With yet another completely coincidental fire nipping at their heels, the Dragon Friends head back to the most logical place for them to return to - A random unscripted town with a storied history of not being on fire. Philge and Baston are met with extremely unlikely circumstances with dire consequences, while Banknote casually flirts with an inadvisable number of fireball spells.
After Lionshield tries and fails to put out the forest fire by casting a Ray Of Frost (instead only extinguishing a single mushroom and making an arcana check on it), the Friends decide to head to the nearby hamlet of Vantage with the cart to try and stay in an inn. Bobby decides that, since he is currently in the form of Robert, he should be tied to a leash and pretend to be a dog in order to avoid disturbing the village. Lionshield also asks Buttons to send a message back to Crawford the Pelican, the new fire chief, at Daggerford Castle.
Arriving at the village, the Friends find that the villagers are already forming a bucket chain into the nearby Lizard Marshes to collect water to fight the fire. Philge recalls that they are so named because lizard-people do live there. Seeing that the bucket chain is struggling, Baston dramatically jumps on top of the carriage, poses dramatically with his Cloak of Billowing, and then fumbles an athletics check to climb down the cliff and dives head-first into the marsh, wounding himself and forgetting to actually bring a bucket.
Philge suggests that her Orcish strength would allow her to carry a cauldron of water to the fire, and Sweetmeats, the organizer of the bucket brigade, agrees to send two men to go and fetch a cauldron for Philge - although this does disturb the bucket chain. When Baston recovers, he finds himself face-to-face with one of the lizardfolk who live in the marsh; he manages to persuade the lizardman that he needs water to help put out the fire. The lizardman shows him a ladder leading up the other side of the marsh, and he begins to climb and gestures at the lizardman to follow.
As Rory and Bacon arrive with the cauldron, Sweetmeats explains that the Commander of the Daggerford Watch has apparently gone missing, which is why they haven't had much help from the city. Philge announces that she will use the Amulet Of The Black Skull to teleport into the marsh, fill the cauldron with water, and then teleport to the fire and use the water to put it out.
Philge lifts the cauldron and then teleports into the marsh, but fails her save against the black magic of the Amulet and is turned to stone. Seeing a statue of Philge holding a cauldron suddenly appear in the marsh and beginning to sink, Baston slides down the rope ladder - crashing into the lizardman who was climbing up behind him, failing another Athletics check, falling into the marsh again and knocking himself unconscious and dying on -1 hit point.
With two Dragon Friends apparently disappeared into the fog, and Lionshield unsure of what to do, Robert loosens his leash and heads down the cliff to help, finding the unconscious Baston now surrounded by three lizardmen, and the petrified Philge sinking into the swamp. He uses his leash as a lassoo to grab hold of the Philge statue, and Lionshield attempts to set up a winch at the top of the cliff to pull the statue up; but his shout to Bobby attracts the attention of two of the lizardmen, starting a fight. Lionshield races down the ladder and he and Bobby begin to fight the lizardmen.
Just as the fight is turning, Lecroix Pamplemousse arrives from the town with soldiers, scaring away the lizardmen and announcing that Crawford is now organizing a brigade to put out the fire and actually doing rather well. Lecroix has Bobby stabilized and a travelling priest casts Greater Restoration on Philge to reverse her petrification. At that point, Michael Hing speaks out to complain that he feels it is unfair that Philge and Baston are effectively getting off scot-free for their screw-ups while he generally did not do so. Dave suggests that a Medicine check should be rolled to check that Bobby can be successfully stabilised, and the check succeeds; Hing protests further that Baston has still gotten off scot-free and the world has not changed.
Dave thus declares that as the Friends are pulled over the cliff face, they see the fire is coming under control, but spreading closer to their carriage.. which they didn't tell anyone was full of vials of Alchemist's Fire. It explodes, destroying a chunk of the town, killing Buttons Wirth.. and destroying all of Lionshield Banknote's equipment which was on the carriage (and Baston's cloak of billowing).
- Vantage (motto: "Come for the biscuits, stay because it's not on fire")
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- "No! You don't get experience for making a commoner destitute! What game do you think we are playing?"
- "... You start to die!" "Can we see what's happening..?" "NO! HING! YOU'RE UP! Bobby can't do anything, he's on a leash being held by Buttons Wirth! ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS GO HOME! Vantage, that small farming community that has claimed so many adventurers! The fire is now beginning to lap at the outskirts of the Hamlet, as the fire, unchecked because you stopped the bucket chain.. the hamlet is now.. but you're OK because you sent a message to the fire warden, EXCEPT OH WAIT YOU FIRED HIM AND REPLACED HIM WITH A TALKING PELICAN YOU LIKE! If only the Commander of the Watch could help you, a man who is missing because YOU LOCKED HIM DOWNSTAIRS FOR NO REASON!" "... Dave, leadership is hard."
- "Maybe just dial back from the precipice of genocide."
- "Every time Freezo fucks up he loses all of his shit, or like Philge gets to take his sword, or we're taking his fucking spellbook for a season.. Baston fails two Death Checks and it's like 'oh the clerics come and save him!' you know."