Dimension 20 (2018-…): Season 20, Episode 1 - The Red Warren - full transcript

The denizens of the Red Warren and the Blue Forest respond to an unexpected threat.

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(air rushing and clicking sounds)


(somber orchestral music
and small animal squeaking)

(somber music and small
animal squeaking continues)

(somber music continues)

- Hello, friends, and
welcome to Dimension 20.

My name is Aabria Iyengar.

I will be your Dungeon Master
for this: Burrow's End.

(players gasping excitedly)

Ooh, that's the name.

- Stoat-al Recall?
- [Erika] What's she gonna call us?

- [Jasper] I don't know what she's
gonna call us. - [Brennan] I don't know.

- With me to tell this
tale of the ties that bind

and the light that blinds
are my stupendous stoats.

Say hi, stupendous stoats!
- [Players] Hi, stupendous stoats!

- Since we're all...

That was so good. That
felt really, really good.

(players positively affirming)

- [Siobhan] Absolutely smooth.
- This bodes well.

- This is the best day of my life.

Before we get started,

I think we should all introduce
ourselves so we can begin.

I'm going to start on my right.

- I'm Isabella Roland. I am playing Lila.


(players laughing)

- We're continuing doing great.

- I'm an inquisitor rogue.

- [Players] Ooh.
- [Jasper] Sneaky!

- Hi, I'm Erika Ishii,

and I am playing Ava, a fighter barbarian.

- Hi, I'm Jasper William Cartwright,

and I will be playing Thorn
Vale, a fey wanderer ranger.

- Hi, I'm Rashawn Nadine Scott,

and I'm playing Viola the paladin.

- Hi, I am Jaysohn. I am small,
and I'm Siobhan Thompson.

- Hi, I am Jaysohn. I am small,
and I'm Siobhan Thompson.

That's my real name,
but I'm playing Jaysohn.

I am also doing really
well. I prepared for this.

Four people went before
me and I got thrown.

I'm Siobhan Thompson.

I'm playing Jaysohn, who
is an astral self monk.

- I had four people that went
before me and I got thrown.

- Watching everyone do it

the same way really threw me.
- Everybody did so good!

- Hi, I'm Jaysohn.

- I'm also Jaysohn.
- We're all Jaysohn.

- Hi, I'm Brennan Lee Mulligan.

I am playing Tula,

also a paladin.
(all gasping)

- Whoa.
- What?

- What does that mean? Who could say?

- I don't know.

- With all that taken care of,
I think it's time to begin.

(whisper) Let's go.

(dramatic music)


(dramatic music ends abruptly)

Yeah, yeah.

(Erika cackles and players laugh)

You knew this was coming.

- [Erika] Classic.
- [Brennan] Classic.

(dramatic music resumes)
- Earth, soft and rich and fragrant

with the life and death of
the forest that surrounds you,

fills your vision in every direction.

There is no light here.

This low, within the packed
dirt walls of the warren

that your mothers' mothers'
mothers claimed by fang and claw

from the wild hares that once lived here

beneath the shade of a
massive red oak tree.

Four dozen stoats, give or take,

and for those of you who don't know,

a stoat is a small, long,
weasel-like creature

from the Mustelid family who calls

weasels, otters, badgers and
wolverines their cousins.

You all live here together

in this peaceful little
corner of the Blue Forest.

Let's begin with Jaysohn and Lila.

The most important thing
you need to know is that-

- No!

- We're underground, baby.
- We're underground.

- Auntie Beatrix is not your aunt,

though you are sort of vaguely
related to everyone here,

but she's closer in age
to your grandmother,

and she's the one that sort
of constantly comes over

to look after you when your mother Tula

has other things to attend to,
and tonight is no different.

You are in the snug, earthen
room that is your nest,

and Auntie Beatrix is on
the far side of the room,

sort of zhuzhing the moss

to get ready to put you
guys down for the night.

- I am standing on the highest
rock within this warren

and I just say, Auntie Beatrix!

Auntie Beatrix! Auntie Beatrix!

- You see her kind of turn, look down,

makes eye contact with Lila,

and then looks up and
finds you high on a rock.

- Look at this! And then
I jump off the rock.

- Can I try and hide and sneak attack him,

so I punch him in the air
before, as he takes off?

so I punch him in the air
before, as he takes off?

- As this happens, and I
obviously will allow that,

please, in the slow mo
move that is Jaysohn

leaping off a rock, please
describe your character for me.

- Jaysohn is a scrappy little lad,

kind of strawberry
blonde hair always askew,

little gap tooth that he
loves to spit through,

and always just a little bit grubby.

The kind of kid that you
want to spit on your thumb

and just clean something off of his face.

- Perfect, okay, now what is it

that Jaysohn's attempting
to do in this moment?

- Just like a cool trick.
- Oh, okay.

- A cool trick where I jump.

Maybe I do a little spin in the air.

- It's like one of those things
where you go to your parent

and you're like, look at this!

And it's not impressive at all.

- Not at all.
- Look what I can do!

- Not even a forward roll spin,

just spinning around like
that as I jump off this rock.

- You know what, I want
to get your roll first,

so go ahead and give
me an acrobatics check.

- Great.

That's a 21. It's so good.

- This is beginning in
a way that is genuinely,

you can see Beatrix, a moment of, oh no.

Wait, hold on, this could be incredible.

Except for the fact that
your sister is here,

and has decided to
intervene as you spring up

from truly nowhere in
this room full of nothing

to, I believe, uppercut
your brother in the taint.

Please describe yourself, Lila.

- I am also a little scrappy.

Not as dirty, but a little calico stoat.

Not as dirty, but a little calico stoat.

And, you know, little baby teeth.

- They're called milk teeth on stoats.

- Milk teeth?

- In England, we call
them milk teeth also.

- [Aabria] Wait, really?

- Yeah, we call baby teeth milk teeth.

- Hey guys, the best part of
this, I got two British people,

so we're going to learn so much right now.

- But they're improvisors.
They could be saying anything.

- Oh my god, are you lying to me?
- [Siobhan] I give you

lies. Don't believe a word I say.

- British people are always lying.

- [Siobhan] We are. We're fucking liars.

- Post, if we can just
start the counter here

for bizarre British things that get said.

- Bing!

- Yes. (ding)
- [Jasper] There it is, there it is.

- I need the little sound, too.

Okay, with your cute little milk teeth,

what are you trying to do

in order to absolutely fuck
up your brother's shit?

- He is just always doing this.


So I just know when he's going
to jump off of something,

and I try to sort of be
under there to be like...

- Okay, go ahead and
give me a stealth check.

We're going to see if you have advantage

on this attack, my little rogue.

- 22.
- Somehow,

again, in this-
- These children are terrifying.

- They're alright.

- It's just dirt and some
moss and three stoats,

and somehow, this old woman

has fully lost track of one of you.

You spring up out of nowhere,

and go ahead and give me an
attack roll with advantage.

What's your armor class?

- 19.

- 21.

- (in pain) Ow, my dick!

Oh god!

- Go ahead and tell me
what exactly the move is

as Jaysohn's very cool...

- I think it's just
sort of like a punt up.

- Oh perfect. You're about
to stick the landing,

and then you just feel
your sister raise up,

grab you, and push you back skyward.

- Can I grapple her?

- Of course you can.
- Great.

- Please make an attack roll.
We're starting with PVP.

- That's a 12.

- You, as you're being
pushed back into the sky,

make a couple reaching grasps
with your weird, short arms

on your extremely long
body, don't quite get it,

and you tumble over and begin
wrestling on the ground.

- Not fair! That's cheating!

- You have to stop. What are you doing?

It's time for bed!

- Dad would let us stay up.

- You know full well

that that move, little mister,

works on your mother and
her extraordinary guilt

for the loss of your
father, but not on me.

- It's also not true. Dad
wouldn't let us stay up.

- Shh! (gasps)

(whisper) You're such a snitch.

- (quietly) You lied to her.
- Yeah!

- Focus!

It is time for bed, and
I would love love love,

as a gift to your mother,
if you were laying down.

I'll tell you a little story,

and we can be done with what I
can only call daytime energy.

I am too old and too tired for this.

- Okay, but can the story
have lots of blood in it?

- No.

Absolutely not.

(Izzy quietly hyperventilating)

(Brennan laughs and the
rest of the cast try not to)

Hey, Lila.

What's going on, baby?
- So much energy!

(rest of the cast begins laughing)

- What are you doing?

- I am on top of rock again.
- I can't go to bed!

- You don't know how it happened,
but I am already up there.

- Beatrix is locked in
on whatever this is,

thinking that you've gotten
some sort of horrifying disease

and are dying on her watch.

- Well, I think it's like right before

a cat gets the zoomies.

It's just like... (chittering)

- Do you have to go poop?
Do you have to poop?

- No!

And then she's just going to jump up

and bite her brother's tail.

- Ow! That's cheating, that's cheating!

- Please get into bed! It's not cheating.

- We're not playing a specific game!

I'm not cheating at
anything, I just bit you!

- Please, I beg of you,

get in the fucking bed!

- I slide down the rock.

- And she's going to move
to the far end of the room

where she has kind of a pile of her items,

and she reaches in and grabs
a little bit of dried meat.

If I give you a little bit of meat-

- Yes!
- Yes.

- Will you lay down and shut up?

(Izzy and Siobhan saying 'Yes' repeatedly)
- Thank you so much.

And she gestures towards
your little nest of moss.

- I do that thing, where you like,

circles three times. Curl up.

- You get in the same
position every single time.

- Yes, it's comfy. I like it.

- You've got to let him have this.

Oh yeah, oh, just, you
don't, I can, well...

She's just going to kind of land.

Oh, Jesus, almost lost a nail on that.

You both have hands. I can hand you-

Okay, okay, there you go, perfect.

It's like we don't feed you, but we do.

This accent has slid to
Russian, and I'm so proud of it.

And once you guys have kind
of settled down a little bit,

thank you very much.

This is, you know, a difficult
time for your mother,

but I appreciate your cooperation.

(Aabria clears throat)

And both of you, give me an insight check.

- Dirty 20.
- [Aabria] Damn, okay.

- Okay, so I can't get below a 12.

- She's not trying to lie to you.

- Oh, okay.
- Yeah, this is just,

you're kind of clocking a
person with two to three tricks,

max, in her bag with how
to deal with children.

- Okay, seven.

- Sweet, yeah.

You're focused, you're
starting to settle down.

