Bard Rock Cafe Episode 3: I Think I Smell a Rat

Epi joins the party and Roland Armbar finally wakes up! With the party fully formed, it’s time to hunt some rats!

Our Cast:

Kenny as the DM

Khadeja as Rook

Stephanie as Epi

Paul as Brock

Tyler as Armbar

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previously on bard rock cafe eppy disguised himself as a guard named kevin with a y and investigated the wreckage of the bar rock cafe after narrowly avoiding being captured by the guards epic close enough to record the runes on the obelisk but couldn’t decipher them the magistrate thought something was suspicious and attempted to cast a spell instead of detecting magic he sent sand everywhere in between jobs rook surveyed the city for opportunities and felix had one for her they went to brock who had no luck whatsoever filing his insurance claim and felix offered a loan for the repairs he has just one more person he wants for the job the question on everyone’s mind where in fayette room did their friend fe go find out today on bard rock cafe

welcome back to bardrock cafe a wild magic themed dnd podcast currently partnered with sassy gamers uh i am your dm for the evening kenny and these are our players uh hello i’m paul and i play brock song the kalish star noble who gave up his charmed life to pursue his dream of being a bard and opened the bard rock cafe and i’m khadijah i play rook a half elf rogue from the docks district who makes her way as a jewel thief hi and i’m steph and i play epi a t-fling wizard but uh don’t tell anybody he’s got a pretty sweet deal posing as an acolyte of the raven queen and i’m tyler playing as roland armbar wild magic barbarian is the hired muscle for the bard rock cafe all right and this is episode three uh last time felix and rook came to retrieve brock from the innkeepers guild where he was trying in vain to get the insurance payout for the bardrock cafe felix offered to pay for it himself in exchange for the loan being repaid

brock found their first job clearing rats out of a seller and felix suggested that they go find epimetheus the cleric of the raven queen who raised one of the men who died at the scene of the meteor trash

now rook brock and felix are heading out towards the docks district to get the last member of their

water party from the north ward to the south one it wasn’t at the castle or even in the dockyard just one member short and then we start the fun tell me where in bay room did our that is what brock is singing as you guys march through the doc district looking for epi felix seems to be go ahead and roll performance to see how good that actually was

i rolled a 15 plus 7 22. okay felix is digging it felix is just accustomed to my high drinks at this point true he has worked just he has worked alongside you for a long time now yeah felix is leading you guys out of the castle district back to the doc’s district to find eppy so did we just find eppie in their bed are y’all just going with felix all the way to get epic that’s my plan rook is following felix so you guys make your way down out of the castle district felix does take a brief detour to walk by the bardrock cafe you do see that there are several guards posted outside and some sand kind of scattered all over the place which is odd it’s pretty pretty clear that nobody’s being admitted in but you do see the mostly destroyed structure uh can i approach one of the guards and just ask them what happened since i am the owner of the building sure what do you say uh hi uh i uh nice to meet you i’m br i’m brock song i’m the owner of uh what’s left of that cafe over there i’m just wondering what happened why is all the sand here you’re off so you’re the owner uh yes i i am the owner of uh well what’s left of that building uh you know i i was unfortunately in it when it went down yesterday and i show him some of the uh healing burn marks on my arms from the fire ah you know we had an intruder last night and i’ve been instructed not to let anyone in how do i know you’re the owner of the bard rock cafe well i could show you the deep i’m not i’m not trying to get in i just want to know what happened to my business was anything taken oh you know what actually i’m a noble i have a signet ring uh can i show them my signet ring and show him that i am in fact brock song which he should know is the owner if he’s privy to any of the information he kind of looks down at the signet ring right you’re the owner i don’t know if anything was taken or if anything burned up in the fire i do know that we had somebody sneak in last night and we had to chase them down if you come by anyone by the name of kevin please ah let us know they’re guilty of trespassing and impersonating a guardsman kevin i will i will keep an eye out for kevin uh thank you for letting me know thank you good citizen on your way all right and that’s all i want i want to get up to speed with weston he didn’t mention the question about sand but i figured he probably just doesn’t know or he wouldn’t gonna tell me okay so felix did pick up all of what was said that is odd but they just keep on going to the end where epimetheus is staying i i actually i want to know what brock’s relationship is because this is another inn in the vicinity of the bard rock what is his relationship with this uh somewhat rival business so yes you are a rival business but if you look around there are a lot of rival businesses because water deep is a very busy busy place so it’s kind of holiday inn and la quinta you know their rival businesses but for the most part you kind of just do your own thing and they do their own thing and it’s fine okay so they don’t really care that i walked in no like it’s not like that do i know the proprietor maybe in passing not well you probably don’t even remember their name they definitely don’t remember yours but they know that you run and in all right uh there is an older gray-haired woman behind the counter swiping down the the bar seems to be getting ready to get up and running for the day she sees you there’s just a brief glimmer of recognition like she can’t quite place you she’s ah welcome welcome come on in how can i help you today hello uh i’m i’m brock song the uh the owner of what was until yesterday the bard rock cafe i’m just trying to track down one of my patrons i heard they might be staying here with you ah yes i saw the meteor i’m glad you’re all right nasty bit of business have you been by the the innkeepers guild uh yes i’m i’m working on my claim uh it’s it’s a work in progress to say the least she she kind of gives you this toothy grin but like half the teeth are missing and like she’s like i feel for you well you’re welcome to stay here any anytime i might take you up on that fortunately the uh the black staff was very courteous and offered me a place in the castle ward while i’m waiting for the uh investigation of my premises to be done oh as you might have noticed there’s a lot of guards out there at the moment trying to figure out what happened i was there and even i’m not sure i don’t really make my way up that way but you said one of your patrons is here i’d worry about you stealing patrons from me but you don’t have anywhere to take them uh oh no i’m just trying to i’m just trying to collect on their tab to try and finance some of those initial repairs uh do you uh do you have someone named eppie staying here she kind of leans forward and says are you telling me that epi’s a deadbeat uh no just the tabs that they were running the day that the inn went down i didn’t have time to cash out the tabs with the fire and everything she kind of squint a little bit she’s upstairs second room on the right thank you kindly and i offered the proprietor handshake she spits in her hand and shakes your hand awesome all right so if no one else has business down here i think we’re gonna head upstairs sure all right uh all right i’m gonna go ahead and knock on epi’s door okay happy what are you doing when they arrive well what time was i getting back in from my escapades that last episode uh it was i guess we’re late and early meet so like one or two a.m like it’s late but it’s early you know what i’m saying yeah yeah so i would have probably had enough time to get a solid night’s sleep i guess i don’t know if solids the word forward but yeah you got some sleep okay okay what is it what do you want effy it’s brock i’m here to collect on your tab

