Gliding deep through the inky void between planes is the Saturnine, completing once more her sisyphean tour of the nine known worlds. The Dragon Friends have little time to sample her many, decadent luxuries however, as a string of disappearances has them rattled and there’s a mystery to solve, a child to rescue and… an open mic night to win?
This episode features Ben Loomes from Syrinscape providing live (and at times very distressing) sound effects.
Bobby and Freezo have used Disguise Self to disguise themselves as ship's officers and are searching the ship for the Gillmen and the missing Bonathan Westminster, while Philge and Hagdar are eating together, and Hagdar is telling Philge about the ranks of the ship. The owner of the ship, Lady Casilda, is never seen by passengers. Below her are the Favored, paper-masked staff disfigured by inbreeding, who are the only ones with access to Casilda. The engines are run by the Order Of The Bellows who wear great helmets; and below even them are the Gillmen. The ship never takes on new staff; the castes form self-sustaining populations.
Bobby and Freezo, still in disguise, go to recruit Philge and Hagdar in the restaurant - but have trouble persuading them who they actually are (with Philge attempting to have Freezo prove who he is by telling her her last name). Hagdar mentions that there have been previous cases of children - or those under 30 - going missing on the ship. Philge grabs a passing Gillman and, apparently believing he might be Bonathan, asks him to open a door with the handle - which he can do, and flees. Philge and the Friends chase down the Gillman, but he escapes through a bulkhead door embossed with a sigil of a bellows (which Freezo charges into to eliminate the possibility of it secretly being a magical portal).
Bobby examines the door and finds it locked by a card reader, but as he does so, three Bellows Men emerge from the corridor, asking what they are doing there. Freezo, still in disguise as a Favored, claims that he is trying to escort the passengers out of the area - but learns in the process that the Bellows Men do not tolerate the Favored in their workspaces either, and that they are led by a Cardinal. Freezo is able to calm down the Bellows Men and they apologize to Freezo and the others, and when Philge complains about Freezo and the Bellows Men talking about her over her head, tries to calm her down by giving her tickets to an open mic comedy night (which God/Dave is forced to improvise the details of). As they walk away, Bobby watches the Bellows Men and sees them open the door, not with a card, but with a key with an etched design on the bottom.
Freezo ad-libs that there may be some benefit for the "winner of the comedy show", and after a long pause, God/Dave rules that the tickets allow the Friends to attend and to take priority on the mic, and that the winner of the show will get an invite to dinner with Lady Casilda. The four Friends take turns giving individual performances. Philge performs first, having to make a Constitution save to avoid violently farting due to her shrimp consumption. Bobby performs next and does an impersonation of Tolstoy Kndd, which very few people recognize since he is one of 20,000 passengers who embarked the previous day, but Tolstoy himself is present and encourages Bobby to continue with an impression of Martha - which also nobody recognizes, and which requires the MC to apologize for doing impressions of the couple whose child just went missing. Finally, Freezo cracks a borderline-racist joke which actually impresses the "first class shits" in the lounge, and so goes ahead to outright racism against the Gillmen, which wins him 4 tickets to dinner with Lady Casilda (and potentially starts a riot against the Gillmen)
The four Friends are given fancy evening wear and an escort to dinner on the bridge with Lady Casilda; but while Philge is introducing herself, Philge fails her Constitution save against the shrimp and soils herself (immediately after Lady Casilda asks her to "tell her a joke"). Freezo also tries to impress her by telling her a joke, but although it is a very poor joke, Lady Casilda believes it is "anti-comedy" and accepts them onto her table - after which Bobby casts Charm Person on Casilda.
Non-Player Characters (NPCs)
- The Family of Harmans
- The Bellows Men
- The Caste of Revelry
- Tolstoy and Martha Kndd
- Lady Casilda
- Gillmen (Wetboys)
Themes, tropes and running jokes
- "Me dealt with a Caste system before. Frogs sucking each others' dicks off and all that." - Philge, a reference to Tomb of Annihilation
- "Have a wonderful trip. I'm sorry you had to see that inside baseball." "Well nobody likes to have First Class passengers talked about like they are not there." "Please accept these tickets to the.. comedy show.." "Oh, THANK YOU, Ben. Alright, FINE."
- "HELLO! I'M SHRILL!" - Bobby's impression of Martha Kndd
- "Hello everybody. My name's Freezo and you know what I was thinking the other day? I was thinking, isn't it odd that High Elves all talk like this, in this voice? You see, I've always met a High Elf who's always been 'oh, this is right up here, you know, we're quite charming individuals, you know." But you know what Dark Elves sound like, right, Dark Elves.... aw, not like that, guys, oh no!.. No, no, no, I just.. in this PC culture a joke's a joke and sometimes people are going to say things that offend you, alright, but it seems like we can't say anything anymore because everyone's like a precious snowflake are they? You know what I want to do? I want to get all those little Wet Boys and I want to line them up and then I'm going to just, um, woo, I'm going to set them all on fire, is what I'm going to do! That's what you want to do, line up all the things from the ocean and burn them! That'll teach them a good lesson because that's what they deserve because they're different from us!" - Freezo's comedy act
- "You don't have to talk to me, the Captain of this ship, if you want to meet the pig chef."
- "My name is Freezo. I'm just as charming as you are." "See, that's not typically something a charming person would say." "Well, if you think that then maybe you don't think you're very charming." "Would you like to be ejected? Like, not from the room but out of an airlock?"
- "Three Wood Elves walk into a bar. And you know how.. Wood Elves have.. keen senses and intuition and fleet feet that carry them quickly and stealthily through native forests." "Are you, in desperation, reading the Player's Handbook?"
- "You're talking about the caste, the Parliament of Harmans, which is a middle tier caste whose job is mainly gastro but also exposition." "Guys, you can't see this but Dave's glasses have started to fog up again."
- "What? It's true! You can't talk to a monster that's running away from you! That's not a joke, that's just basic human interaction which I've learned!" "Hing, this feels like a gimme, but I don't feel you're in a position to lecture anyone about basic human interaction."
- "That's like the first time I've done stand-up in about six years! And it went about as well as I could have hoped!" - Alex Lee on Philge's comedy performance