The very first podcast, where the characters and players are introduced to 5th Edition.

Characters introduced:

Locations in this episode:

  • Storm City - the capital city of Thunderblood and former seat of King Everstorm's power. Called Thunderblood city in this Episode, perhaps the real name has been lost to time.
  • Thunderblood - a mighty nation north of Blazestone and west of Waverly.

Jokes introduced:


Coming soon from CritJuice:

A new age has risen and fallen since the planes changing events of our last episode. The world has moved on and evolved. And so have we. Now we join the boys as they make the move to 5th edition, create some new characters and learn, then quickly forget about, new abilities. Enjoy the same drunken hilarity that you love with a few new twists in these prologues for the new season of… CritJuice.


Matt Cook:

Lightfoot Halfling Rogue named Chancho Dreeft “The drifting pig” As a baby he was thrown into a river and when he washed ashore a mama bear picked him up and raised him as her own. He was raised by animals his whole life. In cities he is known as the “Rake of the Western Woods”, he’s become the Shadowy protector of his family members. The “Fetcher of the Highest Fruit,” and lots of other titles. He is very sure of his future. He has only recently departed the woods to save the world. He is a dashing rogue He’s been told by his family and friends what an amazing hero he is. He is full of unearned confidence and has a nasty little voice.

Tom Fonss:

Mack ‘Mumbles’ McGumtree is a rock gnome Bard. He is 322 years old. Picture Bob Dylan now! He’s had a really long career with a lot of ups and downs. Some great hits, with a little shout out to Tipsy, his friend, a pink pygmy elephant. He’s had a long checkered career. He’s got that alcoholic blood vessel popped nose. He’s perilously in debt, but that doesn’t bother him because he’s more concerned that Tipsy is nowhere to be found.

Together the gnome and the Halfling are “the Little naughty boys”

Gary Soldati:

Sollen Stoneshield, the great-grandfather of Gralford Stoneshield. He fell to some effing orcs in the distant past in the blackrock mountains. Death didn’t stick, and no one knows why. He’s huge into the shield scouts, like the boyscouts of dnd, and he really wants to bring them back. They’ve been gone for centuries. He is a paladin, a Mountain Dwarf Paladin.

Brian McGrath:

Agholor Manherder Alonsokiko, a Goliath Barbarian who is a bouncer at The Barrel Cracker and previously was a soldier.

Daniel Acker

Zorticus Dominax who looks freakin’ bad ass and is amazing. He is a drow sorcerer and is a hermit. He doesn’t know how to deal with people so a lot of his interactions are very inquisitive and scientific, but also chaotic. He is just trying to figure out how and why creatures interact so he pokes people with a stick or gives them a hug, but you don’t know which it is going to be. He also has cheekbones for days and great abs. He’s been above ground every now and again and tried to make those excursions quick, but now he is above ground on a fact finding mission that is ongoing. And to be clear, he is pretty fucking evil… but… it’s not an evil that wants to kill everyone, it’s just one that has no qualms with doing terrible things. He is a morally bereft character.

Matt Bucholtz

Roofer, son of Roofer, a wood elf roofer. He is always super positive and wants to be the employee of the month at Thatch Bros. He’s very blue collar and excited. Where he’s from, everyone takes the name of their occupation. He likes to hand out his business card wherever he goes because he is always ready to go to get that talk point.

Let’s part the veil of reality.

We begin with a heavy rain. Heavy grey sky. Sheets of rain pouring down to the streets of none other than Thunderblood. The capital of Thunderblood is Thunderblood City. The party is gathered together at the Heroes Gate. The westernmost gate of Thunderblood. It is a rainy day, during First Green which is one of the first springlike months in the world and the party is awaiting a caravan.

They’ve taken refuge from the rain underneath the massive arch of the huge stone gate that leads out of the city. They look out through the arch and see the gray rain slosh down over the countryside, rolling down in waves, splattering the cobblestone around you. This giant gate, 35 feet tall, 20 feet wide like the Arch de Triomphe and the gate is summited by a giant statue of Dar’Jjeeki, Gralford, Chase and Wolf, Arience, Gub and Doc all together in an action pose slaying a dragon. The dragon is life size, huge with outspread wings and the mouth is open as the heroes surround it, carved in incredible detail driving a spear into its heart. And this is the gate the party stands beneath waiting for a caravan.

