The first Critjuice via the Saving Throw Show on the Twitch Channel, where the characters and players are continue 5th Edition.

Introduction

Brian McGrath, playing Agholor (is he still Manherder or Plantkiller?). He is a goliath barbarian. He is an ex-bouncer, ex-soldier who got kicked out of the army for creating an accident that resulted in the death of many people. Brian will not be drinking as a result of his diet has elected to bit a habanero pepper instead. He also has serrano peppers too.

Gary Soldati, playing Sollen Stoneshield, a dwarven mystic. A psionic from the unearthed arcana. He does poetry and is the Grandfather of Gralford Stoneshield. There’s something off about Sollen. There is an imbalance to his aura. He had been dead for a long time.

If playing at home, it’s suggested you take a drink any time Gary looks in the wrong camera.

Tom Fonss, playing Mack Mumbles McGumtree, a rock gnome Bard. Drinker, drug addict and debaucherous old bastard who’s got his drinking partner. A pink pygmy elephant named Tipsy is his drinking partner and companion.

Drinking God Rules:

  • Valor Morgulis – The Group must finish their drink if anything dies. If you land a killing blow, you have to take a shot. (Thank you JoJo Porkins)
  • Vowel Systems – Whenever anyone crit-succeeds they must drink for 1 second for every vowel in their crit-card title. Whenever they crit-fail they drink for every consonant in the title of their crit-fail card. (Thank you PCourvousier of witchmarch)
  • Spam Alert – Take a drink any time a PC caster uses a cantrip/psionic talent (Thank you SpaceSeeker19)
  • What’s your name again? Any time a character is called by the incorrect name, ie; Gralford for Sollen or Wolf for Chase, everyone take a drink except the one confused. Thank you Mayghan1

Characters:

Locations in this episode:

Jokes introduced:

Play-By-Play

We part the veil of reality.

A stone wall. Not the black stone, but a single sheet of granite with a thud on the other side of it. We’re in a claustrophobic tunnel. There is another thud and then crash, smashing through it is Mack Mumbles McGumtree, brute-strengthening his way through with the last of his giant strength potion, Tipsy pushing him from behind.

The party stumbles through the door into, a dust and gas choked hallway. Agholor, with a crushed goblins head in his hand, staggers out of the winding, claustrophobically tight caves that form the outskirts of this citdel. The flying citadel that the group is currently in. This sinister castle with a tall black tower and spikes galore with arcane lights shining out of high parapet windows. It looks as though it had been wrenched out of the ground leaving a bulb of earth beneath it. This chunk of earth was riddled with goblin passageways that the group has been fighting their way through.

Countless wrong turns, traps and pitfalls have led the group to this place. They stagger forward into the room and for the first time they are in a structured place.
Sollen says “Beautiful stone work.” The smell of the sleeping gas from the chamber they had just smashed through lingers with a chalk dust, cloying smell. Sollen drags the unconscious bodies of Choncho Dreeft, Roofer and Zorticus who all succumbed to the sleeping gas previously.

Duke Draymore makes his way to the front. The de Factor leader of the GreyHaven nation. Agholor remembers a time as Draymore’s enemy, and recognizes the interesting position they are in now as allied bed-fellows.

Behind the group the passageways crumble behind them under the boulders and ballistae of the army launching them from the city below. The citadel is so far below them that it looks spread out like a map below them. They are at least a mile off the ground, traveling towards the harbor of Kaken Bay.

Duke Draymore gazes sadly back and then moves forward to the lead of the party. He falls to his knees, breathing heavily. “Perhaps a moment. A moment to rest.” He gasps.

Sollen remembers Draymore previously from their interactions in the tavern when they fought, and then on the balcony previous to this moment. Sollen knows that Draymore is not a fan of the group. Draymore feels Sollen’s captivating blue-stone eyes upon him and looks up at him in kind. Draymore looks wearily up at Sollen, however he has the practiced gaze of a lifelong politician.

A glass phial of a healing potion appears in the room, rolling and landing at Mack’s feet.