You understand that what
you are seeing is a woman

who has told truly one story
to both of you 1,000 times.

You could probably
recite it along with her,

but she sort of settles down next to you.

You can hear the creak of
her incredibly old bones

in her body as she begins.

(air wooshes)

- What?

(Jasper saying escalating 'What's)

- No! No, you didn't! You didn't!

- Everything begins with the Blue.

(tranquil music)

There's the blue of the sky
and the blue of the water

and the Blue of the light that made us.

The Blue made everything,
and sometimes we can see it

deep inside us like the beat of our hearts

or even in the eyes of the
others that call our forest home.

But not everything touched
by the Blue is good.

The woods are full of
things beyond the fathoming

of wee little stoats like yourselves.

So take care, and be ever
watchful of the others

among the trees, because
we must, above all else,

protect ourselves and our
family here in the warren.

- That was a really good story, thank you.
(Brennan screaming in awe)

(Rashawn and Jasper clap as
Brennan continues screaming)

- That's incredible!

- It's a little tale, a tale you've heard

a thousand thousand times,
of where you came from,

of the Blue that animates
you and this entire forest,

and as you settle down into this routine,

you see that she's turned and gotten up

and is moving to pick up her sundry items,

and thinking that she's
gotten you down for the night,

leaves your room.

- (whisper) Jaysohn.
- (whisper) Yeah?

- What do you think the Blue is?

- I think it's like, there was a monster.

It's like a really big monster.

- Yeah.
- That our dad killed.

And his blood was blue.
- I think it killed Dad.

- Maybe our dad's blood was blue,

and he just had, like, a lot of it.

I don't know what the Blue
is. I'm just making it up.

- I know.

- Wow, what do you think the Blue is?

- I've been taking a lot of notes.

- Okay.

- I think that something happened,

and that, like, Dad and
Uncle Thorn and Viola

and that, like, Dad and
Uncle Thorn and Viola

and not Mom, because she's
smart, tried to fight it,

and it, like, killed Dad.

- Yeah.

- But I haven't figured
out what it is yet.

- No.

- But I think I'm getting really close.

- Okay.

- And, you know, maybe it's, like, big.

- Yeah, it's pretty big. It has big teeth.

- Big-
- Sharp-

- Teeth.

- Maybe it's got scales.

- Yeah. Big, scaly, scary tail.

- A big scary tail.
- Yeah.

- I'm going to fight it
and I'm going to kill it.

- I'm going to fight it
and I'm going to kill it.

- Yeah, okay. Not if I
fight it and kill it first.

- No.
- Yeah.

- No, I'm going to do it.

- No, I'm going to do it first.

I'm going to do it first. I'm
going to do it... (snoring)

(Cast laughs)

- Your brother's down.
Do you also fall asleep?

- No, I sort of pretend to be
asleep, and then I'm like...

- [Aabria] The ability to
open one eyeball is very cool.

(Siobhan snoring cutely)

Aw! What do you do?

You're the only one awake.

- I think I'm going to, like,

Lila's nightly routine is
trying to listen to the adults

and eavesdrop and find out secrets.

- Okay, then go ahead and
give me a stealth check.

- I can't believe it's been
20 seasons of this show,

and I've been angling
for PVP, and it happens

in the first 60 seconds
of the all stoat season.

- All you have to have

is an eight year old brother and sister.

- Hey, Aabria? 26.
- Holy shit!

- Woo!
(Siobhan and Rashawn laughing)

- Wow.
- [Aabria] Lila,

you go absolutely into
your bag at this point.

Though you are calico
with a mixture of white,

the way you move through
these tunnels and these halls,

especially now that you
know that it's nightfall

and there is no light coming
in, you are a ghost here.

You make your way around the bends

through this massive warren.

It takes you about five minutes

until you come across your
first little cluster of adults.

Are you listening for
anything in particular,

or just, like, whatever I
hear is my little secret now?

- Yeah, whatever I hear.

- So you come across
a heavy southern voice

that you know is Big Walmer,

and he's a contemporary

of your father, and your
mother knew him too.

Your grandfather, who you never knew,

you've heard in stories,
was very fond of him,

and he's been trying, especially recently,

to really angle for sort
of the leadership position

of this warren, and he's
murmuring something very intense

of this warren, and he's
murmuring something very intense

but very, very low, and you're
picking up little flashes,

and then you hear your
mother's name, Tula.

And he continues to murmur with someone.

You're going to have
to get a little closer

if you want to overhear this.

Go ahead and give me
one more stealth check.

I'll give you advantage on this.

We honor a 26 in the house.

- Not as great. 13.

- You edge a little closer, and you hear:

She's distracted.

She doesn't want this,

and Ava isn't interested
in leading anybody.

They're here, but this
warren is not a collective.

It is a group, and if
we've learned anything

from those other folks
on the outside of town,

there needs to be a strong leader here.

And as you slide a little
bit further into the room,

your claw just catches
a little bit of a root.

You hear a snap. Everything freezes.

Do you stay? Do you run?

- I run.
- Okay.

As you scamper away, you hear
movement behind you and see,

you get a little glimpse of
this massive, dark brown stoat

looking down in the hall,
but he doesn't see you,

though he can hear
something moving around.

He moves back in.

Give me a perception
check with disadvantage,

because you're a sleepy little guy.

Eight plus seven is 15.

- I think you feel, sort of,

someone getting into
the moss bed with you.

It doesn't quite pull
you out of your sleep,

but you're aware that there's
some shifting happening.

- Where'd you go?

- I was eavesdropping.

- What'd you hear?

- I think they were talking about Mom.

- Oh.
- And I got more jerky.

- (gasps) I wake up.

Did you save some?

- Yeah.
- Can I have some?

I snuggle up.

- Get off of me!

- You're my favorite sister!
You're my favorite sister!

- I punch him in the mouth.
- I punch her in the stomach.

- And as you devolve into
more sibling infighting,

we move out and away, through
the tunnels of the Red Warren,

up and across to those others
on the edge of the wood.

Thorn, Viola, and a
group of nomadic stoats

Thorn, Viola, and a
group of nomadic stoats

and other small woodland
creatures known as the Lukura.

You set up camp a 30 minute
walk away from the Red Warren.

It's through bushes and thickets,

and right at the edge
of what you would call

the true beginning of the
wild and dangerous woods here.

Where do we find Thorn?

- I think Thorn is probably
having a quiet conversation

with Olliver and Teedles,
just double checking

the perimeter is secure as
we're heading into nighttime,

making sure all the scouts are in place

and everyone's kind of on
their shift and ready to go,

there's been no trouble during the day.

- As we see you holding court

with your two sort of chief lieutenants

known as Beacons, Olliver and Teedles,

why don't you also describe
for me what you look like?

- Sure, so Thorn Vale is a pretty lanky,

- Sure, so Thorn Vale is a pretty lanky,

quite sort of long stoat
with jet black fur,

though you can see where the scars are,

the fur has grown back white underneath

and he's got one
particularly distinctive scar

across his forehead,
which kind of goes down

to the tip of his nose, where his nose

actually lost some of the
pigment in it as well,

and he's got some little
pointy, pointy stoat ears,

and he's kind of got a bit of a wry smile

as he's got these piercing yellow eyes.

I think I'm probably
kind of half listening

to what's going on.

Everything seems fine,
and I'm sort of scanning,

looking for Viola, that's probably there.

- You see Olliver is sort
of droning on and on,

but it's Teedles who is sort of, sir?

Eyes? Eyes on me?

- Yes, sorry.

- The pine marten is out doing
a perimeter check right now.

As far as I know, the
badger will be beginning

sort of a late shift, we can't...

It's hard when you can't
really talk to them.

- Yes, of course. The badger
is particularly attentive, so-

- Yeah, and terrifying.

- So terrifying. Yeah, it's quite intense.

- [Aabria] Kind of only listens to you.

- Yeah, does that thing where
he sort of stares at you,

and you have to take a full second

to be like, are you going to eat me, or?

- Yeah, I don't like doing that.

Do you want to go talk to him?

- If you don't want to
do it, Teedles, yes.

- Look.
- I'll do it.

- I don't know if you can't
tell, I don't want to.

- Yeah, okay, that's fine.
Okay, I turn around to Olliver.

Olliver, can you talk
to the badger, please?

(Cast laughing, chuckling, and wheezing)

- Olliver, who is mid-explaining

all of the deals and information

that everyone's went and
gotten today, just (gasps).

- Yep.

- Are you sure?
- Absolutely.

(stammering back and forth)

I have to talk to Viola. I'm so sorry.

(Aabria groans frustratingly)
- I'm busy.

- Make a deception check.
- [Jasper] Hell yeah.

Dirty 20.

- Olliver gives you a
look that says everything

about those people who you
know are not related to you.

He's slighter, pale gray brown stoat,

He's slighter, pale gray brown stoat,

very clearly the runt of his litter

and never really recovered
from that in a meaningful way,

and kind of looks up at you
like someone who, we are family,

even though we're not quite related,

so I can't give you the
hard time I want to.

You see that piercing look.

Then it falters.

- I really appreciate
it, Olliver. Thank you.

I'll do it tomorrow.

- When the Conduit gives you
a task, you're going to do it.

- Hello, sweetie.
- [Aabria] Yes, ma'am!

- Thorn.

- And Olliver gives a massive
bow, and Teedles looks over.

- And Olliver gives a massive
bow, and Teedles looks over.

Oh, hi!

- Is everything in order?

- (fearfully) Everything's so, so good.
- Wonderful.

It's so good that we're
all together and secure.

- Yes.

- And we can be that when
you do what you're told.


- Oh yes, yes.
- (whisper) It's okay.

- Yeah, you're saying-

- Sorry, I didn't mean
to put my foot down.

- No, you're good!

- I felt an opening, and
stuck my foot in there.

- Ooh, yeah you did!
Okay, I'm going to go.

You know what, badger's
preferable. This is fine.

And you see Olliver grabs
Teedles, and they both take off.

- [Brennan] Erika and Izzy right now.

(Rashawn cackling)

- I'm, like, super chill and nice.

- So chill and nice.

- So nice, but Viola's different.

- And you see, as Olliver and Teedles

sort of disappear into a crowd,

there's maybe 24 or 25 other
woodland creatures here.

there's maybe 24 or 25 other
woodland creatures here.

About 15 of them are other stoats.