The caravan is 35 minutes late. The party has picked up a job to do. They will guard a caravan on its way to Greyhaven. Greyhaven is a great city that lies in the Greenwald to the west. Zorticus is out in the rain, hood down, standing in the pouring rain while the rest of the party huddles under the arch.

A gnome in a big wide hat attempts to haul two really large cases. Grunting in the mud, it is very apparent that he is struggling. Zorticus sees this, chuckles and says nothing. The gnome splashes up to the gate but before he gets there Solin rushes up and says “Let me help you with that.”

“Thank you very much” says the gnome as he pushes his hat up so he can be seen for the first time. He appears middle-aged with silvery hair that reaches the nape of his neck. He is dressed pretty nicely.

Roofer notices how well dressed the gnome is and dashes over with his business card held out in front of him. “Hello, my name is Roofer and I’ve got this business card right here. If you ever need any roofing done, I do thatchwork, I do patchwork…”

The gnome reaches the gate and says “You’re all waiting for the caravan too, the one to Greyhaven?”

Zorticus puts his hand on the gnomes face for a second and then pulls it back. The gnome looks at him, uncomprehendingly and says “uh, soft hands. Very soft hands.” Zorticus laughs grotesquely and inappropriately.

“We’ve missed the caravan have we?” The gnome sadly asks.

“You haven’t missed the caravan, baby, come on in.” says MacMumbles McGumptry.

“Oh good! It’s quite late, isn’t it? Quite the rain. I guess we’ll all be going to Greyhaven together. Nice to meet you,” the gnome introduces himself “Dinfizzle Finglefinfandazzle.” He shakes everyone’s hand.

Small talk is exchanged and 15 minutes later The caravan rolls up. 14 giant wooden wagons with massive wooden wheels, being pulled by a team of oxen. Chancho approaches the team of oxen in the pouring rain and using speak to animals (Chancho’s speak to animals does not allow him to use the letter ‘e’) he asks them what the name of their team is. “What call you?”

Oxen “Me?”
Chancho “Ya!” (the accent in animal speak has a touch of a swedish accent)
Oxen, “We are mighty longhorns! You come with us! We have great strength! Cross many plains. Cross the tundra. We are the caravan team. Who are you?”
Chancho “Chancho!”

The oxen nod and the Caravan master a big, portly fat 57 year old human, totally bald, egg head with a big bushy black beard. “Come on, get on board, you’re holding us up. Find your room. You’re the guards aren’t you?”

The group barely has a moment to respond in the affirmative before the Caravan Master interrupts them. “Good! Well, you’re earning your 2 silver pieces a day. And in 30 days we’ll be in Greyhaven.”

Roofer: “Great, and how many days have we been here?”

Caravan Master: “What do you mean?”

Roofer: “Well, how many silvers have we gotten already?”

Caravan Master: “Well, let me see here/You haven’t started workin’ yet! So zero! Enough of that cheek. Now, get on board, get on board. Come on we can’t be about all day.”

The Caravan Master storms back on; his trench coat water flying off of it. And the gnome Dinfizzle says “I don’t like this guy at all. Could anyone help…? Ah, it’s fine.” The group can see him start to get his bags on board and they notice that he has his own wagon at the back where he loads his stuff up into it. The wagon is embossed with beautiful filigree and fretwork with flowers and bird tails all brightly painted. There is a bright blue fabric top and this wagon is the final wagon in the train.

Roofer is from the Thunderblood nation. He is from Thaddox it’s a vertical city, it’s great. As he’s worked for the Thatch Bros he’s been sent all over. He does mostly repair work on roofs. And as for MacMumbles, that guy’s been around. But this is all new to Chancho – out and seeing the world for the first time. The party boards the caravan.

The Caravan Master: “That’s the wagon where you’ll have cots. Spears and swords and stuff are over there. Look sharp! There could be bandits anywhere.”

Agholor: “If you get tired. I can drive for a bit.”

Caravan Master: “Bah.”

Agholor: “All right!”

Solin climbs up next to the driver. The caravan pushes off for the rest of the day. The sun climbs and the rain clouds break up. The green grass that grows in these great fields, glistens with silver as the rain clouds part and these corpuscular beams of sun shine down. No bandits, seemingly, and then the sun goes down and night begins to fall. The caravan breaks from the road and the Caravan Master says, “All right, everyone round up. It’s muddy out here. We’ll need help setting up camp. Everyone hop to, hop to!”