“I feel a little more at ease, with… well” He looks at the rest of the group and momentarily regrets saying anything at all. “Well, anyway, I feel a little bit better. I have to admit that you are daring and stalwart companions, whatever I may think about your hygiene, manners and breeding. But, I’m glad you’re with me at this moment, if we have any chance of rescuing Princess Sophia. God! I can’t believe I’ve let her down. She’s the one thing, the one thing keeping this tenuous alliance of Kingdoms in the Greenwald together.” Sollen attempts to see if Duke Draymore is genuine in his feelings of the Princess. He can’t really focus though as his vision is blurry. His skin gets all goose bumpled and his hands go clammy. He moves off to the side for a moment by himself.

“Look, I know you’re suspicious of me, as haven’t been kind to you in the past. But I can’t afford to be kind, in my particular position. But if anything were to happen to the Princess, the political stability of this region would completely fall apart and I cannot have that happen on my watch.”

At that moment, the group hears what sounds like a distant animal scream, or a magical “squink” or it could even be the cry of a young girl in the grips of a Lich. It is distorted by distance, but it is coming down a tall narrow stairway, the only exit from this room. Where it leads, you cannot see as it is dark and turns a corner high up.

There are sheer stone walls on either side of this. A short, narrow flight of stairs running at a 45 degree angle up into the darkness above. The stairway is flanked on either side by a pair of statues. They are horrible to look upon, about ten feet tall, carved from shiny obsidian stone. In the darkness the group cannot make out their visages with the oddly flickering green light of the fire. But, they do look horrible, whatever they are. Carved, in incredible detail, tremendously upsetting, larger than life, they sit in a hunched posture on either side of the stairs.
Sollen looks like he’s about to rush towards the sound and Duke Draymore says “Good! Let’s go!” He approached Sollen. “You’re a man of action at least, we have to save the Princess!” Sollen is hunkered down. There is a snap of green lightning; Sollen is sent flying into the Duke as he attempted to cross the threshold of the stairs. There is the smell of ozone. Sollen makes a loud thump as both he and the Duke are knocked prone, sliding back almost to the lip of the well of green flame in the middle of the room. Sollen loses 15 hit points and as he lifts up his hand he sees that two fingers have been ripped from it. He doesn’t feel the pain yet, but the left hand drips blood profusely.

Manifesting from nothing, glass vials of healing potions rain from the sky in a tremendous downpour. They tink and tinkle as they hit the stone floor and roll to the feet of Agholor, Mack and Sollen. (These healing potions heal 2d4 +2 hit points and came as a result of a donation from CorgiKong). As this happens the group notices niches carved into walls that contain green chalices.

Sollen painfully sits up and sees the blood pouring down his left arm. Draymore was clobbered and has a big black welt forming under his eye “Ohhh!” he duly cries, “Ow! That really hurts. I don’t think anyone has been as injured as I am right now.”
Sollen glares and pulls his thumb down to flip off Duke Draymore with his injured hand who says “you’re losing a lot of blood.” “Yeah.” Sollen replies. “I think you got a black eye from one of my fingers hitting you in the face!”

“Is that what is in my beard!?” Draymore exclaims and pulls free a stubby dwarven finger. “Ahh!” He cries and drops it. It falls to the ground, rolling and disappearing down the well of green flame.

“Are you serious!” Sollen cries out in shock. Draymore looks confused and says “There was a finger in my beard! Oh… it was probably your finger. Ohhh…. Whew. Hey, uh… awkward. Well, anyway.”

“Uh, yeah, there’s something there.” Sollen says grimly.

“We have to figure out how to get to the Princess before these damn goblins catch up again, catch up with again… us again.” Draymore says. “Sorry, I’m exhausted.”
At this point the group hears the baying of the goblin’s hounds. They echo distantly down the caverns behind the group. “Is there no end to this horde of monsters!?” Draymore cries out upon hearing them. “We’ve lots happened, but there’s no hope of getting the Princess back… We’re going to die here!” He cries out, panicking.
Agholor strides over to the Duke, grabs him by the front of his doublet and slaps him open-handed across the face. “Gah!” the Duke cries. “Hey, man,” Agholor says in his low rumble. “You gotta focus. If we’re gonna do this together, we’re gonna have to put our heads … uh, all in one sack, y’know.”

