Welcome back from our May blog break! I hope you all had a good May the Fourth, despite everything that’s been going on and all the calls to the government that you may or may not be making. It’s hard times in the world lately, and sometimes we just need to relax, you know? That’s why I’m kicking us off this month with this good good The Adventure Zone fanfic.
Spoilers through Episode 50 of The Adventure Zone.
It’s also been hard times in the world of The Adventure Zone lately, and with the way that the podcast is set up, the protagonists don’t have a lot of time to chill. Aside from the Lunar Interludes, in which Taako, Magnus, and Merle go back to their moon base for some leveling-up and deals-making, the McElroy brothers spend all the rest of their time bouncing their characters from one relics-collecting journey to the next. So Lunar Interlude: Something New is the perfect way to take things down a few notches. NPCs Carey and Killian are getting married, and they invite all of the boys (kind of) to participate!
GRIFFIN: So I’ll confess…I did originally have a whole other pile of crazy shit planned for this episode. Red Robes show up at the reception, chaos erupts, Carey and Killian fight a lich in their wedding tuxes, blood on the dance floor, the whole deal. But then we got halfway through, and you know what I realized? This year has been fucking rough. It’s been rough for these fiction kids, it’s been rough for us real-world flesh people, and you know what? Enough. Enough! So nothing bad happens at all. Carey and Killian share a magical wedding night. No one dies. There is not a single moment of peril on that entire fucking base.
TRAVIS: In the end, the only risk was to our own, soft hearts.
CLINT: Speak for yourself. Merle drank that entire bottle of wine.
First of all, writer Wildgoosery has absolutely nailed the voice of our podcasting team. Unlike the majority of TAZ fics, Lunar Interlude: Something New is written in the form of an audio drama, as if the boys were actually acting out and recording this fanfic episode. Wildgoosery gets all their idiosyncratic tics, like their nicknames for each other, Clint’s constantly forgetting his character voice, Travis’s propensity for cheating on less important rolls, and Griffin’s DM glee. I could practically hear them speaking in my head as I read this.
More importantly, the fic builds on the existing queer rep in the TAZ universe. Magnus’s friendship with Avi is expanded into something more, confirmed girlfriends Carey and Killian get hitched, and of course we have Taako and Kravitz. While they are absolutely canon, Justin, Taako’s actor, has said he finds it extremely awkward to roleplay romance with his brother, so it’s unclear how many more moments Taako and the Grim Reaper may get in the proper episodes. But fanfic writers don’t have as intimate a connection with the characters, and so we’re free to write moments like this:
JUSTIN: Hey. Hey, listen, I’m sorry. You’re right. I wasn’t thinking. [pause] Does it seem like he’s listening..?
GRIFFIN: He is.
JUSTIN: What I want is to drink a lot of free wine. And eat cake. And maybe dance a little. And just…not think about all the other shit. Just have a good time while we can. And… [pause] And I’d like to do all that stuff with you.
GRIFFIN: And why is that?
JUSTIN: Well, because… [laughs] Fuck, he’s gonna make me actually say it.
GRIFFIN: This is a THOUSAND percent your fault.
JUSTIN: [sighs] Because you’re fucking dreamy as shit, obviously. Fuck! Like go look in a mirror, why are we even having this conversation?
GRIFFIN: He laughs.
JUSTIN: Can I see his face?
GRIFFIN: Not really.
JUSTIN: I reach up and push back his hood.
GRIFFIN: Oh ho.
JUSTIN: How’s he look?
GRIFFIN: A little. And the cloak kinda melts away, almost like it’s evaporating? Until he’s standing there just in his suit again, back to his usual stupidly handsome self. And then he looks right at you, Taako.
In addition to all the above, we also get great character moments from all our other favorite NPCs. The Director and Merle share a drink, Ango McDango gets roped into helping Taako with catering the wedding, and as the women of the hour, Carey and Killian get plenty of time to tease Magnus relentlessly about Avi and absolutely kill it on the dance floor. The tone of the fic is unexpectedly perfect for current events, when we may most need small moments of joy in the face of impending doom. You can read Lunar Interlude: Something New here at the AO3!