hey one moment and there’s just the slightest little ping from inside and uh the door opens again but you don’t see anyone standing there it’s just epi is still cocooned in his beddings and sits up just absolutely looks like you just woke him up emma how much do i owe you all right uh when we shut the door i say actually that’s not why we’re here uh i just i didn’t want anyone outside to uh necessarily know our goings on you do see felix standing there next to him along with rook though i don’t think you’re as familiar with rook i look around and i’m like how much is my uh how much is my tab you brought the bouncer epi do i look like a bouncer to you oh you’re fine if i i’m i it’s uh well i don’t know the the lady looks a bit like she could kick my ass hello lady felix looks over to the scrawny teenager if you say so rook crosses her arms and gives felix felix a look so let me get this straight if if i don’t owe you anything why are you here it’s it’s like he looks at his barren wrist with no watch on it it’s definitely still too early in the morning uh it’s actually like almost sunset but you know i are are you hungover no no i’m just i’m very tired i have very important business i have to attend to can i roll inside to see if i see anything on eppy like you know sand that would be sandcheck perception not inside oh cool i’m better at perception i rolled 18 plus two a dirty 20. okay you do see some sand around uh by any chance did you uh break into my cafe yesterday he just kind of looks at you looks around looks at you what well i was passing by there and there was an awful lot of sand and we’re not really that close to the beaches part of the dock district and i can’t help but notice your room is also littered with sand that doesn’t look native to here he just kind of sits for a second thanks like oh right right so one it’s a spell component it probably fell out of my spell pouch two right now we’re currently on the coastline at the docks district there’s this sand and three what happened to the border of cafe i’ve i i’ve been asleep uh well you you were there when whatever hit it hit it you revived the dead person i know you were there i know you’re ordered by heart you’re the pastrami with rye you are correct about that one you you make a mean sandwich it’s the best may i just say the best pastrami and rye with pickles on the side i nev i never forget an order you know i do appreciate that i i there’s some dedication that goes into that but i i do aside from the meteor and the fact that i am a cleric of the raven queen who can bring people back from the dead what does that have to do with sand well i’m just wondering why you broke into my cafe the door was unlocked when i got there it was during business hours okay i roll inside to see whether or not all right fa roll deception rock roll inside i rolled uh 19 plus zero 19. all right we’re gonna go with um we’re gonna go with good old shiny pearl dice see what we roll 17 plus three for a dirty 20. uh you’re you’re pretty good at reading people most of the time and uh effie seems you know for somebody that is obviously kind of shady seems pretty upfront about this all right well i’m regardless of what happened i’m not so worried about it i just we actually were looking to room to bring you on for a job he sort of rubs his eyes and you sort of see his slippers move closer to him and he stands up walks over with just you know comforters still hanging off of him all right all right what job exactly let me uh let me get something to help me think ghost walks over opens the window just lets the sun beat down on his face for a bit turns around all right all right how can i help you well it might actually be a couple of jobs uh felix can explain the arrangement probably a little better than i can ah this is one of your jobs well more of a long-term arrangement you see i have a very vested interest in the bardrock cafe being rebuilt and because the the guilds are not up front with their help and don’t actually want to pay anything they just want to get paid i offered to loan brock the money to have the the end rebuilt that way i can get back to business as usual as quickly as possible without interference from the guards however that does put brock in a bit of a fine you see i do need the money back and since you and i have such a long-standing arrangement i was hoping you might help out he kind of looks at felix and then just smiles you know since we are such long-term partners in our uh exchanges i i will lend my assistance i i am i do have my own vested interest in you being back in business thank you i appreciate that and felix kind of walks over wonderful and he puts his arm kind of on rook’s shoulder says this is rook another one of my associates freelancers if you will she’s also agreed to help yep she’s a fish and chips by the way if you could all play nice together that would be beneficial to everyone good luck i’ll be waiting on my money and if just you open the window to let the sun kind of shine on you he just launches himself out the window can i watch while he falls oh yeah very graceful all the way down he does like two front flips and then slows down right as he’s about to hit the ground and lands on his feet and walks away i just i just look back at them i don’t know how he does that but i absolutely just it’s so graceful i i believe the spell is called featherfall oh featherful one second one second and i go over and i grab my little tome and i open it up sketch a note in it slam it [ __ ] right quick tell you what tell you what i’m going to go put on something a little less pajamas give me just a moment and epi just toodles into the bathroom right quick slams the door behind them and then actually uh we do have our first job lined up but i want to go pick up my hired muscle first i think he’d be very useful for getting this job done quickly so when the heck are we actually gonna start the job all right it’s just it’s just a quick stop to check in on my friend and if he feels up to the job then we’ll head right there so you you watch as probably while you guys are sitting in there epi’s stuff just starts packing itself into his little backpack slippers get picked up all this stuff gets thrown out and thrown into a backpack and then all of a sudden epi walks back out picks up his bag and slings it over his shoulder all right not to keep the young lady waiting shall we rook starts going down the stairs yeah i likewise could follow rook down the stairs so as you’re making your way out the old lady behind the counter says have a nice day kind of looks directly at you effing’s like i do expect you to pay me for that room at some point i would like to walk up how much do i owe you do you have change for a gold oh look at you all fancy yes i have change for a gold just slammed down nine silver on the counter and then holds out her hand i put a gold very nicely in there i said thank you very much it was a lovely yes yes thank you come again looks like she’s already back to cleaning the county i lean over and whisper to rook i see she doesn’t tip her housekeeper rook shrugs you get the sense that she actually did not hear you yes brock is not the type to repeat a joke a second time so he just leaves it be no lie that was a nat one perception check for the old lady with hearing problems

