Vicki: Some of us, yes. I'm the some of us.
Maq: Some of us dramatically describe our outfits for five minutes.
Jemjammer is an Actual Play podcast set in the Spelljammer setting of Dungeons & Dragons. The game is DMed by Kit Walker, and the players are Mackenzie "Maq" Weaver, Annie Craton, Kit's mom Vicki, Rio, and Alexi Peppers. The podcast launched in 2018 after three of the ladies put their Jem and the Holograms fancast The Jem Jam on hiatus due completing the animated series and comics.
Our story begins after a strange and fantastic series of falling stars land in the wilderness surrounding the coastal city of Stormhaven. Three part-time adventurers—the boisterous elven bard Cacophony (Maq), the no-nonsense aasimar cleric Jylliana (Annie), and the stoic human ranger Ælfgifu (Vicki initially, with Alexi taking over later)—come across a disheveled woman trying to reach one of the landing sites. As they help her they discover the stars are actually ships that sail beyond the limits of their planet, and soon they are embroiled in a cosmic adventure. Later on they're joined by feisty pirate triton Artie (Rio), and together the party encounters all manner of ancient monsters, political intrigue, and sexy book clubs.
This podcast contains the following tropes.
- 2-D Space: Lampshaded in episode 85. Artie and Aelfgifu want to attack a suspicious ship they've spotted, but Captain Bondar points out that in order to be in range they'd have to land directly beside it, opening themselves up to attack as well. The two tell her they should just go sideways, but Bondar counters that doing so would cause the other ship to orient it's own gravity plane on them and cause everyone to slide off the ship.Annie: Delightful, Spelljammer has it's own reason for stupid gravity.
- Abnormal Ammo: At one point the party is able to obtain a revolver that can be loaded with and fire gemstones (aka a gem jammer).
- Absolute Cleavage: Cacophony is introduced wearing a tunic with a very deep v-cut.
- Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: Cacophony pronounces Alanna's name differently every time she says it. (Alanna, Alanna, Elanna, etc).
- Accidental Truth: While Max explains why the Vodoni royal family has a grudge against him, Wyn jokingly asks him if he's secretly a prince. The party is floored to find out that he actually is.
- Achievements in Ignorance: When Aelfgifu returns from the Feywilds, she shortly after discovers she can use Eldritch Blast. Apparently she managed to make a deal with the Arch Fey without even realizing it.
- Acting for Two: Rio regularly plays Arie, but when Grak returned many episodes later they reprised that role at the same time.
- Action Girl: All of the party, naturally.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Oft-stoic Jylliana can't help but burst into giggles because of The Spicy Tuba.
- Adventure Towns: Stormhaven is both a coastal shipping town and surrounded by dangerous swamps and forests, which has made it a natural hub for adventurers and bounty hunters.
- Alien Lunch: Ælfgifu goes to a space station pub for lunch and orders the chowder. It looks at her funny.
- Alien Sky:
- The sky in Brinkspace is lit by very few stars. The only notable one is the red giant that Harena orbits, which is in the process of being slowly sucked into a black hole.
- Vesper is in Kofuspace, which is a crystal sphere filled with stone instead of air and has several inside-out planets in the form of small air pockets, all connected by small open tunnels. It's eternally night and lit by a dim star.
- Cabalspace is lit from the inside by glowing lizards crawling along the inside of the sphere. Biancarda, the only planet within the sphere, is also geocentric instead of heliocentric and has a moon and moon-sized sun orbitting it.
- All Animals Are Dogs: Mathilde the Medusa has a Gorgon◊ that acts exactly like a big loveable dog.
- Apocalyptic Log: The party find one in the Nameless Tomb on Harena, which seems to hint at what caused the black hole that razed the rest of the sphere.Thazita:*reading* "Here lies the bastard son of a king, who bound himself to unspeakable darkness to seize that that which he believed was his. Fallen priest entombed alive, his name and being erased forever. We pray this is enough to halt his World Eater's descent upon Harena. Only you know if we succeeded."
- Apologetic Attacker: Annie realizes that she can use an attack of opportunity against Aelfgifu during the fight against Tornincasa, and apologizes profusely to her while smacking her with her hammer.
- Archer Archetype: Ælfgifu is more closed off than the other women in the party, and she's a ranger.
- Are We There Yet?: Artie asks this moments after the party begin a trek across the desert of Harena, which is estimated to last three-four days.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: When Jyllana asks how you can get tides in space.Grak: How do you get a big rock in space? It just is. LET'S GO!
- Badass Preacher: Jylliana is the group's cleric and operates out of a temple, but she's also the only party member wearing plate armour and wields massive hammer. She also has spells that can, and have, completely disintegrate opponents.
- Baleful Polymorph: Jylliana gets hit by polymorphing curses throughout the battle with Kronos, turning first into a wolf and then a giant toad. Because she had cat Radiant Soul earlier, all of the animals have big glowing angel wings.
- Beast Man: Mr. Hurst is a Giff, or hippopotamus-man.