All of these other stoats have charcoal

or some smudging agent
where they've recreated

the Conduit's lightning bolt
on their body somewhere,

and everyone else in this crowd

moves out and away from
Olliver and Teedles

with the same energy and deference

that they are scurrying
the fuck away from you.

- I don't know why everyone's so scared.

- Please describe yourself for me

as you step fully into the light.

- I would say I'm like the
First Lady of this crop of folk.

I'm devoted, obviously, to my
husband Thorn and my family.

Viola takes berries and
flowers and kind of mushes them

onto her face to give some
sort of decoration to her.

She's got gloves, but they're not gloves.

- Let me be very clear,
there's not clothes.

- Okay, so it's like
moss around my wrists,

so I have a cute little dainty thing,

and she's got kind of a
fascinator of a piece of grass

that's been folded and
put into a fun shape.

- Not a hat.
- Not a hat.

- A fascinator.

- There aren't hats in this world.

- [Aabria] Yeah, they're stoats!

- No matter how bad we wanted them.

- They're stoats, why
would they have gloves?

Could you imagine?

- Viola just wants everyone to
be as comfortable as possible

and if anyone gets out of line, well,

we'll have words about that, won't we?

- The Lukura are a group
that have followed Thorn

for months and months and months

doing a circuit around the Blue Forest,

stopping by other stoat encampments,

trading information and help and foraging

on behalf of these other communities,

and though they look at
Thorn Vale as the Conduit,

the leader of this sort of cult,
even knowing how they treat

and how they respect and venerate Thorn,

there is a pulse of energy that knows,

and you sort of walk around
with the understanding

that no one fucks with the Conduit's wife.

- I think Thorn is like the sun.

People are just drawn to him
and pull up under a sunbeam

and, you know, I'm the moon.

I move the tides, but
I've always wondered,

what's it like to be the sun?

(Brennan laughs)

- Gulp!

(Brennan and Aabria laugh)

- Amazing, as you two sort of
find each other and settle in,

you notice that the sort
of bustle of this community

seems to be calming down
and moving away from you,

giving you private moments to talk.

- I think I immediately go over

and give Viola a little nuzzle.

- Aw!
- You've had a good day.

- It has been a good day.

I feel a little...

I feel like the winds
are changing, though.

- In a positive direction,

or are you becoming
more fearful every day?

- Well, you know me.

Fearful is a sort of default, so perhaps.

- Yes, but we have to bring

some joy and some light in there.

- I will work on that.
- Okay.

- I think I'll walk over,
grab some of the charcoal,

and I've got a white bib,
and I'll start marking out

a very big lightning
bolt shape on my chest.

As I'm doing so, I just...

It's just, there's this energy.
The forest has an energy.

I know that it's going to be
difficult with the family,

but I really feel like perhaps
we should be moving soon.

but I really feel like perhaps
we should be moving soon.

I feel a little (deep
breath and exhale) anxious,

like the forest is telling me something.

- Yes, you're feeling jumpy,

and I understand that you want to move,

but I don't know if the family's
going to want to relocate.

It's going to take some doing.

We've been here for so long,
and we literally have roots.

- Yes, I don't necessarily
know if I want to uproot,

just perhaps find some
temporary situation.

You know I don't like to stay
in one place for too long,

and I am getting concerned
about the size of this camp.

- Well, I thank you for staying
for as long as you have.

It wouldn't...

It wouldn't be the same if you
left. I couldn't be the same.

- I'm not leaving without you, dear.

- Oh, stop. You would go without me.

You've explored the world without me.

- Trust me, I wouldn't be where
I am right now without you.

I'm not going anywhere.

- Just give me a timeline.

Let me know when you'd like to leave

and I can, you know, massage Mama,

talk to my sister, and maybe
we can get things going.

- Yeah, I'll let you lead with Mama.

I'm not doing that. I'm definitely-

- Oh, she's a teddy bear.
- No, she is not!

She's a teddy bear with huge
claws. Terrifying, huge claws.

Nothing scares me more than
your mother, literally nothing,

and I've seen some shit, you know?

I've seen some real scary things.

- Oh honey, you're falling
back into your own mind.

- [Aabria] Yeah, you see
Thorn going somewhere.

- Oh no, oh no, oh no, okay!

- Thorn, give me a wisdom saving throw.

- [Rashawn] Oh no!
- [Izzy] What?

- 10, 10.

- Thorn begins to slip away,

and even in this very silly moment,

you look over and regard your husband

as you watch something
happen behind his eyes,

and a little flash of Blue as he remembers

what life is actually like out there.

Even though you're having a delightful...

Yeah, this is fucking cool.
We made the dome cool now.

- It's very cool.

- That even though you
feel his restlessness

and his desire to move, he has
seen things out in the world,

and you know the stories
that even you grew up with

about the others in the woods.

- I take my little paw and
I put it on your chest.

Let's breathe together. Slow it down.

You are safe.

Do not let the fear drive you.

I'll talk to Mama.

- Thank you.

I think Thorn fully straightens up,

almost like a mask completely
drops over his face,

and just strides
confidently into the camp.

None of that comes with him.

He just fully blocks
all of that emotion up.

Nope, that's for later.

- Little episode, nothing to it.

- You see, as you sort
of move into the camp,

you hear the commotion.

I'm not going to make you roll for it.

You can see, just at the edge of the camp,

Olliver is struggling with a badger

six times bigger than anyone else here

as he's trying to sign and
get, you just hear him yelling,

(enunciating) you've got to go!

Don't... (screams)

Just backs up a bit

as this badger begins to
snarl and bare its teeth.

- I sort of look over and I...


- With a single call out over
the din of dozens of animals,

this badger immediately
makes eye contact with you.

- Play nice.

- You see all of this,
everything that was spinning up

inside this fellow predator
sort of calms down.

- I shoot Olliver a look
and go, he wants scritches.

Quickly, now.

- I'm not going to!

- Do it.
- I'm not gonna-.

- He'll get really mad if you don't.
- (threateningly) You're gonna do it!

(Jasper laughs)

- [Aabria] We're doing great.

We're all having a very good time here.

- Good time. You're doing
a good job, Olliver.

- Thanks. (stammers) This is...

I like this. This is great.

- Well done.
- He's drooling on me.

- Why do you think I sent you?
- Yeah, I know, I know.

You see Olliver sort of pats the badger

on the side of the head,

and they begin to move
towards the edge of the camp

to begin the next wave
of scouting and watching.

Where do you head?

- I think Viola has found a mossy patch

- I think Viola has found a mossy patch

to kind of just stretch, kind
of taking down the adornments,

kind of chilling out for the
evening, kind of burrowing in.

- As someone who was
raised in the Red Warren,

there's something about
having your place underground,

a home where you collect and keep

all of your trinkets and adornments,

everything that you consider yours,

that in this very nomadic camp,

there is no sense of private space.

They don't have that.

They weren't trained with it or around it,

and you know that your husband

does not value that as much as you do.

So here you are, sort
of in the public eye,

under some pale moonlight
filtering through the trees,

sort of bedding down.

- I think she's thinking
about, how will I address this?

Who should I go to
first, Mom or my sister?

If I convince my sister
that it's a good idea,

she can tell Mom.

- Damn, y'all really are married.


- So it's the evening.

Is my sister around? Could I go-

- It will take you about half an hour

to get back to the Red Warren

if you want to go over and
have that conversation now.

- Yeah, I might as well do it

so it's on her mind in the morning.

- Yeah, I love that. Give me
just a basic survival check.

- Seeing Viola leave,

I immediately send two of
the stoats to go with Viola.

Viola doesn't go anywhere on her own.

- Aw. Do you send-
- Six.

- Six?
- [Rashawn] Yeah.

- Damn. That's probably important that...

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You sort of signal to-

- I think I probably send
Teedles and one other,

since I'm staying in the camp, yeah.

- Teedles makes eye contact
with you, seeing this.

I understand.

Then she just literally grabs
the first stoat she sees.

Another kind of older woman named Prue

that you guys picked
up two encampments ago.

Normally, wherever you go as a leader,

you pick up people who
are excited and interested

to hear what you want to
talk about, and even though

they tend to want to
follow and come with you,

you've kept the Lukura
very light and agile.

And somehow, this ancient woman

has been able to keep up, and truly,

any conversation you've had
about her wanting to settle down

and maybe stay at one
of these encampments,

she's the only person that's
like, I'm fine, darling.

Doing great.

- Truly impressive. My
knees are already going.

- I'm going to follow, I got it.

- Thank you. Thank you, Prue.

- She bows and salutes,
is pretty new to this,

and doesn't know what to do.

- Brighter than the sun,
swifter than the wind.

- I'm not going to say all
that. It's a lot, it's a lot.

- Okay, next time.

- It's very nice for you young ones.

- Of course. Yeah, absolutely, Prue.

- She bows at her very, very lanky waist

and takes off and follows.

You know what, as you're walking,

that survival check is pretty terrible.

- It is, yeah.

- I want to live in that meat for a while.

You know full well that
Thorn, when he can help it,

tries not to let you
move places unescorted.

How do you feel about that?

- Having grown up where I
didn't have to have attendants,

it's very weird to have a
shadow behind you constantly.

So I wouldn't try to shake her,

but I will try to keep some distance.

- Okay, give me, let's just make it

a general acrobatics check
as you're navigating.

- That's a nine total.
- Nine?

- Six plus three.
- Delightful.

So you're noticing, I
think you're kind of lost

in your reverie.
- Oh no.

- [Aabria] And trying to
shake off an old woman,


- Tula is about to get ready for bed.

How am I going to say
this? We've got to move!

- You feel yourself snag in the thicket.

As you're moving through,
a thorn catches your side,

and you begin to bleed a little bit.

You're going to take two
points of piercing damage.

Both Teedles and Prue

sort of surge up to you in this moment.

They're like, are you okay? I'm sorry.

- I'm fine, I'm fine.

it's just a little
scratch. I'll be all right.

- Yes, I mean, do you...

Hi, sorry, we were supposed
to hang back, I know.

- If one of you wants
to go in front of me,

I'll be in the middle.

- We don't have to-

- That's what you want to do.
Come on, go in front of me.

- It's not what I want!
- I'll be in the middle.

Just be in the front and the back.

- I think you're perfectly
fine to walk on your own.

I don't want this, it's
what the Conduit wants.

- Well, if that's what the Conduit wants,

it's what you're going to do.

- Okay, I'm not going to not do it.

You don't have to throw this energy at me.

- Sorry, I'm just-
- Are you okay?

