962 – Florence and Dancing Ducks | Land of Tomorrow Ep7
This fluffy tail won't wiggle or wag, it will slowly drift in a dance off to dreamland.
Episode 962 – Florence and Dancing Ducks | Land of Tomorrow Ep7
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, my voice just…I don’t know what happened there patrons, but you know it’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast you support and that puts you to sleep. Thanks, patrons.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to get…alls you need to do, excuse me, alls you need to do or alls you could do or you can do, or you could see if you wish to do, or if you would like…wish you may, wish you might have a lull from Scoots tonight. You can do this in any order or not in this order; get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play, and I’m gonna do the rest, or I’m gonna…I’m gonna do it so you can rest.
What I’m gonna attempt to do is create a safe place where…I got this safe place; I’m smoothing it, I’m rubbing it down, I’m talking about the ear pads on my headphones because…and maybe I’ll talk about that on a tangent, ‘cause listening is really important so I could be here for you, but I’m gonna try…and create a safe place, but I’m gonna create a safe place where you could set aside whatever’s keeping you awake whether it’s thoughts about this podcast intro or about the past, present, or future, or just calculations. Anything coming up for you thinking-wise. I’m the old…the stinkin’ thinkin’. You know what makes me think, is when people say stinkin’ thinkin’. I say I don’t know if I like that term. They say what, did you think up that answer?
I say yeah, kind of, but oh, so thoughts, feelings, anything you’re feeling emotionally or physically coming up for you; I’ll try to take your mind off of that, so anything feelings-wise or physical sensations. It could be changes in your schedule or your routine or, you know, whatever’s keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind off of that, seriously. The way I’m gonna do it is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, and go off-topic which you’ve already witnessed a few times, get mixed up, all to keep you company while you fall asleep. So, if you’re new…if you’re a regular listener, I’m so glad you’re here.
This is the second intro I’m recording in 2021 and I don’t know when you’re listening to this, but I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad I can be here for you, the new listener and the regular listener and the kind of listeners that are…listen occasionally. That is one of my favorite things. I have so many favorite things but it is hearing from listeners now that may have listened in high school or university or when they were in their twenties or their teens and then they listened in their…I haven’t been doing it…I haven’t gotten to the double decade yet but I have heard from people that go from their education or their younger years to their first job to starting a family or people that are in other transitions and it’s just really humbling, so thank you for sharing those with me.
But for the new listener, I wanted to tell you a couple things. A few things to know; this is a podcast you don’t really listen to. You kinda barely listen to it, so just kinda pay attention loosely which is kinda hard to do on the first time, right? You say what do you mean, barely listen? When does this podcast get started? When are you gonna go to sleep…when am I gonna go to sleep? I say yeah, no, those are very valid questions. I totally understand, and most people when they get here have those questions. The thing is, I don’t really have clear answers, either. It’s kinda like well, you just stop bare…you barely pay attention to me at some point but it doesn’t happen…for some people it happens instantaneously.
They listen and they say oh, Scoots reminds me of that person in the park that talks to birds and then talks to someone that sits next to him about how he talks to birds. Then he says, you know, then he makes…then he talks about squirrels and tells us stories; oh, do you know Norma the squirrel? She was eating a…someone left a sandwich. I said, they left a sandwich for Norma unintentionally and oh, Norma; she climbed out of the tree and she took a look and her tail…I…do you know…Norma has this beautiful tail, and she climbed down. It was one of those jelly…peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Why don’t they call those jelly and peanut…? That’s kinda what the podcast is. I mean, let’s be honest, I just launched into my own episode or a version of it.
So, at some point you say…if you’re…like, here’s the great thing; in the park you’d have to humor that person. You’d say uh-huh, uh-huh. You might be thinking…you might have a variety of different feelings but it may be…and I’m not trying to be insensitive to the person who’s representing these feelings, but it might be a little inconvenient. You say, you know, Scoots, I’d love to humor you here on this bench where you talk about squirrels and birds and talking to them but I gotta go, or it just takes a lot of energy for me to humor you ‘cause I’m not really into listening to you. With Sleep With Me, there’s no humoring. You don’t have to humor me. You don’t have to listen or pretend to listen. You could just…you could pretend to listen but that would be more for you, too. You could say uh-huh, uh-huh.
That’s like, one of the soothing ways people can listen; mm-hm. But you’re not really doing it. This is literally dialing it in. You say uh-huh, Scoots, uh-huh. Oh, boy. Really? Tell me more. That’s just a little technique that I use to fall asleep to myself without the podcast, period. So, I’m a podcaster you barely listen to. That throws people off. The other thing that can throw you off is this doesn’t…the show really doesn’t put you to sleep. It keeps you company as you drift off. That’s why the episodes are over an hour, is so you have plenty of time to fall asleep and if you can’t sleep, I’m gonna be here.
I’m your bore-friend, your bore-bae, your bore-cuz, your bore-sib, your bore-bestie, your bore-bruh, your bore-bor, your bore-bud so that I’m just here to barely entertain you whether you’re entertained or paying attention, awake or asleep, because there are listeners that can’t sleep, so I’m here for you if you can’t sleep or if you wake up and you need some comfort in the middle of the night. That’s what my job is, to provide comfort, and you don’t have to…when you’re listening, you don’t have to, whatever, interact or anything. There’s no social norms that you’re supposed to meet. So, those are two things for new listeners. A couple other things for new listeners that can throw people off; one is that a lot of this podcast throws new people off. Of course you’re gonna be skeptical or doubtful.
My voice is different, my technique or humor or whatever is an acquired taste. Not everyone acquires a taste for it. So, give the show a few tries. That’s what regular listeners say and just see oh, okay, after the second or third try, I realized the podcast is for me or isn’t for me. If you know it’s not for you, yeah, I really hope you can find something that works for you. Some people know right away and they…for some reason, those people have strong feelings. I have a website; sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothanks or nothankyou. Either one will get you there, and it has other sleep podcasts you could check out ‘cause I do want you to get some sleep whether it’s this show or something else. So, there’s that. Oh, so yeah, not everybody likes me but give it a few tries.
