems which allow swift transportation anywhere horizontally or vertically in Charmonde. We thank them and our great Queen Armalu for the protection that we have in our city and the freedom to express ourselves. Speaking of the queen, the most wondrous sight in all of Charmonde can be found to our left.

Kyle

And she points and you see this giant hill that--it's essentially this giant hill that's a couple of hundred feet tall and it looms over the rest of the city. But unlike most hills it looks like a hill that's been cleaved perfectly in half. So it's just like you took a hill and then you just cut it in half, so you're like looking on the inside of it. Inside of it are these open air passageways that cross the length of the hill as citizens scurry back and forth through these open air passageways like ants on an ant hill.

Could everyone roll a perception check?

Tom

Sure.

[Dice rolls.]

Fourteen

Ari

Fourteen as well!

[Dice rolls.]

Emily

Twelve.

Hallie

Nine.

Kyle

Alright. So everyone except for Hop-

Emily

[Laughter.]

Hallie

[Indignantly.] Who is taking notes, by the way!

Kyle and Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle

Yeah. Actually Hallie, can you give a, a... something for mapping the city?

Hallie

Oh, yeah.

[Dice rolls.]

Uh, thirteen.

Kyle

Yeah, you're doing a great job mapping the city and you're so focused on that, that you don't really pay much attention to this hill besides, "Oh, right. Giant hill on north. Got it."

Hallie

Got it.

Kyle

Um, so as everyone looks at it, you can kinda see that these tunnels, actually they form what look like a bunch of images or patterns, kind of like crop circles or constellations. And that, combined with the fact that it's perfectly cleaved in half, make it seem almost like kinda other-worldly in its creation. The tour guide points and says,

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

That is the pathway to Queen Armalu's palace. It is a city in and of itself where Queen Armalu's loyal citizens create their own culture to create anything that she might need. And the queen, in her great generosity, graciously accepts gifts from citizens of all walks of life. If you ever need something that you feel needs to be given up for the greater good, she will hear you.

Kyle

As that happens you're gonna turn over and the boat is gonna stop at this, like, circular plaza, which is full of these giant gaudy buildings, super elegant, showcasing like gaudy dresses and just like unnecessary accessories made out of like platinum and one of them is, in fact, a wine store called Chardonnay.

Hallie

[Snorts.]

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Alright. Well that is the tour of our great city. Please stop at our shopping district if there is anything that you need. Thank you so much.

Emily

Elee's been muttering to herself about the fact that apparently old people get gifts here.

Kyle, Tom, and Hallie

[Laughter.]

Ari

And Misha's going to approach the tour person and be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, do excuse me but now that we have performed the tour can you give us the information that we requested, as you promised?

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Are you suggesting I did not give you everything you need? Again, this tour was approved by Queen Armalu herself.

Ari (as Misha)

Oh, no! I suppose we needed the other things as well, but we had a very specific question, for a very specific individual.

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

[Loud sigh.]

Ari

Um--

Kyle

She shuts the gates so nobody can leave.

Hallie

[Laughter.]

Kyle

And you hear them groan again. And she goes,

Emily

[Laughter.]

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

I suppose. What is it that you need?

Ari

Okay. Question because I kind of missed it: do we like a specific address or are we just asking for Doctor Mako to like everybody.

Kyle

You were looking for Doctor Mako. The only thing you know about him is that A, he is a doctor, and B, that he has been working directly for Queen Armalu.

Ari

Okay. Then I want to be like,

Ari (as Misha)

Yeah, well we want to know the whereabouts of the human identified as Doctor Mako, who appears to be in close proximity to the identified regent of this town, Queen Armalu.

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

Oh. Oh, I'm...

[Outro music begins]

Kyle (as Tour Guide)

[Sighs.] I didn't want to mention this in our tour but I guess you've all heard of the fate of Mr Mako, haven't you? The traitor known as Mr Mako has been taken away from the rest of the society, and don't worry, you will never, ever have to worry about seeing him again.

[Outro music swells.]

Kyle

Hoooo! Well, we finally got this episode in and out and done. Sorry for this one being a week late. There's a lot of really big plot stuff going on and I wanted to make sure we got it just right.

I realized I haven't introduced myself. Hi, I'm Kyle. I'm the GM and host of that podcast that you just listened to. As usual, the intro and outro songs were Friends and Hitoshio by Miracle of Sound and all other songs and sound effects that I used can be found in the description below.

So, I got another call to action to you this week. And it's the same one as a couple of weeks ago. Tell your friends about Quest Friends.

This episode is the beginning our second chapter, which is called The Clockwork City, which means we have a full and complete chapter you can share with friends to kinda show them what the show is like. And if you think they aren't gonna like those older episodes because my audio is weird because I couldn't figure out the correct direction to face my microphone, well then get them started on this one. Just tell them that, "Hey, it's a group of friends and there's a giant evil oil guy". And that's basically all they need to know to kinda be caught up by this point. If you want to give us a follow you follow us at Quest_Friends on twitter.com. Be sure to subscribe for more updates and since we were a week behind I'm hoping on getting the episode out in a week on December fourth. That one should be a shorter one. We're kinda having, you know, our shopping episode which we should have about one of each arc. But there's still a lot of, a lot of things happen in that episode. None of them are good.

Thanks so much for listening to all this and I will see you in a week on Monday, December fourth.

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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)