- There's a lot going on.

I have to talk to my family
in the middle of the night,

and that's not something I
necessarily wanted to do today.

- Is everything-
- It's fine.

- I'm sorry, I don't know if we have

the relationship for me to ask.

Are you okay? You good?

- I'm realizing right
now that I guess I'm not.

Maybe I'm scared to move.
Maybe I want to stay.

But I have to honor my husband,

and his fear drives my congregation.

- Well, look. I am also...

- Make it plain, please.

- It's good that you're
here. We do like you.

You're terrifying, but we do like you.

- Thank you.
- And we've never seen...

I've never seen Thorn happier.


Olliver and I have been with him

for a year,

most of each other's
lives, and it's interesting

to watch someone go
from wanting to survive

to wanting to live.

- I had to teach him that
there's more than fear.

You know, we have to laugh together

to get through these very dark times,

and going together is
better than going alone.

- Yeah, well...

And she's going to kind of
reach out, and she offers you

just a bit of sort of mushed
up grass for your side.

just a bit of sort of mushed
up grass for your side.

- Oh.
- (whisper) Just put that on there.

- Thank you.

- (whisper) Yeah, of course.

- It feels nice. It's tingly.
- Yeah!

- Is that mint in there?
- Yes, there is.

- That is nice.
- It's miles from here,

but I always try to
grab a little bit extra.

If you never need anything
for just a little chew,

if you're ever feeling a little upset,

some meat that goes a
little bad, you find me.

- Okay. I like you.
- I like you too.

- I like you a lot.

- Yeah, I like how you scare Olliver.

Love that. It's my
favorite thing about you.

- It's very funny, the faces.

- Yeah, right? And he's so small anyway.

So he's just so scared of everything.

- It's just imprinted on my brain.

If I had a contact card,
that's what it would be.

- And I think for the first
time, instead of being flanked

or sort of in a weird little
sandwich protected formation,

you walk side by side with a
member of your congregation

as friends, as you make your
way back to the Red Warren.

Who are you heading to go see?

- I'm going to go see my sister.

- All right, so as you continue this walk,

we're going to move back, then.

I want to check in not only on
your sister, but your mother.

So, Ava,

where are you and Tula right now?

- We're in her burrow, and
it's mammalian grooming time.

(Aabria guffaws)

(wet smacking sounds)

- Oh, oh, being actively
licked. Interesting.

- You normally don't
get a chance to do it,

because you're always so busy

with those two lovely children of yours.

I love my grandchildren.

- Ava, go ahead and describe yourself.

- I am snowy white.

I'm a hunched form that's
bent almost double,

and I usually use a large bone

to get around and assist myself.

It's got a little knob at the end

that's very good for paw sizes.

I have one beady black eye, and
the other one is milky white

with a triple scar running through it

all the way back up to my ear.

I'm lanky with ropy, wiry muscles,

and I have a resting frowny face.

- Amazing, so as you groom your daughter,

Tula, can you describe yourself?

- I am a medium sized,

sort of dusty red brown stoat,

perhaps a little dusty, which
is why I'm getting licked

by my mom as an adult woman.

And I think the look on my face is,

I have been forced into being cared for

in a way that is using up lots of my time

and way stressing me out.
- Yes.

- This is very much for my mother,

to let her take care of
me as she gives me a bath

with her desiccated, ancient tongue.

- My mouth is very dry.

(cast groan in disgust)

It's like a little piece of sandpaper,

just kind of sloughing off any dirt.

- Thank you so much for taking
the time to do this, Mother.

This is incredibly kind.

- Absolutely happy to do it
because, you know, I mean,

I understand that you don't
have the time to do it,

but it's very important

to keep up your appearances
and your health.

- You're absolutely right,
you're absolutely right.

You know, as soon as I-
(wet smacking sounds)

- No, no. No, you can't make those sounds.

(Brennan and Aabria laughing)

- Yes'm, yes'm.
- Thank you.

- You know, as soon as you are done here,

and I'll be able to
head back to the burrow-

and I'll be able to
head back to the burrow-

- Other side. Turn, turn.
- Yep, here you go.

- [Erika] Start on the other ear.
- I'll be able to, yes,

and Beatrix does have to
get back to her own warren

sooner rather than later.

It's actually quite rare
for her to be able to come,

or not rare, but it's very kind of her

to be able to come and watch the children,

so as soon as we're done here,

I have to just run over to the jerky

under that old piece of
glass where it dries out,

because I have to turn it for the morning.

So just as soon as you can...

And I'll run out and
check the snare traps,

as well as the acorn alarm, so
just as soon as you are done,

I just have a few things to do,

and then I'll be able to go
relieve Auntie Beatrix from-

- You know, Walmer was asking
about you the other day.

(Inquisitive music)

- Walmer?
- Yes.

- Oh, well, that's kind.

- I told him that you're very busy

raising two children on your own,

and you know god knows
what it's like doing that.

So, you know, he was just
seeing how you were doing.

He's very, very well respected
in the burrow, you know.

- Well, venerable elders
so often and rightly are.

(Inquisitive music stops as the
soft rejection hangs in the air)

- Yes.
- Yes.

- Yes.

- And someone of Walmer's impressive age

absolutely deserves all of that respect.

- Well, I know that he's always, you know,

quite liked you and, you
know, your father, Kenji

rest his soul, he was
often quite fond of Walmer.

- I am so fond of him. He
is like a grandfather to me.

- And you're so lonely
these days, so lonely.

- A great grandfather. That's
terrible that he's lonely.

I should go care for
him in his advanced age.

These are his last days,
and they should be golden.

Mm-hm, mm-hm.

- Well, I'm just putting that out there.

- And you've put it out
there, and there it is.

- You're doing a job on your own.

You're certainly doing your
best. You're doing your best.

- Tula, I need you to
give me a history check.

- To know when Walmer was born?

- Methuselah.

- Yeah, the first of all stoats.

- History is going to be a 15.

- Okay, young Walmer is
truly maybe a litter or two

- Okay, young Walmer is
truly maybe a litter or two

older than you, so we're
talking months here.

So, you guys don't live a very long time,

but he's only a little bit older.

It's a viable grouping,
but you are now going back

and recontextualizing a lot
of interactions that you had

where you realize that yes,

in the last maybe four or five days,

Walmer has run into you
a lot across this warren

or at that piece of glass or, you know,

has offered several times

if you need someone to go and
grab water down at the river.

That yes, he has been slowly moving in

through the peripheral of your
busy life with your family.

- Can I make an insight
check against my mother

to know if that is, putting
that story together,

is Walmer flexing on my mom,
or is my mom flexing on Walmer?

is Walmer flexing on my mom,
or is my mom flexing on Walmer?

- Oh, that's fun.

(Erika snickers)

Huh, go ahead and give
me an insight check.

Ava, you can oppose that
with whatever you think

is appropriate in this moment.

Is it persuasion, is it deception?

- That'll be another 15.
- Dang, okay.

- That's a 12 for intimidation.

- Oh shit!
- Insight versus intimidation?

It's not lying, it's
not telling the truth,

it's just being scary.

- Big 'cause I said so' energy.

- I have a resting frowny
face, little eyebrows

that are always, they
look like they're angry.

The one that exists is
just slanted this way, so.

- Do I get the sense that
it's coming from Walmer

or coming from Mom?

- Definitely, Walmer has
sidled up to your mom

and is now sort of siccing her on you,

since just sort of reaching
out to you isn't yielding.

- Walmer, good dude or bad dude?

- Good dude, just a lot of
'focus on me, look at me' energy.

He reminds you, unfortunately,

only in the worst ways of Geoffrey.

- All I'm saying is that Walmer provides

quite a lot for the burrow
and is very well-respected

and would never just kind
of run off on his own,

gallivanting around the
wilderness like some other stoats.

(one more mouth smacking sound)

All right, get the rear. Get the rear.

- Yeah, let's get the rear.
I'm going to turn around.

What time of year is it?

- Give me a survival check.
How much time have you-

- That's a 25, I know the date.

- I was going to live in a world

where I was like, maybe you're distracted.

No, you keep track of this perfectly.

You know we're hitting the middle of fall.

You're now reaching that point

where you've got to
start stockpiling things,

because the first frost
is coming, and soon.

(soft, solemn music)

- Smelled a little bit of
frost on the wind this morning.

Sort of alarming.
- Yes.

Seems like it's coming
much earlier this year.

- Every year.

- What was the worst winter

that you and Dad ever went through?

- Oh.

There was one winter where
all of you were kids,

and we were trying to get

a bobcat or one of those...

What are the words for-
- Lynx?

- Yeah, lynx, lynx, you
know, out of the territory,

and it was, oh, we
really didn't have enough

stowed for winter and, you know, it was...

It was rough, but we
kept the group together.

We kept you all safe, and
to be honest with you, I...

I don't know how many more
winters I can stick around

to keep you kids safe, but I'll
always remember that winter

to keep you kids safe, but I'll
always remember that winter

how it was the group that got us through

when your father and I
were a little shorthanded

and, you know, some of our
litter didn't quite make it

but you two,

you two were fighters,

and the rest of the
burrow always pitched in.

Yes, well, that's why it's important

for us to always remember our neighbors,

and to have close communications with them

and to make sure that we look
our best for them, isn't it?

- You're absolutely right. Thanks, Mom.

I'll try to keep up appearances.

- You're a good girl.
You're a good girl, Tula.

- Thank you.

- [Aabria] Both of you,
give me a perception check.

- 19.

- That's a nine. I'm busy.
- Yeah, you're in there.

It's hard to hear over the sound

of your own sandpapery tongue.

- God, Mom, just not right there.

All right, suddenly you're all shy.

Oh, I'll tell you, young lady.

- Mom, I'm a grown woman.
I've had multiple children.

- The things that I've
had to lick off of you.

- Yeah, I understand.

- Your ears prick up as you
hear the approach of a stoat,

and with your sort of hackles raised

with your mom's strange intervention,

you begin to calm a little
bit as you recognize

the cadence of footfalls
as your sister Viola-

- I think there's part of me that's like,

my sister's doing so well.

Don't let her see me with
my mom's face in my butt.

- And that's when- - [Erika] I
remember when there was a ladybug-

- Wow, wow, wow.

Look who's booty is tooted in the air.

- Hi, Vi. Good to see you.

- It's good to see you,
Tula. Mama, how are you?

- Viola.

- You're looking so like you.

