The 20-Sided Theatre, Episode 7: Face to Face with the Lord of this Horrible Place, or The Insufferable Basterds vs. The Champions of Ahk’rapp
Imenand - Blake
Rhomande - Rud
Thrimlach - Cian
Maldreth - Gabe
Issa - Ceri
Thorn - Blake
Vragul - Rud
Drowmande Sorofein - Blake
Torrea - Cian
Sir Gnome - Rud
Tuxedo Beak - Blake
Yfirma∂r, Queen of Vragul - Natalie
The Great Horrible One’s Favorite Gladiators
Brawna - Blake
Retlaw Semaj - Natalie
Carfina - Cian
Golrak the Merciless - Gabe
Blondie - Rud
Ravanys the Cleric - Ceri
Scene 0: Alternate Drowmande/Icosagon Intro
Scene 0:Show Opening & Theme Music
Vragul: **From “offstage”** QUIET!! TIME FOR START SHOW! VRAGUL DEFEAT AUDIENCE!!
SFX: (2d20 rolls)
SFX: (pause)(51136_rutgermuller_Cough (short))
SFX: (two-count pause)
Rhomande: No use hiding this time, Drow! We know you’re there again!
Rhomande: Well, someone’s got to get this show running. Ahem. Good evening Lords and Ladies. You have chosen your evening's entertainment --
Drowmande: (interrupting) Oh, no you don’t, treesleeper! This isn’t your theatre.
Rhomande: O for crying out—
Drowmande: (interrupting) Ruffians! Wenches! Bloodthirsty degenerates of all ages! It’s Thursday night, and you know what that means! Welcome... to the Icosagon!
The Wiz: **From “offstage”** Dancing lights! SFX: (121558_sbarncar_whistleandreport.aif x 5 (bunched in time with opening of Theme Music)
Theme Music: (VCMG – Victory Flower Fields – 20-Sided Theatre Edit)
--> slight alteration?
Music Bed: (Sylvius Leopold Weiss – Courante in F Major.mp3)
Drowmande: We join our heroes...
Rhomande: (interrupting) Hey! We’re “contestants”! … Wait a minute…
Drowmande: Exactly! He’s finally learned, folks.
((Sfx: d20 roll))
Rhomande: (Strangled, angry sounds)
Drowmande: Ahem... Allow me to introduce you to our “Contestants” -- The Insufferable Basterds of Western Scottalia!
(Sfx: Crowd boo)
Drowmande: Thrimlach Lenanien! A blind Elf Sorcerer, stripped of all his trinkets, charms, and poultices.
Thrimlach: Sir Gnome, this is still all your fault!
Sir Gnome: Yeth, mathter. Sorry, mathter.
Thrimlach: Torrea, I want you to get us out of this cell immediately!
Torrea: At once, Lord Thrimlach!
Drowmande: Imenand Shenouda, known throughout The Empire as The Weaponsmith -- he serves as President and spokesman of The Shenouda Necromancy Corporation, and provider of the Icosagon’s more devious implements of carnage.
Imenand: SFX: (4914_noisecollector_cat2.wav) I begin casting Knock! I am SO SICK of this process.
Drowmande: Issa Featherfoot, Pengonquin Princess. A sneaky, seven-foot-tall Werepenguin! It’s been quite a while since we had a good beast hunt, hasn’t it, folks?
Issa: Just hurry it the fuck up so we can get through this fucking cockswallowing annoyance of a shitpile that you call a game!
Drowmande: Quite a mouth -- er... beak, isn’t that? Who’s next? Ah, right! The terrible, towering Maldreth the Impius, the ogre-blooded Patriarch of the Church of War, dedicated to Makar, Father of Strife!
Maldreth: Makar will ensure my presence at your demise, Deep Elf.
Drowmande: His Majestic Terror, Vragul, son of Vorbal, King of Town Hall, King of Wagon, King of Docks, King of Wife, King of Bloodless Axe, and Baron of Keepfield! Attended by his regal wife, the dread Yfirma∂r, Queen of Town Hall, and their infant son, Vriggle!
Vragul: G’uh! Me awake!
Yfirma∂r: Me know you awake! Me wake you up! It your turn for change and feed baby.
Vragul: Me hate lack of sleeps. But me King of Son, and for be king me must do dirty jobs some time.
Drowmande: Thorn, the Trixie Pixie! A thieving little gnat, with an indeterminate gender.
Thorn: Hey! Where’d the cat’s skull go? I had seven thousand gold worth of miniaturized furnishings in there!
Drowmande: And our leastmost challenger, some flamboyant elf called Rheumy Andy!
Rhomande: It’s Rhomande, and you know it! Gods! I almost miss the last voice.
Drowmande: Coves and Cozies of my blood-lusting audience, recline upon your gilded seats, quaff your libations and thoroughly enjoy your evening at The Arena of Ahk’rapp!