Or, not everybody even falls asleep at first ‘cause you say why are you still talking? When do you get to the story? I say I work my way there very slowly ‘cause I’m putting you to sleep, so that’s the other thing leading into that, is the structure of the show throws people off because the show starts off…it has a different structure. It starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls so you feel welcome, you feel seen. Then there’s business like listener support, sponsors, that kinda stuff. That’s how we’re able to be here twice a week for you. Then there’s an intro and the intro’s about…well, it’s not about twelve minutes. It’s usually somewhere around sixteen to twenty minutes or so.
It goes to about twenty, twenty-two minutes into the show and that’s where I introduce the podcast. Then after…and I’ll go…I’ll talk a little bit more about the intro but then after the intro is more sponsor stuff that’s tucked in between the intro and the story, and then it’ll be our episodically modular series Journey Into the Land of Tomorrow that you can listen to in any order because we catch you up at the beginning of the episode on everything that’s ever happened, or you could look at it like a prequel, like that’s…this is the first episode and anything that happened before it, you listen to it later on; you say oh, that’s a prequel. That’s a genesis story or whatever. Then there’s thank-yous at the end of the show, so that’s the structure of the show.
But the one [00:10:00] part of the show that can throw people off is the beginning because it doesn’t begin like a normal podcast or like you would think a sleep podcast would. But to the people it works for, it kinda makes sense. So, there’s business and that kinda stuff ‘cause the podcast is free; I don’t want it to be a part of a company or be behind a paywall. Then there’s the intro…oh, so the intro…but the intro goes on and on and on ‘cause you say well, can’t you just introduce the podcast and get to the story? I say I could, but it wouldn’t work as well. We tried that and we’ve tested out a lot…I’ve tested out a lot of different things over the years and what I’ve found is that having a nice intro eases most listeners into bedtime.
It gives you some distance, like the setting of the sun lets you set the day and leave it behind you. Then you could listen to the intro as you’re getting ready for bed or doing something at bedtime whether it’s foam rolling or folding laundry or doodling or making tea cozies. Whatever it is…or just looking, just lying there but not trying to sleep; you ever do that? I love that, just lying around, one of the things I don’t do often enough. But so, it just gives you a chance to wind-down. Now, you could skip it. You could start the show at twenty or twenty-two minutes. About 3% of people that regularly listen to the show skip the intro and then a few thousand people listen to story-only episodes on Patreon.
But for the majority of people, they use the intro to either fall asleep to or to kinda get ready to fall asleep because those of us that have trouble sleeping, we’ve been promised a lot of different stuff, right? You found oh, that worked once or twice for me but then after that it didn’t work or oh, I have this great bedtime routine but it doesn’t always work. One of the things is just…they carry over from the day or the distant past or the future. My job is to take your mind off of that slowly. So, that’s why the intro goes on and on and on. The other thing that’s important for me to tell you is that you’re important. Your good sleep is important or you getting the rest you need is important because you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place you can rest.
You deserve a bedtime you don’t dread because oh boy, I’ve been there dreading bedtime and worrying about it, and if I can just make it slightly less…you say well, at least I got Scoots there, so someone’s there to keep me company whatever happens. That’s really the pinnacle of my job; well, Scoots will be there. Maybe I’ll fall asleep fast, maybe I won’t, but I’ll have my bore-bud to keep me company. The other side of that is not only do you deserve a good night’s sleep; if you get the rest you need, your world and my world, our world as a community will be a better place. But it’s also…I know how it feels when you’re dreading bedtime and I don’t want that for anybody. So, those are all the things I want you to know, and then I guess I wanted you to know about my ear cups.
So, I have a pair of headphones that I’ve used I guess for almost the entire history of the podcast. I think I bought them when they were on sale maybe a few months into making the podcast or maybe a year or two in. I don’t know, I’ve had them for a long time and so, when you record a podcast, you’re listening while you’re talking in the mic so that you can make sure…with Sleep With Me that I’ve got my lulling, soothing tones going and that there’s nothing that I couldn’t hear with my regular ear, like a plane or a boat or a car or a leaf blower or maybe some other noise, but it’s also…it really helps me be here for you. I don’t know, there’s something about it that I say okay, now I’m in Sleep With Me mode and it’s my job. It took a while.
It takes a while to get used to hearing yourself while you talk but so, I’ve had these headphones for a long time and they have ear pads. Oh, so when you buy headphones for a podcast, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t need fancy headphones but you do want a pair of headphones that has what they say is a flat response. Alls that means is that it kinda sounds like the audio would sound with no effects added to it. So that way you say oh, okay, this is when I’m listening. I think it’s probably more important with…when you’re editing. But so, I’ve had these headphones for a long time and they have a flat response. I’ve never switched them out and I only use these for recording. I have another set of headphones that I use for editing.
But I’ve heard these headphones…I don’t want to say the name of it just ‘cause I don’t want to fall into any…well, I don’t know. They’re the ATH-50s. These are the ATH-50X and the only…the X just means that the cord that attaches them you can replace very easily which is nice, but I haven’t had to replace that. It’s also really easy to replace the ear…the air…ear pads. Now, I haven’t done it since I’ve bought them. I remember I was talking to someone, Sharif that worked at 99 PI a long time ago, years ago, and he was saying oh yeah, I just had to replace my ear pads on those. I think he had bought the ones…the same ones on sale because there was a sale, because they had these ones that had…they’re bright blue and I guess no one wanted to buy them back whenever this was, 2014. So, I don’t know.
These ear pads should have gone out earlier, I guess, ‘cause let’s see, I’ve recorded…let’s say I’ve recorded 800 episodes with these. That’s like, 1,600 recording sessions plus any bonus stuff, so that’s definitely 400 record…for 2,000 recording sessions with these headphones on. What did I say, 2,000? Probably. At least 2,000…I’ve worn these to record episode…parts of episodes and stuff. But so, alls…all of a sudden, a couple weeks ago…and no, even a couple days ago I said wait a second, these don’t feel right anymore. There’s something off about them. It was just like, not one of those things…I mean, they lost…I wouldn’t wear these out of the house. Their look is not good.