well you hear the little clicks of episodes as he catches up with you so so where exactly is your um other hired muscle uh he’s staying in the castle ward uh he wasn’t doing so well with the uh you might remember the gentleman at the door whom uh the building dropped on him worse than the others uh they were still healing him into the night but i think he should be in good shape now so he’s in the castle ward where i’m staying happy i think i think i vaguely remember him let’s go yep all right so i lead them back to the castle board because i know exactly where my friend is okay armbar you uh you wake up in a dark room you don’t know where you are the last thing you remember is standing at the door to the bardrock cafe just kind of keeping an eye on things you remember a guard busting in telling everyone to get out so you started you know standing by the door shuffling people out the door telling them to go go go and then there was just like a blast of white light and now you’re here and you don’t remember anything in between then and now okay as you look around you notice you’re in kind of what looks to be a medical ward curtain’s kind of on either side of you you’re in just a little narrow bed there’s an end table next to you uh you get the distinct sense that you are in facts naked and you see a sack full of your clothes to the left of you go ahead oh boy my head oh what happened where am i where’s all my gear seem to have a little bit of a knob on my head oh it hurts yeah you touch it pain just explodes across your skull the voice is killing me i’m so glad about push to talk i’m in the nude under here put my clothes on at least my britches

and then i’m gonna put my clothes on but i’m like kind of daisy because i’m a little weak after being healed and having the building fallen on me the night before but i’m like in the middle of like putting my clothes on maybe when everybody else shows up yeah i was gonna say so as you’re putting your pants are on but like just on as the door opens and brock and crew have arrived and brock just holds his arms out to tell everyone to stand back my nipples are showing i’m like

i will cover my eyes of course let us know when you are decent come in come in sorry champ we didn’t mean to intrude we were just coming to check on you oh bro how are you doing uh well uh some ways better than you some ways worse friend uh the bard rocks not in great shape but i’m okay how are you doing oh no we’ll jump in armbars listen good what happened to the campaign uh a big rock hit it and set it on fire and for some reason i don’t understand it’s covered in sand what are we gonna do now bro well uh felix offered to help me pay for the repairs we need to do some odd jobs to pay him back if you’re feeling up to it i have a javix doing some extermination for another business that i was hoping you could help us out with anything for you my friend you i mean if it weren’t for you i’d be still working as a sell sword all right well uh let’s now you feeling up to it oh let’s do it i’m a little bit under the weather but um i’m sure i’ll be fine

all right well uh let’s give you a minute to finish getting dressed i had i have had melody in harmony go get some of your uh some of your not having been set on fire clothes from your place for you i hope you don’t mind oh my lucky breeches i hope well as long as long as your lucky breeches weren’t the ones you were wearing when you were on fire

