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Summary

The party put their plan to lure Ricardo Ulysses to Gwen's candy store into action. Will creates quite the scene in front of the store in his guise as Ricardo "Fart" Ulysses, doing his best to upset a very adoring crowd, while the other party members take up positions inside. Finally, after a couple of false arrests, the real Ricardo makes his grand entrance!

Synopsis

The party are ready to implement their plan to catch Ricardo Ulysses. Everyone except Will and Batthwack has left for the candy store. Will is preparing a prop for his "performance" as Ricardo, drafting up a fake contact between him and someone else. It's really awkward because the two frenemies are alone together and don't really know what to talk about. Batthwack asks Will about Tivoli as that's where he may end up living, if he successfully delivers Will home safely as per their contract. Will says it's weird that everyone is pretending they haven't heard of Tivoli and Batthwack says he'd never left Gully's End, which he describes as pretty remote. He's not sure if he'd heard of Tivoli and Will says Batthwack would like it a lot more than Gully's End, which is "probably just a big swamp". Batthwack says where he lived is comfortable and he used to spend a lot of time outdoors anyway. Will says he doesn't like the outdoors and Batthwack replies "You like rooms. So you want a box with a pillow and running water?" and Will takes the idea of being put in a box as a threat. Batthwack says he wouldn't hurt Will, and anyway their contract states he can't hurt him. "Isn't that reassuring?" says Batthwack and Will says he actually trusts Batthwack, in the sense he knows he's not a liar, but he thinks Batthwack is angry and misinterprets things sometimes. Batthwack responds to this by saying that if Will trusts him, then he doesn't need to investigate him and he could write to Curtis again to call off his request. Will is exasperated and tells Batthwack not to read people's personal letters and especially people's business letters. Batthwack scoffs and says "So you're going to start a business in Gully's End? Where we don't have houses like you're used to?" but Will is confident he could make a success of it. Batthwack reminds Will that he invested his Strahd money in the tavern in Norton, a tiny backwater place, but Will responds by saying there wasn't much choice and it was better than just stashing it like Batthwack did. On the subject of money, Batthwack says he's very short on cash and asks Will for 100 gold as part of his business expenses promised in their contract. Will bluffs, saying that's fine, but he won't be able to pay it all at once as he's expecting business associates of his to be sending him money, which is a total lie, but Batthwack believes him. Will gives him 10 gold to tide him over and Batthwack goes outside with Steed to wait for Will to finish writing his fake contract.

Gwen has arrived back at Celestial Confections, with Raphina secretly stowed safely in her bag. They go into the store where there are a few customers looking around and Aleister is busily manning the till. Gwen asks him to come into the back room when he's finished and he says it's been quite busy in the store this morning. Gwen goes into the back and Raphina gets out of the bag. Gwen explains that they're going to build the cake from cardboard boxes she has in the back of the store. Raphina is collecting cardboard and Gwen is beginning preparations for royal icing and butter cream for decorating the fake cake, when Aleister comes back. Gwen explains the situation to him and says "I just wouldn't want you getting mixed up in something you don't need to get mixed up in." Aleister asks if he can help, though he says he's not too good in a fight. He starts to help with the construction of Raphina's fake cake hiding place.

Back at Gwen's apartment, Batthwack is waiting for Will, and idly takes out the vial labelled "Youth" from his pack, spins it around in his hand contemplating whether to drink it or not, but then puts it back.[1] Will tells Batthwack to go on ahead so that he can be at the store pretending to shop before Will gets there. Batthwack leaves Steed behind for Will to ride on, as it's the best way they've got to hide the fact that Will isn't the right height when disguised as Ricardo.

Batthwack arrives at the candy store and begins to mimic the other patrons, browsing the shelves and trying to look natural (he's apparently never been in a candy store before, so he's not really sure what to do). Mo and Hilula are in position covering the back door. Gwen instructs them (especially Mo) that Ricardo is to be taken alive. She's anxious that something may happen to her pristine, tidy store. When the fake cake is complete, Raphina gets in and Aleister helps Gwen carry it outside the front of the store where they set it on a table.

At that moment, around the corner comes Will in his Ricardo disguise, sat atop Steed. He begins to steal everything and anything in sight that's not nailed down. He's making it as ridiculous as possible, laying the stolen items across his lap and saying "Oh, this looks good!" and then hiding under his cloak saying "Nobody can see me now though! Go, green horse, go!" The Waterside crowds are loving this performance, clapping and laughing. Will/Ricardo starts to steal things from the audience that has assembled, like a hat right off someone's head, but of course they're immediately thrilled. He tries to clumsily take someone's money pouch, and that doesn't go down quite so well. Will decides it's time to up his game. Will/Ricardo looks around and grabs the nearest child he sees with a cry of "Yes, you love me. I'm the best. Now I'm going to kidnap one of your children!" He puts the child under his cloak and whispers to them not to be afraid, but the kid's unimpressed and starts screaming and yelling "Mummyyyy!". Will doesn't actually want to upset the kid so puts it down again, and then turns his attention to assuaging the anger of the child's father, who is fast approaching. He casts Major Image and creates a kitten who he then launches high over a nearby building and out of sight. The crowd are noticeably more quiet after this latest display. "Ricardo hates kittens and does all kinds of terrible things! That's me! Ricardo "Fart" Ulysses!" says Will as he casts Prestidigitation to create a fart smell.