They look deteriorated but they didn’t feel deteriorated ‘cause there was just…the outside material on them came off a long time ago but the pad part has been there the whole time. But all of a sudden, literally within a day…within a couple days they just stopped…they started not feeling…like if you’re aware of the headphones or the earphones, then…just like if you’re aware you’re listening to yourself, then it becomes distracting. So, I apologize for that. It’s a good distraction in the case of Sleep With Me ‘cause any distraction we can lean into. We can soothe it down. So, I’ll replace those. Don’t you worry.
I mean, I will have a debate later about should I…which would be more distracting now for the next four or five days ‘til I get them replaced…just the ear pads, but is using a different set of headphones that might sound different and distract me, ‘cause what if I have to change the headphone volume? That would be…or just…you’re just going for it, because they’re not distracting right now. It’s just when I first put them on. I guess there’s a life lesson there. Really; I’m not kidding, ‘cause when I first put them on I said oh boy, these are bugging me. I said well, at least I could talk about it on the podcast, be honest with the listeners and see where that goes. I say okay, we could do that. But then five or six minutes, I said wait, these are still bugging me. Internally I said that; not on the podcast.
I said there’s no way I’m gonna get through an hour with these on but now they don’t bother me at all. I’m used to them again. Sorry about that, headphones, but I’m sure you’d love to be spruced up with new ear cups. Maybe I could bronze the ones that are in there so they don’t feel bad either, or I could put you up on the wall to watch over us. That’s definitely what I’ll do. Don’t worry, ear pads, I’m not gonna leave you behind. You’ve been with me this whole journey. So, that’s…I think that’s it. I’m glad you’re here. If you’re new, obviously this is a very different podcast but I’m really excited to try to take your mind off stuff, keep you company. I appreciate your time. I work hard, I yearn and I strive to help you fall asleep, and here’s a couple of ways I keep the show going.
Alright, everybody, welcome to our ongoing episodically modular series, Journey Into the Land of Tomorrow. If you’re…this is your first episode, don’t worry listening to it, or let me try to put your…anything…your concerns at ease, because you could consider every episode up until now a prequel and you could fall asleep to those later. I’m gonna…we’re…well, the characters are gonna catch you up on everything you need to know about the story, so that way…then you say oh, okay, now I’m caught up with the story. Now I can start listening and either be distracted or fall asleep. But basically what I did was somehow I acquired this audio from friends playing a board…well, a roleplaying game which is like…it’s a board game in some sense, a bit like DnD.
I think it’s based on DnD Fifth Edition [00:20:00] which is a roleplaying game where you’re adventurers and it’s a lot of theatre of the mind. So, they’re playing that game and we’re listening in. Now, they are playing it in a timeline that we haven’t reached yet or maybe on a timeline in the infinite universe. So, it’s a world very similar to ours. It’s interesting; the world…the game the players are playing in, it’s not super-important but it’s just another tangent that we have at our…in our arsenal. ‘Cause you say Scoots, why…? And I say well, it kinda matters if you want to take your mind off of stuff, that the characters that we’re listening to aren’t in our world. They’re in what would be a future world of ours and they’re playing it in the past which is maybe our future or a future in a world similar to ours on another infinite…like I said, on a infinite time…well, it wouldn’t be infinite.
It would be one slice of the timeline. So, it’s a possible possibility that it’s in our future but either way, they’re playing a game based on it, having fun. It’s very lulling and soothing and yeah, I think that’s it other than our celebrity announcer who’s been with us virtually this whole season even though we keep theatre of the mind going, just like Antonio’s been here in person. Instead, he sits in his car for eight hours and pretends to drive here, a little bit behind the curtain, and…because he would recreate the whole experience and then stays on the Zoom. Believe it or not, I can still hear him even when his microphone’s muted on Zoom in his garage or his driveway. I picture you with one of those…not…this isn’t a judgment thing; I just picture a palatial estate with a fountain and a…what is that called?
A roundabout or something. Now he’s giggling, but without further ado, our celebrity announcer, Mr. Antonio Banderas. Thank you, everybody. Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time to roll a twenty-sided die and take a trip, a journey into the World of Tomorrow. Yeah. Swoosh; rolling the dice, yes. Thanks, everybody. That’s Mr. Antonio Banderas and this is Journey Into the World of Tomorrow.
Alright, is everybody settled? So, who’s turn is it to set everything up? As Dungeon Master, I went…last week is Zell, so is anybody…? It’s Eleanor’s turn. Okay, so I’ll go. Eleanor here, a Florencian nurse. Just to catch all…everybody up, and I know the DM likes to do this…also, I just wanted to note thank you for agreeing that we hold the rules a little bit looser in exchange for a little bit further game progression. I’m excited to test that out tonight, so I just wanted…I appreciate everyone that we were able to build consensus. Oh, so I’m Eleanor, a healer, a Florencian nurse. I serve the three Florences and I’ll get to that in a moment, but I’m a…one of…I’m a member of a party of adventurers made up of Watta, a warrior, blue collar warrior, working class warrior, as we’ve been calling Watta.
Our other warrior or fighter or whatever, battle bot, Lord von Chill, distinguished and proud, esteemed, full of esteem…steaming with esteem; Lord von Chill. Fleet of foot and nimble of finger is our listener, our explorer, our tracker down, our disarmer, and just an all-around good person, works for Lord von Chill so we can never forget that; Grenada of Darmok. Thank you, thank you. Finally, our wizard, technically a play…a non…a player…non-player character, I guess, assigned to us by the Council of Wizards, Watta, a novice or acolyte, short on words, big on heart, in my opinion; Watta, or Emwatta. Excuse me, I know. I just like to call you Watta now that we’ve got to know one another but yeah, we’re a party of adventurers on an adventure. Actually on a…we’ve accepted a mission guiding our adventure.
