For once the Dragon Friends feel like they're a step ahead of their shadowy enemies, as they have the knowledge and the means to thwart the opening of one of the seven gates. Naturally, their first instinct is to immediately attend a 9 hour amateur musical theatre production.
After learning that the knife has been taken from the family museum and having Philge tie Jovian Hofferman to her ankles in order to protect him, Jovian announces that he still needs to go upstairs to prepare for teleportation. After a brief incident in which Bushu-D2 considers setting fire to Hofferman Hall in order to summon Crawford the Pelican, and then killing Jovian himself so that he cannot be killed by his brother, Philge offers to go with him. Bobby remarks that Bushu-D2 may have a point, in that if killing Jovian themselves will prevent the Brothers' Gate opening and save the world then it may actually be justified. Bobby inspects the musket that is also in the family museum, and finding that it is working, Bobby suggests that they might retain the musket to shoot Jovian if it looks like Roman is going to kill him. Angrily, Jovian points out that his footmen will be waiting for him at his carriage and will investigate respond if they find he is being threatened, but Bobby agrees that he and Philge can proceed to get ready for the trip.
Jovian begins collecting his bags, plus taking a large map of Daggerford off the wall, explaining that it was his father's. Bushu-D2 immediately sets the map on fire, but Bobby is able to use his photographic memory to recall what is on the map, which appears to show the older borders of the town from 500 years ago, with a structure called "the domed tower" replacing the Sanatarium - and "Carcosa" shown as the name of the city. Bobby has a chance to draw a copy of the map before it burns. Jovian complains that the map was a family artefact but represented one of his father's "crazier theories". Bobby takes another look at the Hofferman journal but is unable to translate the cipher, but does notice what appears to be a 7-line poem near the beginning of the journal.
Crawford arrives to put out the burning map, and Philge asks him if he knows of a marbled arch in the town or if he could scout the city from the air to find one. He tells them there's a marbled arch at the Temple of Mystra. Philge asks Jovian about his father's crazy theory, and he explains that his father believed that Daggerford is a rebuilding of the city of Carcosa which stood on the same site before being cast into another plane. He also explains that he was going to the Temple of Mystra for teleportation, and the Friends decide he must not go there, and they will book him a teleportation at a different temple.
They decide to go back to Daggerford Castle to try to wake up Lionshield Banknote and to show Jovian the painting that inspired the prophecy. They take Jovian to see Smedley, who has completed the painting of the Brothers' Gate which now shows that the arch is that of the Temple of Mystra, but reacts with shock when he sees Jovian with them, saying "If you have brought him here then they will come, all of them will come, and burn this place down; they will not be denied."
Baston decides to go upstairs to wake Banknote and then put Jovian in his hypobaric chamber, but they are unable to wake Banknote from his surreal dream. Pamplemousse announces that their carriage to the musical performance is now here, and that he has obtained a ticket for Jovian too, so they agree to disguise him as Lionshield Banknote and they all take him to Who Is Stealing My Cabbages. At the first intermission, the fully rested and healed Banknote arrives in the foyer wearing a surgical onesie (after finding his clothes gone when he woke up). He agrees to apologize to Bushu-D2, although he did not intend Bushu to have feelings. As the second bell rings, they return to their seats, with Jovian actually deciding that he has enjoyed the show.
As they are taking their seats, they notice that the stage has been set for the second act - as a recreation of the arch of the Temple of Mystra! A moment later, the room is cast into darkness and Jovian disappears from his seat. When the lights come back up, Baston attempts to squeeze through the crowd towards the stage aiming to destroy the set, and Bobby sees a glint of Jovian's tabard in the wings. Elsebeth Truscott steps out on stage and attempts to begin the overture to Act 2, when Bobby introduces unexpected lyrics.
ELSEBETH Mystra, Mystra, hear my prayer, Where's my cabbage, here or there?
BOBBY A murder's 'bout to happen, Get out of my way. A gate to Hell will open Tonight if not today.