well i’m ready to go bro will you say so and let’s get going yeah all right all right let’s go and so uh i think we head out epi is still covering his eyes by any chance can i can i look now thank you so much oh uh sorry uh so you probably recognize the faces but not the names uh this this is epi and rook the pleasure’s all mine i never got to know him but i sure didn’t let him in the bard cafe one too many times looking at you whippy got a little bit of an intoxication record to you he he sort of shrugs he’s like well you do sell something that’s just absolutely really the best beer on the docks if some folks just can’t handle their keystone light brock’s got the best keystone in this fight all right so uh basically we need to go and remove some rats from this business seller i think we if we uh hustle a little bit we can get there before they close for the night all right so you guys are traveling to the trades district to the general’s general goods store that takes you about an hour of walking to get there it’s a good trek across the city but you get there and uh sun’s just starting to really get low in the sky you kind of get that blue twilight look outside you know you’ve reached the generals general good store because out front there’s a guy dressed in a painted wooden costume that looks like it looks like a a city guard but it’s like a painted wooden costume and he has a large sign that he is shaking out in front of the the store that says the generals general good store for all your general needs we generally have what you’re looking for and he’s hopping around and like spinning the sign around and he’s hollering out the same catch phrase over and over again come to the generals general good store for all your general needs we generally have what you’re looking for five percent off of all goods for repeat customers come on down i won’t let this guy by chance is your name kevin stops he looks at you no sorry i just i was i was told somebody matching your general description named kevin was at my um was at my business place of business yesterday it’s fine uh so actually i’m here because uh one of your co-workers from was actually at the innkeepers guild earlier today and i met them they mentioned you had a problem i’d be able to help you with uh who would i speak to about that oh yeah so you’re gonna need to speak to the general manager uh go inside and just ask for them somebody will get them for you all right fantastic thank you so much friend okay you’re welcome and he goes back to just hopping around with his sign and like he’s a young guy right like early 20s late teens looks like this is just that job that everybody has that they hate and he’s notably not named kevin all right so i so i marched inside and i approached the person at the destination i’m here to speak to the general manager about a job and i show him the flyer that his co-worker handed me so you see this lady sitting behind what appears to be a counter with just stuff strewn all across it she is filing her nails and she doesn’t even acknowledge you when you come up so you you say what you say and like for a second like she just keeps filing her nails and then she stops and looks up sighs reaches over pulls up a gigantic bell and just to climb the clanker clang and just puts it back down and goes back to filing her nails a few minutes pass and this balding middle-aged man comes just sort of trotting up from the back room he’s wiping his hands on his his outfit he says yes can i help you uh yes are you the general what no i’m just the general manager for this store oh the general manager sorry hello my name is brock song uh hi hi and i how can i help and i hold up my uh actually i’m here to help you i was actually at the innkeepers guild earlier today and one of your employees was there mentioned you had a problem and well i was actually out going to offer to my services to uh help deal with that problem and i hold out the flyer so he knows what problem it is i’m trying to be discreet so his uh patrons don’t know he has rats oh okay so he he takes it and kind of looks at it looks up at you right and i kind of like point when he looks at me i point a thumb backward at the big guy like i have a guy who can handle this for you right ah this isn’t normally how we do things we’re supposed to get permission from the guild and then we hire somebody from in-network and then they come take care of it but that’s taking too long well i’m also a member of the guild so then we can probably smooth that over as well have you worked with the guild before all right listen it’s fine it’s fine i’m gonna i’m gonna step around the corner and be like listen up we’re well qualified to do this job so let’s get on oh man i i put up my hand immediately and put it like gently push back on roland’s chest like it’s okay frank i’m so sorry our business actually went up in flames yesterday and he’s been having a really bad day i’m so sorry you see this man he’s like average height right and he’s like he’s looking up it looks like he’s getting a crick in his neck looking at armbar just like oh oh my ah so i can give you the promotional rate and a free membership for the general’s general goods store which is good for various offers uh you’re welcome to head back there i think this will be a lot faster than waiting on the guilds come on follow me and kind of lead you back through the back you see rows and rows of boxes of stuff he opens a door into a refrigerated area with more boxes of stuff that you can only assume is food stuff of some variety then there is a trap door in the very back of the refrigerated area it says all right this leads down into the basement area where we keep some of our our higher priced goods the rats seem to be coming from down there listen there’s a lot of them just do what you can no problem thank you very much uh-huh i think you’re nuts but you know good luck is there anything we should know before we go down there there’s a lot of rats they seem very what’s the word focused they come for all our highest priced meats yeah i suppose there’s no need to be mousy about it huh wait a second says rook don’t you want me to go scout first or something though

if he raises a hand given the fact that i have um not the best track record with taking hits i say we send the sneaky one down to let us know how bad it is rook shrugs it’s my job i’m fine with that right um so rook opens the hatch and attempts to sneak down first okay roll a stealth check huh 10 total okay uh you believe you are stealth oh you you get down into the basement area you take a look around you see more rows and rows of boxes and stuff you do see just like it’s just stacks right like it’s a mess uh you take a few minutes looking around what do you do yeah i’m checking to see if i can hear or see where the rats are can i hear them okay role investigation 21. okay so you don’t hear them but you are able to see after a cup like fairly quickly you find where there’s a stack of boxes and like right behind those boxes it seems like there is a fairly large hole that’s been chewed out of the wall and kind of leading it’s almost like something tunneled up into the store so um i look up through the hatch where i hope everyone’s looking at me and i wave everyone down with a finger over my lips indicating be quiet epi is opening his book while she’s down there just he seems to be kind of messing with something on there and uh i would like to ritual cast detect magic okay that will take 10 minutes is she down there looking for 10 minutes can we say yeah i was going to say can we say he was doing that wow rook was investigating that felt like it took like seven minutes or so at least i’ll i’ll give you five minutes off for starting that before rook investigated brook rolled really high fair enough yeah and it’s gonna take time for the two of us to go down the ladder anyway i’m just gonna call down after gave me just a minute i have a i’ve got a spell i think will help us out a little okay so you finished casting it you have 10 minutes of active detect magic so long as you maintain concentration excellent i crawled down as well and uh let’s just assume that at some point while we were waiting i cast mage armor okay uh looking around nothing seems magical okay all right uh can i so i’m gonna go down do we need to do stealth checks too or are we just gonna move down the ladder actually hold tight you said you cast mage armor nothing happens now what are you saying bro uh so do we have to do stealth checks or anything to go down there or can we just say we went down there and move on are you moving stealthily uh well uh yeah i’ll try and boost stealthy back because i don’t want the rats to know i’m coming okay so if you’re moving stealthily roll a stealth chick i rolled a two plus six eight okay our bar are you moving stealthily you want me to roll for it if you are yes bar yes uh 15. you have a disadvantage yeah so your first roll was a four and a three and you’re a disadvantage um i don’t have anything that says i’m gonna have disadvantage okay then it’s a four all right and then epi are you moving stealthily yes well what’s stealth check 13 plus one is a solid 14. okay you all believe you are stealth well all right so when i get down there i actually want to do a history check to see if i know anything like because i know water deep has like sewers and things i’m going to get an idea of i can tell based on that hole wherever where the rats are feeding into and out of is that okay for me to roll you want to roll a history check to see if the hole leads down to the sewers but i’m trying to get an idea of like where in the sewer that might lead into if i have any ins like if i have any like my if my knowledge of water deep and it’s like inner workings would let me know where that might be going is it going to the sewer is it just going outside i’m going to say no just because that’s not really your wheelhouse at all okay can i investigate to determine if i know where it leads into you want to investigate the hole yep go ahead and roll i roll in that one okay do me a favor roll 2d 100 2d 100 roll a d100 twice and let me know what both numbers are so that first roll then is a 49 and the second roll is a 47. okay so you you investigate you have no insight whatsoever it’s a hole yeah as you try to speak you open your mouth and pink bubbles float out instead and no sound is created i look very confused looks like the keystone light isn’t treating him so well either

