Surrounded by judicators, The Dragon Friends must rely on nothing but their deception and quick thinking to find a way out of a surprise party in one piece and continue their journey to Daggerford.
The Dragon Friends have accidentally broken into a birthday party for the Adjudicators. Adjudicator Captain Mannocks, who has just arrived, makes an awkward speech to everyone. The Friends start a chant to encourage him to down his flagon of ale, which he does (and which Ben Jenkins also actually does, unnecessarily). He stops and announces that the party will need to be wound down in 20 minutes because he has been informed, via a secret agent, that a resistance cell is planning an attack in Daggerford and the Adjudicators will need to plan to go there by caravan. The Duke of Daggerford, LeCroix Pamplemousse is also having his 40th Birthday in 2 days time and the resistance may strike during the revelry.
Lionshield and Baston both try to persuade Mannocks to allow them to check that the caravan has not been tampered with, and Mannocks allows Lionshield to go and check them. He takes "Gibbs" (Philge) with him, and Gibbs encourages Mannocks to drink a huge "tropical mama" cocktail prepared by Baston (which is actually just Cointreau with a slice of pineapple in it); he does drink it, making him effectively poisoned.
Lionshield goes out to the wagons, and decides to destroy all but one of the caravans (which they will escape on). Philge summons Flappy and asks him to destroy one of the wagons, and he's baffled as to how to do this, flies head-on into one of them and knocks himself unconscious. Lionshield pours vodka all over one of the wagons and orders Bushu-D2 to burn it down. He also decides to sabotage the axle of one of the other wagons, and as he begins sawing, Bobson Dugnutt sneaks up on them, explaining that he has also snuck out of the party, and asks for clarification on the plan. A moment later they see that Mannocks himself is leaving the party and has immediately noticed the burning wagon. After some confused and frantic denials, Baston grabs a random Adjudicator and yells that he's the culprit. Mannocks doesn't believe him, and starts challenging another Adjudicator, Brandon, as to who the four Friends are. Brandon explains that they were left off the travel manifest because their group includes Gibbs and it was supposed to be his party.
Mannocks decides to send the two remaining wagons ahead to Daggerford with 12 men, including the Friends and Brandon, while he remains at the tavern; and also give a magically warded envelope to Baston to deliver to the Duke. The Friends leave for Daggerford on the intact caravan before realizing they have left Bobson Dugnutt behind, and Lionshield accidentally mentions his real name as the caravan is leaving - but just gets away with it. Brandon asks why all of the Friends, who he still believes are the Adjudicators he planned the party with, are suddenly much more incompetent than he remembers. The Friends challenge Brandon to prove that he isn't a Resistance spy. Brandon, after a pause, laughs this off as a joke for Gibbs' birthday just before Philge knocks him unconscious with her hammer.
After some discussion as to whether or not to kill Brandon, Bobby decides to carve "17" (for Resistance Cell 17) into Brandon's back. They also decide to ride through the night without stopping to camp, taking turns driving the wagon, in order to get to Daggerford as quickly as possible. On the way, their Disguise spells wear off, revealing their real selves. Lionshield manages to briefly recharge the wand being used to disguise them and re-cast the spells; however, as he is casting on Bobson Dugnutt, the wand burns out, leaving him with the Adjudicator's face but still the height of a gnome.
The wagon is brought through into the central court of Daggerford Castle where LeCroix welcomes them, thanking them for providing security for his revels although he expects not to need it. Bobby presents Brandon to him as a captured member of Cell 17, and manages to persuade him to have Brandon thrown in the dungeon. LeCroix invites them to the private celebration at the castle, and Baston delivers the warded letter to him; LeCroix opens it to reveal a signet jewel made by Banknote's grandfather Placeholder, and previously owned by Greatheart. LeCroix is delighted, explaining that they recently discovered Placeholder Banknote's secret laboratory after a freak fire at his old family home, and recovered a complex metallic barrel-shaped device from it which is activated by the signet jewel. LeCroix activates the device, which transforms into a complex mechanical crab, and he climbs into it.
- Bobson Dugnutt
- Adjudicator Captain Mannocks
- Adjudicator Dilemon, frustrated landscape painter and part-time Adjudicator
Themes, Tropes and Running Jokes
- Baffling Reference for our International Listeners: The Friends sing the traditional Australian drinking song "He's a Piss Pot" to welcome Mannocks to the party.
Here’s to Mannocks, he’s true blue,
He’s a piss pot through and through.
He’s a bastard so they say,
He tried to go to heaven but he went the other way,
He went down! Down! Down! Down!
- Tom sings "Dragon Cum!" to the tune of the Season 2 Theme.
- Cum Jokes: Apparently Dragon Cum can be used to recharge magic items. Who knew?
- Two Guards: Who are also "Snooty", apparently French, and extremely bad at guarding things.
- The "Banknote Apparatus" is actually a standard D&D item called the "Apparatus of Kwalish", very rarely used in campaigns due to its awkward fit with the setting.
- This was the first episode after the Age of Isolation, recorded at the Vanguard theatre.
- "I can't wait to get.. um, rat shit.. with you, and just.. bloody.. have sex with a raccoon. Just really get in there.." - Adjudicator Captain Mannocks attempting to fit in with the lads
- "How do you 'be a good boy' in a time of war?" "You win."
- "Typically it's the second half that's really drunk and lewd.." - an audience member in the interval.