Agholor: I’ll help!

Chancho jumped down and began to help off-load tiny items that he can carry. A burly caravaner hauls down a 50 lb load of firewood which he tosses to Chancho. Chancho steps out of the way of the thrown load and it lands with a splat in the mud, scattering everywhere. Chancho then proceeds to pick all of the firewood up.

MacMumbles turns to a bunch of the caravaners “This guy, y’know this guy’s a riot isn’t he? I’m not gonna do what he’s sayin’ we’re wanna do, but I’m gonna do what I wanna do and that’s zipadoobopwaooo, hey! Anybody got any drugs?”

Solin laughs at MacMumbles and jumps down and starts helping at unload everything. Solin appears to be in his 60s in human years. Grey hair, battle scars, Solin helps.

Roofer, the employee of the month, starts going for it. “Is there anything I can do to help?” One of the caravaners says “Those oxen need to be curried, hurry up!” To which Roofer replies “All right. Get o’er here, get o’er here oxen.”

Zorticus goes to the Caravan Master and, smiling with dead eyes slowly stops smiling and it turns to a frown. The Caravan Master is deeply creeped out by that. Without looking away Zorticus pulls out some paper and starts to write something down and the Caravan Master moves on quickly, constantly looking back at Zorticus who doesn’t take his eyes from him.

Agholor sees that Chancho needs some help. Since Agholor knows Chancho from earlier when Chancho happened by The Barrel Cracker tavern and when he went in for a drink Agholor tried to stop him at the door. Chancho was taken aback as he’s rather famous and no one has ever tried to stop him before. They got into a tiff and when Chancho went for the jugular Agholor just put his palm on Chancho’s head and chuckled. And they both were like “well met, sir.” And they have been friends ever since.

Agholor worked at the Barrel Cracker Tavern for about a year, year and a half before signing on as a caravan guard with the group.

The camp is set up, a bit faster because of the help from the group and a big bonfire is in the centre. The group spends the evening getting to know the rest of the caravan and as night descends they realize that they have super cramped sleeping quarters in their cot wagon. It looks like there will be rain so no one is eager to sleep outside tonight. Everyone hits the hay. Zorticus literally punches the hay and then goes on to trance outside in the rain. Zorticus, with his robust constitution does not suffer unduly from spending the night in the rain. The cot wagon is packed with a bunch of hammocks strung three high in three rows. The group is bolstered by several other guards and Solin elects to sleep on the floor of the wagon instead of a hammock.

Scenario 1: “Honey, you’re doing it again” by Kurt A. Anderson
Snoring. Snoring like someone trying to work a chainsaw up into the sinus of a hippopotamus. The character of the player who most recently drank hard liquor, Solin, has fallen asleep in a snap and is the loudest, most obnoxious snorer they’ve ever heard in their lives. Agholor goes over all friendly like and says “Hey, you’re snoring.” and lightly shakes him. Solin grunts, rolls over on his face and falls back asleep.

The next day dawns and in full montage mode vistas and scenic landscapes pass by the caravan as they travel the road. Beautiful mountains in the distance as another event happens…

Scenario 2: “We’re getting the band back together!” by SpaceSeeker19
A few days into traveling the caravan stops outside a little town called Darker Falls. As they setup camp thirty odd townsfolk come out to see the caravan saying “we gotta buy some pans and shit” so they’re shopping from the carts. And one of the townsfolk notices Zorticus and MacMumbles (because he is the shortest member of the group at 3 foot 1. MacMumbles is 322 years young.) This townsman comes staggering up to the two of them saying “Oh thank god you’re here. Wing! You’re WING!” And he wanders over to MacMumbles saying “and CHUNG! Wing and Chung! You’re here. Oh thank God we’re saved.”

This staggering townsman runs the local orphanage and Chancho and Zorticus have been mistaken as the traveling minstrels Wing and his partner Chung, Wing Chung! They are scheduled to perform tonight at a fundraiser for an orphanage that will surely go broke. The orphanage is counting on the entertainment. The group knows, for their own reasons that Wing and Chung will never show up for this gig as they recall earlier the caravan passed a wagon in flames on the side of the road that read “Wing and Chung” before the side collapsed, the wagon pinioned with arrows. Zorticus laughed hysterically at the fire.