i try to protest with more bubbles come out yes more bubbles come out of your mouth so does this count as like a case of the hiccups or just more like a bubbly personality side effect uh if i if i reach out and pop one of the bubbles what does it do does it just pop does make a noise pops all right i just shrug and like kind of gesture i don’t know what’s going on does this show up on detect magic yes yes it does perfect what did i see with detect magic and now that he suddenly has bubbles you see conjuration magic well i believe you’ve got a problem with conjuration magic right now although i might say you may just have a bad case of the bubbles

four bubbles pop out of your mouth rook asks eppie how long are we gonna have to deal with this how long are we going to have to deal with this roman arcana chick okay oh good i have a huge bonus for that one let’s okay you know what metal dice don’t film me now

metal dice y okay uh so with a three plus six we got a solid nine you have no idea this is unlike anything that you’ve ever heard about and i’m just clutching my throat blowing more bubbles trying to get the stop i just take out my little book and i start sketching the bubbles and i just i turn to our good friend rogue well it fits me rogue rolls her eyes magic is so stupid she says herself she draws her scimitar and tries to look in the hole okay go perception 18 total as far as you can see it just keeps going down looks like it goes for a while all right i do i have rope is there anything i can tie the rope to as a support so i can hang it down into the hole well so i should probably say it this way this is not a vertical hole it’s there’s a horizontal yeah it’s it’s not horizontal it’s like a gentle slope down would we fit inside of it uh you would probably have to crouch a little bit but yeah so if i wanted to like ride down the hole like it’s a water slide could i do that you could certainly try all right you get the impression that i’m trying to bubble out the words leroy jenkins as i jump down the hole wait brock where are you going get back here and i follow right up

i look at rogue i shrug i’m like well i guess this is what we signed up for and i’m running in there and i just you know dive in feet first all right all right so you both just dive down this gently sloping tunnel sure yep okay rook feels no choice but to follow these reckless people okay so all three of you are doing this four i think all of us are doing it yeah wait just wait a question does does roland fit roland we establish is substantially bigger than the rest of us or do we have a way of the poo situation going on are you going on board no you’re a very big muscular guy we established you’re like a full head you’re like a full head taller than i am

so roland is you can all fit roland has to squeeze a little bit as you dive i’m getting kicked from behind from everybody else above me is going faster so okay so it’s it’s a tunneled slope so it’s not smooth and it’s not steep so what happens is one of you jumps and the next one and then the next one and none of you slide you just all jump on top of each other and then sort of tumble down a little bit spectacular all right i’m sorry i thought that they were able to do it that’s why i followed them yeah i think it was space far enough out that anyone passed the second person would see whether or not this worked right especially rook you would have seen with your dark vision that yeah they’re not they’re not going anywhere okay rogue do sneaky [ __ ] go all right rook um so is everyone just piled up on top of each other right now in front of me i think it’s actually i think it’s just me with uh basically with roland trying to ride me piggy back on my shoulders at the moment and then you and effie had time to go that was a bad idea i saved you it’ll be okay now blah blah blah rogue pushes to the front

let me go first she says i nod my head and bubble out some more bubbles it is a tight fit but you’re able to get around armbar okay so i so i squeeze past and rook is able to rook is going to try and like sneak down the slope and keep an eye out and you hear just a little tingle in here like a little bell goes off and just a whispered message in your ear you can respond to this message don’t worry it’s a whisper you won’t have to yell if you see anything

so i’m gonna look can eppie see me am i in the line of sight where eppie can see me or no yeah i can probably cast it before you get too far out of sight okay the only reason is i’m gonna nod in response because i think if i say yes you’ll have to cast it again that’s fine it’s a can trip we got this all right so anyway i respond in the positive and i start my sneakage okay when you get epic crystal ball so you can just like run comms

okay about 50 feet down well okay about 100 feet down you do find yourself in the sewers okay um so do i see any trace of rat i mean it’s the sewers there’s plenty of traces of rats oh damn it they don’t seem to be going in a particular direction they’re just kind of they’re rats you know hmm i wonder if i could like track them or something roll survival okay survival something i’m not great at but i’ll try i rolled a 14. okay so you do see a lot of evidence that rats have been kind of all over

it’s also very dirty down here you do see just by chance part of a boot print walking away from the hole um is everyone in the sewer with me yeah by this point everybody’s made their way out okay can i speak words yet you can try i mean i’ve been periodically trying i’m just wondering if this is worn off yet yeah we can talk again oh my god my mouth tastes like soap that was awful yeah i was gonna say you now have soapy burps it is unpleasant so um i just point out i’m like take a look at this over here guys

do you think that perhaps rats aren’t our only enemy today if he kind of pinches his nose a bit and walks over looks at the boot print i think it’s suffice to say someone besides us isn’t that squirrely about being down here eppy looks down at his feet looks at the boot well at least we can say it’s not a tiefling like me that all there were boots that were made of it can i investigate it sure roll investigation