(badly held in laugh offscreen)


- Yes. Yes, I am.

- How's everyone doing this evening?

- Is there a reason you
came to come see us?

You never visit enough.

You're always off at your other burrow.
- It's so late. Are you staying?

I can set up some extra moss.

- With Thorn.
- It'd be lovely to have you.

- No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

- Jaysohn and Lila would love to see you.

- No, don't wake the...

Don't wake the little ones, not quite yet.

No, no, no, no, no. It's
just a friendly visit.

I had something I wanted
to talk to you about,

have on your mind while you
maybe fall asleep on it.

Thorn has expressed interest
in us needing to move.

It would be so nice if we
could all move together.

What we have here is gorgeous,

the way you've put the
roots up on the wall,

and the moss, and everything is beautiful,

but it'd be a little bit more security

for us all if we left.

Timeline's pretty quick.

Mama, you haven't blinked, not once.

Tula, you know.

It could be time to move.
Danger is lurking everywhere.

- Well, what does Thorn know?

I think very highly of your husband.

He's seen a lot of the world.

But what has he seen that would make...

Wow, that's an enormous commitment.

That's a change of everything.

- The outside forces are coming
in stronger than we expected

and if we're going to protect our own,

we have to be able to
accommodate for them.

I just think it's time for us

to stop worrying about
others protecting us,

and worry about protecting ourselves.

- Can I make an insight
check into my sister?

It's almost like I'm trying
to insight Thorn through you.

- Fun.

- Because there's a fear I have

that this is just about
combining these two communities

and suddenly having half the people

who live in the community
revere Thorn, right?

And then this other community

that just suddenly finds themselves

side by side with Thorn's
devotees and followers.

So I'm trying to say,
is there actual danger,

or is there enough danger
to justify something

that Thorn wants for ulterior motives?

- You're aware of you're sister's
sort of concerns in this,

so you can decide if
you're going to be rolling

persuasion or deception
against her insight.

I will say, if this is
just a normal conversation

that you're having that's
quite serious and quite dire,

a normal roll, I'll give you advantage

if you are really pressing for an answer.

- I'll press, I'll press.

That's still quite low. Only a 12.

- I got a seven.

So, I really think he's smart,

and I think he knows
what he's talking about.

I'm scared, aren't you scared?

- No.
- You're not?

- Well, I don't know what
to be scared of, Viola,

because it's a very unclear threat.

I'll be clear.

I'm sure it would be of great benefit

to combine our two communities
for strength in numbers.

Would you say that your husband is moving

from a place of eagerness
to combine our communities,

or is he moving away from a threat?

- I believe he's moving from a threat.

- Do I sense, on that roll,
that you're telling the truth?

- Yeah, I think that's what he
wants. Not necessarily what-

- And he's not entirely wrong.

- [Rashawn] Right?

- That young man has seen some real shit.

It's not just the winters
and the starvation

and the bigger animals that
we've got to watch out for.

It's something darker,

something much more unknown

to us or anyone like us.

My mother and her mother
before settled in this warren.

It took until me to know

what was truly wrong with this space.

But that being said, I
really like this burrow.

We've just kind of gotten the
moss the way that we like it.

- This isn't really even a conversation

unless we know where we would move to.

We can't just pick up and
wander into the forest.

- [Erika] Winter is coming.

- I'm sure he has a
plan. He's been all over.

There's places he's been
before that could be safe,

or push out into the unknown,
(paper ripping)

send some scouts out.

You know, you don't even have a vision!

- Bless you, Viola, but pretty sure

that while your husband
is running from something,

you're the one that's
always running to something.

So if there's going to be a plan,

it's probably going to be yours.

- Make a stealth check
for me, with advantage.

- Little ear hustler over here.

- 22.

- You hear all of this.

They've gotten very loud.

And Tula, with trying to
divine via your sister

what Thorn's concerns are
and hearing your mother

once again speaking in
vague, dreadful terms

about what lies truly out in the world,

you feel, sort of behind your breastbone,

a sort of dread sinking in as you pushed

towards the truth of the world
and something began to settle

heavy on your heart that
you know is disconnected

from the conversation you're having.

- I mean, I'm not saying
that he's a pushover.

He's a very charismatic young man.

But at the same time, I mean,

I guess there is a religious
crazy in every family

and, you know, why not
let it be your husband?

- You're not calling him
a fanatic, are you, Mama?

- No, I said a religious crazy.

- I think that if there were

a safer place to go to,

there might be some wisdom in this.

- So there's a chance,
if I find somewhere safe.

Not me, necessarily. Someone else.

Find somewhere safe, I
could come back to you

with a proposal, how about that?

- I think Lila and Jaysohn...

There's just a lot of
memories in this place,

and it might be nice for them to have

fresh places to explore, a
new burrow to grow up in.

- And maybe something for you?

A change of scene? The
memories here, like you said.

It's not just for the
kids. It's for you, too.

- Well, that's very sweet, Vi. Thank you.

Viola, I trust your judgment,
but it would be great

to get something more
specific from your husband.

What he's, you know...

The only thing I know that
your husband has seen is shit,

and so it'd be nice to get something

maybe a little more specific.

- It's true, I don't like change.

- That's right, Mom.
You don't like change.

- So if there's going to be one,

there'd better be a
damn good reason for it.

- Mama, do you know anything
out there in the world

that might be a safer burrow to go to,

or some other kind of place?

- I mean, it's all bad out there, really.

- Mama, you can't say that to the...

If the kids are around,
I mean, just don't-

- They should know!
It's a shitty situation.

The world is fucked, I tell you!

- Stop screaming.
- Give them a little hope.

- As you're yelling,
yeah, we will just say

that the camera creeps
over to Lila in the corner.

Go ahead and give me, just real quick,

a little perception check.

- Are you up with me?

- Yeah, did Jaysohn wake
up? They're now yelling.

- Yeah, once they start yelling, for sure.

- And bugs, and swans!

- There could be goodness out there,

but we're stuck behind
these walls doing nothing!

- I'm closer, and I'm relaying to him,

(whisper) they're talking about monsters.

- (whisper) What?

- They're talking about monsters coming.

We have to move.

- I burst through the door.
Are you talking about monsters?

- Oh my god.
- Jaysohn!

- I'll fight them!

- See, you can't leave them
alone for even an evening.

- Hi, Auntie V!
- Control your children!

- Hi, Jaysohn. It's so
good to see you. Hi-ya!

- You have jerky. You have jerky all over.

Be still, be still, be still, be still.

- How're you doing, Miss Lila?

- I'm good. So the monster's
coming and we have to move?

- There's...

- We don't know that there's a monster.

- We don't have to move
'cause we can fight them!

- And Uncle Walmer's going to be our dad?

- What? Uncle Walmer can't
be our dad, he sucks!

- When did you start calling him uncle?

- He's so old!

- He's like two months
older than you, Mum.

- Uncle Walmer is not
going to be anybody's dad.

Or husband.

- Well, we'll see about that.

- No, if Uncle Walmer was
going to make it happen,

he would've made it happen by now.

- Hello, he had a chance.

He's not going to be with my sister, no.

- Thank you.
- Tula! Tula, Walmer!

- You watch your tone, young ladies.

- No one's trying to be disrespectful.

- [Erika] That's right!

- I think tension is
high, because it sounds

like something very
dangerous might be happening.

Do you think that Thorn
would want to come tomorrow

and just explain what he's seen?

- Viola, you look up, and
you actually make eye contact

with Teedles, who is just like...

- Yes, get him. Bring him here now.

- (whisper) Right now?

- Yeah, we might as well talk it out now.

- Oh my god, we're having an all-nighter.

- (whisper) They said in the morning.

- We are not having an all-nighter.

Actually, what am I
doing? Children, to bed.

- Aw, but everybody else
is going to be here!

- Well, you need rest if we're-

- (whisper) This is awkward,
and I'm sad I was here.

- Teedles!
- Oh!

- Go!
- Go where?

- Go get him!
- Right now!

- Right now.

Right now, we're having a
little family discussion,

and god help me, he's
part of the family now,

so he needs to be here.

Kids, Jaysohn, you look
at me! You look at me!

You jump off another
thing while I am around,

and I swear to god!

Emotional damage!

- (intimidated) Yes, Grandmom. - Don't
threaten Jaysohn with emotional damage.

- Lila!

You be a good girl and go to bed.

- I think that it's only
fair that if we have to move

because a big monster is coming,

that we should know why
we're not safe in our home.

- (whisper) I'm going to come back
in the morning. Okay, goodbye!

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye!
And she takes off.

- I think that this would be
better done in the mornig.

Is it all right if you get
Thorn and come talk to us?

- Absolutely, everybody go to bed.

It's good to see you, my niece and nephew.

- I'm not tired.

- Me neither.

- I'm not tired either. I'm never tired.

- [Aabria] And as this
continued fight happens-

- Can you help me?
- (grumbles) All right.

Okay, you kids come with Grandma.

- I'm up on a rock. I'm so high up.

- Jaysohn!

- I forgot, I forgot! I'm
sorry, I'm sorry I forgot!

(whisper) I forgot, I forgot,
I forgot. I'm sorry, I forgot.

- Do you climb down or do you jump down?

- I really, really .

slowly and carefully climb down
- Climb down slowly, that's right.

All right.

- Everyone moves in their directions

and settles down for the night.

So we'll move from this
discussion back to the Lukura,

to Thorn Vale, alone.

It's quiet.

Everyone is either taking
their shift watching

or taking their shift sleeping.

Your wife is gone, gone
to speak with a family

slightly more terrifying than even she is.

- Yep.

- [Aabria] And you are with
your thoughts. Where do they go?

- So, I think having
had that moment earlier

of slight panic with Viola being there,

I think that Thorn is,
much in the same way

that he is imagining the
family is expressing concerns

as to his motivations, is
also questioning himself,

and probably won't really sleep that much

because he's extremely aware

of all of the lives of
the people around him

that he feels absolutely
responsible for, and is going to...

I'm going to basically try
and listen to the forest.

I want to track how the birds are flying

and which direction they're flying,

and if it feels odd or strange.

I want to listen to the trees

and see if they seem to be creaking more,

if the wind seems to be picking up.

Basically, get a sense of,
as winter is rolling in

and I have this sensation and
feeling that I need to move,

if that is coming from me,
if that is an internal thing,

or if that is an external
thing, and that is the forest

in fact telling me something.
- Yeah.

- Because I think that
makes a big difference

as to how he handles
the next kind of thing.

