A short one and we are all sick! Apologies for the coughs.
"do-do-do, pew-pew!" (simulated weapon noises)
Matt: "Look into my eye!"
Stephanie: "(Clears throat) howdy!"
Sean: "What's the one tonight?"
Sean: "You don't have one tonight?"
Lauren: "I only had one tonight."
Sean: "Last week was pretty exciting guys!"
Lauren: "Oh my gosh, I'm so excited!"
Sean: "We did it! We made it a week without one. Fluffy's going to be upset with you."
Lauren: "There's going to be a lot of people upset with me. I'll come back with another one."
Matt: "So disappointed."
Lauren: "I'll come up with a really epic one later."
Stephanie: "Just please don't kill us, Sean. I really like my character."
Episode 149 opens mere moments after 148, with our heroes regaining their human forms while falling from a liquid ceiling. The party finds itself in the midst of a temple to a dark snake god made entirely of sandstone. While cautiously exploring this new location, they encounter several villagers with vacant expressions and glazed, milky white eyes. More disturbing are the carved images of snake people engaged in all manner of violence and carved statuary of a snake deity. Significantly, the snake deity is frequently depicted as having bitten off its own tail and falling from the heavens.
Drawing on his religious knowledge, Cam determines that the cultists are known as Ophidians. Their ancient religion came from fallen Uwanti and they devoutly serve the demon god Ariman. Furthermore, he examines Cyrus' new kris-bladed dagger and discovers that it is a Cursed Dagger of Ariman. Knowing that the dark knife will likely destroy Cyrus if he doesn't rid himself of it in the next few days, he advises Cyrus get rid of it as soon as he is able.
Religious learning further assists the party as they continue to explore the dark temple. This time Boone draws on her religious training to determine that Ariman was one of two snakes who were present at creation. After biting his own tail off, Ariman fell from the heavens, descended into the nine hells and became Asmodeus, devil and god of the nine hells.
Tension mounts as the adventurers follow the sound of chanting voices to discover their source: four cultists gathered around a spinning vortex of black sand with arms stretched out toward its center. They hear a deep voice emanating from within the vortex and conclude that the cultists are trying to summon Asmodeus himself.
The party springs into action to try and disrupt the dark ritual before it can be completed. Brenna makes quick work of the first summoner, shoving him headlong into the swirling, dark sands. They devour him instantly as Lauren comments, "I'm having a lot of fun pushing people into stuff today!" Another two fall to the arcane efforts of Cam and Cyrus. Boone runs the last summoner through, all while Kallas provides covering fire with his bow.
With the dark ritual fully disrupted, the party finds its victory celebration stymied by two snake statues connected by a beam of light who proceed to fire Constitution damaging beams of energy. The party hurls all manner of magical and mundane attacks at the statues to little or no effect. Cam saves the day in the end. Proclaiming, "I'm going to try something dumb," he lunges forward and severs the beam of light connecting the statues with his shield. At once, the statues cease their assault and the party breathes a sigh of relief.
Leading a group of bewildered towns folk from the temple, the adventurers make their way back towards town. The episode closes with the sounds of many awakening from their enchantment with no idea what happened to them.
Stephanie: "Oh! I crit!"
Ben: "You and Kyle both crit?"
Kyle: "Yeah, we did!"
Stephanie: "We critted-ed!"
Kyle: "We critted-ed-ed! And Ben got a 20 and is somehow now 3rd."
Stephanie: "How is that a thing?"
Ben: "Lauren got a 19 and is now 4th."