so that’s an 18 plus four 22. okay so looking at the track it is definitely a boot print you do find a couple other ones kind of in the grime and the filth that is down here they do seem to be heading off deeper into the sewers you just hear the deepest sigh from epi before he says so we’re gonna have to go deeper and he points in the direction that the boot prints are going off into well there ain’t no dying like the so let’s get moving yeah i i start marching wherever direction the boots are pointing rook follows i fall i follow trying to avoid the grime as best you can okay guys make your way slowly following boot prints you notice after a couple of minutes there is sounds to be like flutes off in the distance and you notice a bunch of the rats seem to be running in that direction i was going to ask does detect magic find anything nope now this is my forte uh so as a bard would i be able to now roll history to determine if i recognize that tune uh history yeah go ahead roll history i rolled eight plus three eleven the tune seems like just a simple children’s tune you’ve heard it before there’s nothing special about it all right i actually want to try something so i actually pull out my flute and i signal to them that i want to maybe try playing the same tomb and see what happens but i won’t do that unless the party thinks it’s a good idea i don’t want to give away our position for no reason why don’t we send rook up to investigate first see what the sound is coming from there’s also a problem i don’t think it’s magic i don’t mind going first and taking a look well if it’s not magic they might be trained so playing the same tune might interfere with them so let’s leave rook finds first all right so i will scout ahead okay so you scout ahead what you see is kind of in one of those little so the sewers all kind of flow out of the city and there’s not really side areas in the sewer but it looks like there is a group of about four people they have carved out a little chamber in the sewers there is kind of a middle-aged woman playing these flutes there are wraps everywhere in this room uh there is kind of a young preteen boy looks like an older teenage boy and a middle-aged man looks kind of stupid for lack of a better phrase so do they look like dirty and haggard or fancy they look homeless they look like they have some some makeshift looks like clubs or weapons but like they look like things you could maybe pick up from a dump you know even the flute kind of looks dirty and not really sanitary but they’re all just kind of sitting around they have a little campfire and you see some roast rat doesn’t really smell any different from the rest of the sewers it just smells kind of shitty

you do see what appears to be some discarded steak bones some wine bottles yes the meat yeah looks like some stuff was pilfered out of the store um so we have basic weapons we have scratchy people lots of rats um is there another exit in that room or am i at the entrance exit you are peeking around the only entrance exit to that room looks like they just carved out a little spot for themselves okay um i’m gonna gesture everyone to come to me quietly all right well i’m going to do it rook ass do we need to roll stealth to do that still going off your last stealth roll you believe you’re still i mean there there is music playing there is so that might muffle the sound honestly like let’s just go in there like worst case scenario there are four homeless people that stole some food with some rats i’m not super worried about them getting the jump on us we gotta figure out what those jabronies are up to all right so a bad stealth rule i know about out of character be damned my character tries to quietly walk down there okay uh rook as you’re looking in there at the very least the three guys don’t seem to notice anything but the woman playing the flute does seem to kind of miss a beat as she hears something but then continues play okay okay i’m gonna whisper to epi i don’t know much about magic but i think that woman’s got everybody under her control in there i am going to quietly whisper that to the folks that are close to me as quiet as i can okay i mean if you’re using the message can trip nobody besides the four of you are going to hear anything perfect i’m gonna do that i’m gonna elbow uh like nudge uh brock and then give him the nod to start playing his flute real quick epi the flute is magical oh what kind of magic enchantment okay i am going to quietly message everyone brief heads up the flute is magical it’s got an enchantment on it some of those can be uh rather nasty all right so i’m just signing everyone else to be quiet like and i’m actually going to walk in and say you know that’s a beautiful song you’re playing i actually play myself can i join you so you walk in the guys all stand up they brandish their clubs she doesn’t stop playing until you say what you say uh the guys all kind of stop look at her you notice that every single rat in this room turns around and looks directly at you but she motions down and says i don’t know how you found us or why you’re down in the sewers but sure feel free to play along ah thank you i appreciate i actually i lost my home yesterday and i don’t have a place to stay that’s why i’m down here i’m just down on my luck and i’m trying to find my way back in the world and it looks you up and down roll deception hey it’s not deception i did lose my home yesterday so i should have advantage roll persuasion i rolled a four plus five nine okay i really didn’t think this was gonna be a contest now i have to actually look and see what her modifier is i got a bad roll so did she so she had an eight so she kind of just shrugs she says my sympathies i understand that struggle very well we all do all right so i sit down and i start playing my flute to match the tune that she’s playing i you said i recognized it so i should be able to play it yeah i’m not even gonna require a role you’re able to yeah this is like chopsticks right like it’s not complicated well i was actually imagining the tune three blind mice sure something yeah this is like you learned this in middle school playing on the recorder you know like yeah by the way chopsticks and three blind mice are the same tune okay today i learned well they share a verse anyway i believe listeners could be like he’s wrong he’s an idiot why is he the bird well so she plays along with you uh the guys seem to sit back down play for a few more minutes then she stops she says well welcome to our little corner of the universe we do have enough to share if you would like some tell me a bit about yourself and your friends are welcome to come join us too if they’d like i uh i signaled them over effie walks in cool as a cucumber and sits down i know it to the old lady is there like another bench for us to sit on i mean they’re just sitting on the ground i’m a squat i’ll go behind brock and kneel down um rook stays standing just leans up against the wall so the woman looks around all of you she says my name is amanda this is my husband and my two sons you all don’t look related and she she looks directly at the tiefling among you i found i’m just like oh don’t mind me ma’am i am a cleric of the raven queen it is my moral obligation in life to help those less fortunate like this fellow who lost his home yesterday and you’re helping him comb the sewers that’s odd i try not to judge i i i promise it makes sense i’m gonna level with you amanda uh are you familiar with and i know there’s lots of uh cafes and inns uh the bard rock cafe in the doc district nope can’t say that i am i tried to stay away from the doc’s district there’s not many good places to go well uh that was my place of business and my home and uh it was destroyed yesterday and uh this gentleman here uh he was one of my employees so until it’s fixed he’s unemployed i have not been able to get it fixed and uh we were and these uh are two of my most loyal patrons uh we were all trying to uh find some way to make money to get my the cafe up but right now we’re all in hard times until that happens and uh truthfully we’re on our job down here and we came across you but it looks like you’re also down in your luck so i was wondering what what has brought you down here so the guy just the middle aged man behind her grunts and says well she was a minstrel she worked different taverns here and there playing her tunes i was the general manager at the general’s general good store but they fired me and we lost our home we lost everything now we’re stuck down here have you ever been to the general’s general goods store uh yes i have been to the general’s general goods store uh it looks like the employees aren’t very happy there at the moment from what i saw uh one i actually met trying to get my in fixed and he was complaining about a rat problem in the basement which we led me me coming there and i met uh an employee at the cash register who seemed very uninterested in working if i were to guess those two employees seem like they’re very unhappy working there to be honest everyone’s unhappy working there it’s long hours for shitty pay also they can undercut the price of the competition just a little bit rook asks how shitty was your pay i worked there for 10 years i got the raise twice that doesn’t sound like a good job at all yeah one of those raises was when i went from associates to senior associate then from senior associate to general manager it went up from one copper to three coppers that’s terrible i could barely feed us ant houses we lived in squalor and then i got fired have you considered starting a union you mean like the guilds anyone can start a guild you can’t join a guild and work at the general general good store they’ll fire you they’re strictly anti-guild but they’re members of the innkeepers guild themselves doesn’t that make them hypocrites it’s complicated they’re very anti-union unions are complicated employees have too many rights and complain and there’s a lot of poor people around so the minute somebody starts giving them problems they just fire them and hire the next schmuck well i i think the ghosts are not saying that doesn’t sound right and i’m sorry that they treated you that way may i ask a question that’s uh a little bold and brutally honest well i feel like you’re going to regardless after phrasing it that way yes but i i did want to i just wanted to warn you uh i i see that you have these rats here they seem to be very uh uh comfortable around you and your family and of course uh the reason we were down here was we were investigating the rats for the store are you the ones that were saying the rats there there’s kind of a heavy pause when he goes i was yes i couldn’t find work my husband was out of work we needed to eat and i have this flute which was given to me by my teacher it can enthrall the rats and have them follow my orders so i had them rob the general general good store only what we needed to eat nothing they’ll miss anyway so epi leans in he’s like well i hope you don’t mind but that sounds like a waste of your talents especially if you can get all of these rats to do what you want them to sounds a bit like you could start your own circus almost you know i had heard that are there’s definitely some merchants that you know may have a use for certain minstrels that can have an entire cute army of rats that i’m sure in the back i mean that could certainly draw customers i have no desire to expose my family to that kind of risk and besides the guy stands up wouldn’t want to miss a chance to stick it to the group that took advantage of me for 10 years 10 years of my life for nothing well by virtue of the fact that we’re down here it sounds a little bit like they’re about to stick it to you again oh are they now now don’t get too up at arms uh we’re not really the sort to let’s be real look at me i’m not exactly built for fighting i think we can probably come to a much more uh amicable solution right because we may be the first ones to come looking but if if uh the rats continue to take him from the store we won’t be the last uh tell you what i would you be uh and also your family while you’re living somewhat more comfortably than you could be it sounds like you could be living better uh if you could actual work would that solve your problem yes but how are you going to find this work i look very hesitant for a moment and uh i actually put my like thumb up to my mouth like i’m thinking really hard

