This page provides details about Crit Juice Episode 53, the first episode from recording session seventeen.

Listen to Episode 53.


Characters

Drinking Gods
The group rolled a five this session. They drank King Harbor Ale (@kingharborbrew).

  • "Alcohol: the Great Disinfectant. Drink whenever a condition is removed from yourself or an ally." Submitted by Dave from Fort Collins.
  • "Someone call PETA! Drink whenever Pete, LP, or Chase takes damage." Submitted by Matt L.
  • "Tubthumping. Whenever you get knocked prone, take a drink. Whenever you stand back up, take another drink." Submitted by Kirk Miller.
  • "Wait - are you using a wooden sword? Anytime Gralford finishes a turn without dealing any damage, the entire party must drink. Bottom's up!" Submitted by @ramblingwaffle.
  • "If you have the Gaul. The Gaul Fall rule is in effect. However, the number shown on the dice (sic) that hits the floor is the number of drinks that must be shared amongst the group." Submitted by @jordanN

Achievements

  • Best out of game reference to in-game mechanic (awarded to Matt Cook for "Gaul Fall's got area effect!") Reward: a power crystal.

Jokes

  • John Merlyn
  • Tom Fonss can't pronounce Washington place names ("Spoke Ain," "Seedle")
  • Bark Mitzvahs - Chase is a fully-grown wolf now.
  • All of the DM's dwarves are Scottish (he points out that Mr. T sounds "totally different" from Warrior James)

Pop or Culture References

  • PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an American animal rights activism group known for both extreme displays (such as throwing paint on people wearing fur or leather clothing) and various lawsuits that have changed the shape of United States animal laws.
  • "Tubthumping" - a 1997 song by Chumbawumba, featuring the chorus "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down"
  • Slimer - a green ghost from the 1984 feature film "Ghostbusters," used repeatedly in the film, its sequels and many spin-offs as comic relief, particularly from its habit of splattering people and objects with ectoplasm.

SUMMARY
The session begins with Gary revisiting the discussion about whether the Adventurers are heroes (or not): the Mariposa genocide (20,000 people sacrificed to Hell), Bumbledark destroyed (and all its population of gnomes and pixies killed), most of Blazestone consumed by volcano (and its population killed by lava and/or sucked into Hell), Lordan destroyed (and then demolished by the storm that Arience chose to send its way). Pretty good for a band of Murder Hobos, but also pretty good for agents of Hell…Princess Camellia and her sprouting horns and shooting hellfire are conspicuously not mentioned (as usual).

Then David - America's GM - parts the veil of reality once more. We rewind the action to replay the conversation between Arience and Warrior James (you know, the one where Warrior James offered to kill anyone in the party). Warrior James notes that his grandmother had just gone to Lordan to visit his aunt and Arience points out that he chose to send the vast storm to destroy Lordan. "Very nice paintings in the palace!" weeps Warrior James. Arience does not respond to the dwarf's generous offer to murder a party member at this time, perhaps deferring the decision until Warrior James has recovered from his grief.

As they continue into the ruins of Orrenvale, Camellia balks, freaking out about the unnatural events. Dar'Jjeeki sweet talks her, as usual, with another immensely inspiring speech. Doc, who has hated everything that the Princess has represented for him - authority, oppression of the poor, spoiled rich people out of touch with reality - recognizes, for a moment, that she's no longer this elitist snob. In his eyes, for a moment, she's just a scared, dirty, buxom young beauty, who's been a boon companion for months of travel, and just as weary, blood-spattered and foul-reeking as the rest of the Adventurers, and who has proved herself in battle time and again. He gruffly admits "I'm glad that you're here, too." which draws an incredulous "WHAT??" from his own player, Matt Buchholtz. Dar'Jjeeki earns a Princess Point, and Doc gains enough Princess Points to get to zero points.

The party proceeds to a lakeshore. Wolf identifies a trail of slime leading into the water as being traces of gelatinous cubes. Another light node beams up nearby, from a hole in the roof of Drink Up, Sucka!, which is atop a giant gelatinous cube. Hanging from the sign for the pub, Mr. T is strung up by his beard, stripped and dangling painfully, pierced by dozens of tiny pixie spears. Miraculously, he's still alive, and he warns that there are Dark Pixies all over the place.

The DM prompts Gary to take action, subtly hinting that Gralford has some reason to act in this encounter. Instead of proceeding to the node, Gralford blasts Warrior James with lightning, attempting to yank him down from the sign (which probably isn't that high; they could've reached up and helped him down if they had just climbed up to the sign) with Lightning Lure. But it isn't until Wolf shoots two arrows into the sign (again, could've just grabbed the dwarf) and severs his beard that the drunken proprietor of "Drink Up, Sucka!" falls down, dropping past the edge of the gelatinous cube and plunging into the lake. Gralford shocks him again with Lightning Lure, yanking him out of the lake and dragging him up onto shore. Arience begins by launching a magical sensing eye so that he can see the interior of the pub, high above them atop the gelatinous cube. While Gralford's screwing with the dwarf, a rift opens below the gelatinous cube and the ooze and the tavern on its back drops down into a crevasse. The gelatinous cube disappears into the depths, leaving "Drink Up, Sucka!" teetering precariously at the top of the ravine, held up by two corners of the building stuck on the edges of the chasm. Rivers feeding the lake are now waterfalls that continue to stream water across the basin, over the tavern, and down into the abyss. Whereas Gralford could have used his lightning powers to traverse the distance alone, instead Arience sets up a way for everyone to get at the node, creating a dimension door leading from the shore to the interior of "Drink Up, Sucka!" right by the glowing beam of light that is this second node. Since Gralford is busy abusing the drunken dwarf instead of going to the node, it is Gub, Dar'Jjeeki, and Doc that all step through the portal into the tavern. Gub is immediately attacked by a typhoon elemental. While he is engaged in combat with the guardian, Dar'Jjeeki and Doc both step past the frantic swarm of dark pixies (Doc averting his eyes in shame at his lust) and enter the node.

The arcane energies fill them both, and they share a vision of a vast earthquake that will ravage the world. Clearly this vision was meant for Gralford, but no matter. They bend the energy to their wills and direct the earthquake to destroy Gralford's dwarven stronghold homeland, rather than the Green River Forest (where elf wizards trained Gralford, after he was exiled by the dwarves for killing his uncle). "Elves are delicate creatures and need to be protected!" They emerge. Dar'Jjeeki and Gub swim out, while Doc yanks out and mounts Barry the Carp, riding him back to shore. The moment they rejoin the rest of the party, "Drink Up, Sucka!" plummets into the abyss and is gone. Doc explains the reasons for their decision to destroy the dwarves, without actually telling Gralford what happened.


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