“Uh, yes, probably true, but there’s no way out of this death trap, is there.” Draymore says disconsolately.

Agholor then moves to the chalices. The room is completely dust-free with ten or twelve foot tall skeletal figures, overlapping such a way that they can’t make out how many they are. They are an Aztecan or Mayan style of engraving, abstract in design.

Agholor grabs a chalice, and it appears to be a perfectly normal chalice. It is green glass. The walls though look more like someone has carved one scene and then carved another scene on top of it, over and over again. Skeletons have arms through each other, this dense, baroque linework that covers the entire wall, however all of the heads look straight out, eyes punched through with green guttering flame flickering out.

The wall runs up 30 feet to a flat ceiling. The stairwell goes up, right through the wall. Sollen approached the other wall to see the glasses there.
Mack, wracks his brain to see if he remembers anything noteworthy from his own history that sounds anything like this. He vaguely remembers something… They are in a classic wizard’s atrium. My God, how many stories about evil wizards… generally they like to protect the way into their sanctums with a riddle at play. There must be a clue somewhere in the environment that will tip the group off on how to get passed the guardians. Mack feels like, whatever it is, they must have all of the components available to them already.

As Agholor looks through the glass he sees a shape move in the darkness. It must have been in the corner. It rolls out, an orb or something spherical that is about ten by ten. It is a mis-shapen pumpkin-like lump with a bloody scalp. Hair hangs off of it in horrible dreads. The giant mouth is open and terrible. “Hello!!!!” It cries out with hands falling forth from his disgusting lips. Upon his head is a disgusting woven reed hat of the kind that you might buy in Mexico on vacation.
Mack looks at the hands falling from the mouth and says “Hey, hey dwarf…. Any of those fingers fit?”

The hands skitter around the floor, in and around the head. “What? You don’t have a mammy? I member you! Hold ‘em back meh! I’m a nith guy!” and every time he opens his mouth more hands fall out. Agholor looks unsure if he should fight this monstrosity or not. “Don’ aback meh! I’ma nice guy!” Lloyd cries out while a torrent of hands falls from his lips, skittering all around him and patching up his body.
Sollen, aghast, says “Who’s hands are those?” to which Lloyd replies “they’re mine! Blaragghhhll”

At this point there are donations that have unlocked “shots,” a new drinking god rule, as well as a plot point, a heroic trial and a classic NPC has been unlocked.

New Drinking God Rule:
What’s your name again? Any time a character is called by the incorrect name, ie; Gralford for Sollen or Wolf for Chase, everyone take a drink except the one confused. Thank you Mayghan1

Lloyd the giant head comes rolling out of the shadows. “Hyauahahah” he cries, as hands come sprinting under him and lifting him up. In the green light the group can see he is wearing a big tropical hat and a tropical shirt draped across him. Sollen gives him a strange look about just being a head and Lloyd exclaims “GlahNo, I don’t have any mimbs” he projects.

Agholor draws back to strike Lloyd. As Agholor rears back Mack cries out “woah, woah, woah! Where there’s Tommy Bahama wear there can’t be evil.”

Agholor says “oh … sorry” in his deep Goliath voice. Lloyd’s tongue comes snaking out of his mouth and wraps around Agholor’s wrist, immobilizing it. “Bam a Bad maB. I’b a abibe!”

Agholor looks puzzled “What did you say? You’re alive?”

With his tongue out of his mouth, Lloyd makes almost no sense at this point “ Bo by ben gen bo a ben ga bo. Am bam ga bem go am be a go fenn.”

Out of nowhere Sollen pipes up trying to translate for Lloyd. “How can we be this close and not make out? It’s fine!”

Lloyd ignores that and says “Wha you doin ear? Meh, gurghach” as he pulls his tongue back into his mouth. “What are you doing here? I thought I was the only one trapped in the terrible citadel!”

The group smiles and chuckles uncomfortably. “You’re impressed with my ability to speak common?” Gallons of spittle is flying out of Lloyd’s mouth as he speaks.

Agholor says “I’m sorry. I was about to hit you until my friend told me not to.”