We’re here in what was once a grand themed world in another time that has since been abandoned for a long time. The Council of Wizards tasked us with sneaking into this world which we have to remember that we’re supposed to be sneaking, not that we haven’t been, but…and to track down a portal or a gateway to another world, another world full of magic both good and bad magic, and to seal that portal. We’ve also learned that we need to find…we found a gem that’s part of a staff or a stave that we’ll be using to close the portal, we think. We don’t have all that…we’re not working with all the information and we’ve yet to find a wizard that’s around, present to tell us anything. But that’s what part of the adventure…so, we’ve been here, we’ve been searching former attractions in this part of the theme park.
We’re in The Land of Tomorrow. We’ve journeyed into The Land of Tomorrow. We’re the only ones that we know of that know that the portal is in this land, though we don’t know where the portal is or the last two pieces of the staff we’re supposed to assemble. But we do know now that after encountering…that some of the attractions in the park have come to life and some have worked with us, some have worked against us. At some point, I kind of lost my way as healer and nurse and I’m unable to heal. I haven’t rested in quite a…quite some time.
I attempted to make peace with Zell to reestablish my connection with the three Florences; Florence the Nightingale was the first one and hopefully she’s heard my calls and my prayers to her, and my ability to humble myself and apologize and thank Zell for accepting my apology, and maybe yeah, that I had some other motivations that as a human being I have, and some things I just don’t understand about Zell’s relationships, inter…wait a second; Lord von Chill here. Oh, so anyway, yeah, you’re right, Lord von Chill, I should pick up on…so, I do need to establish connection with the other two Florences in order to restore my healing but I’m also a nurse and we’re here in the handy hallways beneath the theme park where the utilities went on and cast members and characters would change into their wardrobes.
In fact, we’ve been hiding here in the wardrobe for just a little while, trying to come up with a plan which we’re working on, I guess, right now, of what to do next. We know there’s a clinic down here. Is the clinic stocked? We don’t know. It would be good though, ‘cause then I could do some basic nursing and healing later. We know that we just encountered Tick and Tack, two chipmunk…so, there was animatronics inside of plush character suits and we had to deal with them. It was quite an encounter. Something else ran off. Grenada of Darmok has…there’s one hallway that’s blocked off but we could hear things and…so, right now, right in this moment, our mission is to…we think that we could find…that Grenada of Darmok has found some sort of passageway or duct way to the clinic around this group.
We’re gonna try to figure out what this group is; how many opposite…like, we know there’s someone that…a group of characters that may not want to do…wish us well that are aware of our presence here and that were probably connected with Tick and Tock who we just dealt with. So, we have to get to the clinic. We’re also…we know that the gem that is part of the staff we recovered is leading us in the same general direction, though Watta thinks it’s not the exact same direction…yeah, same general direction, so maybe we’ll exit around the clinic from these handy hallways beneath The Land of Tomorrow. So, I think that’s it. Is anybody…Grenada, what do you think is our plan? Okay, so here’s what I’m thinking; we know that according to the map, there’s a locker room right down the hall.
We also know that [00:30:00] yeah, there’s some sort of group through the server room and through a few other rooms, and they’ve been warned of our presence, we think; warned. So, we could…what I’m thinking is I listen at the door to the locker room, then I attempt to go into the locker room with stealth. Hopefully we succeed at these things, and see if there’s anything in the locker room. But I’m guessing by the map that either we’ll find something in the locker room or the room beyond; maybe I could find a way to listen in or something. There’s…’cause there’s another duct also in the locker room that I don’t think I should go down ‘cause I think it’d be noisy, but maybe I could use that to listen in, and then we could assess things just to see…maybe we should just go in and deal with these other characters but we don’t know…and we’re not all healed, so we’re in a state of disarray a bit.
Okay, versus going and just going…trying to find that duct-way to the clinic. What is the…why would…what’s the…well, we’ll know what we’re dealing with because they could come up behind us, and they…or they could be waiting in the clinic, you know? So, that’s my thoughts. Everybody in agreement? That sounds like a pretty good plan. Yes, it’s just down to chance now. Oh, okay, so I think I understand your plan as Dungeon Master, and you get an amazing roll. So, Grenada of Darmok goes down the hallway by Grenada’s self, opens the door to the locker room which was unlocked, very stealthily does not make a sound, enters the locker room which is dark and…but Grenada senses that there’s nothing else there, and Grenada was right. Grenada gets up on a bench. Everything down here is in very good condition.
It’s dusty and a little bit not great, but because it’s been sealed off from the elements, the locker room’s a bit like…it was left which wasn’t a normal workday. Again, I’m getting off-topic but Grenada stands up, quietly gets up by the vent and does listen, and listens for a while and hears characters talking back and forth. One, they say put your suit back on, so Grenada is able to infer that whatever was…raced out was animatronic, maybe, that’s putting on some sort of suit, and Grenada…in addition to that…those two voices, Grenada suspects that there’s maybe three…Grenada hears between five…somewhere between four and seven voices, distinct voices. Can’t be sure of more than that. Well, except that you said five. So, Grenada hears four…between four and seven voices.
Okay, so I’ll…do I successfully sneak back and I’m telling everybody this? That’s what happened? Yes. Okay, so I don’t think we…those Tick and Tock, if there’s five to seven or even four, I’m a little bit concerned about us take…five on five. They were…that would be…we need to avoid it, I think. Yeah, this is Zell; I agree. As much as I don’t want to back down, I think we need to use our brains. Lord von Chill, I can see you. Okay, well, I’m open, I guess. Lord von Chill’s open. So, Grenada; what do you think? Well, I think I should leave an…we should try to lock that door. I should also put a little surprise on that door, but also particularly a surprise that makes a lot of noise, which I do have. It won’t do much damage but it’ll make a lot of noise, so we’ll know if anybody comes through that door.
