|“||They say power corrupts; but that is only ever said by the weak.||”|
— Michael Hing, GMing for the first time
|“||I was away for a month! What the fuck has happened to this show?||”|
— Dave Harmon
This was a terrible idea. DM’d by Michael “Freezo” Hing with special guest Gen Fricker.
After Freezo's defeat of the Bellowsmens' Cardinal, he has commanded the ship to go full speed toward Primus, against the advice of one of the Bellows Men. As the ship accelerate, Bobby Pancakes apparently loses consciousness and appears on a world that is "familiar but in decay" where he sees Dr Dave Harmon (PC), from the Parliament of Harmons improv troupe, lying in the mud being attacked by a Shadow Demon. Bobby distracts the demon, and he and Dave fight and destroy it, leaving behind its heart and a Ring of Telekinesis found in the mud.
Dave explains that Freezo's decision to go full speed resulted in the Carcosa Shard on the ship exploding, driving part of the shard into Bobby's heart. Dr Dave rushed him to the ship's hospital where it was found that, since Bobby is a werewolf, he could regenerate even this injury by being placed in a "Moon chamber" on board the Saturnine; but to prevent his werewolf alter ego Robert taking over completely, Bobby's consciousness has had to be temporarily transferred into one of his friends, for which Freezo volunteered. Dave also has entered Freezo's consciousness too to ensure that Bobby is alright - but while he has done this before in cases of mortal injury, unusually this time he has found himself unable to leave. Bobby asks if this means he cannot be harmed while in Freezo's headspace, and Dave responds that if Bobby's consciousness dies then Robert will take over his body completely. Dave suggests Bobby lead the exploration, because Bobby knew Freezo better than Dave did.
Suddenly, a giant wrought-iron gate appears, and behind it a yellow-and-red circus tent decorated with a giant inflatable of Freezo's head and the legend "Welcome to Freezo's Funhouse". Dave and Bobby skip together into the tent, when Leonard Swiftfeatures appears outside as a carnival barker. Bobby considers apologizing to him, and then asks if anyone has managed to leave. Leonard indicates the red X on his forehead - the Shadow Demon had a similar one - which indicates he was killed by Freezo and thus can never leave. Others there who were not killed by Freezo include Daphnyl the Sea Hag and Sir Cuck the Paladin; Daphnyl, who performs nightly in the Big Top, is supposed to know how to escape.
Walking into the carnival, they see the Big Top and the carnival folk - which include Clive Who, the former guests from the Guggenheim in Shadowrun, and a/ll of Freezo's other victims, all marked with a red X. Dave asks if this means that a former Guggenheim art critic is now working as a carnie, and Michael confirms that he manages the midway. Dave heads for the midway, while Bobby goes to look for Daphnyl. On the midway, Dave finds versions of Hook A Duck, Tin Can Alley and Laughing Clowns (except that the clown faces are all Freezo's and the ball has a changing image of the player's face on it). Dave decides to play it safe and play Hook A Duck, and after successfully hooking a duck is told that he can either win the art critic, or trade for the contents of a box. Dave takes the art critic, who turns out to be called Reginald, and then immediately orders him to give him the contents of the box (which is a plush Garfield).
Bobby, meanwhile, has found a caravan marked "Daphnyl Horror", next to two others. He bursts into the trailer, revealing Daphnyl's dressing room - and Daphnyl herself sitting in the corner. Daphnyl explains that she and Freezo previously had a relationship and were magically linked via a ritual, and although they've now broken up, part of her remains in Freezo's head. Reginald recognizes Daphnyl as having previously filmed him having sex on a bin, and as they talk, Dave asks Bobby how they can persuade Daphnyl to help them.
Bobby tries to cast Charm Person on Daphnyl but she resists the spell, becoming suspicious. Bobby attempts to cover this by saying he was testing that she was real, and Daphnyl asks for a foot massage before her next show. Bobby, Reginald, and Dave all take turns massaging Daphnyl's feet, but only Dave successfully makes the roll to do so successfully (with assistance from a Bless spell). An orb appears in the middle of the trailer giving a view of Cuck the Paladin who appears to be shackled to the floor, and having his life force drained into a series of other orbs in the walls. Bobby pockets the orb while Daphnyl is distracted by the foot massage. Daphnyl tells them that the only way to escape is to free Cuck, who is kept in the throne room of the white dragon Atirius ("what! it's a cool name! I used a random generator!")
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
- Bret, the Shadow Demon
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- The background music in this show is eerily familiar (The 7th Guest?), and the setting has several aspects of the Silent Hill series. The carnival plot echoes Silent Hill 3 and the forehead marks on those killed appear in Silent Hill 4 (and previously in the film The Frighteners).
- This is the first episode to run with only one Dragon Friend, as a result of Philge being absent and Freezo's player running the session.
- Right in the Gooch
- "Eat dirt! Or more specifically mud! Of which dirt is a very large component! The other being water!" - Bobby Pancakes
- "I am currently being hugged by a naked shadow demon, wearing boots." - Dave Harmon
- "I don't want to feed my face to my friend's face."
- "You're a magic user too - at the buffet I saw you change your face." "Yea, yea." "We need to find a way to charm this woman, get her to work with us." "Yea. cool, I'll just quickly cast Charm Person."
- "Orbs are so useful. Anything can be an orb. You want a food orb, power orb, a love orb.. " "A food orb is just a Malteaser."
- "This is like Simon Pegg writing a Star Trek. Like, you immediately write yourself a girlfriend." "That's a deep cut." (This refers to the film Star Trek Beyond which Simon Pegg co-wrote and also acted in as Scotty, who does indeed meet a woman in that film.)
- "John Nash, in the audience there, with your adding two numbers together." (John Nash was a famous mathematician and game theoretician, the creator of Nash Equilibrium.)