i did i give you my name uh i’m i’m brock song of the water deep songs uh i might be down in my luck but my parents are not uh if i were to give you a letter with my with my seal i believe my my father as much as he and i aren’t speaking these days uh might be in the might be in the uh ability to kindly employ a very skilled manager and uh actually i probably wouldn’t mention the fact that your wife is a minstrel he’s not a fan of bards unfortunately there’s kind of this heavy pause guy says all right all right let me get this straight you’re a noble i gave up my rights as an oval when i went to the bard’s college my parents really disagreed with that uh they’ve disowned me but oh so you’re a noble who has been disinherited disenfranchised to the point that you’re taking jobs mucking around in the sewers i don’t want to go to my parents and admit to them that i am financially struggling i am too proud for that they raised me to be too proud if i went home they would probably help me but i just i do not want to come to them for their charity for my needs but i cannot see another resident of water suffer and not try and help so there’s this look on all of their faces like they’re not buying this for a second a nobleman does not muck around in the sewers and if you did you’re not in any position to help them do i need role persuasion roll at disadvantage but sure all right first roll is a uh seven plus five that’s a 12.

also a seven miraculously so it’s uh 12 either way

okay the mom and one of the sons don’t seem convinced but the other son the younger son and the father seem to be at least considering it but the mother says i don’t think you can follow through on what you say i’m not sure i’m comfortable putting our fate in your hands when we have everything we need right here well for what it’s worth i can probably sweeten the pot a little and how’s that i pull a 50 gold diamond out of my sleeve and hold it up i can pay you to try

so the wife and the husband look at each other

says give us a moment and the four of them kind of walk over to the far corner of the chamber and they kind of are talking amongst themselves for a minute i put the 50 gold diamond back in my sleeve as i’m just sitting there waiting so they talk for a second