Hopefully it’ll make them think twice ‘cause it’ll go off before they even try to unlock the door and it shouldn’t damage the door. Okay, why don’t you see if you could do that? I would like to…I’m gonna put these things on the door that I have, the works of popper-trappers. Okay, you’re successful at re-locking the door and doing that. Wow, I’m really rolling good, huh? Yeah, you were successful. Okay, well, I don’t mean to shoulder everything but I think I should continue down this hallway that goes east, correct? Due east? After the locker room, according to the map, there’s two more rooms. The first room…I can’t really read the writing…something, but that’s where the duct should be to the clinic. So, I think I should go down the hall, see if those doors are open or closed and see what I can see.
Okay, I don’t know if you should go…this is Zell; I’ll go with…can I go with you or should we all go together? Yeah, this is Lord von Chill; I think we should go together but Eleanor and I with Watta in the middle just watching in case that door…the…yeah, we should all go together but spaced out in the hall. Okay, so you go down the hall and you see that both doors are closed. There’s two rooms next to each other and both doors are closed. Then further down the hall is blocked. It’s a total cave-in, so you can’t…definitely cannot go any further at all, period. Yeah, that was on the map even, so should we try to open this first door or…? Let’s listen at the doors. Okay, so you listen at the doors and you don’t hear any…you hear maybe a little clicking but nothing else. Which door? The first door.
Okay, interesting; a clicking, everybody. Okay, let’s…this is Zell; let’s see if the door…can we get the door open? Can we see if it’s locked? The door’s…you don’t think the door’s locked. Okay, should I ease the door open and then try to see if we could figure out what the clicking is and if anything else is in there? Yeah. Yeah, does everybody…? Everybody’s nodding. Okay, so I try to do that. Okay, so you open the door and the door’s in great condition. You turn the knob; it opens. You ease the door open. You didn’t really look around the door but now you can’t help but notice that it says Animatronic Storage on there. You open it up and you notice that the room is filled with animatronic parts, like kinda spare parts.
There’s a couple benches but they’re pushed up against the walls and a lot of the spare parts are just piled in the middle of the room. We’re talking all sorts of parts; legs, robotic ones, arms, torsos, other things. It just kinda looks like…it’s a pretty large pile and it definitely looks like at some point in the past…not the recent past, there were people working on it and they had piled it there for a reason. Then you notice the clicking which is one hand or arm off to the side is just…the fingers are tapping on the floor. Okay, and where’s the duct? If I’m standing in the doorway, everyone’s behind me ready, right? Yeah, so everyone’s behind you. The duct, you could see is up ten feet off the ground directly across from you, and you’re gonna…you would need to kinda cross the room and get something or get on somebody’s shoulders or something to see any more.
Okay, everybody be ready ‘cause I don’t like this and I know how this DM works, so we are ready and we all enter the room together, spread out immediately, if you don’t mind me taking control, everybody, and with the intention of slowly crossing the room cautiously, moving one of the tables and then accessing the duct if everything goes fine. Okay, as you enter the room a little bit further and proceed cautiously, the tapping stops. Then you all pause and then you wait and then nothing happens, and then you cautiously start to move again. As soon as you do, a collection of arms and legs kind of pops up from the ground and lands on a table closest to Zell. So, it jumps about four or five feet across the room from the pile.
It’s large, a bit like a exoskeleton, and it is clearly…does not have good intentions for [00:40:00] you or your party. Okay, well, let’s roll for initiative and let’s take it…I don’t think we lose anything by taking it out with precautions. Do we have any idea just from a quick initial standpoint what it’s gonna do? It has a couple legs that are…legs and arms, so it looks like it could…it does have a little bit of range but other than that, you don’t know. But you are a bit quicker. Zell and Lord von Chill rush right into action, then the Crawl-a-Tronic, and then Eleanor, Grenada, and Watta would be who would go when. Okay, so let’s just do it. So, Zell, you get a eight plus four which is twelve and you swing, and does nothing. Lord von Chill though has a direct strike with Lord von Chill’s axe. Yes, I think that’s what I have.
I don’t know why we can’t remember this kind of stuff. So, you do…you land…you got a natural twenty so you do nine plus three and that…oh, two plus three. Oh boy, bummer. So, but that’s still a pretty good total. Yeah, you did it right in the middle of the center of it but then it comes back and it has a multi-attack. It gets a nineteen and seventeen, so it uses one of its out-folding legs and does six on Lord von Chill, hits you in the breastplate, and seven; it kinda hits…Zell, it hits you in your torso but it also…because it was metal on metal, it vibrates in a way that Lord von Chill, you…you’re…it…you’re not gonna be able to go…you’re not gonna be able to do anything next round. That’s too bad. Eleanor misses. Grenada misses.
Watta does a thunderwave which does twelve and knocks it off the table, so it gives you a little bit of space. You immediately go into your next round. Zell goes very swiftly and does eleven, so this thing’s…must be very powerful. It’s still functioning? Yeah, it’s still functioning quite well. It rolls a seventeen and a fourteen natural but it gets a four on Watta and also Watta…so, it uses that same leg thing they used on Lord von Chill, and Watta’s stunned for a round. Then it gets a little slashy-poo on Zell for four. Oh, man. Then Eleanor gets thirteen. That does…plus your bonus is five on the crawler. Grenada has a eighteen which does a four and that’s the end of that round, and then we…Zell, you go…you don’t even wait and then you get a eighteen, and you go down on it and it just bursts, and all…whatever you hit it with is so powerful that it breaks into pieces. Okay.
Can we close the door now that we’re…? Okay, oh, Grenada; I’ll close the door. Okay, so is everybody mostly okay? We’re all down. Are any of us in single digits? You’re all pretty close to single digits but you’re all still in double digit hit points, at least that I can see…yeah, as Dungeon Master I say yeah. Okay, but that’s still not great. Grenada; can we search and see if we find…so, it’s just parts and stuff but we’re looking…oh, we gotta check the vent. Let’s search the room first. Do we find anything and how well are we gonna search? Well, Zell, you all search. You, particularly…you don’t find anything of value or any healing things but you do find some piece of paper inside…you started to check within these things ‘cause they seem to…you see a piece of paper that’s crumbled and folded that looks like…on the kinda paper a wizard would use, like papyrus, that you hold onto.
