06 October 2016 @ 06:29 pm

The game is repeatedly misnamed, because no one loves the DM. But he tells it like it is.

DM: It’s Rise of Tiamat. And unfortunately Krixxix is present.
Eben: And the transcription will start off exactly that way.
DM: As you recall, last time you fought the bullywug horde in the depths of Castle Naerytar.
Eben: Hee hee, bullywugs.
DM: You had panicked at the sight of bullywug after bullywug, but a few AOEs handled them, and you were like, “what were we worried about?”
Thalynmar: Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Eben: Bullywugs! They once took down a Dungeon Master.
DM: You had defeated the vast majority of them, then accepted the cowardly surrender of their leader, and left them to argue with the lizard people over who owned the castle and its inhabitants.
Thalynmar: And we got teleported out or something.
DM: You all went down to the teleportation circle and spoke the command word you had discovered as you sought out the continuing path of the treasure as it wound its way through the Sword Coast. The portal behind you snaps shut. You find yourself in dark pine woods all around a mountain valley.

The group has been teleported hundreds of miles away, to a hunting lodge in the mountains. The group immediately crashes into the flavor text and veers far, far off course.

Krixxix: Whatcha gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk?
DM: Krixxix poses a question to you all.

The group gets a cheap laugh out of this. And don’t answer.

Eben: Let’s go to the haunted lodge.
Thalynmar: I mean the perfectly fine lodge.
Eben: The lodge that cannot in any way provide a deadly encounter. That’s where the three assassins are!
DM: Are you heading straight up the path to it?
Thalynmar: I don’t see any reason not to. I mean we did just go through a portal that the bad guys have taken, so they probably are lodging in that lodge. So maybe we should go, “Krixxix!” This is the best plan ever. “Go check it out!”
Krixxix: “ON MY WAY!”
Eben: There’s probably lots of stuff to steal in there.
Krixxix: “I don’t know WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!”
Eben: And innocent sleeping people with throats that need to be slit badly.
Krixxix: “I wouldn’t steal or kill anybody!”
Raven: You’re in the wrong party, then…
Krixxix: “…That I didn’t want to.”
Thalynmar: Roll your Deception, sir.
Eben: There’s probably a shortbow in there.
Krixxix: “Oooh, my shortbow!”
Eben: Not your shortbow, someone else’s. The only thing you like more than your own property.

Krixxix, now that his character has been completely summed up by Eben, elects to head towards the certain deathtrap alone! He spots smoke coming from a chimney amongst the other text.

Eben: So we’re thinking there’s dragon cultists here.
Krixxix: Is it daytime or nighttime?
Thalynmar: (to Eben, but with perfect timing) Probably!
DM: “Is it daytime or nighttime? Probably!”

It is still night out, so Krixxix returns to the party with the intent to hunker down and wait till night to slip in. The group absolutely destroys the transcriber by opening cake and dropping plates on the microphone.

Krixxix: “I saw a house.”
Eben: You mean that house we all saw before you crept off? That one?
Thalynmar: “…and?”
Krixxix: “There’s someone home.”
Thalynmar: “I can see the chimney smoke from here…”

The DM calls for minis and a Survival roll to find a campsite. Raven rolls well! Thalynmar rolls… poorly.

DM: “Let’s camp here,” says Thalynmar, pointing to the river.
Eben: ‘We won’t have to douse the fire come morning.’
Maldrake: “Yes, getting water is very important, but uh, we probably want to pick somewhere other than the middle of the river.”
DM: “Let’s camp here,” Thalynmar says, pointing to the front step of the hunting lodge.
Thalynmar: Who the hell’s talking in me name?
DM: “It’s me, yer bad dice roll.”
Thalynmar: “Oh.”

A long pause for minis and cake ensues. The group debates whether or not they have a fire, because Krixxix had put down a game token and declared it to be one.

Thalynmar: We’re worshipping the almighty dollar! …or the euro. Or the Electrobuck.
DM: I’m fine with that…

Redaction occurs. The group is surprised by trolls and ambush drakes! Then Maldrake reminds the DM he possesses a sword of Warning, and no one is surprised by trolls and ambush drakes. Nevertheless, the group is worried – trolls regenerate, after all! Initiative is rolled!