- Bedsheet Ghost: Mr. Hurst gets dressed as one when transported to Castle Kronos.
- Berserk Button: When asking Thazita about what she and the Seekers know about gods, Jylliana has to restrain herself for attacking her after the scholar claims that gods are "more trouble than their worth" and "only useful to specific people".
- Big "NO!": The moment Cacophony asks about The Spicy Tuba instrument, everyone in the pub does this.
- Black Comedy: When asked if she eats food, Veli (a plant person) replies that she could probably eat the crew members if thet die and start to decompose. Wyn's reply is just "neat!"
- Blob Monster: The party encounter several oily slimes in the sewers of Port Meridian.
- Booby Trap: The Nameless Tomb on Harena is, as one episode title aptly states, "Trapped to Hell and Back".
- Boom, Headshot!: In "Starfall", Alanna's gun disintegrates one of the the giant spiders in a single shot.Ælfgifu: Cacophony, next time we let her go first.
- Brick Joke: In episode 8 Cacophony mentions having faced a giant sewer octopi in her past. She and Jylliana also get sidetraked by the word's grammar (Jylliana says "octopi" is plural, Cacophony tries to correct to "octopodes". In the next episode they encounter one tentacular, beaked creature.Jylliana: Oh my god! Sewer octopodes!
Cacophony: I told you!
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": When Artie sees the Neogi Death Spider ship, the only point of reference he has for it prompts him to call it a "land crab".
- Captured on Purpose: The party gets cornered by the Senagora city guard and are charged with the murder of the Fiore twins and attempted murder of Countess Tornincasa. They realize that this could work in their favour since getting arrested would put them in the same building as Tornincasa, who they're trying to take down anyway.
- Cast from Lifespan: Lifejammer helms can give a spelljammer a lot more power than normal methods, at the cost of basiclaly torturing the pilot to death (unless they're extremely powerful, like a Starheart).
- Cast Full of Gay: Cacophony is a lesbian, Jyll is bi (as are her main love interests Lachlan and Max), Aelfgifu figured something out about herself while trapped in the faewild, and Artie...is a fishman (and also attracted to men). For that matter, the only non-queer main castmember has been Vicki.
- Celestial Body: The constellates are beings hundreds of miles wide and made of light that live in Wyldspace, and are seen as constellations from planets. Jylliana sees the Serpent Constellation from the deck of the Kestrel, and it looks back at her.
- There are also Starhearts who, thanks to a twist of fate involving being born in wildspace, have a portal to the Plane of Radiance where there heart would be.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Ethlan artifacts stored in the Broken Palace on Port Meridian include include a horn. Later the crew gets a prophecy via Legend Lore stating "The world of Meridian broke, but the will of the Ethlans did not. Find the horn and it will open the way to Ysgard".
- Chekhov's Gunman: During Grak's arc he mentions his lady-love, the lovely Lady Laplume. Turns out she owns the house that the party raids to recover Blackjammer's sword.
- Chest Monster: One of the bosses the party fights in Castle Kronos is a treasure golem, a whirlwind of gold coins and jewels that can form it's parts into fists.
- Clingy MacGuffin: Aelfgifu cannot remove her Ring of Flight once it starts sending her back and forth between planes. Cacophony says it's either cursed or she just needs butter.
- Concealed Customization: Jylliana states she's only going to wear the helmet she found at the end of episode 7 if she can toggle the display on and off.
- Cool Helmet: Inverted. Jylliana loots the Space Fun Helmet. While it does reveal invisible objects and give advantage on saving throws, it also makes her look like an asshole.
- Cool Starship: The Kestrel, the ship that brought Alanna and her crew to this planet.
- Costume-Test Montage: Episode 19, "The Shopping Episode", is entirely one of these as Cacophony takes Jylliana and Aelfgifu on a spree to try on dresses before the Space Prom.
- Crossover: Episodes 15 and 16 are a crossover with associated podcast The Fallen Gods.
- Crossover Ship: Tuatha lusts over Lachlan during The Fallen Jammer.
- Dance Party Ending: The Fallen Jammer crossover ends with everyone dancing at the Pub. Jylliana dances with Lachlan, Tuatha with Mr. Herst, Mara with Flint.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Jylliana has dark skin but platinum blonde hair, which causes her to stand out despite her wanting to blend in.
- Death World: Herena is a planet covered in sandstorms and hosts a dead civilization. The only living things there are treasure hunters and World Eater cultists.
- Dem Bones: The Kestrel encounters a ship crewed by animated skeletons in episode 5, aptly titled "Ghost Ship".
- Didn't Think This Through: In attempting to get some soldiers out of his way, Artie casts gusts of wind and blows out all the candles (the only light source) and creates a perpetual gust of wind inside an already cramped and busy room.Artie: I don't know how to turn it off...I just wanted some tea.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Jylliana has begun having dreams of a shadow spreading across the sky prior to the story's beginning.
- Drop the Hammer: Jylliana wields a large hammer in battle.