- [Aabria] Go ahead and
give me a survival check.

- Okay.

(Deep inhale)

Can I cast Guidance on myself?

- Yes.

(radiant sound)

I love Guidance so much.

(Jasper groans)
(Erika gasps)

How'd you do?

- Uh-huh, okay, cool, so I think Thorn's

probably having a panic attack.

That is a total of nine,

but that was a one.
- [Erika] It was a nat one.

- You've got to lead with that, my guy.

- Yeah. You see why I
didn't, though, right?

You see why I made the decision not to.

- [Aabria] Totally fine.

- It wasn't just a complete
failure. It was a nine.

- The thing that was going to happen next

was going to require a wisdom save,

but I think we're just
going to jump past that.

- Hell yeah.

- As you listen to the forest

and feel yourself drift
away from this moment

and away from the natural
things of the world,

towards what you truly are,

I think Thorn rejects a
lot of the false divinity

ascribed to you by your followers.

But you do know, you
have known for so long,

that you are different.

So when you say you go
to listen to the forest,

you can't help but slide
away from your sense of self

as the forest grabs you to speak.

The seasons are changing,
yes, but they always have.

You've seen the full cycle of a year.

The dread you feel has so
much less to do with that

than the other feelings, the
sense of an oncoming storm.

You are reminded in fits and
starts, and your mind flashes

back to the moment where
you received your scars.

The beginning of your gifts.

Your family calls it the Blue.

You call it something
closer to a meeting with...

The word isn't quite there.

It isn't a god, it isn't a monster,

but something so large and unfathomable.

You remember the petals kicking up

from those blue flowers in the field.

You remember making eye
contact with something massive,

and it regarding you back.

But what you feel across
your fur and deep in your gut

is the grit of dust, sand,

wind blown and pushed and overtaking you,

overtaking your camp,
overtaking the Red Warren,

felling the massive red oak tree

and its crimson leaves that have guarded

the people that you call
family for generations.

And when you wake up and
come back to yourself,

you realize that the night has passed.

It is daytime, and looking
out across the camp,

the visibility is lower as a
dust storm begins to pick up.

You have minutes.

Do you stay here to warn your people,

or do you go to warn your person?

- Olliver, Teedles!


- Olliver and Teedles
immediately move towards you,

and they're kind of looking around

like, (coughs) it's kind of...

Is it bad outside?
- Okay, we don't have time.

Enough. Whoever you can grab.

Grab them and tell them to
meet us by the Red Warren.

Travel there as soon as you can. I just...

Move! Do you understand me? Move!

- Make an intimidation check for me.

I'll give you advantage.

- Okay.

That is going to be a total of 22.

- Oh yeah.
- (echoing) I said move!

- And you see their ears flatten,

and there's a moment of pure recognition.

You have been in this formation before.

This triangle has happened,

and they understand
immediately, and wordlessly turn

and begin to scramble and rally everyone.

- I am beeline straight to the warren.

- Sweet, I am going to
need an acrobatics check.

It's not survival, you know
how to get to the Red Warren.

That's not a problem, it's
just, give me an acrobatics.

I'm going to say your DC is a 16.

- Okay.
- To make your way there.

- Come on!
- Quickly.

- Oh my god.
- Throw it away.

- Yeah, you're going in the jail.

- In the trash!
- What'd you get, bud?

- I rolled a two for a total of seven.

- You are extraordinarily
capable. This is what you do.

But you've never seen a dust storm before,

and this loss of ability of easy breathing

is strange and new, and it's taking you

longer than expected to
make your way back there.

- I can feel, being far
away from Viola as well,

I can feel that anxiety
is sitting right up here,

and in this moment, I'm not
remembering my breathing.

I think that's also contributing
to missing of footing.

Do you know what I mean? Stumbling.

- 100%. We're going to cut
back to the Red Warren.

You're all underground.

You wake up the next day bright and early,

but there isn't anyone
waiting for you as you get up.

Ava, I think you're that level of old

where you don't need a lot of sleep.

- Yeah, I'm an early bird.

- Yeah, you're so close to death.

- Yeah, the early bird catches the hare.

- That's very good, almost...

Yes, what's your sort of morning ritual?

Do you tend to stay
below, within the warren?

- Mm-hm, yes. Yes.

Oh, well, you know,
there are a couple things

that need tending to, but usually,

if it's a full house, then I'll go up

and sort of be on my own a little bit.

And then under the red
maple, I believe, yes?

- Oak.
- I don't know trees.

- It's a tree, who cares?
You can't eat that.

As you come up and sort
of peek above the warren

under the shade of this massive tree,

you see the dark red
leaves under your feet,

tamped down layers and layers

of life and death and cycles here.

You look out and see
that the visibility here

is a little murkier than you
would expect without feeling

all the sort of barometric
changes that come with fog.

- My other eye is going too, isn't it?

(Erika sighs)

- [Rashawn] It's cloudy out.
- That's what they say.

When you hit four years old,
everything starts going.

- Go ahead and give me a nature check.

- That's a 10.

- Okay, yeah, you're looking around,

and I think you take this
sort of loss of visibility

as an internal thing and
not an external factor.

- Well, that's okay.

I've still got my scent and my memory

and my sense of touch and my memory.

(Brennan and Rashawn laugh)

- Wow, straight Groucho. Incredible.

- And you're unaffected,
until you see a very small,

- And you're unaffected,
until you see a very small,

sort of tawny-colored
stoat with a big bite mark

out of her left ear sort
of pops into your view

maybe three or four yards
away and starts waving.

Ma'am? Ma'am?

Ma'am? Ma'am?

- Oh, hello...

- Mila.

- Mila, yes. Yes, Mila.

- Hi, I was going...

I was on an errand.

- You seem very anxious,
Mila. Is something the matter?

- You notice, I'm not even
going to make you roll for it,

you see that her right
ear is sort of twitching,

but not turning towards any information.

Just, it seems like a strange tic

that she's deeply unaware of.

I was down over by the... (coughing)

The river, and it's kind of...

It's hard to see, and I don't-

- Do you know, I think I
might have something for that.

- For what?

- For your ear, your ear, dear.

- What's wrong with my ear?

She immediately grabs the other ear.

It got bitten when I was little.

- No, no, no, the other one,

although that's not optimal, I suppose.

(Aabria coughs)

I'm sorry, what was
that about hard to see?

- I don't know, there's
something happening.

It's strange, it's kind
of hard to breathe.

Do you not see anything weird? (sniffing)

Do you not smell that?
(Erika sniffs)

- What do I smell?

- Go ahead and give me a perception check.

- 18.

- Give me a history check.

- Shit!

- [Brennan] This is
making me sad and scared.

- [Aabria] Yay! We're doing it!
- Two.

- Baby!
- She doesn't know anything.

- Baby girl has never known a thing.

- It's really kind of
a crapshoot, you know?

- What you smell on the
air is a sort of rock

that you've come across
times in your travels,

broken up in weird, flat chunks

that you can't find anywhere,

but you find it in patches
and batches in the woods.

But there's always
something wrong with it.

It doesn't smell like wet mineral.

It smells burnt and
scorched and a little wrong

and a little unnatural, and
even though you can't place it,

there's something familiar
in that smell in the air

that immediately drags you back towards

but not landing within the
worst day of your life,

the first time you saw something

that even you don't like talking about.

So you do smell it? (coughing)

- Go find everybody that you know

and gather at the warren, quickly!

- She nods at you and blinks,

and her eyes don't blink in sync,

and you see a little bit of blood

begins to come out of her nose.

- What the heck?
- And she turns and runs

and dives down into the warren.

- I go back to the kids.

- Yeah, you sort of follow her down,

and we watch the split as she heads

towards different knots
and groupings of stoats

within the Red Warren, and
you immediately peel off

towards where you left your family.

You're older, you're very spry.

You do notice, especially as you hear

the difference in your footfalls
as you split in directions,

she's moving weirdly slowly,
and you make your way back

to your family, who's just
beginning to rouse for the day.

What do you do?
(Rashawn yawns)

- Grandma, have you ever killed a chicken?

- All right, kids. Everybody eat up.

- Lila's up making notes
from everything she heard,

like the Charlie Day meme of the board.

- Vi, we have jerky, but
I also have some berries

that are not good for the kids to eat.

They're a little older,
if you'd like some.

- Tula, Viola! Come with me.

- Kids, go help yourself to extra jerky.

- Yes!
- Something is coming.

Something terrible is coming.

- I told you something was coming.

- Yes, well, you didn't!

You were like, vaguely
something is happening!

I mean right now!
- Give me a stealth check.

- I just hear my mom say right now,

and I go over to Lila and Jaysohn, and-

- What's happening right now?

- What's happening right now is this.

We're all going to stay
together, because we're a family.

And I'm going to touch both
of them, and as I'm talking,

I'm casting Bless on
both of them and myself.

- The monster's coming.

(dramatic music)

- Something's happening,

and we're just going to all stay safe,

and what's going to happen

is we're going to keep our eyes up

and we're going to keep our legs bent

so that we can move fast
if we need to, okay?

Just listen to me and Grandma
and Auntie Viola, okay?

- Lila, perception check.

- Perception?
- Mm-hm.

- 21.

- Your mother is speaking close to you,

and her words are filling your ears,

but you can't help but
notice the sound of a scream

several tunnels away.

(distant scream)

- Someone's screaming.

- Do I know of any safe spots

nearby or in the warren?

- Be more specific. What do you mean?

Like, aboveground or within the warren?

- Aboveground, or within the
network, the tunnel network.

- This tunnel network is
enough to comfortably house

the amount of stoats that are here.

It's why even when litters come through,

it seems like this area

can only support maybe
50 stoats at the most.

- You've got to eat a couple.
- Yeah!

- To kind of make room.

- I'm going to look at Mom and just say,

how did you know something
bad was happening?

How did you find out?

- A little...

Melissa, she came over
and her ear was twitching

in a, you know, very unfocused way.

Something's wrong with her.

- What did she say was happening bad?

- She said she couldn't
see and everything.

- Where?

- Down by the river.

- Do you roll for your own memory?

- My instinct in this moment
is, I know where the river is,

I know where the warren is,
and I'm going to take my family

and run away from the
river from the warren.

Something bad is happening at the river.

I'll take my odds that something not bad

is happening at not the river.

- Sweet, not the river
would be in the direction

of Thorn and where your sister stay.

- We need to find Thorn.