DM: Thalynmar! You and the troll are both first to act.
Eben: Become the troll!
Thalynmar: Yay!
DM: Huh.

Maldrake takes the first wound of combat from a troll claw, and Thalynmar hits with one attack. The next troll goes after the dwarf!

DM: “You gonna be dinner,” it snarls… failing to put actions to words in fact.
Eben: “We sit on you one at a time and squash you into jelly.

Thalynmar eats 11 damage from a claw, but his new feat wards three points away! The group discovers they hadn’t put Vivianne’s mini on the field, because no one was sure if she was playing or not. Maldrake uses his paladin ability to incite fear to basically paralyze a troll.

DM: His massive troll Wisdom of 9 means he fails!
Maldrake: Awesome.
Krixxix: Are you telling me I’m as smart as a troll?!
Maldrake: “FEAR ME!” I stare into his eyes, my eyes blazing. I stomp with a roar!
DM: Vivianne, you’re up!
Eben: Jeez, DM!
Maldrake: Stop my awesome RPing. I was trying. I was trying, I’ve given up.
DM: I just wanted her to think about her action…

Maldrake drinks in his foe’s fear, while Krixxix looks for someone to assassinate and Vivianne questions what the heck is going on.

Vivianne: Can I actually see them?
DM: (sarcastically) No.
Maldrake: There’s a person in your way. Don’t worry, nothing’s happening…

Vivianne labors under her confusion for a long time before the DM points out she can, indeed, see the enemy. She casts Spiritual Weapon, takes a few minutes to miss, and then fires her crossbow as her standard action – after complaining about having nothing to do for a while.

DM: Krixxix darts to the side, potentially opening himself up to HUGE attacks from the pack sneaking up on you, and prepares to fire.
Krixxix: Wait.
Thalynmar: Now you know Ralth’s pain.

Krixxix uses his assassin powers to drop an ambush drake in one shot, while Eben fires a Firebolt wide. The last troll is panicked! Ambush drakes charge in, attacking the group and dealing some damage – including to Aurianna, which prompts Raven to step up to the defense.

Raven: Ummmmmm… yeah, that’s probably a miss. 11 miss?
DM: Yes.
Maldrake: I see what’s happening, guys. We did too well at Star Wars the last couple games. The bad luck’s moved.
Raven: 23!

Raven uses Goading Strike, which kills the ambush drake straight out. The DM gets confused as to which troll goes next.

Thalynmar: What, is he White Raven Tacticsing them?
Maldrake: That’s what this guy did. “White Raven Tactics!”
DM: “Never ate a lizard person before!” the troll snarls as it again tries to rend you.

Maldrake eats damage while Thalynmar pours it on; Maldrake eats a crit AOO as he maneuvers around to line up his foes for acid breath, which he then rolls terribly on.

DM: The one facing Thalynmar reaches out and tries to shove him to the ground! I need you to give me an Athletics check.
Thalynmar: 19.
DM: Oh, he just beats you with his superior strength, shoving you to the ground. He crouches down, slams his claw into you for 11 damage, and then attempts to bite you. 9 piercing damage.

Vivianne, Krixxix, and Eben all launch ranged attacks into the fray, and Eben discovers his damage has increased at 5th level with Fire Bolt. Raven is swarmed by drakes, taking four damage from them. All this time, someone’s phone musically demands they take it to the limit. Lualyrr ponders casting Bestow Curse on an ambush drake, but is reminded they are super-weak and goes for the rapier stab instead.

Lualyrr: It’s a 19.
DM: You hit.
Lualyrr: With my proficiency bonus it’s a twenty—
DM: You hit.
Thalynmar: ‘Oh wait, it’s 23? YOU STILL HIT! 2 damage! Zug um Zug!’

Lualyrr wounds it and Raven rolls absolute minimum damage, thus failing to kill it. His second attack burns a superiority die for Sweeping Strike, taking out the drake and wounding its comrade. Maldrake tanks two claws on his shield, but gets bitten for 5.