Okay, and then can I check that vent? Can I listen at that vent? Can we pile two tables up to get to the vent easily? Yeah, so you pile two tables. You climb up on them with the support of your team and you open up the grate and you notice that one foot in, the vent is just collapsed or blocked. It’s impenetrable. You can’t see anything beyond there and you can’t hear anything. Can I not hear anything ‘cause there’s nothing here or because I just couldn’t hear anything? Because you just couldn’t hear anything. No one could…none…no one in your party is able to determine anything else. Okay, well, what’s on that paper? Okay, so Zell opens up the paper and it’s got some symbols on it, something that looks like a moon, and it’s tough to say what else. Okay, well, who has skills that could determine it?
Watta does. It’s like paper from a magic-user, maybe. Okay, Watta looks it over and says yeah, this is some sort of…Watta does not know…Watta says okay, well, this is a crescent and then says something about a crescent plus something that Watta can’t quite understand equals…and then she says this is kinda…I think this represents a charm spell, a basic charm spell. So, this is Zell asking; is this some sort of…is this a spell? No, no, it’s like an instruction for something, I think. That’s what Watta says. Okay. Is there anything else on the paper? Yeah, you flip it over and now you need to…okay, Eleanor…this is Eleanor; I still can look up some stuff, right? I still have…I’m good at that. Okay, so Eleanor, you work with me here because you look at the back and you say well, that looks like something.
It looks like it’s a drawing of something else, like something representative of something that I connect with. It looks like…okay, I…this is Eleanor; I don’t know where you’re getting at, DM. It looks like a machine and someone fixing a machine. That’s a stick figure fixing a machine. So, you feel something…oh, because of Florence and the…oh yeah, Florence of the Machine. Oh, maybe this is my opportunity to reconnect with Florence of the Machine. So, this person is fixing the machine and if we assume at least at this time that it’s connected with what’s on the other side, I don’t know. Okay, so for the time being, that’s all you know and I would say to let that air out. Thanks a lot, DM. No, no, really; just let it air out. You’ll figure it out eventually, I think.
Will we definitely figure it out eventually or you don’t know? We’ll see. Okay, so we can’t get through…this is Eleanor; so we can’t get through the…so, we either have to go back…we might as well check that next room, right? Yeah. Let me…Grenada here; let me check the hall and make sure it’s clear. Okay, you check the hall; it’s clear. Okay, let me listen at the next doorway. Okay, you listen at the next doorway and you test the knob. The door is locked but you didn’t hear anything at all. Okay, so I’ll…oh, can I check to see if there’s any signs or anything on the map that I wasn’t…would say what’s in this room? Yeah, so it looks like it says…it looks like it’s been replaced a few times, the tag on the door, but it says something like…what you could say is like Dance, Test, and Phase.
Okay, and how hard is it for me to open…unlock the door? Very easy. You unlock the door easily. Okay, and is my…is everybody gathered behind me? I’m gonna open the door and look in and try to see if there’s anything we need to worry about, ‘cause I didn’t hear anything. Oh, could we check…is there a certain order? What are we at? Actually, I have it here; eleven, ten, ten…[00:50:00] okay, so Lord von Chill goes in and you…there’s nothing in there that catches your attention as far as defensively but what does catch your attention is this…you enter this strange room. It’s very long to the right, to the east, about the size of three rooms, and there’s a dance floor but it’s a…it has all these tracks in it and then there’s animatronics on the tracks, bolted to things, and all the animatronics are dressed up in futuristic party outfits.
It’s kinda like a future that was popular at different times but I would say the 1950s in the United States and the old world. It kinda looks like a dance party. Okay, well, I’m wondering about these animatronics. Am I catching anything that should…I should be alert about? No, you’re…there’s no…you don’t have any intrinsic sense of…you feel secure right now. Like, I feel confident like I rolled fifteen or something secure? Yeah, you did; see? Oh, okay. Thank you. Okay, so everybody else come in the room. So, everybody else comes in the room and yeah, you start to kinda notice there’s some seating where people were watching it, there’s some control panels. I don’t know, you’re just kinda struck by…it also looks very good, like maybe there was a actual airflow out of this room, even.
Okay, do we see any airflow, like ducts we could go in? All the ducts in this room are very small, circular ones, so no. Okay, well, I thought you mentioned that because…well, I was just mentioning that everything looks really good in the room. Okay, well — this is Eleanor — could we search the room? Okay, so you all start to search the room and this is what you determine; there’s pictures, there’s a couple of journals, so you do spend a little bit of time but you’re just trying to do it as swiftly as you can, is my sense. What you’re able to establish as a group is that this was originally…there’s some personal notes you’ve uncovered. So, this was originally a show that they were preparing for. It was gonna be a stage show.
There was gonna be dancing animatronics and an instructor, but then you look at the pictures…also the pictures that you’d seen in the wardrobe before and you realize that after the beginning of the fall, there was employees living down here as a community, and that they would hold dances and they would dress up and dance, sometimes in this 1950s future period costume and sometimes other costumes. They would share…have a shared experience of closeness, dancing together, partying together, and dancing with the animatronics even, kind of like as an escape. In the pictures, they even seem joyful. There’s some writings about that and some writings about the work they were doing.
But we don’t…that’s kinda…oh, and then Eleanor was…walk into a restroom and stubs her toe as she tries to pass one of the animatronics, and stubs her toe on a big bolt. That’s when you notice oh, all the animatronics are kinda bolted to this…I don’t know; the way they danced is…they can move their legs and stuff but they were also bolted so they could spin really quickly. Okay, I guess I stubbed my toe on a bolt and that’s important. If it’s important, it has to do with the last note which was someone repairing a machine on the back and on the other side was a crescent moon and a charm spell and something else. Is the person fixing the machine…do they have something in their hand? Did I notice that? You did notice there was something in their hand. Is it a crescent wrench?