End Music Bed: (Sylvius Leopold Weiss – Courante in F Major.mp3)
Scene 1: When Last We Left Our … ““Heroes””…
Rhomande: We waited for a full month in the stasis field, as our captor had promised, powerless to do anything but watch as the illiterate barbarian stage crew made subtle, dreamlike, and physically impossible changes in our surroundings, until we found ourselves on the deck of a fresh ship strewn with open treasure chests. Nothing but open seas stretched out before us, as far as even the keenest of our elven eyes could make out.
Drowmande: Alright, contestants, are you ready to get back into the swing of things? I hope you are, because your cue’s coming up in a minute and a half, and none of you have even left the green room yet. Come on! Into your costumes!
Maldreth: I swear by the Malevolent Guillotine of Makar’s Revolution that once I get myself away from this place, I will commit SUCH a genocide upon the Deep Elves.
Thorn: That’s all well and good, Maldreth, but I think we should still follow his suggestions. Look! They’ve finally given us back all of our armor!
Issa: Hunh. So that’s what made all of those treasure chests heavy enough to fall down from those clouds up there…
Imenand: Penguin, someday I must take the time to teach you the laws of natural philosophy. We know what made them heavy enough to fall. But what made them stay in the clouds in the first place?
Issa: I dunno. What makes you mammals dumb enough to carry your eggs around in your stomachs for most of the year, instead of leaving the males to keep them warm? There are some things the Cosmic Egg just doesn’t want us to know yet.
Maldreth: Hey, buffoons! Quit gabbing about the grossest part of having a body, and get into your armor! I’m not going to be defeated just because Makar saw fit to burden me with you halfwits for the rest of foreseeable time.
((Sfx: putting armor on; I can provide foley, if you’d like))
Rhomande: We donned our armor hastily, fearing a sudden attack. Then, just as the last of us glamorously fastened his final straps and chain links into place, we all lurched to one side, as the ship ran aground.
((Sfx: d20 rolls x8, 4 thuds))
Rhomande: A quick glance over the rails showed no sign of the endless sea from a moment ago. Instead, we found ourselves atop a buried ship in the centre of a massive, sandy arena. The spectators' stands rose fifty feet above us, and the clamor of the ghostly crowd drowned out all conversations, giving me a moment to take impeccable notes.
Scene 2: The Master’s Favorites
Drowmande: And now, the next challenge. You've asked for this matchup, folks. And now you will bear witness to the fight of the year! These morally damaged individuals – these Insuffrable Basterds of Scottalia – have survived yet another round in the realm of the Great Horrible One! But now your luck has turned! Prepare to face the Master's Favorites! It is my pleasure to introduce the Ludus Trium Hominum, current champions of the Arena of Ahk’rapp!
Drowmande: And here they are – Blondie, the silent master of low temperatures! Do you have anything to say yet, Blondie?
((SFX: brief silence, followed by icy crystallizing sounds))
Drowmande: It looks like Blondie is erecting an icy model of the arena, complete with horrifyingly disfigured and broken miniatures of the Scottalian Basterds!
Drowmande: Up next is Brawna the Dwarven Suplex Machine!
Brawna: RAWWWR! You Scottalian lackwits are going down in under 3 rounds!
Drowmande: The horrifying minotaur known only as Retlaw Semaj!
Minotaur: Nobody stop Minotaur!
((Sfx: Moo, metal-weapon-wassshingk))
Drowmande: The deadliest healer of them all: Ravanys and her twin maces of ruin!
Ravanys: Even if I can’t get out of here, I can still serve Manneg and Vardelle by smiting their foes and healing their champions!
Drowmande: The deadly flashing spear of Carfina, who has freshly accepted her rightful place among Clan Ahk’rapp.
((Sfx: whooshing spear sounds))
Drowmande: And the power hitter of the Ludus Trium Hominum, the leaping lizard himself: Golrak the Merciless and his deadly Vorpal Glaive!
Golrak: Snicker-snack, Scottalians! My mighty Drakender Glaive is coming right for your necks!
Thrimlach: Really!? You left us in stasis for like a month, and now you’re going to have us fight these goons… and you haven’t even healed us yet!?
Drowmande: What did you expect me to do? We had you in Freeze Frame the whole time! Healing would have created continuity errors, and those are death to one’s scrycasting career!
Maldreth: Ugh. Lousy meatsacks. I should at least have you all shaved to cut down on the lice. Or maybe I can find a spell to transmute all of your flesh into spiders. But I guess that’ll have to wait. By the Grand Spectacle of Makar Popping Somebody’s Eyeball Out, may this assembled Scottalian Congregation be Healed!
((Sfx: Maldreth Heal))
Scene 3: The Fight Scene
Carfina: Hahahaha! You lackwits can’t fight what you can’t see! Chaaaarge!
Brawna: Right behind you ’Fina!