Thalynmar: Oooh, I’m gonna need a critical card.
DM: Uh-oh. You slam your weapon into the troll and he reaches up and grabs it with a hand. His fist closes around the haft and your weapon bends. You now have a -4 penalty to hit with this weapon until it’s repaired.
Thalynmar: But it’s a magical weapon!
DM: I tell you what, roll me a d20, we’ll give it a saving throw.
Thalynmar: (rolling) Nope!
DM: You’ll be able to repair it with time, effort, and a good Intelligence check.
Maldrake: Not any time soon.

Thalynmar whips out his greataxe and goes to town on the troll anyway, while the players generally grumble about this random critical result drawn from a deck of cards. Maldrake is up!

DM: The troll slavers at you over its dripping fangs. “Maybe you not so good to eat. Gonna try anyway.”

Maldrake whips out his Mace of Terror, burning a charge off of it to terrify all their remaining foes. One troll is frightened, plus the one already standing still. The scared troll runs, and is stabbed and shot from behind.

Krixxix: I’m gonna shoot him in the back too!
DM: Go ahead!
Krixxix: And I’m gonna get my sneak attack because he’s not paying attention!
DM: You don’t get your sneak attack.
Krixxix: Why not? He’s not paying attention to me!
DM: It doesn’t matter.
Krixxix: Why not? Give me -- (diving for a book)
DM: It has nothing to do with whether or not he’s paying attention to you.
Krixxix: I’m pretty sure that’s how sneak attack was working! If I’m not actively in combat with them.
DM: You either need advantage, or you need to have an enemy within 5 feet of them, he isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage.
Krixxix: He’s fleeing! That’s not incapacitation?
DM: No.
Krixxix: Fine, then I’m gonna shoot him, and I’m gonna take back some of my steps.
DM: Yes, fuck you too, Tracer. Nobody likes you and you’re not balanced.
Krixxix: That’s a 19 to hit.
DM: You shoot Maldrake! No…

Vivianne, up next, chooses to cast Inflict Wounds! Vivianne is also refusing to pay attention to the battle map.

DM: …You whirl around and cast Inflict Wounds on Thalynmar for some reason.
Vivianne: No!
Thalynmar: Aaaaaaah!
Eben: You are knocked prone once more, and your axe bends beneath you!
Vivianne: Does 16 hit the same guy I hit?
DM: Not in melee from where you’re standing. Perhaps you’d like to move.

Eben launches a firebolt which the DM makes the mistake of describing, leading Eben to protest modifiers that were never applied in the first place. The conversation gets weird.

Krixxix: We’re playing Dungeons and Dragons. You go into a dungeon. You see a dragon!
Raven: Oh my gosh! 14 to hit?
DM: It hits! You kill it! Take it off! Your flaming sword lops its head off snicker-snack, and you move up to engage the troll, I presume.
Maldrake: Snicker-snack, patty-whack.
Thalynmar: Give a dog a—
Krixxix: Yoshi, from Super Mario Brothers.
Raven: I don’t think an 11 hits…

Raven gets claw-slashed! Thalynmar deals damage to it right in return!

DM: “No! No! Food not fight back!”
Lualyrr: “Dis food fight back!”

Maldrake, up next, takes two attacks as is his right, dealing 10 and 7 damage respectively.

DM: You power the mace into its stomach, slamming it deep! With a roar, it gasps and bends down as it clutches, at which point you bash it over the head and it drops bonelessly to the ground.
Krixxix: Bonelessly! So you sit it so hard all of his bones flew right out of his mouth.

All that is left is the frightened troll and that troll’s corpse. Vivianne misses the scared one with her hammer.

Vivianne: I could cast Inflict Wounds again, just walk over to him.
DM: Okay, burn those spell slots!
Vivianne: Okay, never mind, I won’t! Unnh! Eat my dick!
Aurianna: You don’t have one.
Vivianne: YOU DON’T KNOW.
Raven: I don’t think I’m hearing the conversation that I’m hearing.
Maldrake: That’s probably for the best.