Inside the store, the rest of the party are witnessing this performance with some incredulity. Batthwack is acting shocked/surprised so well that an old elf lady comes up to reassure him. Outside, Will/Ricardo plays a trick on another unwitting audience member, giving him a bag of "coins" that turns out to be full of a noxious purple substance that Will has created with Prestidigitation. Gwen notices that there are significantly more people in the store now. Bella arrives and buys a box of chocolate turtles and Gwen gives her 2 extra. Batthwack spots a young boy over by a display in the corner who then turns away and starts moving towards the door. Batthwack goes over to look and sees some unusual gaps in the display as if items have been removed. Gwen is looking out at the street and spots Tess walking towards the store. Tess stops to admire the giant cake that Raphina is hiding in, then goes into the store and begins chatting to Gwen who she is apparently an old acquaintance of. Tess is looking for some candy for her boyfriend Marko.[2] Tess then spots Batthwack and goes over to speak to him, telling him that later the night they met, she was working in the Roladexaroonie and saw Captain Clockface, who was unaccompanied, enjoying the show. "He was having a wonderful time" she says, but then explains that he left with the town guard, though she's not sure if he was escorted for his own safety or if he was arrested. Batthwack says they should talk soon and Tess leaves.

Meanwhile, outside, Will's attempts to upset the crowd and embarrass Ricardo continue unabated. He licks people's food, tears the head off a child's toy animal, uses Mage Hand to pinch someone, tries to upset a couple by telling both of them that he's had sex with them and finally resorts to actually pickpocketing a few people and then "accidentally" dropping his stolen goods in front of them. The mood is starting to change, but Will is exasperated at how much Ricardo's celebrity is allowing him to get away with all this stuff.

Another customer enters the store, an older looking dwarf gentlemen who is a little short even for a dwarf. He's clumping around the store, rifling through the candy and generally making a bit of a mess and muttering to himself. He bumps into Batthwack and Gwen calls out "Can I can I help you find something?" Batthwack checks his pack briefly for missing items, but finds nothing out of the ordinary. Gwen casts Detect Magic, only getting the sense that this dwarf might be carrying something magical concealed about his person. He bumps into Batthwack again and is about to again for a third time, when Batthwack side-steps. However, instead of stumbling, the dwarf dexterously re-adjusts his weight and carries on without missing a step. Batthwack's suspicions are aroused by this and he telepathically tells Steed to nudge Will towards the store. In doing so, Will now sees the events unfolding within the store.

The dwarf now suddenly makes a move to go behind the counter and into the backroom of the candy store. Gwen tells him it's off limits to customers but he doesn't seem to take any notice. Batthwack steps forward saying "Sir, I think you're disturbing people here. Why don't you ...", he pauses to cast Command... "leave." The dwarf apparently takes no notice of this, so Gwen grabs his arm. From his vantage point outside the store, Will can see the boy is stealing candy and messages Batthwack to say "The dwarf might just be a distraction, the kid is stealing right in front of you." Batthwack turns his attention to the kid and says "Do you need help with something?" The kid whirls around, looking scared and jumps over a table in a bid to escape. Meanwhile the dwarf has yanked his arm free from Gwen's grasp. Batthwack asks Steed to block the doorway, and the kid dodges, but straight into Will who grabs him. Will lifts him up and addresses the crowd "Where I come from, Ricardo Ulysses land, we kill thieves like this that get caught! Should I execute him right now in front of everybody?" He casts Message to tell the kid he's not going to hurt him, but gets no response. The crowd do not appear to like this latest turn off events and begin to advance towards him. Gwen has grabbed the dwarf's arm again and this time he's not getting away. She begins to drag him towards the front of the store. Will casts True Strike and Detect Thoughts and ascertains that the kid does appear to be just what he seems: a poor, young, opportunistic thief. At that moment Will becomes aware that the crowd have stopped advancing and are looking up at something he can't see. He quickly turns his attention to the dwarf and casts Detect Thoughts again, only to reveal that he's also exactly as he appears: a grumpy dwarf. Suddenly a gasp is heard from the crowd and one of the candy store windows shatters inwards. Amid the showers of glass, there stands Ricardo Ulysses, posed majestically atop a barrel, his face covered by a ninja-style white mask.[3]

Quotes

  • "Outdoors is really the problem with the world today" - Will

Trivia

  • The episode title quotes Alex. When Will gives Batthwack 10 gold for his expenses, KT/Will says "If you spend that all in the candy store I'm gonna be very upset" to which Alex replies "He's gonna have a duffel bag of Tootsie Rolls." Abby pitches in to suggest using them as Lincoln Logs to build little cabins out of them to sleep in!
  • Any other Pork Fried Dice memes / non-canon moments / interesting facts that you think are worth noting

Gallery


References

  1. Right before they burnt down the "Old Bonegrinder" windmill in Barovia Valley Batthwack picked up three small labelled bottles. One was a golden colour, labelled "Youth", the next was a translucent red, labelled "Laughter" and third was a greenish, milky liquid labelled "Mother's Milk". See episode 23: Ireena, Can You Give Us a Hand?
  2. Dear listener, you may recall that Marko was unfortunately eaten by a gelatinous cube, but Gwen isn't aware of this. See episode 193: Batthwack's the Fruit!
  3. Listener, in the episode this was described as a black mask, but was retconned in episode 207 to be a white mask, matching the rest of Ricardo's outfit.
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