((Sfx: Baseball slide, dust cloud))
Drowmande: Well, that’s the best use of the arena’s sand that these pitch-black eyes have ever seen! Carfina has zig-zagged to the center of the arena, sliding into a defensive position! And all of that movement has kicked up a huge cloud of dust, obscuring most of the fight! And Brawna’s flying carpet has taken her somewhere into the heart of the dust cloud! Fortunately, for our viewers on the Scrycast, our Stage Magi can keep your eyes on the action with their patented Infracrystals!
Issa: Man, oh, man! This can’t be good for us. Note to self: Kill that dwarf and take her flying carpet. I’m getting tired of flapping my arms to keep balance when I fly.
Imenand: What abomination of magic allows the penguin to fly, anyway?
Issa: Well, it’s either this Angelic Armor from the Water Dungeon, or it’s this ruby-bladed sword that I picked up off that pirate who kept harassing us after Gentleman left with Kelora.
Imenand: But… How did he get his hands on that!? That sword was supposed to be lost to the ages! Mëassë herself forged that blade and its twin, in the days before the sun and moon! When we return to my workshop, you will hand the Dawnbreaker over to me for… (sinisterly) “experimentation and safe keeping.”
Thrimlach: Wow! Another set of legendary, god-forged weapons! How many sets of those things did she make?
Rhomande: At least three. Except mine is made out of a potato’s puckish soul, so I’m not sure how much that counts.
Issa: Meh. It’s gotta have some sort of magic abilities, then. Maybe if I fiddle around with all of these garnets set into the hilt…
((Sfx: d20 roll, switch click, Shield of Faith))
Issa: OHMYGODS! I’m so sorry, Thrimlach! I didn’t realize it was pointed at you!
Thrimlach: Why are you facing backwards, anyway!? The enemy is over there, in or behind that cloud of dust. And anyway, it doesn’t seem to have done anything damaging; just a Shield of Faith.
Carfina: Enough nonsense! Now, you face the silent wrath of Blondie! I can feel his wrath through our mutualized Familiar Bond!
Blondie: ((Sfx: Harpo Marx style honk-honk))
Rhomande: Then, a lone figure emerged from the dust cloud, riding upon a levitated disk of ice. A crystalline sword hung loosely from his belt, as he braced his body and closed his eyes. Then, his cold, blue eyes snapped open, glowing white with eldritch energies, and his blonde hair frosted over as it stood on end. His left hand idly touched the hilt of his sword, and the crystal blazed with the same light from his eyes, only much, much brighter.
Blondie: ((Sfx: big honk; maybe a fog horn?))
Drowmande: No, folks, the Master’s Favorites haven’t disappeared from your infravision. Blondie has covered them all with a thick sheet of Ice Armor. We’ll just switch the Scrycast to a lower wavelength, so you can see both sides of the combat!
((Sfx: radio tuning))
Thrimlach: Oh. Great. Another sword that burns like the Plane of Incandescence. How gods-damned many Legendary Swords does one fight need?
Carfina: Well, we did have to descend to the deepest pits of the underworld to retrieve this weapon!
Maldreth: So what? We went back in time and created the Death Zone in the crystalline desert to get the first of ours!
Imenand: And we broke down the crystal city to make said desert!
Minotaur: Retlaw no cares aboust sword or hells or desserts! Only swords or hells minotaur need ams HORN! RRRRRAAAAAAGH!
((Sfx galloping hooves, d20 roll))
Drowmande: Aaaand… the Minotaur has lost his way through the dust! We’ll see what happens, when the cloud settles or he charges out. Whichever comes first!
Rhomande: Alright, now. I suppose it’s time to stop taking notes by hand. Ahem. Sorfinde’s Uninterruptible Quill and Parchment! ((Sfx: quill scratching)) There! Now I have both hands free to play my lute, and I can still keep a faithful record of the day’s events!
Ravanys: I sense the darkness of the Fallen Gods of Weaponry and War upon you, undead filth! And, so the power of Manneg’s Glorious Weapons shall cleanse this arena of your evil!
((Sfx: Glorious Weapons))
Drowmande: Well, that’s going to be a huge help to our Master’s Favorites! And it looks like those magically enhanced weapons will get to see some use, very quickly! Golrak the Merciless is checking his Vorplanium Glaive for balance, as he prepares his signature move. No challenger has ever withstood the speed or strength of…
Crowd: THE LIZARD LEAP!
Golrak: Lizard… Leap!
((Sfx: d20 roll, boing! or other jumpy-sound))
Drowmande: And he’s up… and up… and still going up… Golrak has broken through the dust cloud, now, and he’s reaching a maximum height of 127 feet. Not a bad jump, for Golrak!
Vragul: What weird no-face drow talk about? Me no see anything way up there. Only little speck that getting bigger.
Golrak: It’s not a speck! It’s a spear!
((Sfx: d20 roll x3: 1 big spear hit (crit), 2 whiffs))
Vragul: Ghraaak! Me eye! Oh… Me see now… Ouch.