Spewing profanities left and right for no reason, Vivianne deals 5 damage. The DM spends a couple of minutes trying to get Krixxix to stop talking about genitals and take his action; this eventually works, and Krixxix shoots the troll! It runs like hell. Raven finally realizes the troll on the ground is still alive, and Eben whacks it with a Fire Bolt to put it down for good.

DM: The trolls and ambush drakes are dead or driven off. Two of them have run off towards the hunting lodge. You’re surely expected by now.
Thalynmar: (completely unable to keep a straight face) All right, Krixxix, go check it out.
Eben: “We was only coming to invite you to dinner!”

Krixxix, not picking up on the suicidal implications of the request, rolls his Sneak and is promptly taken out by Overwatch character Widowmaker, for reasons unknown. Just as he steps out, a huge four-armed troll steps out and lumbers down the path towards the group.

Krixxix: I’m gonna quickly get back to them and tell them that there is a gigantic troll with four arms coming down the path and we should ambush him. Let’s use [the dead troll] as bait and lay him in the middle of the road.
Maldrake: I don’t think we have that kind of time.
Raven: Is there a cheap heal available to top me off?
Eben: We’ve got 20 seconds to concoct a perfect series of Rube Goldberg mechanisms…
DM: Raven asks for a heal.
Lualyrr: Again?
Thalynmar: These don’t grow on trees, man.

The group all dives into the woods around the clearing, for some reason listening to Krixxix. The troll steps into the clearing!

DM: He slows as he reaches the clearing, leans back, and says, “’Ey!”
Thalynmar: ‘Hunnerd gold!’
Krixxix: Wait! Roll Deception! (troll voice)“What?!” (rollng) No…
Maldrake: (bursting into laughter)
Krixxix: Wait, do I get my lucky on that one? Yes I can reroll my ones!

The group spends a few moments imagining the girly voice that Krixxix would have piped up with had the 1 stood – although the DM proposes Sulesdag as the voice. Krixxix rolls a 17.

Krixxix: “I could use a hand over here.”
Thalynmar: Did we just leave the corpse there?
Krixxix: Yes, I want him to come to the corpse and we’re all going to attack him. At least I’m going to shoot him and I hope the rest of you will join.
DM: “The master want speak with you. You expected. Stayin’ out in the… huntin’ party… idiots. We waitin’ for you, you not come. Get in house, master talk with you. No harm ‘less you start fight, then she finish.”
Krixxix: “I need hand. Hurt leg.”
Thalynmar: He’s not buying it.
Maldrake: He’s not buying it.
Krixxix: “Help me bring back dinner.”
Thalynmar and Maldrake: He’s not buying it!
Maldrake: Jesus. I’m saying that in-character. “Shut! Up! The ploy is over!”
DM: “That not work when only three trolls out, you kill one, and two come back.”
Eben: They didn’t see that one die, though!
DM: “He right there, two back, none others, me can count, have four arms, many fingers. More than you.”

This ridiculous squabble goes on (in good humor) for a while. Most of the group steps out of the clearing, while Krixxix plugs the troll with an arrow.

Thalynmar: Why?
Krixxix: Why not? Does a 20 hit?
DM: Yes.
Krixxix: And do I get my advantage on that one, so that’s an instant crit, so—
DM: No!
Krixxix: Why not?
DM: That was SO obvious!
Krixxix: He doesn’t know where I am.
DM: He knows you were gonna shoot him.
DM: He knows you were gonna shoot him.

Krixxix and the DM argue over this for a while, as Krixxix’s shot lands in the troll’s chest.

DM: He reaches up. Plucks it out. “Talis says not do that, Krixxix. Said you gonna do that. Said you only do it once.”
Krixxix: Wha – whawhat?
DM: And then the troll turns and begins loping back to the lodge.
Krixxix: “You know my name?!” Oh shit.
Thalynmar: Well this is weird. Who said it?
Maldrake: He said a name.
Krixxix: Talis?
DM: Yes.
Krixxix: WHOA! Hold on! Is that – yes it is! YAAAY!
DM: And that’s why they expected him.
Krixxix: “Wait! Did you say Talis?!”