At that point, Bobby sees Roman Hofferman standing by the fly tower. Philge attempts to join them on the stage, attempting to break through the audience by rapping about cabbages to appear as part of the show, but they aren't convinced. Banknote also pushes through the crowd and throws a bead from his Necklace of Fireballs at Roman, catching the other actors and the other exhausted Friends at the front of the auditorium in the blast. This sets fire to the theatre, burns Bobby, Jovian, Roman, and Baston, knocks Philge unconscious and kills Elsebeth Truscott, most of the front row and the prompt. Roman Hofferman frantically rushes towards Bobby, crying "you have to get me out", and Bobby shoots him in the chest with the musket. Banknote rushes to tackle Jovian to the ground, and as he does, the calumshite curved knife from the Hofferman museum skitters to the floor on the stage; Baston grabs it. Bobby stabs Roman in the neck, killing him, his dying voice crying "No-- he.. had.. the.. dag---"..
- Rivershine Hall
- Hofferman House
Themes, Tropes and Running Jokes
- The performance of Who Is Stealing My Cabbages.
- Philge Your Footman Now
- Possibly a Baffling Reference, although not an international one: the fly tower of the theatre is the area in which props are stored above the stage to be lowered.
- Invocation of the "trolley problem" from moral philosophy, as applied to potentially killing Jovian Hofferman to prevent the prophecy destroying the world.
- The musical Into The Woods does indeed feature a rap in which a witch complains about someone having stolen her vegetables, including cabbages.
- "I was thinking that the prophecy said he had to die by his brother's hand. If I kill him now, that can't happen." "Ooookay, Bushu." "You know what, though? He's not wrong..." "Jovian starts to struggle."
- "Above the town you see a date mark which correctly says 500 years ago.." "Does it say '500 years ago'? Because I think that could be a forgery, then.." "393 D.R.." .... "What does D.R. mean?" ".... Don't recall." (In the Forgotten Realms setting it actually stands for Dale Reckoning.)
- "The best thing about Dave is when he talks you know what words are capitalized."
- "Maybe if I burn the world he will pay attention to me."
- "Look, the show is terrible! Let me just make a performance check for Elsebeth Truscott.. she got a 17! The show's not bad! You were expecting it to be quite bad but the songs are good!"
- "My cabbage, my cabbage, my cabbage also gone! My cabbage, O cabbage, it gone on the run, yo! I'd better find it, gotta find the thief. I better find it, got the cabbage boop!" "That's not actually a million miles from the Witches' rap in Into The Woods."
- "And the map burns!".... "I'm just going to have a quick thumb through the journal as we're waiting for him to pack." "Sure, ok, so.. there's nothing else pressing for any of you?" "Well, no, he's packing his bags.." "I suppose." "I PUT OUT THE FIRE!" "Ah, you've learned!"
- "That's a strong stance. You know what, I'm going to do a Dungeons and Dragons show and my choice is to sleep. The whole show. This is what I'm doing, I'm showing up and I'm not participating..." "THE OTHER OPTION IS I WAKE UP AND IMMEDIATELY GET FUCKING AXED BY THIS GUY AND DIE. That's the other option. Are you going to bring me back to life? No, I know you fuckers won't bring me back to life, I know it. So, yea, I'm playing for me. Because if I fucking die I know I'm not allowed back next month, all right? And I need this!"
- "Anyone ever sat in a pie before?" "And for a mere $100 on our Patreon.." "Do hit us up on Dragon Huddle if you're a pie pervert.." "Rihanna has a song called Only Girl In The World." "OH MY GOD!"
- "And what was once a backdrop of a barn is now a painted plywood facade of the Temple of Mystra." "AWWWWWW." "And at that moment there is a chink and the power goes out in the building!" "GODDAMN IT! You absolutely dog!"
- "So you get to 10 feet away." "And the I'm going to throw.. I've got seven of these left.." "...... Oh no."