- Eldritch Abomination: Atra's definition of The World Eater, according to Lizardfolk lore. It's not a thing that is motivated, it's just a thing that is. It's a creature of the negative energy plane. If someone is forming a cult around it, there's somebody at the head that's not the World Eater.
- Eldritch Location: Castle Kronos is alive and eats people "for kicks".
- Establishing Character Moment: The fact that the first thing Maq mentions about Cacophony is her giant bosom is a clear indicator for both of them.
- Exact Words: When Chris Sims acts as guest DM for the Castle Kronos arc, Annie (who's played with him as DM in a different game) points out that there is a difference between him saying "there are no traps" and "you don't find any traps".
- Explosive Breeder: Lizardfolk are described as this, having a huge clutch of eggs and relying on the law of averages to mean their young survive. That's why Iolara is such a big deal - a planet-sized hatchery run by multiple factions of lizardfolk represents a major change in how they approach both child rearing and community at large. If it keeps up, they could easily become a major power in Wildspace in a few generations - their generations.
- Exposition Cut: Jyll tells Thazita all about the World Eater cult over the course of a star-wipe, complete with sound effect.
- Extremely Short Timespan: Episode 55, "Thirty Seconds of Shark Fight", is named as such because even though it's 53 minutes long, the rules state that the entire fight against the shark took thirty seconds of in-game time.
- Eye Colour Change: Cacophony can change her eye colour at will, including giving herself heterochromia.
- Fantastic Racism: Unfortunately prejudice against Half-Orcs is present in many spheres, though some are better than others and there are many that don't judge them at all. Lachlan points to his home of Eberron as a place where they're looked down on but not necessarily persecuted. He faced playground bullying for being half and half, but had loving parents. He also wants to find an all-orc city out in space.
- First Kiss: Aelfgifu's is with a Corpse Flower. She fails a constituion saving throw and faints into Mr. Hurst's arms.
- Flash Step: Cacophony knows Misty Step and is able to use it to escape a room full of fighting soldiers in episode 27.
- Floating Continent: The Gnomes managed to get their capital, Gnometopia, to first fly above the ground and now is capable of space flight. It currently travels from sphere to sphere.
- Force-Field Door: Cacophony improvises one by casting Tiny Hut in the entrance of a tunnel, since only her allies can move and attack through it.
- Formula-Breaking Episode: Episode 78 "JAILJAMMER" takes place while the main cast is arrested, so the players take up different characters to break into the Arsenal and help break their main characters out.
- Fragile Speedster: The Kesterl is a ship version. It's very fast, and can occasionally hold its own against weaker opponents thanks to it's skilled crew, but Captain Bondar stresses that in ship-to-ship combat it can only take a single hit, maybe two before it goes down.
- Full-Name Ultimatum: After Annie finds out that Kit wasn't keeping track of a real spellcaster in a group of illusory ones and just rolling a dice to see if the party hit the real one.Annie: Kittington Middlename Walker!
- Funetik Aksent: Jyll's attempts at signing with Finn can come close, as Annie will often spell out words or stutter through one word before substituting a simpler one as a representation of Jyll forgetting certain signs or fingerspelling.
- Gag Boobs: Maq is sure to mention Cacophony's giant bosom when first describing her.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Aelfgifu gets a smack from Cacophony when Tornincasa tries to charm her into considering the World Eater cult. It doesn't quite work, though, and she still tries to protect her when her turn comes up.
- Ghost Ship: Episode 5, "Ghost Ship", has one manned by animate skeletons.
- Giant Squid: Maq had a run-in with a sewer octopus before joining the party. Later when the party encounters a grick (which is really more of a giant worm with tentacles), they consider it one.
- Giant Spider: The first monsters the group encounter is a trio of giant spiders. This is just a taste of the neogi, giant alien spiders that can control minds and breed by having their young burst from their corpses. The party has to fight them after they attack Alanna's ship.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Cacophony gets these when she's possessed in episode 18.
- Grail in the Garbage: The Dragonlances were legendary artifacts that were all said to have been destroyed. Finn's been using one as a spit in his kitchen, and it isn't discovered until the Fallen Gods party arrive.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: One plant-filled room in Castle Kronos has a bush that smacks Jylliana with a corpse.
- Gunship Rescue: While things are looking a little concerning for the crew when fighting undead on Iolara, they're rescued by the appearance of a gnomish ship armed with a flamethrower.
- Hate Plague: Blackjammer's Sword can cause one when it's wielded without proper protection.
- Have You Seen My God?: One of Jylliana's early plots is dealing with her connection to Ethla being interrupted due to her travels in wildspace.
- During the Fallen Gods crossover, the two parties find Sister T'karis, a cleric to Mishakael who began to go mad when the gods of Krynn (including her own) disappeared. It doesn't help when she shows up on Lunitari worshipping a new god: the World Eater.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: Grak is wearing one in their first appearance. It's their only article of clothing.
- Healing Shiv: Jylliana finds the "Book Club", which can store one spell with a range of touch (including healing magic) and then cast it on a successful hit.