Drawing back to the moment the other townsfolk have overheard the Orphanage director call them out by name and are excitedly saying “Oh my God, it’s Wing and Chung!” It’s important to point out though that the orphanage director will be imprisoned for fraud if any deception is detected by the Darker Falls officials and the concert attendees.

The orphanage director yells loudly “Oh good god, Wing and Chung, you gotta get down to the orphanage right now! Otherwise… it will be the end for all those little kiddies!”

Roofer is confused about who Wing and Chung are and the Orphanage Director says “that dark elf there is Wing, of course… you don’t recognize Wing and Chung?! And this little Halfling standing next to the famous bard, why that’s Chung! The shortest…”

Chancho is familiar with this sort of admiration and praise and recognizes that this is where he needs to be. He is on a greater path and he is not one to fight destiny. He says “Let’s go!”

Zorticus gets wild eyed and looking at Chancho he racks his brain. So he takes on the affectations and charisma of a Patrick Bateman style character saying “yeah, oh my god, yes. This is going to be so much fun for us to do this… right now.”

The orphanage director bustles them off to the concert. If they succeed with their performance the orphanage will be saved. If they fail the orphanage director will be hauled off screaming to jail. Agholor follows the two “minstrels” and the Orphanage director says “who is this guy? Your body guard?!” They nod affirmatively and he goes on “Perfect. Wait backstage, don’t let anybody in. They’re gonna tear ‘em to pieces.”

Zorticus is very good at performing, surprisingly because of his normal efforts to fit in. As he and Chancho look out, there is 700, maybe 1000 people all arrayed on this grassy field before you as they’ve come from every neighboring city in a three day radius for this concert. They stand on a wooden stage which has been cobbled together with patchwork curtains which are pulled aside. The front two rows are only orphans. Wing leads with Chung to follow. “Here’s Wing! He always starts things off!”

Zorticus realizes that he is not musically inclined, but as a hermit he did try to make a lot of different sounds so he begins to beatbox Wing Chung’s famous song “Throwing knives and stars” Chancho begins to howl like a wolf. When the song ends everyone in the crowd looks incredulously at each other. The orphanage director looks at them quizzically and everyone erupts into applause screaming “Oh my god, you guys are the best!”

Zorticus leans into the mic and says “This is what it’s all about. Right now, it’s this applause. We thank you.”

Later in the evening… the Orphanage Director says “wait, wait, you have to do an encore.” Everything went beautifully, and the crowd is chanting for an encore. Even Roofer is chanting! “I never knew these guys were even here. They’ve been carrying things around and sleeping outside. This is a great ensemble.”

Chancho is a folk hero. He loves the attention that he has gotten his whole life. So this only confirms that he is meant for great things and his journey outward has immediately been proven. Zorticus is frantically jotting down a lot of notes that just look like incomprehensible chicken scratches and he looks out at the crowd of people. He goes to the wall of the stage and he scratches at it with his nails. Then he goes back to the microphone and he says “One more song, of course.”

Chancho starts the encore named “Oxen on parade” and he lowers the mic, a magically enchanted stone on a stick, and he begins to sound like a fat ferret worrying on the femur bone of a large animal. By the end of the song he has climbed onto the stick his mouth almost eating the stone of the mic.

Over top of this Zorticus begins the song;

That’s what I’m talkin’ bout baby!
Oxen on parade, oxen on parade, oxen on parade, oxen on parade!”

And on the last “parade” both of them join together in harmony before ending the song. Somewhere Tom Morello lays on the ground, twitching. The Orphanage director comes out onto the stage scooping coins that have collected there during the concert into a big sack and saying “you guys gotta get out of here, come on we gotta go. We gotta go right now.” He busts it out the back door, running away.

The group makes it safely back to the caravan as it breaks up and heads out of town. Everyone is ready to hit the hay. You’re dreading going back to this place with Solin. Dinfizzle shows up and says “Wait just a minute, I saw the concert, you guys did great.” He looks into the cot wagon and remarks “It doesn’t look all that comfortable in there. Would you guys like to… I’ve got plenty of room in my caravan… would you guys like to? It was wonderful what you did for the orphans, would you guys like to stay in my caravan? I’ve got beds!”

Zorticus comes up to him and gives him a big hug, but Dinfizzle can feel like a poke in his side as he stares into his eyes with no expression on his face.