Imenand: Not so fast, you louse-ridden Lizard! Go, my Cadaver Collector! Tear off his tail and feed it through an orifice or two!
((Sfx: d20 roll, stomping, whiff))
Golrak: Sorry, wraps; lizards don’t get lice. Plus, it’s gonna take something a lot faster than a pile of grave dirt to catch this lizard!
Imenand: I’ll deal with you soon, but not until I deal with your weakling, sky-worshipping Cleric of Manneg. A lightning bolt should take care of that! I believe I felt her positive energy most strongly being focused in… THIS DIRECTION!
((Sfx: Lightning bolt, 2 d20 rolls, moo of pain))
Ravanys: Oof. Now I know why we kicked the war gods out of the pantheon. Those guys are jerks!
Minotaur: (snort) Ugh. At least me knows where ams the bad guys now.
Thrimlach: Well, I still think there are too many legendary swords on the field right now. Come on, Torrea! You too, Sir Gnome! We’re going to do something about that. Quickly! Through the Dimension Door!
Sir Gnome: Yeth, Mathter.
Torrea: You go first, Spirit of the Swift Wind. Lord Thrimlach keeps forgetting to make these doorways taller than seven feet.
Thrimlach: Look, just because you have a magical-yet-not-flying-or-talking horse doesn’t mean that I have to change the way I cast my spells. Now…
((Sfx: Dimension Door))
Thrimlach: Hey, uh. Moilin?
Blondie: ((Sfx: Harpo Marx style honk-honk))
Thrimlach: Yeah, you. The silent ice mage.
Blondie: ((Questioning “honk” sound))
Thrimlach: Can you please show Sir Gnome here how to get through this … MAZE!?
((Sfx: push, Maze))
Drowmande: Oh! And that’s a bad blow to the Master’s Favorites! With these hot stage lights on them, their icy armor is rapidly melting, now that their magus is gone!
Yfirma∂r: You Lizard! You stop make husborc yell! You startle baby!
((Sfx: d20 roll x6, 3 punches))
Issa: Wait… she wasn’t holding on to her kid, there. Like. At all. And he just held on and keptnursing.
Yfirma∂r: That how traditional orc childrearing say it supposed be. Orc baby need be tough; this how you toughen him up. Get him used to battle. Then he even be able sleep through him’s dad snoring.
Vragul: Hrm. Me think axe can teleport high enough to get away from Jumpy Lizard. But me not want leave wife and son alone on ground.
Golrak: I can getcha anywhere in this arena. Anywhere you can ’port, I can jump better.
Vragul: Me can ’port anywhere better than you.
Golrak: No you can’t.
Vragul: Yes me can.
Golrak: No you can’t.
Vragul: YES ME CAN!
Golrak: Wow… I guess he can.
Maldreth: Hrm. I’d better say a quick mass before this fight really gets going. By the Red Rays of Makar’s Eyes, may the hideous mass that is my flock be Healed! And, Makar, would you please see fit to quicken a comet falling upon this battlefield? I don’t think anybody here has suffered nearly enough yet.
((Sfx: mass heal, sky rumbling))
Carfina: You scourges may have removed Blondie from the field, but his fury still lives in me! You! With the lute! You shall fall upon my Keen, Fiery, Terrablasting, Shocking, Vicious Spear!
Rhomande: The desert maiden quickly crossed the arena and… Urk!
((Sfx: quill scratching, d20 roll x2, 2 hits))
Brawna: Well, if one of our mages is down, then one of yours should be, too! Get ready, you weirdo blindfolded elf! Here comes the Adamantine Elbow Drop!
Thrimlach: Why on any plane would one desire an adamantine elbow? G’rhyek!
((Sfx: d20 roll x1, elbow drop, then d20 x2))
Drowmande: Ohhh! That kind of behavior isn’t gonna get you any gold stars in the children’s garden! Luckily, we’re in the Arena of Ahk’rapp, and Brawna has earned the applause of our rabid fans! Let’s watch again on the replay as Brawna elbow drops Thrimlach, right in the head! Then without letting her feet touch the ground, she swings her arms around his neck for a chokehold, slamming the blindfolded mage’s shoulders – and the back of his skull – into the ground for a 3-count. That’s one for the highlight reel, folks!
Issa: What I need is a distraction, right about now.
Tuxedo Beak: Wak-Waaak wak-Waaaaak! You mean something like this, fish ball head? Haiyah!
((Sfx: d20 roll, throwing knife sticking into floor/wood/etc))
Carfina: What is that? A razor-sharp throwing fish? With a rose in its mouth?
Issa: Nope! It’s a distraction! PECK PECK!
((Sfx: d20 roll, shattering shield))
((Sfx: thud, crowd “ohhhh”!))
Drowmande: Looks like Carfina’s glad she was wearing that shield on her back! Too bad it couldn’t stop the wind from being knocked out of her, though. I’m sure she’s wishing she had just taken the hit and woken up in a cell!