- Heroic BSoD: Jylliana has one when she tries to pray at a shrine to Ethla and hears nothing. This is furthered by one of the groundskeepers nearby informing her that most gods can't hear their subjects in wildspace and vice versa, which shakes Jylliana to her core because she's always been able to feel her goddess.
- She gets another one when she finds out that Max is crown prince of the Vodoni commonwealth.
- Hollow World: Kofuspace is a sphere where every planet is like this. Since nearly the whole sphere is solid, the planets are actually concave bubbles within the solid material.
- Horse of a Different Color: When they go on their expedition on Harena, the party ride Sailheads. They're described as goats that are horse sized with elephant skin, prehensile tails, no visible mouths, and sails between their horns. They eat sunlight.
- I Am the Noun: When asked if she needs to buy healing potions, cleric Jylliana replies "I am the healing potion".
- I Have This Friend:
- When Lachlan describes his first experience flying a ship, he mentions "a certain person" taking the reentry angle wrong and nearly burning the ship up, which was a bad time for "a certain plant person".
- Jylliana has concerns about Max's Sendings became very brief and brusque, and voices her concerns to the party as questions about a book she's reading and what they think that means. Pretty much everyone catches on to what she's implying, despite Jyll's insistence to the contrary.
- Innocently Insensitive:
- Thazita casually tells Jylliana that she thinks all gods are selfish and more trouble than there worth, and doesn't even notice Jyll becoming angry when she refers to worshippers of Ethla as a "cult", or shares theories that all deities are actually facades put on by extraplanar beings.
- The Party are responsible for this towards Natalia Cervantes. When they first meet her they recall her being mentioned in Nevaris' notes along with the term "Starheart", and assume it's a codeword of some kind. It's actually a term for someone who was born in space and has a miniature portal to the Plane of Radiance in place of a heart. This makes them very useful for powering Lifejammers indefinitely. Natalia is one, so she automatically assumes that the party knowing the term meant they knew about her and were threatening her, and every time she helped the party it was under duress from her perspective. Countess Aguilar calls the party out on this after they finish up in Senagora.
- Internal Reveal: The spell "Planeshift" is decently known to D&D players, but Jyll is floored when she is told that it's even a possibility. She's been stressing about not always being in contact with Ethla, so being told that travelling to her realm is not only possible but for some people easy is a major gamechanger.
- Intimate Healing: Jylliana ends up falling into this several times with Max, such as cradling his head or touching his shirtless torso to cast Cure Wounds.
- Instrument of Murder: The turtle bartender of the Spicy Tuba also has a tuba on display, which you must never ask him to play. Because when he does, he activates the flamethrower inside.
- I Told You So: Captain Galaran shoots a look that conveys this to Thazita in the aftermath of her and the party unleashing a mummy lord on Skyharbour.
- "Join the Army," They Said: While fighting the giant spiders in episode 1.Jylliana: Leave the convent, they said. Go to Stormhaven, they said. Travel the world, they said. Nobody ever said anything about the giant spiders. You can't convert the giant spiders! You just have to deal with them!
- Jumped at the Call: Cacophony is eager to be hired by Alanna to find the fallen stars.
- Kaleidoscope Hair: Cacophony's hair is usually blue, but changes colour often.
- Lame Pun Reaction: After Cacophony uses one in the form of "Vicious Mockery" against some slimes ("Slime flies when you're in the sewers"), Vicki asks if there can be a penalty for bad puns. Annie points out that the puns have been getting better and worse simultaneously.
- Large Ham: This is the only level on which Cacophony operates. Maq also falls into this while describing Cacophony's actions.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: During their time in Castle Kronos, Cacophony gets cursed to forget all about Jylliana. Her first reaction is that she's hot and she wants to give her a makeover.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After an extended break between episode five and six, Jyllana jokes that the docking procedure they began in the previous episode felt like it took eight weeks to complete.
Cacophony: If we were to put things in numbers, I would be at eleven out of twenty five!
- While healing the party, Jylliana asks Cacophony how she's doing and she replies that she's just below half health.
** After being told she's the smartest, Jylliana doubts that.Jylliana: If I had a sheet in front of me that listed all my attributes I dont think I'd be the smartest one.
- Line-of-Sight Name: Aelfgifu names her pseudodragon familiar Breadsticks after the food she was eating when he appeared.
- Living Battery: The forces of the World Eater are after Starhearts, because their connection to the Plane of Radiance enables them to power Lifejammers indefinitely. Of course they'd still be tortured by the process, so it's not like any of them would willingly join.
- Lizard Folk: Finn the cook is a Kobold. There's also an alliance of more traditional lizardfolk who created an interstellar hatchery for their young orbitting Iolara.
- Loud of War: When ambushed by bandits, Jylliana uses the spell Thaumaturgy to increase her volume to "voice of god" levels, then shouts at the bandits until they flee in terror.
- Mad Scientist: Gnomes have this as their hat. Artie says they have "shit you've never seen before - probably because they invented it". After being described in various ways during the Biancarda mission, they make their first appearance in episode 89...in a spelljammer with a flamethrower attached.
