The Dragon Friends make their way to the frozen wastes of the Deadlands, and Dave needs to realize at this point it's too late to teach anyone new rules. With special guest Emma Balfour.
The Heart of Glass is on the way to Freezo's tower in the Deadlands. Freezo and Philge, after spending some time interrogating Jeremy Scaleson, are informed by LOGAN that they have arrived at the tower, but that it has hailed them with a warning that its "emergency countermeasures" are active.
Freezo announces himself to the tower, and it responds by saying he "cannot be identified at this distance", and asking him for his passcode. Freezo tries Mystra, but this is wrong and activates the tower's defenses, which consists of a cloud of flying Ice Mephits - which are too weak to damage the massive Heart of Glass, but would prevent access by the Hummingbirds. They decide to have Freezo fly in in a Hummingbird, escorted by the other pilots on the crew, in the hope that getting closer to the tower would enable it to recognize him. After some confusing attempts to manage a three-dimensional tactical squad combat, Dave eventually gives up and just has them roll dice to see how well they fight, and they pass through the Mephits and enter the tower's atmosphere.
Freezo accesses a terminal in the tower's hangar. This terminal identifies him by his handprint, and confirms that he wishes to "secure the perimeter"; he does so, which causes an explosive energy nova to erupt from the tower and kill all of the pilots who were still in combat with the Mephits. It also deploys a large staircase leading up into the tower. As they climb the staircase, they see that beyond the hangar the sides are decorated with artworks of Freezo, showing him single-handedly defeating Strahd von Zarovich, befrending the dragon from I Step Into The Moonlight, and taking Johnny Playstation's place as the artificial god of Freeside. Philge idly punches the pictures of Freezo in the face as she climbs, and one of them responds, revealing it is a magical painting that runs the security system as it has been imbued with Freezo's paranoia.
The painting announces that Freezo must perform a second validation. Three pneumatic tubes capture Baston, Philge, and Jeremy, and a pit of fire opens beneath them. The painting demands that Freezo chooses the least important of the companions to kill by pressing one of three buttons. Freezo notices one of the buttons shows a halfling - Bobby Pancakes - and pushes this button on the grounds that the actual Bobby is not present, and Jeremy does not fit properly in the tube meant for Bobby and thus could get stuck in it. This theory does not work and Jeremy is dropped into the fire and dies, but is apparently brought back to life and ejected from the painting, which announces Freezo has passed the test by being willing to kill a friend without even hesitating and opens the door. Jeremy, realizing what Freezo just did, punches him in the face and announces that he will kill him as soon as he is no longer useful.
Climbing the stairs to the final door, the Friends arrive in a familiar cell with a bunk and writing-desk, a recreation of Freezo's room in Mystra's temple - which Baston reveals to be an illusion by tapping the ball of quinoa on Freezo's desk. Also on the desk is a book, chained and locked to the table, and labeled "Freezo's Diary". Baston attempts to open the book with a flying kick, and with a critical success, breaks both the table and the chains holding the book. Baston tries to read the book, but discovers that it is written in code. Freezo looks at the book too, but does not remember the code - but finds that, wedged in the jacket of the last page of the book, is a letter. Freezo removes the letter, revealing a Glyph of Warding which explodes in his face, knocking Freezo to 0 hit points. Baston steps over to him to read the letter, which appears to be from Bobby Pancakes, and reads:
"Freezo. Max and I saw what happened to you at the faultline. We saw you die. We saw you come back. None of the others know what we saw, but we'll tell them if we need to. We know what you are, know what you're trying to become. We can help you, we can find a way to lift this curse - but if you don't stop this madness now, we will stop you." As Baston looks down, he sees Freezo's dying body glitch and then reappear healed and standing up in front of them.
- Baston, played by Emma Balfour (a former judge on Australia's Next Top Model, and not in fact a random member of the audience)
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
- Bobson Dugnutt
- Chunkerson, aka Painting
- The Deadlands
- The Heart of Glass
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- Dave refers to this as episode 16, when it's actually episode 14.
- For some reason, this episode appeared on podcast aggregators more than a week before it appeared on the Dragon Friends website.
The actual intended rules for the fight between the Hummingbirds and the Mephits were released by Dave in the Season 4 Campaign Notes that appeared on Patreon. The intended rules were:
- The Mephits are fought as a swarming entity with 100 hit points; every 2 hit points kills an individual Mephit.
- Each round, 2 people on the landing vessel can fire guns at the Mephits at +6 to hit, dealing d6 damage.
- On Jeremy's turn, he can give an order to each of the three wings, then join one of those wings, which gives them advantage:
- Cover: "DC 12" (the modifier is not listed) to negate a dice of damage dealt to the lander (see below), but lose d3 craft.
- Attack: Make 1 attack against the swarm at +3 to hit, d4 damage, for each 2 craft left in the wing.
- Scatter: Do nothing, but give disadvantage to attacks.
- On the Mephits' turn, they attack either a defending wing or the lander directly; they make 3 attack at +4 to hit, each hit dealing d10 damage to the lander, which has 30 HP.
- "Never forget what I have done for you. I would have killed you in an instant just now were it not for the fact that you are useful to me. The moment you stop being useful to me, Jeremy Scaleson, I promise - on the heart of my love - you will die, painfully." ".... No, that seems fair."
- "The Dragon Friends have cracked this peace asunder, the Nine Known Worlds are in turmul.. turmoil. The Dragon Friends have cracked this wo.. fuck. Beth, Beth, can you just.. thank you. The Dragon Worlds have.. The Dragon Worlds!?" "Beth, if I may offer a counterpoint, please keep all of this in." (She did.)
- "You feel cowed by Jeremy's presence, and for once you shut up and you get in the fucking craft."
- "Now the way this works is we go into combat really quickly. It's three rounds to punch through to a distance close enough to the tower where you can breach it, but in order to do that you're going to have to lead the way, ok? So Jeremy, we'll start with you in the initiative, you need to give the orders. You have two wings guarding the ship?" "What?" "That's what you said. You said Crystal and Gold Wing." "Yea, and there's two behind them. So there's three on either side. So there's three including.." "Oh no, we're doing it again." "It's surrounded by six craft." "So, for half of them, do you want them to cover, attack, or scatter?" "..." ".. Cover the ship as it goes in, attack the s.." "Oh, yea. So the two at the front will attack.." "You're not giving individual orders to the ships. You're giving them to wings." "Why are they called wings? What, a wing is a group of ships?" "OK! MAKE AN ATTACK ACTION! ALRIGHT 16 YOU DID REALLY WELL CONGRATULATIONS! 8 MEPHITS DIE! EXCELLENT! NEXT UP IS YOU FREEZO.." "I'm flying towards them.." "GREAT EXCELLENT MAKE A WISDOM SAVING THROW!" "It's a 17." "You guys have got guns mounted on the ships." "THAT'S A GOOD POINT! MAKE AN ATTACK ACTION BOTH OF YOU!" "I got a 4." "YOU MISS! YOU HIT! 7 MORE! EXCELLENT! YOUR TURN, BONUS ACTION!" "17." "EXCELLENT! SOME OF YOUR GUYS DIE BUT YOU KILLED THEM ALL! I've learnt an important lesson." "You really have. I don't know what made you think that I would be able to handle that in the moment."
- "Do you think, on Easter Island, the heads that are there have bodies going all the way down?"
- "Emma, I know that this is Baston, but you've been on stage for one minute. Stop trying to fuck the Dragon Friends."
- "Suck my ass, Edan Lacey."