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This is Episode 104 of Dice, Camera, Action.

Summary[ | ]

Episode 104 - Homecoming[ | ]

The Party[ | ]

(Anna) Evelyn - Human Paladin of Lathander

(Holly) Strix - Tiefling Sorcerer

(ProJared) Diath - Human Rogue

(Nathan) Paultin - Human Bard

(Brooks Donahue) Sister Narae - Human Monk

The Second Wave[ | ]

The kids hid in Evelyn's room, which has a big wall hanging that says "Live, Love, Laugh, Lathander" bought from Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue.

Tulip says there were 24 bugbears and goblins, along with some beholders. That was the first wave.

Tulip calls down and tries to call off the second wave. The group can hear music. Tulip says that that sound is Scareth playing the pipes. She'll be sending up rats and monsters. Out of the hole emerges one of those trash-shambling mounds, like the one they fought in the theater not long ago.

Narae tells the group they might want to run. She runs up to the mound and attacks it.

Hands come up through the floor. Green, clawed hands grab Strix and pull at her. She is grappled by it inside a zone of magical darkness. Another one grabs and pulls down Evelyn, too. They hear Naska's voice urging someone to dispel the darkness.

Evelyn swipes at it with the Heart of Spinelli. Strix turns her staff into a pan and casts green flame blade on it.

These trolls have barrels of smoke powder trapped to their backs! There's a massive explosion. Everyone in the taproom is affected by the explosion. Narae is blown out through one of the front windows and lands at the foot of Lance the donkey.

Diath looks down into the basement/pit/hole. He sees twitching troll parts and troll arms crawling around. Evelyn and Strix are OK. He still hears the music. It's from a pipe or flute. Diath sets the troll arms on fire. They burn and are no longer moving.

He checks the structural integrity of the house. He sees that there is a hole where the spiral staircase normally sits.

The kids are upstairs in Evelyn's bedroom. They felt the blast shake the entire house. Simon starts setting a tripwire at the door. Jenks is jumping on Evelyn's bed. They consider jumping out the window but ultimately decide against it.

Negotiations[ | ]

Back downstairs, Naska steps out of the wreckage. He sees Evelyn and Strix in the pit. Behind him is an undead ogre holding a fishing pole. Hanging from it is a beholder. It has no mouth and magical lights coming from its eyestalks. Strix wonders if it is a scrying device for the Xanathar.

The papier-mâché beholder looks at Paultin. Evelyn calls out to Naska, who claims he doesn't know her.

A magic mouth appears on it. It says, "Take a bite and feed, satisfaction guaranteed."

Evelyn tries to ask Naska if he's a double agent without saying that exactly. Naska tells her she must pay a terrible price. She can tell he's trying to hide the fact that he was friends with the group from his allies.

Diath draws both Gutter and Moonsplinter. He jumps down, puts a blade at Naska's back, and tells him to call them off. Naska nervously says he should talk to the Xanathar. Evelyn awkwardly says that Naska is just an underling enforcer, and that he should deal with the boss.

Diath says that they should call off the goons. He knows what they want, and he can help them get it. Diath tells them leave him alone, and he can feed them the information they need.

The garbage monster leaps into the hole and lands on Strix. She is engulfed.

The kids cross the hall. The floor has weakened. Nat falls through the floor and lands in the basement near Evelyn.

A neighbor across the square starts shouting, "What is going on over there!?"

Outside, Narae sees the kids and climbs up into the hallway. Squiddly shoots an arrow at her, but Narae catches it. Waffles comes out of a door and charges the monk. Jenks calls out to Waffles, and the owlbear stops charging. Narae shadow steps down to the basement to try to tend to Nat.

Evelyn revives Nat, who immediately asks, "Where's Diath?" She gets up and takes position at his side.

Naska calls out, "Ebu! Scareth! We're done here. Go back to the lair and tell Xanathar - victory! They've been duly intimidated by our presence."

Naska whispers to Diath that the Xanathar is crazy, and that he'll never stop. Diath whispers to him that what the Xanathar wants is the Stone of Golorr. Diath can get him for it.

Naska and the ogre leave. Strix, lying in a pile of garbage, mutters that the group should close the tunnel.

Strix examines that beholder piñata. Evelyn calls dibs on it and she goes to check on the kids.

Narae suggests that the group abandon the house. She says that their enemies know where they live and the kids are in danger. The group does not like this idea at all.

Clean Up[ | ]

Paultin is hurt really bad. He's got 5 hit points left. Evelyn lays on hands and gives him 50 points.

The unseen servants are bound to different rooms. The ones bound to the tap room were destroyed last session.

The group checks the house. While the interior is heavily damaged, the structure is still solid.

Narae quietly slips outside and tracks down Tulip. Tulip is dead. She brings her back inside and asks the group to save her. Evelyn sees she is beyond healing curatives.

Paultin kneels down and asks Perkins how much XP this kid is worth. Strix excitedly says they could start a ghost orphanage.

Narae is quite bothered by this. She says, "This is what happens when children get tied up in these things."

The group can't bring her back. They don't have the components for revivify. Diath tells Narae that there are ways to bring her back. Narae reveals that she lost her child and wife in violence like this, and that she worries for the fate of the kids near the group. Evelyn hears this and it weighs on her.

Squiddly pokes Tulip's body with a stick. She is another homeless waif. He'd met her before.

Diath tells Narae that this is no life or place for children. He says that he knows a safe place for the kids to go. Narae warns him of getting in too deep between the Xanathar and the Zhentarim, and tells him that nobody knows whose side he's really on: "You're a kite in a hurricane, Diath."

Narae thinks that the Xanathar might be after something else - the ring of winter. Narae knows of a place that it can be dealt with. She offers to take it. The group admits that they don't have it.

Narae is worried that this isn't over, and she fears how many people will be swept up in this. Taking Tulip's body in her arms, she steps into the shadows and disappears.

Diath suggests to Evelyn that she might need to pull some temple strings. The rain stops, their "guest" is gone. The place is trashed.

Evelyn tells Paultin that she's glad that he has accepted a god named Perkins. Paultin says, "The less you know about him, the safer you are."

Evelyn and Diath tell the kids a bedtime story for the kids. They tell them the story of when the heroes fought Wintersplinter.

Evelyn is the last to go to bed. When she walks in the door to her bedroom. Simon's trap goes off. An axe goes flying. She compliments Simon on the trap.

Simon goes to Paultin's room and lies in bed next to him. Evelyn tucks him in.

In a cemetery the next morning, Narae reports to her superior, Istrid Horn. She tells Horn that the group doesn't have the ring of winter, and that it was last seen in the Shadowfell. "Our quest continues," she says. Horn tells her to await further orders.