- The Makeover: Cacophony insists on doing hair and nails for her companions before the Space Prom. It's more this for Aelfgifu than Jylliana, as Aelfgifu has no real concept of fashion, has never conditioned her hair, and only bathes occasionally.
- Magic Music: Cacophony can do this with her viol by nature of being a bard.
- Malicious Misnaming: Captain Rhydion refers to The Kestrel as "The Pigeon".
- Macross Missile Massacre: Tuatha tries to dispel the undead magic on the dragon, but fails and uses the Wild Magic...unleashing a volley of Magic Missiles instead.Kit: You know in Mechwarrior where you fire all your weapons at once?
Annie: Yeah it Robotechs! It Macrosses!
Kit: You Macross this fucking dragon.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: The Cervantes family were up-and-comers in the textile trade on Biancarda, and the Tornincasa family didn't like that. Soon they were attacked by pirates, leaving Natalia the only survivor. She's pretty sure it wasn't a "random" pirate attack.
- The Makeover: Episode 62, "Hair Care", is about Jyll helping Artie fix his new hair and Artie helping in return. Also Aelfgifu and Finn do each other's nails.
- Metaphorgotten: Artie tries to analyze Jyll's feelings about Max.Artie: There are two wolfboys in your heart. One is an asshole, and the other one is stupid, and you have to feed one. Both of them are named Toby.
Jyll: I don't think I understand where this metaphor is going.
Aelfgifu: No I don't think I've heard this one before. So you feed one wolf to the other wolf?
Artie: Max told me about that though.
Jyll: Told you about werewolves named Toby. And one of them's stupid.
Artie: Yes, and you have to feed the asshole Toby...because the dumbass Toby...would have died anyways.
Jyll: What does that mean Arturos.
Artie: I'm going to my room!
- Mercy Kill: Mathilde the Medusa offers to turn the party to stone when they encounter her in Castle Kronos, arguing it's painless and therefore a much more preferable demise than anything else left in the castle.
- Mood Whiplash: After several heartwarming and tearjerking moments regarding Aelfgifu saying goodbye to her father and finding out more about her origins, Artie barges into the room and declares that he's finished digging the grave.
- Motion Capture Mecha: Not a mech, but the Kestrel is piloted by a person plugging themselves into the ship's helm and maneuvering it with their arm gestures. It makes drinking a glass of water somewhat difficult.
- Mundane Utility: When Jyll enters the oldest, deepest part of the Temple of Ethla, she finds it's incredibly dry. Kit explains that this is their archive, and they're continuously using Destroy Water to keep the texts safe.
- My Nayme Is: Ælfgifu is pronounced "Alviva".
- Mythology Gag:
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Nevaris was investigating something called "the World Eater" and its associated cult, who are responsible for the attack on Stormhaven. The Lizardfolk know of it as "The Worm that Whispers", which isn't any better.
- Never Live It Down: Cacophony almost died to a carpet.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Stormhaven is attacked by Draconians, which are undead dragonborn-like abominations.
- No Indoor Voice: Cacophony shouts a lot, to the point where Kit has her re-do stealth rolls on occasion to see if anyone heard her exclamations.
- Non-Human Undead: The boss fight in Episode 90 includes the party fighting a minotaur skeleton.
- Nonindicative Name: Episode 22, "The Spicy Tuba", does not feature the titular pub until the last few moments. While Jylliana and Cacophony try scheme to have the bartender play said instrument, the episode ends just after they ask him and can discover why Kara warned them not to.
- Noodle Incident:
- Cacophony, Ælfgifu, and Jylliana have had a few adventures before the story proper starts, on account of the players having adventures with the characters as well. One such mission mentioned to Alanna involved stopping a murderous scarecrow rampaging through town.
- When asked if he can sign a Tome of Shadows so the owner can Sending to one of the party, Artie states he's no longer allowed to sign legal documents.
- Atra claims to have once helped invent a god.
- No Ontological Inertia: After Sister T'karis is taken out, all her copies and her Draconian army disintegrate painfully or explode.
- Mr. Hurst gets stuck in a pool of acid, but resists it so much he only takes 1 damage each turn. It's basically vinegar to him.
- Most of Cacophony's spells don't work on undead or constructs, which is pretty bad on Harena: a planet full of ruins and undead.
- Jylliana tries to cast Dawn on the vampire spawn at the Tornincasa party, but Tornincasa's Captain of the Guard knows counterspell and fizzles it, making her waste her only fifth-level spell slot.
- Not Good with People: Ælfgifu was raised predominantly in the wilderness and isn't used to other people, preferring the company of animals. She's certainly tried to associate with others, but she still finds her companions quite bewildering.
- Obvious Trap: The suits of armour in Spider Chateau. Jylliana predicts that they'll activate when the party passes their line of site. When Grak tosses a rock past them they attack, and Jylliana and Cacophony high-five.
- Offered the Crown: Rhydion was first in line to become the next High Captain, but then his father named someone outside of his bloodline his new blood heir. So Rhydion killed them both.