“Ahah! Yes, sleep in my cabin with me please” Dinfizzle peters out, disconcerted by Zorticus’ actions. “Well, maybe not you” he adds, towards Zorticus. “I mean, no, you were good. You did good out there.”

Zorticus, Chancho and Agholor accompany him back to his wagon and he opens the door. It’s a twenty foot wagon that is almost eight feet wide and the inside of it is stuffed with all sorts of scientific and arcane memorabilia. There are maps all over the walls and a traveling library of books. Trays of fruit and a wet bar in the back of crystal bottles against the wall. He has a globe and it looks very much like he is a very wealthy scholar. Cages rattle from the ceiling, one of them has a speckled raven.

The raven caws “welcome back, welcome back!” to which Dinfizzle snaps “shut up, Peppercorn, I’ve had enough of you.” Turning to the group he says “ignore the raven. Elven wine or Dwarven ale? Which do you prefer?”

Agholor asks “Do you have Shasta?” and Dinfizzle looks put upon before saying “uh, no, of course not.” Agholor doesn’t look disappointed and says “I’m good then.” Zorticus has ignored the question entirely and has started taking things off the walls to look at them more closely. Dinfizzle becomes nervous but says “uh, delightful! I love you.” Chancho pipes up saying “I’ll have one of each!”

Roofer, who has followed along behind comes in and Dinfizzle says “oh delightful, I remember you from the rainy gate, absolutely! Come back! I’ve got some drinks. Which would you prefer, Elven wine or Dwarven Ale?”

Roofer responds enthusiastically “oh yeah!” Dinfizzle is pleased by this and says “oh yes! Very good! I like this fellow!” Roofer responds “Dwarven ale! Fill’er up!” And by this point MacMumbles makes his way into the wagon. Dinfizzle looks on the party and says “I’m so glad you’re all here, the Caravan Master is a right asshole but all of you are so great.” Noticing MacMumbles directly he says “oh yes, and you helped me … no, wait, I’ve never talked to you have I…” MacMumbles pipes up into the silence, “What’s up, baby? What’s he sayin’?” and a look of dawning recognition lights up Fingdizzle’s face “Slap my haunches! Don’t tell me?! You used to be really famous!”

“I used to be… that’s a word that I don’t like but I, yeah, I’m famous” says MacMumbles.

Fingdizzle says “oh, I remember you had that really big hit…”

“You want me sing it for you right now, baby?” MacMumbles grins.

Everyone cheers and Fingdizzle says “Why don’t you say we have a little party here in my wagon?! That’d be delightful!”

“All right! All I ask is a couple of beers for my friends, a little bit of wizard weed for myself and any other sort of drug paraphernalia, I would love to get my hands on it.” MacMumbles rushes on.

“Don’t tell me you partake of pipeweed, do you?” Dinfizzle inquires politely, with interest.

“I partake of anything you got!” MacMumbles pipes up. And he jumps onto a coffee table. “Hello, beautiful people, yeah, it’s me MacMumbles McGumtree. How y’all doin’ tonight. That’s great. Hey! Listen. I’m going to sing that classic of the realm, you know it, I wrote it with my good friend, and writing partner, Terry Bipper, oh, it must have been two centuries ago…. God time’s fly. Hey!

Agholor interrupts “I love this song!”

MacMumbles carries on as though he didn’t hear him, “So, you know it. I was fresh off my third divorce. Terry was fresh off his fifth. And there’s only one place you can go when you’re lookin’ for a little fun fun, when your nuptials are done, done. And I think you know the place that I’m talkin’ about. You’ve heard enough of my yappin’ – hey fellas, can I get a little top hat, and something tasty like that… that’s good!

‘Oh you can gamble and drink
Yeah, you can solicit sex and you can sing
But if you’re comin’ up north, baby, you’re bound to get the Blazestone Blues
If you’re surrounded by criminals and all sorts of crooks
If a dragonman is giving ya dirty nasty looks
Then you’ve found yourself in that two horse, one volcano town… Yeah!
I said ya came up North and down with the Blazestone Blues!
A bippitboppita bo boppita boop True Story.
The Blazestone Blues is a real STD
And you can catch it.
And I don’t recommend it.
Terry Bipper got it something awful.’

MacMumbles finishes with “All right, tip your waitresses!” and everyone erupts into applause.

Fingdizzle says “WOW!”