It is a crescent wrench, like the crescent wrench we have on us that we found in Buzz Tomorrow. When you say that, Watta says wait a second, you’re right; we do have that wrench, the magical wrench. You’re right, I think I can now make sense of this. If we use the wrench, I think this is a charm spell for the animatronics. Okay, like the charm spell that’s been making them functional, do you think, or what’s your sense? Is that what…is this what’s causing our trouble? No, no, this is a very basic charm spell. It’s interesting; maybe it has to do with these people. Is there any pictures of…or maybe the wizards…I think the wizards have led us here somehow.
But no, it’s a basic charm spell, so my sense is…and I can…it seems like it’s pretty easy to make it work ‘cause of the power…the magical power…the wrench is a magical item, so I don’t even have to use that much of my power…that we could…that the animatronics would kind of follow some basic commands, like almost like a imitation spell, like a director. One of us could direct them. Okay, I don’t understand at all. This is Eleanor. Does anybody else understand? Okay, this is Watta and the DM; so, with the wrench, I can make some of these animatronics do what we want, kind of. Okay, this is Grenada; so, we can make them become non-player characters and…in our…kinda use in battle? No, the spell isn’t that strong.
We could use them but they wouldn’t…I can’t…I think Eleanor and Lord von Chill and Zell and you, Grenada, could probably figure it out. I can basically…we can give them basic instructions. Lord von Chill here; I’m thinking that we could…so, we could give them basic instructions like follow us or walk like us. Could we have them walk in front of us? Yeah, yeah, you…we could do that. Okay, this is Zell; could we teach them…okay, how many…so, we’re five to seven in the other room. We have to get to the clinic, so how many…what do we have here? How many animatronics are in this room that we seem…that are bolted to the floor? Looks like if you were to do it, around fifteen. Okay, so let’s…can we start charming them and testing it out while we start charming them? ‘Cause what if we have them crowd?
That’s a technique we used to use in my training, is a crowd rush. So, we have them…us five rush one of the…whatever we’re expecting in these other…this next room, and we have them rush all the other characters. Do you think we could do that, Watta? Yeah, I mean, there’s fifteen so I think that’s…that sounds like a plan. Okay, how much damage do you think these could take? I don’t think very much but I think that’s a plan worth trying and I’m starting to charm them as we speak. For time’s sake, I have them all detached and yeah, they’ll basically follow us. The only thing is, we don’t…they do look…they are animatronics. Okay, this is Grenada here; what if we dress…we all dress up in wardrobe? I noticed there was those…well, yeah, I just was looking; there was caroling dresses, I noticed, and there was a lot of those.
Were there? Were there, Grenada? Okay. Yeah, sure. There’s thirty-five caroling dresses of different sizes. Okay, so let’s all dress and dress all of them in caroling dresses. Okay, so you dress everyone in caroling dresses. Somehow you do this quietly. Then what are you gonna do? Oh, go into the…well, we obviously got dressed in the locker room, quietly. So, I would say…well, they can’t…can they sing? Could they carol? Maybe I shouldn’t have dressed us as carolers. They cannot sing. [01:00:00] Okay. Zell? Okay, what if we…remember that thing they told us about, the conga line that was a form of dancing? Lord von Chill, you have the most hit points so what if you go first in a conga line and we all try to enter the room as a group, all, whatever, twenty of us, and then Watta, you seem to have the…I don’t understand how the charm works and I don’t want to understand.
What if you have…we’ll go to the furthest…or how about this; we enter the room if we see what we see, but we enter it as a conga line. Watta, you do a thunderwave if you can, and as soon as you do the thunderwave, then we’ll go to the person the furthest east, whatever is furthest east, and you have them crowd everybody but the furthest east opposition. So, furthest to the right. Okay, let’s do that. Okay, so Dungeon Master here; so if I understand it, you’re gonna enter the room, you’re gonna see what you see. If you see something, then you’ll roll for initiative, I guess, unless you have the…unless for some reason it’s a surprise. Well, we’ll…if Lord von…can Lord von Chill roll to see how good…like, if you saw twenty caroling animatronics, would that buy us time just to have Watta cast thunderwave?
Huh. Yeah, let’s roll a twenty…okay, okay, yeah, that helps. That was a eighteen. I hope it helps. Okay, Zell, just…yeah, it helps. Okay, so Lord von Chill, what’s the order? I think we should all be towards the front, but let’s do Lord von Chill…let’s randomize it. So, Lord von Chill, two dancers, then me, then one dancer, then Watta, then two dancers, then Grenada, then a bunch of dancers, then Eleanor. Okay. So, I’m gonna do this in slow motion, fast motion. So, you go into the room, you open the door, you’re conga-lining, you’re shaking your hips. The animatronics are able to follow along, and you’ve done a good job at pretending you’re animatronics. You go into a room and in the room are five plush characters. They’re all dressed as ducks. There’s Quacky the duck, Mrs. Scrooge, Desiree, Louise, and Helene.
They’re from a show…oh yeah, they were from that show Tales of the Ducks. Yeah, they’re from the show Tales of the Ducks. Okay, so they all are obviously…even though they’re animatronics within plush or whatever, characters seeing twenty-five animatronics go in the room, they do have to pause because they…not sure…because there’s just so many animatronics, they’re not able to process that you’re humans, at least initially. Watta casts thunderwave. They were kinda spread out. Quacky is on the right, so that would be who you would be targeting, but Watta casts thunderwave and actually works out…I’ll just do the initiative, too. So, it actually works out Watta, Grenada, Zell, Quacky, Lord von Chill, Mrs. Scrooge, Eleanor, and then Louise, Helene, and Desiree, the ducks.
So, Watta casts thunderwave. It does eight on…two and five…so, it does eight on…sorry, this one…this is just a big math part. So, it does…on Mrs….it does eight on Mrs. Scrooge and Helene and then it does four on Quacky and the other two ducks. Okay, and we all go after Quacky together, expecting that they’re gonna be tough. Okay, so you do…so, you successfully surround Quacky and actually, much like in the movies with other crowding, they…the room is separated now with fifteen or whatever dancers surrounding the four other ducks. Of course, these ducks look like they mean business. Grenada goes next and does nine on Quacky. Zell; eighteen. Wow, you do ten on Quacky. Quacky goes back and goes after Eleanor. We’ll return to this but Quacky has a beak and a flapper.