- Offscreen Teleportation: The catacombs of Castle Kronos has a stone dragon that keeps changing locations whenever people aren't looking at it. Because they're dealing with other issues when they reach the area, the party can only sigh in exasperation. When it finally attacks it turns out to not be stone, but robotic.
- Ominous Floating Castle: A portion of Castle Kronos is a floating tower only attached to the rest by a spiral staricase.
- Once for Yes, Twice for No: The party encounter a floating eyeball watching them on Iolara and try to communicate with it by telling it to blink once for yes, twice for no. When Kit informs them that it's just a ball, no lids, they tell it to spin once for yes, twice for no. That ends up working.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Ælfgifu's earliest memories are of a caravan she and her parents were on being attacked and her parents dying. After that she was raised by a kind man in the woods.
- Overly Long Gag: When the group is ambushed and Cacophony has to rouse everyone from their sleep to fight back, Jylliana spends a good five minutes waking up and gathering up her stuff. It almost lasts into the fight itself!
- Perplexing Plurals: An odd inversion where Cacophony briefly uses "octopi" to refer to a singular sewer octopus.
- Please Wake Up: Played for laughs in episode 56, where the party has found the body of Aelfgifu's adoptive father after she left home weeks ago in the wake of his death.Aelfgifu: He is dead? He's not just sleeping?
Kit: I just wanna remind you, he is partially decomposed.
- Plot Coupon: In order to escape Castle Kronos, the party has to seek out eight gems that act as keys to the final tower and defeat Dread Lord Kronos.
- Prematurely Marked Grave: While investigating the catacombs of Castle Kronos, the party find some inscribed with their own names. Aelfgifu's is patrially misspelled and then scratched out, and they do contain facsimiles of their own corpses.
- Properly Paranoid: After her encounter with the carpet in the Catacombs, she doesn't trust any of them. When the first room in Castle Kronos has one, she correctly predicts that it's a trap as well. She has the same opinion on suit's of armour, but so far they haven't come after her a second time.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Pretty much all the bosses in Castle Kronos are trapped against their will and incredibly bored, so they're happy to give the party as much help as their curses allow. Several have started dating each other.
- Punctuated Pounding: How Aelfgifu kills T'karis.Aelfgifu: I! *slash* Have had! *slash* Enough of you! *stabs her through the head*
- Pyrrhic Victory: The entire Harena system died because of one of these. They tried to seal away a bastard prince who was summoning the World Eater and they may have succeeded (the world wasn't eaten, but there is a black hole that's in the process of sucking up the whole sphere). Aelfgifu puts it best.Aelfgifu: If this is success...I'd hate to see what failure looks like.
- Recursive Canon: As they're leaving Krynn, Jylliana stops in a bookstore and buys the Dragonlance novels because she likes historical fiction.
- Refuge in Audacity: After blowing their cover twice while trying to sneak into the White Manor, the away crew is able to approach the front door directly without getting attacked because the guard is so dumbfounded that he just wants to see how things play out.
- Ring World Planet: Iolara, the hatchery for many spacefaring Lizardfolk, used to be one. However at some point it was broken into multiple pieces, though they are still in orbit around the star.
- Rhymes on a Dime: While stuck in Castle Kronos, Artie gets cursed to only speak in rhyme. Slant rhymes are accepted, though.
- Running Gag: Through the whole show, the cast gets a lot of mileage out of the common joke "gays can't do math".
- "D&D is a game of choices".
- A side-effect of Cacophony's Eladrin moods is that each session has her determine a personality trait and flaw. At the beginning of the story her trait is that she craves chocolates and fine wines, and her flaw is being so generous that she gives things away to the point that she runs out of supplies. Thus, many scenes involve Cacophony pouring wine into a goblet and handing it off to her friends and acquaintances for almost no reason at all.
- Jylliana's armor makes her bad at hiding. She goes "clink clank clonk".
- For that matter, Jylliana's Space Fun Helmet goes "wee-woo". And everyone forgets about it until she has to use it.
- Mr. Herst trying to build houses of cards. He used to do it in the wardroom, but after several instances of them collapsing in there he's moved them into his quarters.
- After what happened in the sewers, Cacophony doesn't trust rugs.
- Cacophony and Xilwin own several sweatshirts from various universities.
- The fragility of horses.
- Sapient House: Castle Kronos is alive and eats people "for kicks".
- Schmuck Bait: As soon as Kara tells her not to let the barkeep play The Spicy Tuba, Cacophony starts trying to devise a way to get him to do so.
- Shaped Like Itself: When Artie first sees a goat.Artie: What the hell is that thing?
Jylliana: It's a goat!
Artie: What's a goat?
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Nameless Tomb in Harena houses a bastard prince who was also a priest of the World Eater, and evidently summoned it to the sphere and nearly destroyed it before he was entombed alive and his identity wiped out. In episode 49, the party see a hairline fracture in the wall keeping him sealed. And decide the best course of action is just blast the wall open and defeat him now.