Carfina: (breathlessly) I hope… Blondie… is almost done… with the maze…
Drowmande: Let’s check in and see how he’s doing!
((Sfx: wind storm))
Blondie: ((Sfx: Harpo Marx style long, sad honk))
Sir Gnome: I’m thorry thir! I don’t know how we ended up in the wind tunnel. I mutht have taken a wrong turn at Farblequerque.
Blondie: ((Sfx: sad honk))
Minotaur: Nobodys can stops Retlaw the Minotaur! DIE FAT BIRD THING!
((Sfx: Charge, d20 roll, whistling as the bird flies,))
Tuxedo Beak: Lady Featherfoot, watch out!
Issa: Waaaaak (distressed penguin noises)
Drowmande: Retlaw has scooped up the penguin on the tips of his mighty horns, and you all know what’s coming next, my rabid rabble!
Imenand: Now, that’s the only reason a penguin should be flying!
Maldreth: Because a minotaur just punted her fifteen feet with his horns? I agree. Makar is pleased by this adherence to the Natural Order.
((Sfx: Thud as Issa hits the floor))
Issa: Oof. I much prefer flying under my own power. Ugh. Just give me a minute to lay down here and I’ll be back in the fight in a few minutes.
Rhomande: Here lizard! Nice lizard! You want to come work for me now.
((Sfx: Charm Monster, d20 roll))
Golrak: No thanks, elf. I’ve got a pretty sweet gig here. Plus, I owe those orcs a thing or two.
((Sfx: jump/boing/spring away))
Rhomande: Gods damnit! Why won’t anybody let me dominate them today?
Ravanys: Because your chaos cannot be allowed to continue, elf! I can smell the stench of Bardok upon you, and it must be cleansed with Pillars of Flame!
Rhomande: I… hate… you…
Vragul: Whoa! Watch where you shoot them fires! Me family was almost hit!
Golrak: We’ll have to get that “almost” out of our performance review, then!
((Sfx: jump boing, d20 roll x2, 1 hit))
Vragul: Ouch! Jumpy Lizard no touch Vragul or Family again! Me responsible now! Me learn PARRY!
((Sfx: weapon clash, spear whirling away))
Golrak: Ummm…. Maybe I’ll just go down there and get that, then we can continue this. Lemme just get a foot on your chest so I can make a proper jump.
Vragul: No! Vragul no like adolescent magic ninja lizard! You need learn lesson. You learn best lesson. AXE LESSON.
((Sfx: d20 roll, hit with Bloodless))
((Sfx: falling whistle, smack, crowd Ohhhhh!))
Drowmande: Ohhhh! And that’s our first casualty of the match, my coves and cozies! Golrak will be severely disciplined for being the first to fall.
Imenand: Dwarf! Unhand that blindfolded elf at once! I have uses for him!
((Sfx lightning bolt x2))
Brawna: (sizzling) Ugh! Not on your life, wraps!
Torrea: Lord Thrimlach! Tag me in! And may the light of life return to you by my hand!
((Sfx: hand slap, healing))
Thrimlach: (being choked) Thanks, Torrea, but I don’t think she saw the tag!
Torrea: Then maybe she’ll see something larger. Spirit of the Swift Wind?
((Sfx: neigh, slap, horse snort, d20 roll x2, 2 hooves))
Brawna: Oof! Horse kicks ain’t nothing to the skull of a dwarf, you leathery longshanks!
Vragul: Hey! You you Minotaurc! Me King of Distance Hit for Arena of Ahk’rapp! You no challenge king!
((Sfx: diving swoop, d20 roll, flat axe hit))
Minotaur: Hrm? Mooo!
Yfirma∂r: Okay, Husborc. You do this like we practice or me remove you sore tooth tonight. And me no let you use any herb or potion. Ready, aaaand… Drop!
((Sfx d20 roll x2, 1 kick))
Yfirma∂r: Woops! Me no practice this with baby yet! Whooooa!
Issa: Holy fuck! That baby isn’t bothered by anything! His mom just whipped around so she wouldn’t land on top of him, and he just held on and kept nursing! I think he’s even going to sleep, now!
Maldreth: I tire of your antics, cleric. By the terror of Makar’s Pig Sticker shall I slay the living! And a quickened Implosion on… Hmmm… Whom should I implode?
Thrimlach: This… Dwarf… is… choking… me… Maldreth…
Maldreth: Fine. I’ll implode the dwarf.
((Sfx: Slay Living, Implode, d20 roll x2))
Ravanys: I think not, lich. My allies and I stand firm under the skies of Manneg!
Maldreth: Ugh. What about the dwarf? Are you free yet, Thrimlach?
Brawna: Oh, noooo! He’s still down, and I’m still waiting for a ref to make the count!
Maldreth: I hate all of you, and I vow to be the primary cause when you die horribly. Even you, Spirit of the Swift Wind.