“Thank you so much,” Lloyd replies. “Ehh, no problem” Mack smiles.

“We’re here to get the Princess.” Agholor says quietly whispering to Mack “is that…that’s why we’re here, right?”

“I think so…” Mack whispers back.

“That is why we’re here,” deadpans Duke Draymore as he climbs back up to his feet.

“It’s… oh my goodness. It’s a largicator*. That is the same beast I thought were extinct entirely. Hurry up, destroy it before it consumes us and severs our hands. That’s what they do you know.”

“Mack told me not to hit him.” Agholor responds. “And I trust him more than I do you.”

“I tell you, kill it now.” Draymore commands.

“Well, you kill him then.” Agholor states simply.

“Well, okay” Draymore replies uncertainly. “Well played… I’m not going to do that, am I.”

“Don’t worry ‘bout me! When I was on vacation, I found that I was making so much money back in Mariposa; selling watches to people, so I went to a white tropical island. The whole island was crawling with multi-millionaires. And now I find myself trapped in a flying citadel.” Lloyd, kind of said. His massive mouth and tongue garbling the words in a fashion difficult for the party to comprehend.

Lloyd is explaining what’s going on right now and the party is largely stupefied, but Lloyd continues “Go on down to the back. Have some watches.”

“Have some lobsters?” Sollen asks, unsure.

Lloyd disgorges a pile of watches, spewing them onto the ground, covered in saliva.
“Thanks. Uh, we have to get out of this room, fast.” Sollen mutters.

Lloyd rolls up to him “What are you looking at?” he splutters.

“We’re trying to find a way out of this room.” Sollen rushes back to the crystalware and tries to focus on it.

“I’ll let you focus” Lloyd says to his back and respectfully minds Sollen’s space.
Sollen has noticed when he was close to the well that the flames lick up out of it seem to be cool to the touch. Sollen inspects one of spotlessly clean glasses. He picks it up and Lloyd screams “What are you doing with that glass?!” Lloyd’s breath is awful and there is spittle everywhere.

Sollen takes the glass and tries to move around Lloyd trying to get to the well.

Sollen moves left and so does Lloyd, so Sollen move right with Lloyd matching. “Oh, hey, sorry.” Sollen ends up having to touch Lloyd at one point and his hand sinks into his weird semi-rotten flesh (like an old pillow that was left in pond water). Sollen eventually manages to get around him and dips the glass into the well.

As he dips it into the green flame it comes out with green flame guttering out of it. Sollen passes the glass to the Duke who recoils saying “oh.. uh, I can’t. I have a special diet. I hope you understand that, but I simply cannot drink green flame right now.”

“What diet!?” Mack inquires.

“I’m on a zero green flame diet.” The Duke says dryly.

“Oh yeah, me too.” Mack says sadly.

Agholor thankfully say “I’ll do it!” and he just goes, but before he can take the glass Mack snatches it and says “I’m doing this! I’m the horrible drug addict. You do what you do…” Mack drinks it down and says “huh, not so bad. It kind of reminds me of the dentist’s office.” Agholor grabs a glass, dips it in and joins Mack in drinking as well.

They drink it and it goes down their gullets. Strangely, the green flame tinged with yellow has a slight melon taste to it. It is cold as it trickles down their throats and give them a strange internal feeling of imbibing necrotic energy or something. They feel strange and get goosebumps all over.

Agholor walks over to where Sollen was zapped by the guardians determined to wave his hand before the guardians. As he approaches, while holding the chalice, he almost feels malevolence radiating off the statues. As he goes to stick his hand out he gets the willies for a moment and just happened to have lifted the hand with the chalice in it. As the chalice passes in front of his eyes everything takes a green tint to it for a moment. He looks through the glass and everything is green for a moment. As he does, something catches out of the corner of his eye and he realizes that he has not quite solved the puzzle. There’s something missing.

“Something was different when it went in front of my face” Agholor says and tries to pass the guardians. There is a flash again, and the smell of ozone as Agholor is thrown backwards, once again driving Duke Draymore to the ground as he was passing behind Agholor at that moment.