Krixxix charges after the troll. Here we lost the audio for some reason for quite a bit of time – Krixxix reached the house and promptly climbed it, ran into some horrible monsters on the roof, and promptly rejoined the party as if nothing had ever happened. The troll led them into the lodge and up to a dining room packed with warriors, cultists – and Krixxix’s friend Talis, who he’d set off on this whole jaunt to find in the first place! We join our shocking conversation already in progress.

Maldrake: “But you invited us into your home!”
DM: “Yes. I think we can achieve a mutually beneficial proposition.”
Krixxix: “Question!”
DM: “Yes, hello, Krixxix.”
Krixxix: “How did you get away from the cult? Last time I saw you – kidnapped by the cult. I’ve been searching for you ever since. How did you get away?”
DM: “You would have liked it.”
Krixxix: “Please intrigue me.”
DM: “Let’s just say I got out from within.”
Krixxix: “So you joined them.”
DM: “And then broke free when I had the power.”
Krixxix: “Hmmm.”
Thalynmar: “That’d explain why yer house is on the other side of the portal.”
DM: “That’s because this is a place they use as a staging ground for transporting treasure. But the final destination is within your reach. You want to stop it, don’t you?”
Maldrake: “That’s what we’re following.”
Krixxix: “Why are you so quick to betray them?”
DM: “Why do you THINK?”
Thalynmar: But they have such good speeches…
Krixxix: They really do. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy to see you, and see you well, and I would LOVE to be able to talk to you and catch up, but for now I must ask – we’ve been dealing with the cult quite a bit recently, and they’re not some organization of chumps. Not to discredit your buddies, but I’m curious to know exactly how – we could talk about this later –“
DM: “I’m happy to give you all quarters here, we can catch up later, but to get down to business, before everything – I want to make certain you understand what’s on the table here, since if you do accept you only have a limited amount of time to get a night’s sleep, recover yourselves, and get there.”
Krixxix: “I’d like to know what’s on the table too. Is this beef or is this chicken?”
DM: “Yes! It’s owlbear.”
Eben: And it’s skeleton is quite lively.
Maldrake: “I appreciate the hospitality. You seem quite prepared for us here, do you have a plan?”
DM: “Yes. I have information and I have something you need. The information is this: the treasure transport is on a flying castle.”
Eben: Howl’s?
DM: “Skyreach?”
Maldrake: ‘Is there a circle and is it for our safety?’
DM: That was a walking castle, thank you.
Maldrake: I just remember it was a castle that fell at some point on our journey.
Eben: Mer’dovich.
DM: Stop saying things, Eben. “Skyreach Castle. If you can get to it before it departs, you can stop that transport.”
Thalynmar: Powered by Yakoff Smirnov.
Maldrake: “How much time do we have before it sets off?”
DM: “If you set off early tomorrow you should reach town just before it departs.”
Maldrake: “I’d like any information you have on the town and our method of entry. I’m assuming the town is controlled by the dragons, it’s not a free port.”
DM: “It’s the town of Parnast. Entirely upon the dragon people.”

The party raises concerns of being identified – they’re a fairly diverse group, after all. Talis assures them that if they walk straight up and present the password, they should be able to board easily. But what’s in it for her, they ask?

Eben: Mer’dovich.
DM: “What do YOU get out of it?”
Thalynmar: “The knowledge of doing the right thing.”
Maldrake: “I have my reasons for going against the dragon cult.”
DM: “We all do.”
Krixxix: “Chances to test my skills. And to kill people.”
DM: “And to get loot.”
Lualyrr: “You DO know him.”
DM: “We’re old friends.”
Krixxix: “By the way, you have some CRAZY-ass birds living on your roof…”

She tells them the passphrase: “Tiamat, our mother and strength.” Maldrake snarls about having to speak her name.