Brawna: And as for you, long-ears!
Drowmande: Brawna’s letting go of Thrimlach. And now she’s standing him up and dusting him off.
((Sfx d20 roll, punch))
Drowmande: Oh! And she opens up with a left hook to the chin! Brawna springs backward, and hurls a throwing axe…
((Sfx d20 roll))
Brawna: Woops! Ravanys, look out!
Ravanys: What was that, Brawna? There’s an awful lot of (noise right now) - - Gh’rik!
((Sfx: throwing axe hit))
Brawna: Eeeeeugh. Well, at least you’re a cleric, so you can deal with that? Sorry, Ravanys! (to Thrimlach, angrily) This is all your fault, long ears! (grunting sounds as she clubs Thrim over the head)
((Sfx: d20 roll, punch))
Thrimlach: Oof! Give… Sir Gnome… To Maldreth… Ugh.
((Sfx: crowd cheer))
Drowmande: And that’s the next contestant down! Sometime in the next hour, Thrimlach will wake up in a randomly selected, all-expenses paid cell, right here in our own dungeons!
Drowmande: What? I’m sorry, sir? Yes, sir! Of course!
Drowmande: The Great Horrible One has just informed me of a change in the rules! This is no longer a team matchup! The Great Horrible One will personally award a special prize to the last gladiator standing!
Issa and Vragul: Last Gladiator Standing?
Issa: I’ve been waiting for this a loooong time, greenskin. PECKPECKPECK!
((Sfx: d20 roll x3, beak hit x3))
Imenand: Wait… if I die here, will I be resurrected in a cell as a human, rather than a mummy?
Drowmande: Nope. Our mages have set it up so you will reappear in the state with which you identify most closely.
Issa: You mean I’m a real, live penguin again, and not a zombenguin! Yaaay!
Drowmande: Let’s get back to the fight, folks.
Ravanys: Y’know… for an all powerful elementalist, Blondie really is forgetful sometimes.
Drowmande: What do you mean, Ravanys?
Ravanys: He never seems to remember until the last possible moment that he can rip holes through reality.
((Sfx: gateway, cheer))
Drowmande: And that’s an Arena Record, folks! At thirty yards long and twenty tall, this is the biggest, most gaping wound ever to strike reality in the sands of Ahk’rapp. That frosty-haired mage has a terrible, glowering look on his face. But before we linger too much on that, we should attend to some other business. Bard?
Rhomande: What do you want now, you inferior impressa-nobody?
Drowmande: I want you to make a Reflex save. You and that walking pile of headstones you’re hiding behind.
Imenand: It’s a Cadaver Collector!
Drowmande: Nobody asked you, Wraps. Now make with the saves.
((Sfx: d20 x2))
Rhomande: Oh, dear! The edge of the portal is coming right ––
((Sfx: slicing Rho and the Collector in half; Crowd Cheer))
Drowmande: Ooohhh! Another contestant’s about to wake up in his cell! Maybe even two cells, after he got bisected by that portal! Don’t you worry, folks. That one’s going on the Daily Replay, so you’ll get to see the poncy elf’s spleen fall out as many times as you like! But don’t go scrying away yet, because Blondie’s not done! He’s got that glowering look on his face, still, and now he’s pointing a single, thin finger.
Maldreth: What in the ever-twisting halls of Makar are you pointing at? If you don’t stop now, you’ll be a eunuch as well as a mute!
((Sfx: Ray of Frost, d20 roll, honk honk))
Maldreth: Whoa! Close call there. That’s it! I warned you, Frost Mage.
Drowmande: And what a dodge! Looks like Blondie’s winding up another one, but Maldreth’s got a plan.
Maldreth: You! The skeletal system wearing a suit of plate mail! Come hither! Makar would make use of you!
Sir Gnome: Yeth, mathter. What do you need of me, mathter?
Maldreth: A humanoid shield.
((Sfx: Ray of frost, shattering glass))
Torrea: Sir Gnome! That was most uncouth, Father Maldreth! I should punish you, if I did not know that he will simply wake up in Lord Thrimlach’s cell.
Thrimlach: (faintly, as if from far away) Sir Gnome! What are you doing here? You’d better not have endangered Torrea’s chances of winning this match for me!
Drowmande: Let’s check back in with the fight. It looks like Retlaw the Minotaur is finally gaining his feet.
Minotaur: Ooogh. Not feel so good… But nobody… stops…
Issa: Nobody stops the beak! PECK PECK!
Yfirma∂r: Leave little Vwiggie alone, filthy cow-man!
((Sfx: peck, fist))
Minotaur: (much woozier) Me… said… nobody… stops…
Ravanys: Blondie, watch out!
((Sfx: d20 roll, “bink” of a useless hit, whooshing of a flying sword, clattering of a falling sword, crowd “ohhhhhh”))
Drowmande: Ohhh! And that’s a bad miss! Looks like Blondie forgot that the head’s a harder target on a minotaur, thanks to the horns. That enchanted, crystalline sword of his now rests a good six and a half yards from his hand.