They…all the ducks do, a sharper flapper. Like, its wings, arms…but it beaks Eleanor for four but it also has properties…we can discuss it later. It’s not gonna have an immediate impact. Great. I just had one refining question; not to take away from this action, but do I feel closer to Eleanor and the Machine after figure…helping figure that out, or Florence the Machine? You do. You feel very connected to Florence the Machine and Florence the Nightingale. Okay, thank you. Okay, then Lord von Chill; fourteen on Quacky, then Mrs. Scrooge takes out a…one dancer. Eleanor; twenty, and you end Quacky. Then another one of the ducks takes out one of the…one dancer with its wings, then another duck takes out a dancer with its beak, and then, whatever, the last duck takes out a dancer with its beak, so you’re down to eleven dancers.
Eleanor, you’ve taken a little bit of a hit. Then the next round; Watta…now there’s no chance. You can’t do…Watta can’t do thunderwave but does second-level magic missile. That does six damage on Mrs…oh, sorry, yeah, Watta I guess decided that you’re going after Mrs. Scrooge next. Grenada, you had ten plus five, so that’s six…you do six. Zell, you get three. You miss. Lord von Chill misses with a six. Then Mrs. Scrooge; eighteen and fifteen. So, they both…goes after Lord von Chill…oh no, Eleanor. It gets…does five total on Eleanor but it already had successfully beaked you. Eleanor; fourteen, so you do six back on her. Then the three sister ducks, they manage to take out five dancers between the three of them. Mrs. Scrooge seems hobbled but not out.
Watta does actually magic missiles, takes out Mrs. Scrooge successfully, and Grenada, you lead the next one. Okay, let’s take on…who’s the next one in the order? Helene, right? Okay, so you get a fourteen. Oh, I’m gonna use a sneak attack, too. Okay, so you do twelve total between your attacks on Helene. Zell’s a seventeen; eleven on Helene. Okay, this is Lord von Chill; I’m gonna do my action surge, then. Okay, so you fourteen…okay, so you take out…that’s the end of Helene. Okay, so Eleanor…okay, I’ll just go after…what is it? Helene? Louise. Okay, you got a one. Okay, then Helene takes out one dance…oh no, Helene gets Lord von Chill with a wing for five. Louise takes out one dancer and Desiree takes out one dancer. Oh no, two dancers. So, you’re losing dancers pretty fast.
Then Watta next round does three…no, five on…who are you going…? Helene? Louise, right? Helene’s gone. Is that right? Yeah, that’s right, DM. Okay, well, it’s just a lot for me to note. Grenada gets a two. [01:10:00] Okay, this is Zell; I’m gonna use my action surge. Okay, so you got a eight but your action surge is a seventeen. Oh, but you’re eight with your bonus, so yeah, you got…did sixteen total on Louise. Okay, Lord von Chill. Okay, you got…okay, with your bonuses…yeah, wow, you…so you did eighteen. No, that’s not right. Oh, okay, no, that’s ‘cause it’s nineteen. Okay, so you did thirteen and eighteen, and Helene’s gone, or Louise. Helene’s already gone. Louise is gone. Eleanor does twelve on Desiree, then Desiree takes out two more dancers. But it’s just Desiree left, right? Yeah. Okay.
Watta is not successful. Grenada, you do seven on Desiree. Zell, you get a fifteen so you get eight on Desiree. Thirteen for Lord von Chill, so that’s seven. Eleanor, you got a five. Okay, then Desiree takes over…takes out the last set of dancers. Watta, no. Oh, and Grenada finishes off Desiree. You’re all in the…obviously you’re all sweating. You can’t believe it. But actually, one thing that catches Eleanor’s eye is that one of the dancers actually is okay; it just needs to be picked up. Eleanor, you pick up the dancer and it kinda…you just do a couple plugs and stuff and it’s back together. What do you think you would do with that dancer? Well, I think I would start singing and as Eleanor, I would start singing and dancing with it with a joy in…with adrenaline and the joy in my heart.
I would start caroling and I would…then I would start…then I say Zell, what…could I have this dance with you? I would spin and dance with Zell, and then Grenada, and then Watta, and then Lord von Chill, and then the dancer, and then Zell again. I think I would feel the power of the three Florences flowing back through me, like slowly refilling me with power and the ability to rest soon. Yeah, while you do that, Grenada, what do you…other than dance…well, I’m dancing joyfully. Well, would you want to check? Okay, so I’ll check the rest of the hall. Okay, so you go down the hall. You see there’s a sealed entrance from the…it’s in…it’s sealed from the inside, like at the end of the hall, out…so, that’s secure, and then you…the clinic door is actually really well-locked with an improvised door with a padlock on it that you’re not able to get open.
Okay, well, I’ll search for the key, then. Okay, so, oh, wow, I didn’t think you’d find the key that fast but you find the key hidden in the last room you were in, which was a break room, cafeteria. You find it on top of one of the old vending machines. The vending machines don’t have anything in them. I think I would have found it in the change return slot, to be honest with you. Yeah, that…oh no, that’s what I meant. That is where you found it. So, you open up the clinic and you see that the clinic is not fully stocked but it was actually pretty big. You say wait a second, I could lock the door from the inside as well as outside with this padlock, so after the dancing subsides, you all go in there and there are some kits, some heal…some nursing supplies, medical supplies, but mostly there’s cots.
There’s some fresh water, there’s some rations, so you lock yourselves in there and get comfortable. You can all feel the flow of energy from the…actually, it’s so powerful that you all…before you even go to rest, you’re…half of your hit points that you lost are restored ‘cause you could feel the passionate energy flowing from Eleanor and the three Florences. You all get comfortable and you rest until next week when we journey again into The Land of Tomorrow.
[END OF RECORDING]
- A Flat Response
- Steaming with Esteem
- 99% Invisible
- Florence + The Machine
- Duck Tales
Notable Talking Points:
- A Jelly and Peanut Butter Sandwich
- Animatronic Storage
- These Ducks Mean Business