- Sequel Hook: In episode 28, Max leaves the Kestrel to check on his family and tells the crew not to help him (and Kit tells them not to follow because it's not a sidequest, it's a way to get him out of the plot temporarily). Whenever they check up on him every arc or so, he's clearly still deeply entrenched in this plot.
- Serious Business: The only thing that's gotten Jylliana more angry than dissing her deity is stealing books from the library.
- Shipper on Deck: Mr. Hurst is happy to help Jylliana and Lachlan get together, and eagerly agrees to carry her up the stairs if he ever catches her starring wistfully at him while driving.
Annie: You magnificent bitch! You did the Hook thing!
- When the party is ambushed whilst guarding the Kestrel, Cacophony bluffs that the group are searching for a white hart to become queens of the land.
- While Jylliana is trying to wake up at this time, Ælfgifu calls out "Danger Will Robinson!"
- While searching for a way out of the sewers in "The Catacombs" and Cacophony finds a secret door, Annie can be heard quietly chanting "secret door, secret door, secret door!". The chant returns in episode 26.
- When Captain Rhydion starts to go up the stairs, then turns to a footman and says "where's the carpet?" Then the footman stomps on the stairs and the stairs flip around to reveal a red carpet surface. In real life, Annie slams on her table.
Maq: He's not throwing away his shot!
- When they find Blackjammer's Sword, it's described as "old as balls".
- When Kit rolls an intelligence check to see if a guard in episode 26 does something stupid. He does.
Rio: When you're young scrappy and hungry you just have to go for it.
Maq: He should really learn to wait for it, Rio.
Annie: *deep sigh*
Jyll: Look for clothing first, then we can do a Carol Burnett makeover.
- While fighting a Corpse Flower, a card Aelfgifu drew earlier causes it to become infatuated with her. It places a vine on her shoulder and gives her a look that says "Hey".
- Upon entering the Blood Queen's chambers, the party is greeted by the sound of Nu Metal.
- While the party in on Harena, a desert world filled with ruins, Kit refers to Imric and his men as "Beni and the horses".
- When looking for cloaks to sneak out of a hotel room undetected, Artie suggests using the curtains.
- Jylliana assesses a situation on Iolara, where the party might be able to set up bottleneck of traps to fight off the approaching undead forces, and compares it to that old folk tale about the plants and the zombies.
- Space Station: Port Meridian, which is built into an asteroid.
- Space Whale: The Kestrel encounters a pod of these, called Kindori, in "Into the Void". There are also the Sarphardin, flying serpents who are natural Spelljammers and can be hired to tow a ship to port if it wrecks while in Wildspace. They're also friends of the Star Wardens, and one of them (Seerka) often helps Kieran stop members of the World Eater cult.
- While helping defend Biancarda, the party face a ship crewed by undead and made from the corpse of a Kindori.
- Speak of the Devil: While researching the history of Ethla and her followers, Jyll finds information on a crusade against an evil entity. The way things are written, she figures there was a superstition that naming the entity could draw it's attention.
- Spy Catsuit: Cacophony has a red and black one for stealth missions. It pairs with black two-inch heels (as opposed to higher, glittery ones in her regular apparel).
- Standard Female Grab Area: Artie grabs Aelfgifu by the arms and Annie jokes that she's helpless now. Of course he flips her immediately after.
- The Stars Are Going Out: Jylliana had a dream about this shortly before she met Aelfgifu and Cacophony (pre-series). She didn't think too much of it until Aelfgifu has a similar dream.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Imric, one of the other adventurers on Harena, has a bunch of dynamite with him in order to blast his way into tombs and loot them. Thazita, who's worried about preserving historical integrity, and the party, who don't trust him to not blow everyone else up as well, are very concerned whenever he suggests using them. Or owning them, for that matter.
- Survival Mantra: "Ethla knows that we are weak and yet she asks for strength" is Jylliana's, presumably a prayer to her Goddess Ethla. Later it's mentioned that she's expanded to muttering the entire holy text while inside the neogi ship.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Lachlan definitely didn't try to dock too hard during his first stint as a Spelljammer crewman, and certainly didn't cause it to burn up on entry.
- Take Over the World: In the backstory the Vodoni Empire tried to conquer the universe under Emperor Vulkaren's rule. They've calmed down since then, but the royal family and it's associates still try to get a hold of powerful artifacts in the hopes that they can jumpstart the conquest again.
- Technologically Advanced Foe: Alanna is this to the giant spiders from the first episode, since she has a gun that can disintegrate them. They're not sure how to react to that after it happens.
- Tempting Fate: During the Jemjammer crossover, despite almost everyone causing distracting noises—Tuatha hurling fireballs and talking loudly, Cacophony tripping on her heels and hitting something metal, Mr. Herst being a giant hippo man—the Draconians on Lunitari repeatedly fail their perception checks and ignore the group.Jylliana: Maybe we can get out of this without anybody noticing us.
Solvin: *fires arrow, hits Draconian dead on*
*Draconian screams in agony, and Jylliana immediately looks at Tuatha.*
- Title Drop: One of the items looted from Castle Kronos is a revolver that can be loaded with and shoots gemstones, aka a gem jammer.