Thalynmar: I wish for no Tiamat.
DM: There is only Ultra-Tiamat now.
Eben: Ultra-Tiamat! The fourteen headed dragon!
DM: But no wings. How does she fly? (miming the heads spinning like helicopter blades)

The DM angrily yells at Vivianne to stop using her farting airhorn. Talis offers the PCs quarters, which they accept willingly. Maldrake proposes to summon a riding animal with his paladin steed spell – they ultimately celebrate on something statted like a crocodile, but with longer limbs. She also urges Krixxix to drop in for a later chat, which he does!

Eben: She’s going to put you in a metal Speedo, put a chain around your neck—
Thalynmar: Bark like a dog!
DM: You head up there to find her seated at the end of the table, but this time the room is empty. She bids you come and sit at the table, closest to the end.
Eben: Chestburster!?
Maldrake: That’s a thing?!
Eben: It’s a slaad!
Maldrake: It’s a slaad tadpole!
Krixxix: “It’s good to see you in good health. I feared for you.”
DM: “You know what your problem is? I can’t trust you as far as a troll can drive you into the ground. But I’m going to anyway.”
Maldrake: ‘Mistake! Probably don’t want to do that!’
DM: You’re downstairs on the first floor, fortunately.
Maldrake: Oh. I feel like I should say ‘mistake’.
DM: “Why are you with these people?”
Thalynmar: I got a bad feeling about this.
Krixxix: “In my search for you, they came in handy.”
Maldrake: (cracking up) I don’t know why that cracked me up…
Krixxix: “They’ve actually helped me out of a tight bind here and there.”
DM: “Is that what all this was about? Looking for me?”
Krixxix: “On my part. I’ve gotten tied up with them doing other things.”
DM: “Now that you found me, what are you going to do?”
Vivianne: Oh! They’re gonna fuuuuuck!
Maldrake: Sounds about right.
Krixxix: I would try, but Talis would cut my shit off in a heartbeat. “Honestly, I’m gonna stick with ‘em. I owe it to them.”
DM: “That doesn’t sound like you.”
Krixxix: “Well, it doesn’t sound like YOU to be somebody who would get kidnapped in the first place, but once you were I find you leading a group of trolls on behalf of the people who kidnapped you!”
DM: “I told you, I worked my way up through them.”
Krixxix: “I’m curious. Trust goes both ways, sweetheart.”
DM: “What are you curious about?”
Krixxix: “Tell me everything you know about them. I want to know them inside and out. I want to know details. I want to know where they took you, I want to know what they had you do, I want to know what happened after they kidnapped you… I mean, you aren’t gonna know if they brainwashed you or not.”
DM: “I’ll tell you this much to get started. If you’re sticking with them I don’t know how much I can trust you…”

Talis explains that the cult has five leaders, one for each color of chromatic dragonkind. And she herself has the position of the White speaker taken away! She wants the treasure stopped to embarrass the current regime, believing this will see her reinstated.

Krixxix: “So then you would be in my debt.”
DM: “Krixxix… I’m offering you a share of power. Whatever you’re getting out of this, you’re not getting the treasure. You’re not getting the chance to cut loose. They’re holding you back! They’re keeping you restrained. You’re playing by their rules, and I know you’re miserable doing it!”
Eben: He’s also alive!
DM: Well if he’d never joined up with you assholes in the first place…
Eben and Krixxix: He’d probably be dead.
Krixxix: Don’t get me wrong, Krixxix knows this.
DM: “I want you to help them. I want you to stop this shipment. Then, when you have a chance, come help me instead. They’re going to be flies in the ointment at some point. They’re going to need to be dealt with. You can gain a lot of favor, a lot of power, a lot of REWARD, if you pass information on. That’s all I’m asking. Of course, if you want to do more, I’m not going to stop you. How much reward you want and what you’re willing to do for it is entirely up to you. But information alone, that could give you all sorts of rewards. It could give me the power I need, and then you benefit from that as well.”
Krixxix: “So you want me to squeal on my companions.”
Maldrake: I’m down there going, “If Krixxix even THINKS about turning on me, I will eat him. I don’t eat people. I told myself when I was younger, I wouldn’t eat a person.”
Eben: Hail Sargassas.
Thalynmar: You’re NOT Sargassas.
DM: “It’s a friend asking you.”
Krixxix: “It is a friend asking me… The treasure itself, the power don’t excite me as much as the pursuit of. I’m going to stick with them for a while longer, because the pursuit is the fun.”
DM: “This is an open offer.”
Krixxix: “I’ll keep this in mind.”