- I pop my head out and I yell, Thorn!

- My wife.

- Somewhere, somehow.

- I sense that my wife
is screaming my name

at the top of her lungs.

- I mean, if he's at all
within 30 feet of me,

to cast Sanctuary on him.

- He's not that close,
because that would require

the equivalent, all of your
spells and all of your abilities

are being sort of scaled
down to stoat scale,

so 30 feet to a stoat would
honestly be very, very far

if we're holding that number.

But you do pop your head
above ground, and you see

that yeah, it looks almost
like a fog's rolling in.

But it's gray, and the air,

the sky isn't wet, it's dry.

It's as though dirt,
utterly devoid of water,

is sort of filling in and
filtering through the air.

- As I am trying to
not fully open my eyes,

because they're a little
obscured with the dirt,

I just let out some sort of (chittering)

to see if he can hear where I am,

sort of like an echolocation type thing.

Where are you, Thorny? Thorny!

- We'll make this a full luck check,

and I'm going to make...

No, no, not for you.

The lucky roller's going to roll it.

Hey, I'll even let you
pick. Pick high or low.

(Jasper whimpers)

- High.

- Okay, high, you can hear
her calling out for you.

Low, we'll talk about it.

- 17.

- A 17.

You hear that first shout of 'Thorn',

and you realize that
somehow, you haven't noticed

how much visibility you've been losing,

and you were actually running
just a little bit south

of where you should be
headed, and you realign

and head in her direction,
and sort of emerging murkily

out of whatever this
strange atmosphere is,

you see Thorn sprinting
as fast as his little feet

will carry him towards you.

But you've been in it,
running as fast as you can,

breathing it all in,

and I need you to make
a constitution save.

- Okay, that's a nine.

- You're going to take five points-

- Drops dead.
- Five points of damage-

- Don't like that.
- As you race up towards Viola

coughing and wheezing
and sort of in this mire

of air that smells like dirt,

and then something a little closer

to what your family calls
Blue in and around you.

- Under, now!
- Okay, I scoop him.

I throw him over my back,
if I can, and I just burrow

deeper, deeper back into
the warren, underground.

Wait, where did you go?

- I was running with you towards Thorn.

- Okay, so yeah, we're all together.

- We're all together.
- We're all together.

- Stay. Stay here. (coughs)

I don't know what it is in the air,

but it's incredibly hard
to breathe out there.

We have to wait for this to pass,

or find a way to stop breathing this in.

- Before you dive back down-

- [Jasper] Feels like
my lungs are on fire.

- I want to give both of you opportunities

to get a little more information
about what is going on

in the air and in the world,
so I want you to tell me,

what are you looking for in this moment?

What are you trying to do?

And then you can tell me
what roll you want to make

to assess what's happening right now,

if that's your priority.

- I'd like to know how
high up this dust cloud,

is it affecting birds as
well as us on the ground,

or is it just-

- Perception check.
- Okay.


- With a 15, you notice that
it's the beginning of the day.

Even through this haze
that's sort of growing over

across the sky, you know
that it's morning light.

You don't hear any birds.

(sucking in a breath)

- Tula, something bad
is happening, obviously.

I guess we need to go further underground.

- It's in the wind?

- It's in the air or something.

It feels like my lungs are on fire.

- I would like to make a check.

Listening to my sister,
I want to make a check

to know if there is a tunnel

that is not connected to the other tunnels

that is maybe newer or fresher or weaker.

- One of the tunnels we dug as children.

- Yeah, like a small play tunnel.

- Here's a real...

- We don't dig tunnels.
- That's the thing.

I would allow that children
might think to dig tunnels.

But the fun fact about the
warren that you live in,

you didn't build that.

Your mothers' mothers'
mothers didn't build that.

This was wrested away
from a family of rabbits.

Rabbits tunnel, and you consume.

- Ah yes, the Curtises.
- The Curtises?

- Gave them a name.

- You gave them names as you
were eating them. - [Brennan]
Mr. Curtis was delicious.

- Herr Curtis, what a man.
- [Aabria] Wild.

But you know what, give me
just a general luck check

to see if a little joke set of tunnels

that you guys made as children
would have survived till now.

- That's (stammers) a five.

- You don't think the
tunnel's there anymore.

You think the turning of weather

and the subsequent months
since you were children

has washed and eroded all of that away.

But you do realize, as you go
and look in that direction,

that this dust, though it's
sort of overtaking everything,

is coming from the southeast.

There's a directionality to this.

- Do I sense that running
is the better plan here?

That my first instinct is better?

That we should try to get away from this?

- Give me a survival check.
- Okay.

That's a two.
- Wowzers.

- Two plus six is eight.

- There's a sense of panic here,

because if you think of this like weather,

there's no sense of outrunning weather.

You just sort of hunker
down and wait it out.

And then as you're sort
of in the air and sniffing

and trying to figure out what this is,

there is something so deeply
unnatural in this, in the wind,

that even with that low roll,

you can't let go of the
fact that your instinct

isn't 'get low and get
safe,' it's 'get away.'

- There's nowhere to hide.

There's no tunnel that we can close.

The air will find us. We have to run.

- Do you have a sense of direction, or-

- Yes, follow me. And
I'm going to peel off.

I'm maintaining concentration
on the Bless on my kids,

but I'm looking, I'm making sure

that Mom is not slower than-

- Well, everyone's going
to make a con save.

Tula, you're going to
make it with advantage,

and Lila and Jaysohn are
making this with disadvantage,

along with Ava.

- Eight.
- Eight, okay.

- 22.
- 22. You're fine.

- 14.
- Ava?

- 21.

- 19.

- 19.
- Oh, actually, 21.

- Nice.
- The kids are all right.

- They're kind of all right.

- I have immediately
run away from the group,

climbing a tree, just doing stupid shit

while the grownups talk,
because I got bored.

- [Aabria] Viola, you're going to take

four points of damage.

You take 11.

- (coughing) It smells bad out here!

- And as you feel your lungs
sort of begin to freeze up,

it gets a little quieter up here,

and I think you begin to hear

the yelling down below within the warren.
(faint echoing screams and shouts)

As you look down, you
guys see that this dust,

it's in the air and hazy here,

but it's definitely lying low enough

that it's beginning to
pour into the warren,

and you're beginning to
hear more screams and thuds.

- Having seen something
potentially similar to this,

do I recall this having
an effect on creatures?

- Give me a history check, or arcana.

- Let's go with...

They're both bad.

That's a 16, for a 15. Hey.

- Okay, which one are you going for?

- I will go with, I think arcana
is more in his wheelhouse.

- That's good, because
the DCs were different.

You're not remembering something,

but you're realizing the
connection between them.

You can smell that strange sort of ozone

in this wind, in this haze, in this dust,

and you recognize that it's
connected to all of this,

but this is nothing like
anything you've ever seen before,

until you smell

something that was in the wind

on the night that you first saw them.

It was coming off of their clothing.

You remember the squeak
that accompanied with,

and you've never smelled
anything like that.

- Can I do a perception
check to see if climbing,

if the smoke is going down,
would climbing help us?

- Yeah, please do. Make it with advantage.

What a good instinct.

- Okay, 24.

- Amazing, even as you're kind of trying

to get your own shit together

and you begin to feel a
little trickle of blood

at your nose and at your ear,
you have that sense to run

and to get to high ground, absolutely.

- Let's get up the tree!
Let's go up the tree!

- Jaysohn, it's not a good
time to climb right now.

- No, look, the smoke is going down!

We should go up!
(Izzy screams)

- I see that my-
- Do you just scream?

- There's blood coming out of his face!

- I'm going to Lay on Hands,

and I'm going to heal you
for 11 points of damage,

and then I'm going to say,
all right, it's time to climb!

We're going to climb!
We're all going to climb.

- Do I know if there's any high ground,

actual high ground nearby?

Obviously the tree is an option,

but if I'm thinking something
potentially moving this way,

I don't necessarily want to be

in the trees as they roll through.

Do I know of any hillocks
or a potentially high ground

that we could climb and
actually be high in terms of-

- Yeah, you hear the 'get high,'
and you realize that running

to the northwest will send
you back towards your camp.

Running dead west will lead
you to where the ground

begins to grade and steeply move uphill.

- Okay, I will mark the tree

with anything that Olliver
or Teedles might recognize,

and I'll basically keep doing that

in the direction that we're going

so that if they do get here,
they'll know which way we went.

- Okay.
- And then I'll turn around

and say, high ground is a good option,

but I think we should do high ground

rather than just high in the trees.

I don't know, but
something could be coming,

and we don't want to be
here when it gets here,

so let's head this way.

I'll probably lead off, assuming
I have high-ish survival.

- I also have high survival.
- I have six.

- Oh, perfect, okay, yeah.

Brighter than the sun,
swifter than the wind,

and I'll give you Guidance.

- He just yells cult shit at you,

and you feel a little bit
better about what's happening.

- Sorry, do I have the highest survival?

I just want to make sure.

- I have seven. I have
plus seven to survival.

- I have plus zero, so yeah,
you're in charge, big sis.

- Sensing that Jaysohn-

- Jaysohn's faster, as well.
- Yeah, I'm so fast.

- Also, Jaysohn just nailed it.

So I think as you're
about to give that to me,

I'm going to look and say, Jaysohn.

- Yeah?

- Can you focus and lead us out of here?

- Yes! Yes!

I can lead us out of here!

I just run so fast

that you can barely
see me in front of you.

- Brighter than the sun,
swifter than the wind!

I'll give you Guidance.

- Can I make an investigation check?

- Ooh, what are you looking for?

- What this is, clues of what this is.

- Yeah, give me an investigation check.

- Nat one. I don't know anything.

Forget it. Cut it out.

- We're not going to. That's so important.

The thing that you get from here

isn't somehow you
misreading the situation.

This is different than anything
you've ever experienced.

It starts with a tickle and
then becomes more of a burr,

because you Lila, you know
so much, and you care,

and you're able to put things together.

You've scraped together an understanding

of how this warren works,
and maybe what's happened

to your family over the years,
and yet this is the blank.

This is the thing that
everyone that knows anything

has been keeping from
you for your entire life,

and you can't figure it out.

This is scary, but it doesn't
make sense that everyone

who has control over every
situation is this scared.

It's because they know
something that you don't know

that they refuse to tell you, so you run.

Is there anything else you wanted to do?

- No.
- Okay.

Is everyone sprinting after Jaysohn?