((Sfx: Monkey Chattering))
Drowmande: That’s right, Nelio! With the physical connection broken, the enchantments are already fading, and Blondie is far less of a threat to his fellow gladiators!
((Sfx: Monkey chattering))
Issa: What? Is the monkey our core commentator now?
Drowmande: Why not? He’s already smarter and more articulate than anybody left down there on the sands.
Ravanys: It matters not who runs our commentary! We fight for the favor of the Great Terrible One! Get ready to die, Lich! My rods of Spell Extension shall bathe you in the Holy Light of Healing!
((Sfx: Heal ray x2))
Maldreth: Aaagh! Well, then. Now I know who shall be the first to die for the Father of War. Imenand, would you be so horrible as to clear the field a bit?
Imenand: Shut up, Maldreth. Though our actions often serve similar purposes, you are not to order me about. Though, I agree that this arena is still too crowded. A pair of Lightning Arcs should clear some of the detritus!
((Sfx: arc of lightning x2))
Minotaur: (dying moo)
Issa: (pained penguin noises)
Carfina: Blondie! Protect me!
((Sfx: Shattering ice, heal))
Drowmande: That’s an awful lot of powdery snow and dust in the air. Let’s take a roll call. Who’s left out there?
Carfina: Hahahahaha! Just barely!
Issa: Waaak! I’m still up. How about you, Tuxie?
Tuxedo Beak: Ugh… I’m right behind you, my Lady.
Vragul: ME KING OF SNOW DUST.
((Sfx: baby cry))
Yfirma∂r: You king of wake baby up again, husborc.
Imenand: I choose not to respond.
Maldreth: That was a response, you dolt. And you missed their blonde ice mage.
Blondie: ((Sfx: honk, honk))
Ravanys: We must rally, for the honor of the Great Horrible One! Brawna, are you still conscious?
Brawna: I’m still here.
Torrea: Not for long, gladiator! Spirit of the Swift Wind! Kill!
((Sfx: neigh, d20 roll x3))
Brawna: You missed, horse! Nobody beats Brawna, once she takes it to the ground!
Torrea: What about someone who never goes to ground? For the glory of Mandos and Lord Thrimlach!
((Sfx: d20 roll, mace hit))
Brawna: (grunting in pain) Fuck! My ear!
Vragul: KING EAT PENGUIN! AND ME COOK WITH ANCIENT ORC MAGICS! POWERFUL SHOCKING BLADE OF FLAMING BLOOD!
((Sfx: d20 roll x3, axe hit x3))
Issa: Give… my pebble… to Tuxedo Beak… unhh….
Vragul: AND ME EAT CREAMY ICE MAGE FOR DESSERT!
((Sfx: d20 roll, axe hit))
Maldreth: You halfwits can’t do anything right, can you? Just finish them all off, for Makar’s sake! Here. I’ll show you how. You start with an EARTHQUAKE!
((Sfx: earthquake, d20 roll x7, horse neigh, 8 falling bodies))
((Sfx: Earthquake rumble continues in background until Maldreth and Imenand die, after Torrea: “come, SotSW, we must Heal ourselves…”))
Maldreth: And then you cast a CHAINING HARM!
((Sfx: harm chain))
Vragul: Me always hate stupid, leather, god-talking ogre.
Yfirma∂r: Me always tell you get better friends! You never listen me!
Vragul: This not time! Why you always bring up thing like this at worst possible time?
Yfirma∂r: Why you never do nothing right except for marry me? You worst husborc in history!
Vragul: Not even Queen talk to King like that! Me… Me so angry… me could…
Crowd: Kill you wife! Kill you wife! Kill you wife!
Yfirma∂r: Me like see you try! Hiiiyah!
((Sfx: fighting sounds, d20 rolls, then fades into kissing))
Vragul: (kissing sounds)
Yfirma∂r: (kissing sounds)
Drowmande: That… that is the absolute worst… urk! Oh ye gods! They’re… JUST GET THEM OUT OF THE ARENA AND INTO A CELL, GODS DAMNIT!
((Sfx: teleport x2))
Drowmande: Thank the Master for our extremely literate crew of Stage Magicians. In all of that chaos, we only have a few competitors left. Looks like Ravanys, Carfina, Maldreth, Imenand, Torrea, and Spirit of the Swift Wind are the only combatants still standing.
Carfina: That lich of theirs is still the biggest threat. I just need to get close enough to – Woops!
((Sfx: d20, thud))
Maldreth: Ah! I love it when new converts cast themselves at my feet for mercy.
Carfina: Not hardly! But I can see your bony neck much better from this angle! Yaaargh!
((Sfx: d20, fire/earth/shock/vicious spear strike))
Maldreth: (strangled noises)
Carfina: There! Now you won’t be able to cast so easily!