- Transflormation: Mr. Hurst is encased as wood seemingly as a precautionary measure after the Kestrel crashes.
- Triang Relations: The party discovers that a saucy love triangle has developed amongst some of the bosses in Castle Kronos. Mathilde used to date the Blood Queen, but they had a bad breakup. The Forgemaster has a crush on Mathilde, but she's two floors above him while the Blood Queen is between them. Blood Queen keeps intercepting the invitations Forgemaster sends to Mathilde thinking that Mathilde will return his affections, which is possible because she's upset that she only gets things from him and not correspondence. All this is laid out by Grail the Ghost, who also mentions that the low number of sentient beings trapped within the castle means at some point, every combination is going to happen.
- The next episode solves it by the party hand delivering an invitation to Mathilde and finding out that the Blood Queen has made herself a Skull King.
- Ugly Cute: The party encounters a flail snail and are immediately enraptured by it because it's just calmly wandering around the room like a roomba. When Mr. Hurst approaches it, it gets spooked and hides in it's shell, eliciting a chrous of "aww"s from the group.
- In the same castle they meet Mathilde the Medusa, who has a pet Gorgon named Gravel. It was built for her by the Forgemaster.
- Unexpected Successor: Rhydion was first in line to become the next High Captain, but then his father named someone outside of his bloodline his new blood heir. So Rhydion killed them both.
- Unflinching Walk: Cacophony does this as she sets the neogi ship to explode, though rather than a walk it's a slow-motion run. Again, while the others run at normal speed.
- Vagueness Is Coming: The World Eater has this vibe for many of it's early appearances.
- A more neutral variation is highlighted when the party are helping Atra on Iolara. She performed a divination, but states that such acts are not exact - she knows an attack is coming between one and six hours from then, and she knew help was coming but not who it would be.
- Verbal Tic: Cacophony calls others "my dear" and "my love" quite often. Jylliana doesn't like it.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Cacophony once stored muffins in her cleavage.
- Was It All a Lie?: The crew experiences this with Max after finding out he lied to them and was a secret prince. Jylliana especially because she had a burgeoning attraction to him, and he seemed to have one with her as well.Max: Jyll I'm sorry for lying to you for a really long time. And giving you a hard time about what exactly my deal was and confusing you because it was funny. And then hitting on the guy you like because I thought it was funny.
- Waxing Lyrical: When they land at Port Meridian and try to figure out what to do, Cacophony declares that the proper action is to find a girl named Brandy and tell her she might be a fine girl, but your life, your lover, your lady...is space sea.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jylliana is afraid of spiders, which is a concern when the first encounter the group faces is a group of giant spiders. And gets even worse when she finds out the creatures that attacked Alanna's ship are neogi, who are giant, mind-controlling spiders.
- This is actually a fear shared with Jylliana's player Annie, though it's been confirmed that it's at a level she's okay with.
- Wine Is Classy: Cacophony's mood in the first session drives her to crave classy wine, so she buys a bottle and four goblets for her and the party. And anyone else she can hand the wine off to.
- With Catlike Tread: When Vicky asks why Annie keeps failing stealth rolls, she points out that Jylliana is wearing noisy chain mail. This lack of stealth comes up a few times.Annie: I go clink clank clink clonk!
- Wham Line: When casting Speak With Dead on Aelfgifu's adoptive father Greyson.Aelfgifu: What were the names of the elves that delivered me to you?
Greyson: One name. Estelar Nevaris.
- Whole Costume Reference: To get ready for the boss fight against Dread Lord Kronos, Cacophony changes into Lulu's outfit from Final Fantasy X.
- Write What You Know: Occasionally a location will be inspired by a landmark in Edmonton, Alberta that Kit is familiar with. Stuff, Tasty Tom's, and the lizardfolk hatchery were all influenced by the city.
- Wrong Context Magic: The Ring of Flying that Aelfgifu looted from Krynn has unwanted side effects when taken out of it's sphere of origin, something the gods there are notably capricious about. It causes her to blink in between her own reality and the Feywild.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time works differently in the Feywild, with events over there occurring faster than those on the normal plane.
- The events of Castle Kronos occur over a few days, but only take up a few hours from the persepctive of the Kestrel crew.
- You Mean "Xmas": Midwinter Birthinox, a celebration out of the Temple of Ethla held on the longest, darkest night of the year and symbolic of everybody's birthday. It's a huge party that lasts from sunrise to sunrise the following day, there's a fake fire and parties and drinking and laughter, and at the end the Crimson Abbess and Bone-White Jacques come by to ask everyone riddles and you have to give them coffee and buns. Based on those descriptions it seems to combine elements of standard solstice festivals and Welsh Christmas traditions.
- You Owe Me: A lot of information exchange works like this in Providence Bay. Xilwin sought out the reason behind Aelfgifu's disappearances, and in return indebted herself to the proprietor of Club Gehenna. Upon informing Captain Bondar of this situation, she's greeted by a loud "You did what?!"Jylliana: At least it wasn't me this time.