Talis lays the warnings on heavily that doom is coming, sweetening the offer by proposing he consider it contract rather than joining the cult. The other players begin chanting. A quick flurry of dice rolls makes Krixxix believe she means the offer, and in fact all her statements, sincerely.

Krixxix: “What would happen to you if we destroyed the cult altogether? Would you come back with me? Would you leave?”
DM: “If you take away all my power? If you take away everything I’ve worked for thus far?”
Eben: ‘I’d be HAPPY to come back with you!’
DM: “If you say ‘I have supreme power and ruleship of the Sword Coast within my grip and you’ve taken it away from me,’ what would I do? Let me think about that, Krixxix!”
Krixxix: “You only did this because you were kidnapped and you had no choice.”
DM: “…do you believe that?”


Krixxix: “You telling me you went with them of your own free will?”
DM: “Of course! Don’t you see the deal I’m getting? Do you see the power I have? I command these minions! I am close to being one of the five most powerful people in the Realms themselves! What would you have done?! If someone just offered you all this power! It’s not like I didn’t have to work for it!”
Eben: This will be the ONE time in the whole campaign when he has a crisis of conscience and we have to slaughter our way out of this.

The floodwater breaks and the group lets their disbelief that Krixxix, after murdering and causing pandemonium their entire adventure, seems unswayed! Krixixx presents himself as interested primarily in the challenge the entire time, though the rest of the group calls him Leeroy.

Krixxix: Basically what I’m gonna do is sneak up on something, be like, “Yep! There’s nobody inside.”
DM: It’s more like, “There’s our goal. We have to sneak in there and steal the artifact—“ “I’m gonna go loot the treasury! Oh look, I pulled 50 guards, waah waah waaah.”
Maldrake: It’s gonna be so hard. Don’t worry about it. I don’t think our combined Insight comes anywhere close to thinking about what’s going on. “Our fifth ambush in a week!”
DM: My favorite interpretation of this is that Krixxix absolutely refuses and is like, “I am not going to do this at all.” But his normal behavior just makes it seem like he’s totally on-board and is sabotaging you at every turn.

Krixxix insists to Talis that he will withhold judgment in the name of friendship, which she accepts – still adamant, it seems, that he will change his tune when he sees what is coming.

Krixxix: “If the money is there, the risk so worth it! I’m a born gambler!”
Eben: But money is worthless in 5E, that’s the weird thing!
DM: Are you kidding? If you’re not buying magical items, how many whores can you buy with a thousand gold pieces? He’ll be wading in them!
Eben: 999 more than I can entertain at once.
DM: “All right, Krixxix. You think on it. I’ll be in touch. I can do that much with my magic.”
Eben: Just do as she says.
Maldrake: You can always turn on her later.
Krixxix: Which I most likely will. Out of character.
Eben: You turn on us first, then have your redemption arc…

They chat a bit more, then Krixxix heads back down to the guest room with his brow furrowed. Krixxix promptly goes for a drink.

Thalynmar: ‘Ugh, gin.’
DM: That conversation went better than expected, you didn’t try to stab her or steal her wallet.
Krixxix: Oh, Sleight of Hand, I shoulda done it…

The DM explicitly warns Krixxix that the entire place is warned to his shenanigans – which causesd Maldrake to realize no one else is getting a good night’s sleep.