Ravanys: Good work, Carfina! And now he’s open for another barrage of Extended Heals!
((Sfx: heal x2, monkey noises))
Drowmande: It looks like Ravanys has garnered the favor of the Master’s Best Pet! That’s right, Nelio. She does have a very good chance of winning!
((Sfx: monkey sounds))
Imenand: This fight truly and seriously needs to come to an end. Fortunately, I have a way to do so: with Weaponized Prismatic Walls!
((Sfx: prismatic wall x2))
Carfina: What the… AAAGH! MY SANITY!
Maldreth: Shenouda, you shall pay for this!
Torrea: Come, Spirit of the Swift Wind. We must Heal ourselves and fell the rest of our fellow gladiators, so we can return to Lord Thrimlach’s side.
((Sfx: Heal, neigh, earthquake stops))
Maldreth: None of you morons can properly clear a battlefield! Not even Spirit of the Swift Wind! Makar is very displeased with your general lack of competence. For that and innumerable other sins, you shall suffer a Storm of his Vengeance, as the Comet I summoned finally falls!
((Sfx: neigh, Storm of Vengeance, cometfall, dying horse noises))
Torrea: Spirit of the Swift Wind, noooo!
((Sfx: neigh, lightning bolt from storm))
Drowmande: Looks like the contenstants’ paladin just figured out why you’re not supposed to hold up a mace in the middle of a lightning storm.
Imenand: I won’t be defeated here, Maldreth! The power of the Mother of Weapons is equal to that of the Warfather! And thus, you shall suffer her COUNTERSTORM!
((Sfx: intensifying energies, followed by an explosion. crowd reacts, then falls silent))
Drowmande: (cough, cough) Well, folks, that was quite a doozie. Let’s take a look down there and see who’s still out of their cells.
Ravanys: By… the grace… of Manneg… Lord of the Skies.
Carfina: Haha… ouch… ha…
Drowmande: Hah! Of course, those idiot challengers destroyed each other! They don’t have a proper sense of teamwork and showmanship, as do the Master’s Favorites! With only two fighters left, it’s coming down to the wire, folks!
Ravanys: (tired; huffing and puffing to recover breath) Carfina.
Carfina: (tired; huffing and puffing to recover breath) Yes, Ravanys?
((Sfx: d20 roll, mace hit))
Ravanys: I win. For the pleasure of the Great Horrible One. And the glory of Manneg and Vardelle.
((Sfx: Crowd cheer))
Thorn: Or do you? You still have to deal with my MAXIMIZED, EMPOWERED, QUICK-CAST, EXTENDED SCORCHING RAYS!
((Sfx: the biggest fireball you’ve ever heard, bigger crowd cheer))
Thorn: It’s always best to hide until the end, then take out the idiot who presumes to call herself the winner! I claim this victory in the name of Rhomande’s Insufferable Basterds!
Scene 4: Credit Where Credit is Due
Music Bed: (Credit Where Credit Is Due - VCMG)
Issa: Visit The 20-Sided Theatre online at twentysidedtheatre.com and follow us on Twitter with@IllustriousRho, @ShenoudaNecroCo, @Thrimlach, and @LadyFeatherfoot.
Thrimlach: The 20-Sided Theatre is a joint production of Bear Industries and the Shenouda Necromancy Corporation. This episode stars Gabriel Abinante, Natalie Abinante, Blake Parker, Ceri Quattrin, Cian Quattrin, and Rudraigh Quattrin.
Maldreth: Written by Rudraigh Quattrin and Edited by Blake Parker.
Imenand: Sound Effects Design by
Imenand: Music by
Rhomande: For a complete list of and links to all the music you heard on tonight's episode visit 20sidedtheatre.com.
Thorn: Join us next time at The 20-Sided Theatre!
Scene 5: The Tag
Rhomande: Thorn? Thorn, are you there? Thrimlach and I are tapping you into the Elven Thoughtcape Network.
((Sfx: d20 roll))
Thorn: What was that sound? Something sounded questionable there.
Rhomande: Nope! Nothing questionable! We’re certainly not casting Whisper at the same time, and we’re definitely tapping you into the ETN.
Thorn: Fine, whatever you say. What do you need? I’m on my way back to the cell block, now. Apparently my reward is being allowed to walk back downstairs, instead of being murdered again.
Rhomande: What I need is to tell you, “Good job, Thorn!” You won the match, and you remembered to name me when you did so! I’m as pleased as Father Maldreth is disappointed!
Thorn: Why, thank you, you magnificent Bard, sir! The trick was hiding once I left my apartments in Bastet’s skull.
Rhomande: But wherever did you hide? This arena is quite large, but there weren’t many good hiding spaces. Other than that dust cloud, I suppose.
Thorn: The dust cloud was a good enough distraction to get me into the open unnoticed, and then I just abused the mechanics of the Zeno’s Audience Spell.
Scene 6: Brought to you By