- Before I go, I would like
to just, hope against hope,

poke my head back into ground and see-

- No, don't do that. Don't
do that, don't do that.

- Is there anyone?
- No, no.

- Is there anyone that
can make it out with us?

- You look down into the tunnels,

and you see a surprising number of bodies.

Anyone within maybe three
generations of you is down.

Anyone within maybe three
generations of you is down.

Anyone that's your grandchildren's
age or younger is down,

and the ones that are left are
scrambling, they are frantic,

and you make eye contact with Walmer,

who is pushing this massive,
scraped-off bit of bark

who is pushing this massive,
scraped-off bit of bark

from the tree above you
that's looked out for you

for so long, and is preparing
to push it against the opening

for so long, and is preparing
to push it against the opening

to seal themselves down
to try to keep it out,

and he reaches and beckons for you.


Come on!

- No, I've got to protect my family.

- That's what I'm trying to do.

So get down here so we
can block off this tunnel.

We'll be safe.

- There's no hiding from this.

There's no hiding from the Blue.

- What are you saying?

The Blue?

No, it's...

That's a tale that we tell to children

to get them to sleep at night.

You need to come down here now, Ava!

- Ava, come on. Everyone's
going, you know what's coming.

- Ava, get the fuck down here!

- Goodbye, Walmer.

And I start running after them.

- You see maybe one or two
people that like and respect you

looking their heads in your direction,

and Walmer pushes them
back and seals the warren.

They're going to wait it out.

Anyone else doing anything else?

- I'll just, if I can,
be last in the group,

because I want to make sure
that if anyone falls behind,

I'll try and help, and then I'm
just gonna be trying to mark

every tree that I'm close
to with that same symbol

so if they come through this way,

they'll know which direction we've headed.

- [Aabria] Nice.

- I'd like to give a
help action to my son.

- Ooh.

- Because we've got the Guidance here.

I'd like to give a help action, which is,

I think anytime, as Jaysohn's
leading us to higher ground,

something more interesting pops up,

I think I'm just going to chime in

with a, how high do you
think it'll go, Jaysohn?

How high will the high ground get?

- I think it'll get really high!

Look at how high I'm getting right now!

Look at how high that bit is!

- Incredible, give me a
survival check with advantage.

That's brilliant.

- Oh, thank god for that advantage.

Survival plus seven, so 25, 28.

- [Erika] Wow!
- Woo!

- [Brennan] (whisper) Incredible.
- We are surviving!

- Jaysohn, you are leading this group,

and you realize as you pass,

as you're noticing all of these things,

that you're further than
you've ever been in the woods,

and you're running, and then eventually,

as the air begins to thin
out and clear a little bit,

see other animals also fleeing out

from where all of this dust
is beginning to settle,

and even though your lungs are burning,

you feel them start to
loosen up a little bit

as the air gets clearer.

You lead them up to high ground,

to the top of this beautiful hill.

You all arrive exhausted,
but the air is clear,

and you can see the sun again.

You see animals continuing
to sprint in wild directions.

All of you can look back, and
through the haze and mire,

you see this little
vale that was your home

just through the very thick of
where all of this is pooling,

all this dust is settling,
more like soup than like dust,

a little bit of red of the tree
that's looked over your home

for longer than any of you can remember,

since before your kind had memory.

And you see nothing of your home.

Those of you that know where
to look and how to look

see creatures that did not
make it high enough fast enough

see creatures that did not make
it high enough, fast enough

slowing down, getting lost
to the dust, to the fog,

to the Blue, to the whatever that is.

But you are here, and you're safe,

and you're together.

Thorn, go ahead and give
me an investigation check

as you look out in the
direction of the Lukura.

- Three.

- Bro. We are trying to tell a story here.

- You're making me look
bad in front of my family.

- Hey, listen. We're going
to have a chat, okay?

- I put a lot of faith
in you, brother. Come on.

- I'm sorry!

- You see the edge of the
woods where the Lukura

have been encamped for weeks and weeks

longer than you've ever
been stopped before

is also swallowed and lost to that.

You strain your eyes trying
to look for your friends,

your people, and you
can't make anything out.

Then you hear...

Boss? (coughs) Boss?

And behind you, you see Olliver,

you see Teedles, and you see,

scampering back and away
from them, a contingent,

no more than eight or nine,
of faces that you recognize.

Several of them are not stoats,
and you see something...

No, I'm going to make you roll for it.

- Are you sure? It's going
really well for me today, so-

- [Aabria] It's going so good.

- It would be so fun if
I don't have to roll.

- You can cast Guidance on yourself.

- Okay, yeah.
- I think you need the help.

- I'll Bless you.
- (whisper) Thank you.

- Honey.
- You're making me look bad!

- I need you to make an
Animal Handling check

to see what's going on.

- If it would help, because I
feel like I need it right now-

- [Aabria] Yeah, sure.

- Can I cast Speak With Animals on myself?

Can I basically try and
further my understanding-

- Sure, I'll allow that.

You can make your check

with advantage, then, in this moment.

- Oh my god!
- Did you roll two digits?

- Yeah, I did.
- Oh, good job, buddy.

- Okay, so 17.

Wait, what was this?
This was animal handling?

- Animal handling.
- Oh, 21.

- 21, there's something very strange

and sort of profound
happening here and now,

because you realize you want
to reach out and call out

to creatures, followers
that listen to you,

and you're suddenly
aware like a vertigo pan

of the divide between your Beacons

and the stoats that
are here in your family

and the animals that are
animals in this moment,

who don't have a sense
of follow the leader

but simply flee and survive.

You see the badger
sprinting away, eyes wild.

You see the pine martens
and some of the birds

that were with you scattering
and scampering away,

and sort of putting it together

with the look on Olliver
and Teedles' faces,

they seem exhausted and sort of resigned

to no longer keeping this group together.

That in the face of a mortal threat,

an animal will do what
an animal needs to do,

and some of those other stoats
don't seem to be hanging back

to take their orders from you.

They move higher and farther away.

But Olliver and Teedles are different.

They were your Beacons for a reason,

and they stand here breathless, confused,

but ready to serve.

Are you okay? (coughing)

- Many of us that could
made it out of the warren.

You did well.

- Others...

We were able to tell most
people, they just kind of...

We didn't...

No one really knew what to do,

so everyone broke in different directions.

- It's unlike anything we've seen before.

If it wasn't for the family,
I'd probably be lost myself.

- Jaysohn, you did very, very well.

- [Jasper] You were impressive, Jaysohn.

- I pull out a little
hard, dried strawberry,

and I hand it over to him.

- Oh my god, you have a Werther's!

- [Brennan] I look at Viola and I go-
- Incredible. Inspiration.

- Did we ever get candy?
We never got candy.

- She never gave us anything.

- You could learn a little
something from your brother.

- She would brush us backwards.

You know, the hair grows one way,

and she'd just go against the grain.

- And she's say, that's how
you to get under the fur,

to really get it clean.

- Terrible.

- I'm so happy.

- Those...

They should've known
to follow the Beacons.

They should've known that
when we are not around,

when Thorn is not around-

- We, it's fine.
- We, thank you.

When we are not around,
they are to take your lead.

That is very disappointing.

- It's okay, most of...

Most of the people
(coughing) who followed you

came from other encampments.

We follow you both
because we believe in you,

but they have families too,
and I think if they ran,

it was because they hoped to save them,

and I can't begrudge them for that.

- Everyone was doing what
they had to do to survive,

and that is understandable,
but I owe you all an apology.

and that is understandable,
but I owe you all an apology.

I had this feeling, this sense.

I knew something was
coming, and I should've...

I should've pressed the issue
last night. I hesitated.

And that is exactly what
I want everyone not to do.

It won't happen again, and
I apologize. You did well.

- So you know what this is?

- No, I don't know what this is,

but I had a feeling something was coming,

and then by the time I awoke
this morning, it was too late.

- So where now?

- That's a very good question.

Sorry, I've off-put Jaysohn's...

Are you...

It's so loud, the way you-

- The seeds are really crunchy.

- Sorry, I was just in a
moment, really thinking hard,

and I can sort of, you know,

like it was so close to my ears.

- Oh my god.

- Thank you very much for the strawberry.

- Well, he did good.

- I'm going to turn over to Jaysohn

and say, I'm so proud of you.

- Thanks, Mum.

- I've only ever seen
one stoat run that fast.

- Who?


(whisper) Dad.

- In this beautiful moment,

you begin to climb up the nearest tree,

and you can take your time and be careful,

and you can look out and
see that the clearest air,

the clearest path, is in the direction

that you've been running,

and that all of the land back and away

has been overtaken by this dust.

Give me one more perception check.

- 20. Dirty 20.
- Nice.

Everything makes sense,

if you can just get a little perspective.

You see that all of this dust,

this choking wind,

is originating from a path

that you've never noticed before,

because you were always too close to it.

Inside it, something that looks

like a river, but gray,

that winds through the
trees and down far away,

past where you can see
because of the horizon,

because of the dirt,
because of that atmosphere,

that something or a group of somethings

approaching with the wind at its back

has been blowing all of
that acrid air towards you.

Something is on its way,

and whatever heralded it

took away your home in a matter of hours.

And that's where we're going
to end our first episode.

- Oh my god!
(all screaming)

- Catch us next week for episode two.

- We can't go back home. Everyone is gone.

- Where are we going to live?

- Mama, I'm scared.

- Well, that's perfectly normal.

- Great advice.

Good talking to you, Mama.

- What do I do?
- Stay here!

Stay here! Stay here!

- No!
- Stay here! Dive.

- Young lady, you put that
tongue back in your mouth.

- Folds it back into its mouth.

- Do you speak stoat?
(Aabria squeaks)

Be better!

- Yeah, I was really hoping
that we would tell you this

when you were much older.

I would hope that you live in a world

where none of these horrors,
you'd ever have to see,

but yes, I'm not going to bullshit you.

It's going to be bad.

- Run, fight. Fight, run.

- What's the Blue?
- It's...

I'm going to tell you about
the Blue! Thank you, sweetie!

- Your eye is cloudy and nasty.

- I've only ever seen one stoat do that.

- All right, you're a kid.
That was their first blood.

All right, good job,
everyone. Candies for all.

- I was entirely correct to
be terrified of your family.


- Bring out the map.

- Oh no!
(all screaming)

- So this is why you emailed
us a trigger warning.

- A little bit, yeah.

(melancholy piano music)

(melancholy music continues)