“Be careful! Oh no….” Duke Draymore exclaims. “Ohh, god! No one has ever hurt as bad as I have now!” he cries while Agholor lays atop of him.

There is the baying of goblin hounds coming up the tunnels towards them. Mack does two things in that moment. The first is he gathers up Tipsy as he goes to try to close the door. “I don’t know nothing about nothing, but let’s look at those skeletons or something! Maybe that’s a clue. They’re all in different positions, maybe it’s giving directions or something!”

“I’ll get the door,” Sollen says sedately “You do the guesswork.”

“That’s the best suggestion I’ve heard all year.” Mack agrees.

Sollen looks to try to pin the door close. It is a giant metal door that he slams shut, but there isn’t a latch. Sollen looks at the stonework around it to see if he can stoneshape it at all.

Mack attempts to inspect the engravings of the skeletons, but is unable to make anything out truly in the mass of skeletons, overlapping the room. The only commonality is that they all have both eyes pointing out towards the room and they are all leaking green flame from those eyes.

Agholor climbs heavily to his feet, seeing the chalice has shattered in his fall. A large shard is embedded in his palm and he uses it as a viewfinder to inspect the room through the base of his hand. As he looks at the skeletons through the green glass, certain skeletons are illuminated in the green glass, as though outlined in fire Agholor can only see in the glass. Certain skeletons in certain postures are illuminated, and as he scans them all he sees that there are 7 of them, lines of green fire drawn between them.

Agholor points this out to the group “Woah! Some of them are lighting up, and some of them… it’s almost like a map…or a…”

Lizardlike goblin hounds, baying, suddenly impact the door Sollen is holding shut. A couple seem to be trying to break through to rend Sollen’s flesh. The door opens, with a half-reptilian hound face pushing through, but Sollen is able to push the door back closed, holding them, ever so briefly, at bay. The moment it opened though Sollen could see there are more coming and it will get harder and harder to keep it shut on them.

“We don’t have a lot of time!” Sollen cries out.

Agholor, with his new viewfinder hears the big crash and says “Hey, Sollen, check this out, I don’t know what it means.” He goes over to the door and initially goes to use both hands. Realizing he has a large shard of green glass embedded in his hand, he spins around and uses his back and legs to hold it close. He proffers the hurt hand to Sollen and says “Hey, Sollen, look.”

Sollen takes the hand and looks through the glass saying “oh, it looks like this one is first, and then this one” ignoring the pain Agholor is in and attempting to solve the puzzle before him.

WHAM, the banging of the door by the hounds beyond. “What are you doing? What’s going on? Is there something on the walls?” Duke Draymore questions haughtily. Sollen ignores him studiously and Draymore commands “Don’t ignore me! Pay attention to me.”

“Don’t worry!” Lloyd slathers, rolling over to him “I’ll pay attention to you.” Draymore and Lloyd begin to have a screaming match with each other.

Sollen says “it ends with…” he is confused for a moment but then determines he has a possible answer. He holds the door with Agholor but doesn’t say anything.
“Mack!” Sollen calls out “Get a goblet and go up to one of those things face with it.” Sollen appears to be at quite a loss.

Mack grabs a goblet and holds it up in front of one of the skeletons faces. He looks at it and does the same action in front of the skeleton. “This is the best I’ve got!” he cries. The baying dogs redouble their efforts. “They desire our flesh!” Draymore panics.

Mack puts his hand on his head and jumps in front of one doing another action, doing that action, moving to the right. Then he looks at that one and goes from one to the next doing all of the different actions. He finally goes to the last one, which seems to indicate to drink the green flames, so he does that and as the cold green flame trickles down his throat he feels strange. “If this doesn’t work… we’re fucked!” Mack cries out.

The same feeling hits him again, feeling slightly electrified. He turns to the Duke “Wait, sorry, I was really enjoying the high off that green flame. All right, well, if this doesn’t work out, it was really cool hanging with you dudes.”

Sollen grabs Agholor’s hand to see if the skeletons have changed at all. In so doing he ignores the door with the hounds. But Agholor is stalwart in his efforts and critically succeeds in holding the door shut.

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