Maldrake: I don’t care – there could be other thieves here. If I lose something, I’m just gonna attack him. ‘What did you steal from me? What did you do?’ ‘There were other thieves!’ ‘I don’t give two fucks. What did you do?’
Thalynmar: ‘If it wasn’t you, you better find the bastard who did it and get it back for me.’
DM: It turns out that a long time ago, YOU were the one who stole his shortbow.
Maldrake: I just use it as a toothpick.
DM: At level 17, Krixxix notices out of the corner of his eye…

The DM bemoans how much of the adventure he has to wing for the players, the way they act, and wishes dearly to see how different it would be under a different DM. Krixxix fishes up some more information: the flying castle is owned by a cloud giant and has a white dragon on board. A long tangent occurs on the nature of creature types.

DM: Krixxix comes back from his meeting with his old friend and begins drinking heavily.
Maldrake: “Ha ha! What happened, little one? Did she offer you an excellent deal to betray us and join here? Ha ha!”
Krixxix: “Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha, haaaaa…maybe.”
Maldrake: (laughing) “If you do I’m gonna eatcha. Take a nice big bite out of ya.“
DM: That’s meta.
Maldrake: I’m just playing.
DM: Would anyone ACTUALLY like to do any roleplaying, or would that be too much to ask?

The DM needles them until, perhaps to everyone’s surprise, they actually DO.

Thalynmar: “That was a bit quick for a little…”
Maldrake: “You found your friend. Your journey is complete.”
Krixxix: “I still wish to become the greatest thief ever. But regardless… she’s told me a lot about what we’re coming to face. And it frightens me.”
Maldrake: “It’s ‘we’ still? I thought the journey would be over for you,”
Krixxix: “I have no love for the cult. And there are a couple things in the treasure I’m looking to pick out.”

Krixxix;s shortbow is brought up, of cours,e while Malkdrake continues to express dobt and confusion about his choice, even as Krixxix vows that being with the PCs is more fun.

Eben: Who are you?
Thalynmar: What have you done with the real Krixxix? Doppelganger check, come on!
Eben: I have an innocent person here, whose throat needs slitting! Can you resist?

The night passes, morning dawns, and Maldrake summons his steed! His giant crocodile thing shows up – as does Talis, who comes out to join him!

Eben: ‘Betray your friends for me and I will offer you a place of power.’
Maldrake: I’m PRETTY sure last night I said my peace when it comes to the dragon cult and their dragons.
DM: “I wanted to give you a warning.”
Eben: ‘Krixxix will turn on you the first chance he gets.’
DM: “You know Krixxix and I go back a ways, right?”
Maldrake: “Of course. I’m actually surprised he’s continuing the journey with us. He has said his goal is to find you. He has found you.”
DM: “Yes, well. I think along the way his goal has become a little more than that. I tried to dissuade him away from the cult but he seems to be fascinated with the opportunities it offers him.”
Maldrake: “Oh. You’re telling me far more than I suspected.”
DM: “I don’t think he has any love for their goals, but the money, the power, everything they could bring him? I think he may be traveling on with you to look for an opportunity to get a piece of that pie for himself.’
Maldrake: “I would not be surprised.’
Krixxix: ‘We knew that about this dude the second he joined us! What is wrong with you, lady?’
DM: “I’m just saying, watch him carefully.”
Maldrake and Thalynmar: “We DO!”
Maldrake: “We watch him close. I keep him at sword’s point.”
DM: “Please don’t… kill him. That’s all I’m asking.”
Thalynmar: “No promises, lady. That’s a wee ugly beast…”
Maldrake: “He keeps the way he’s going now, he won’t taste the blame.”
Eben: Didn’t you vow to kill him at one point…?

Talis continues to sow discord, and the group calls for Maldrake to make an Insight check. He rolls poorly, and believes in her motives as presented. Maldrake bores Talis with a long monologue on vengeance, though Thalynmar tries to have a hunch. He rolls an 18.

DM: She seemed on the up-and-up, dude.
Thalynmar: She had a good roll.
DM: She DID, yes! She had a very good roll.
Thalynmar: I don’t care, I’m still gonna doubt it.

Impressively, Maldrake and Krixxix get into an argument of the nature of power – is it money, is it information? They agree they don’t trust Talis, though Krixxix reaffirms her friendship with her. And on that note, they set off for their destination. 2:14