the wife comes back over and holds out her hand and says all right we’ll take your diamond we’ll take your letter of recommendation and we’ll see what happens all right now i will tell you it comes with one stipulation oh you see we’re gonna go up there and tell them that we took care of the rat problem so between the two of us pick a different store to steal from next time and he plops the he gives him the 50 gold diamond i’m going to second that you know if i know you if this does not work out just you know any other store you know come back to them after some time has passed if you feel that this arrangement did not work out for you just you know i like as much as i’m putting as much as you’re putting trust in my word as a noble uh my word at a noble is going to be going to them when i say the rap problem is solved do you understand what i’m saying sure we get it you’re just trying to do a job i certainly hope they pay you enough to cover the diamonds eppy just kind of smiles oh consider that one a gift from the wave and queen as i said i’m here to help others i don’t necessarily do it to get paid necessarily well we thank you and hopefully this all works out so they take the diamond and then i i once i’ll scroll in the letter once we’re somewhere less grungy the sewer so that they aren’t handing my parents a slimy letter okay um they themselves are also pretty slimy so you know right they do take the letter um they promise to clean up a little bit then they head off ostensibly towards yeah not the north ward the oh and before they embark i do say amanda i realize i mentioned my father doesn’t care for bards but if you ever wish to come play my cafe when it’s been rebuilt you’re more than welcome to well thank you okay so they’ve made their way off you all just smell and feel awful hey my throat tastes nice and clean you owe me a bath the minute that cafe is back open preferably sooner all right guys let’s go lie to the general manager it’s not lying if you tell them the truth sure we did solve his rap problem he has a point i’ll let you talk then brock all right so we go up there and we’re clearly covered in sewer refuse and uh can do we do i need to bring like a couple of dead rats from the sewer to show that we actually like exterminated some rats

you tell me what you’re doing man you tell me what what condition you enter this story in i need to know uh so we’re actually so we’ll go back up through my plan is to actually go back up through the sewer tunnel just for the sake of coming out that way okay that way like the man like we can counter manager in the back room again i’m trying to save them some face so you know we’ll i’ll come out of the back room and uh signal him that way uh signaling to come speak with me so the customers don’t have to see okay you find him asleep at a desk uh i gently knock on the desk to try and get his attention wake him up without startling him he’s not waking up uh i gently shake his shoulder what oh my god and he looks at his shoulder oh god there’s just a nasty ass handprint off his shoulder i used to press the vegetation to clean his shoulder and i remember i can do that and i press to digitize me

get this look from eppy and just gestures to the rest of it i look at epi and go i forgot i can do that and i press to digitize all three of them thank you so at this point the general manager is looking horrified at all of you cleaning yourself up but also like the stuff you’ve tracked in from beneath i i pressed to digitize the floor okay i clean everything we haven’t tried it’s gonna take you a it’s gonna take you a minute to do that but he’s like wait stop what why oh i’m so sorry i i forgot that we were a mess up your rat problem has been dealt with you do not need to worry about the rats returning he just he opens his mouth to speak and closes it like looks like he gagged a little bit thank you please leave uh no there is this the matter of payment ah well i uh i have a proposal for you you see because we didn’t go through our contractual agreement with the guild i technically wasn’t authorized to hire you but and hear me out i’m prepared to offer you all membership coupons for the next year at the general’s general goods store they are good for 10 percent off all merchandise that does sound pretty good but don’t now hear me out here i actually uh i i don’t remember i mentioned i introduced myself i’m the proprietor of the bard rock cafe and i took this job because i need to pay for paris to my cafe which the guilds are also not helping me with if you can pay even a small amount i would appreciate it in addition to that discount just a small amount so i can make some headway towards getting my doors opened again tell you what it says could you all just turn and look that way he kind of points like towards the door that doesn’t sound suspicious at all can i roll inside on that sure a seven plus zero i rolled a seven i i think this is completely above board can i roll inside go ahead nat 20 plus four [ __ ] nice all right so you get the sense that he’s doing something shady but that he’s not out to get you like he’s trying to do this in your favor also i need you to roll me d 100s and tell me what both numbers are oh okay okay i’m sure this will be fine oh we’ve rolled those on not 22 oh goodness oh great he’s already feeling weird about us being in here so we’ve got 29 and 49. oh io49 isn’t the bubbles i’m sure it’s fine i’m sure everything’s fine okay so epi you’re gone okay like you all just you notice that he’s doing something shifty but in your favor and then you’re gone i will come back to you in a minute that’s fine so we actually look over because epi disappeared the rest of you that’s why i look over yeah epi is just poof like instantly just not there okay the guy you hear him rustling around back there uh can i look try to look at him from the corner of my eye sure uh go ahead yeah for the sake of this i’ll say slide a hand alrighty 18 total he does not see you peeking at him at all he is pulling a picture off of the wall opening up a wall safe and pulling out just a small satchel of coins and then closing the safe and putting the picture back up okay then he sits back down says okay you can all turn around now i so i just very quickly say i think that our friend had to run and use the restroom but we can take their payment for them he does not seem to have noticed that someone is missing of course not uh he does put the coins on the table this is the most i can pay you however if you are interested in some legitimate work we do have some delivery jobs as our delivery person called out for the day uh these pay 150 gold per delivery uh it’s up to you if you wish to take them they’re fairly straightforward you just take the goods to their location uh but here’s here’s your payment for dealing with the rat problem we really appreciate it don’t tell anyone no problem i tried to be as discreet as possible and i pick up the bag of gold okay you uh and then i look at everyone else do we want to do delivery jobs uh and that’s i leave that up to the party uh because i know at least rook knows about other job opportunities that we don’t all know about the moment rakana shrugs she has a look of like a look of maybe distaste and i looked back and said you know what press the digitation aside i think we all need a couple of baths so uh you know maybe we’ll circle back to you for a job in the future but i think we need to go rest for the night he does look kind of disgusting he’s like yes you do because something about the thing about preston vegetation it does clean you right but like the essence is still there so it’s still grungy and nasty and gross also we want like we also quietly probably just agreed we need to figure out where effie went to okay so before anything we need to find epi just like nope we’re going to deliver some pizzas this game started with party gappy it’s gonna end with finding epp thank you for listening to barbra cafe you can find more episodes on have you considered becoming a patron you can get wild rewards like access to our patrons only discord tarot readings from rook and access to exclusive one-shot campaigns set in the bard rock universe led by our dm kenny visit bardrock cafe to find out more until next time rock on